Like most Sunday’s, My son and I spent most of yesterday catching up on some of our shows. We watched a bit of Blindspot as well as some of the paranormal shows that Amazon Prime Video (Try Amazon Prime Free For 30 Days) had in their current selection. After a while, my son decides that he wanted to see an oldie but goody, He-Man! If you’re an 80’s baby, chances are you’ve watched this cartoon as a child and, if you’re young at heart then chances are you still do!
As a kid, I think we all had our cartoon/favorite program schedules down packed! We ate breakfast before school with a favorite program. When we came home in the afternoon, we ate our snacks in front of the t.v. probably watching the Fox 5 Kids Club ( Fox 5 is a NYC channel ) which ran after school on weekdays. Saturday mornings ( unlike on school days ) we arose with the birds and watched cartoons such as School House Rock, Fat Albert, Looney Tunes and a few others created by Hannah & Barbera and more. Weeknights, I personally looked forward to watching TNT ( another NYC channel ). At 6pm like clockwork, I was in front of that t.v. ready to watch 2 back to back episodes of Gilligan’s Island, with the Bug’s Bunny & Daffy Hour immediately following.
Yesterday, my son unexpectedly took me on a trip down memory lane. Even though this wasn’t his first time watching He-Man, it has been years since he’s watched it. Over the Christmas break, he got to watch some old Popeye The Sailor cartoons as well as some Snoopy cartoons so I was pleased to see that he still had interest in the cartoons I used to show him when he was really little. I was also really pleased to be sharing a little bit of my childhood joy with him!
We must’ve gotten through about half of Season 1 of He-Man when we decided to take a brief intermission to stretch our legs, have a bathroom break and fix us some snacks. While standing in the door way of the fridge, he turn’s to me and said ” Ma, the cartoons from back in the days are better I think. Well at least some of them are.” I instantly chimed in with agreement but, as I poured myself a cup of coffee I pondered if I actually heard my child correctly lol. After un-pausing He-Man, and despite being someone who seldom speaks while watching a program, my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him if he was just pulling my leg or being sincere when he expressed a serious like for cartoons of “Christmas Past” so to speak lol and more importantly why? His answer actually shocked me. He told me that one of the things he liked about, for example, He-Man (which came out in 1983) was that even though a lot of the stuff on the cartoon was only pretend, the valuable life lesson at the end of each cartoon was not only important but, indeed valuable. He also further shocked me by going on to say that the cartoon creator found a way to show kids an example of a life lesson in the story plot of the cartoon and made it easy to understand by explaining what the characters went through and how can actually be applied to every day life. All I could do at this moment was proudly gaze at my son as I kissed his forehead and snuggled him. The more I thought about what my son had said, the more I began to think about what other cartoons of my childhood where like that. Where they all like that or just certain ones?
From what I can remember She-Ra, G. I. Joe, Inspector Gadget and even Heathcliff included little life lessons that kids of any ages and even adults could benefit from. Advice from “no speaking to strangers”, to “how unsafe and inhumane it is to leave your pet in the car on a hot summers day”. Regardless to which back in the day cartoons did/didn’t do stuff like that, one thing I do notice is that the cartoons of today rarely include some sort of lesson/good advice.
Another thing I’ve observed ( maybe it’s just me ) is that you never used to hear of kids from the earlier cartoon era’s doing horrendous acts like setting their house of fire because they saw ” Beavis & Butthead ” do it first. It’s one thing to feel partial or preferential to the cartoon favorites of your youth (and I know I’m not the only parent who does the “my cartoons where and still is better than yours” thing) but, is it fair to say that today’s cartoons (though rightfully glorified through modern graphics and whatnot) are not as good because today’s creators fail to utilize the opportunities they have to educate while still providing amazing children’s entertainment?
I think I’m going to incorporate more of these “lesson giving” cartoons into our Sunday To Watch List. Since it’s been a really long time since I’ve seen some of the old classics, I decided to get some help. I asked my sister from another mister, Talisha J. to assist me in remembering some and this is what we came up with: The Berenstein Bears, The Care Bears, Scooby Doo, Josie & The Pussycats, Jem & The Holograms and possibly Marmaduke and Yogi Bear. I also believe Fraggle Rock might be a candidate so I’ll definitely be hunting these titles down on Amazon Prime & Kodi.
If you’re a 70’s/80’s/90’s baby and, you remember watching any of the cartoons mentioned or any I didn’t mention, please don’t forget to comment. Are you also someone that tells your kids or even your grandkids that the cartoons they watch today aren’t as nearly as good as the ones from your childhood? If so, what where those cartoons and what is it about them that makes you tell the new generation that they are truly missing out?
This post is dedicated to all my 80’s baby’s. May this post find all of you reading this in good energies and good spirits 🙂 I hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading.
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