A friend of mine decided I had too much time on my hands, it’s true, so she posted a playlist of 17 days worth of 80’s, and 90’s cartoon theme songs on my Facebook wall. Because at some point YouTube bought my free time, I decided it was time to
I realized something shortly into these cartoon theme songs. I know too many of them by heart (or close enough) after 20+ years of not hearing them.
The wealth of useless knowledge I have is not the only thing I realized. I also realized, there were some pretty craptacular cartoons out when I was a kid. Ones I thought were great, because apparently I was not quite right as a child. Now don’t get me wrong, I still have good memories of the shows, but crap in a hat they were terrible looking, sounding, and the storylines were about as well written as a fish in a blender (remember that thing?).
Nostalgia can be an illness. It can take the friendliest of people, and turn them into babbling lunatics. Maybe you, or someone you know is suffering from a bout with the nostalgia. The most noticeable symptom of this is the repeatedly saying, “Back in my day,” or a similar version of it. Whatever follows doesn’t need to be rooted in fact, it just needs to feel true.
I started thinking about how many people from my generation talk about the cartoons today are not nearly as good as the cartoons in the 80’s/90’s. Now, some of them I would watch for nostalgic value, remembering how much I used to like the show. Then there are some I don’t think I would last 5 minutes with anymore. Bravestarr is one I know would fall on the nope pile. Watching the theme song for it made me ask what was wrong with me as a kid. I would never have said, “It was the best,” but I would have said, “It was good,” at least before being reminded how it wasn’t. Count Duckula was another piece of garbage I used to like.
Don’t get me wrong, some stand up to the test of time, I was happy to see, DuckTails, Darkwing Duck, TailSpin, Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers, Gummy Bears, and some others. These aren’t particularly good, but they were fun. They were fun, and enjoyable. Still are too. I rewatch Animanics from time to time, and the same with Pinky and the Brain. Those were legit good cartoons. The jokes were funny (they would need to be updated to be funny for kids now), the script was intelligent (stupid antics, but intelligent writing). Pinky and the Brain had a robust vocabulary, which is a plus for any children’s show.
Ok, bit of a bunny trail, but I’m back.
So, the point I was heading towards, in somewhat of a serpentine pattern, there are a few amazing cartoons from the 80’s and 90’s (more the 90’s), there are some which are fun to watch, and then there are a boatload of garbage cartoons. If you paint the entire era with a few select shows, of course it was, “So much better than the entirety of today’s cartoons.” If you picked the best half a dozen shows today, against the best half a dozen shows of your youth, then you may not have such a high horse to ride around on anymore.
Here is the link to the theme songs, if you want to fill 40 days: