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February 10, 2008 / Maleesha Kovnesky

Saturday Morning Cartoons

I remember Saturday morning cartoons being a lot better “back in the day” than they are lately.  I mean, today’s options for the kiddos really stink.  Am I just viewing the past through rose-colored glasses?  We tend to do that, when remembering the past.  We only remember sitting in front of the toasty-warm fireplace, watching the road-runner float safely above the canyon, drinking the chocolaty milk from the cereal bowl.  We forget that we had to shut the cartoon off prematurely, and then get stuffed into a snow-covered vehicle, filled with cigarette smoke (windows rolled up) to drive to the grocery store to help look for the sale hot dogs.  But that is not the point.  The point is, the cartoon was really good. 

I’m mostly upset that my son doesn’t seem to have Bugs Bunny as an option.  Can anyone point me to it on DVD? 

Let’s compare yesterday’s options to today’s, just to see if I am imagining things.

Yesterday:  Bugs Bunny

Star on Walk of Fame.  Need I say more?

Summary:  A clever bunny uses his mind to outwit, outplay and outlast the futile hunting attempts of Elmer Fudd; a happy-go-lucky desert bird continues to evade a hungry coyote with clear and questionable political ties to the Acme company.

Today: Yu-Gi-Oh

Summary:  Weird, angular humanoids battle each other with magic cards.

Winner:  Bugs Bunny.  The other one sounds lame, unless your diet consists of Cheetos and Pepsi…then I can see how a mushy brain may get sucked into its repetitiveness.

Yesterday:  Sesame Street

Summary:  A cast of likeable, mammalian characters face life’s lessons in a quaint, tree-filled neighborhood, while learning numbers, letters, and how to tie one’s shoes.

Today:  Teletubbies

Laa Laa.  Poo Poo.

Summary:  Four furry, jellybean shaped robots with televisions for abdomens chant unintelligible sounds while dancing on a hill under a garish, baby-faced sun.

Clear winner:  Sesame Street.  Thankfully it’s still on PBS.  It seems to have gone downhill since the introduction of Elmo and Mr. Noodle (how I hate Mr. Noodle) but it’s still seems to be a good choice, considering the alternatives.

Down with Mr. Noodle

Even with Mr. Noodle, I think it only takes these two examples to see that Saturday morning cartoons, and kids’ television in general, is less plot-driven and educational today than it used to be.  Today it appears that to be a successful children’s program, you don’t even need real words, you just need flashy, seizure-inducing images and a decent timeslot. 

It’s really just best to shut the box off and go play in the trees instead.

One Comment

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  1. elementaryteacher / Feb 11 2008 5:30 am

    I agree with you 100 percent that the old children’s cartoons were much better.

    However, I never did care for Sesame Street, but did really like the Teletubbies!

    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas

That's what she said!

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