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JediTricks
10-13-2001, 11:58 AM
I'm wondering, what era do you think cartoons were the best? What criteria got you to this decision?

The periods I can think of:
- 1920s through early '40s era (Silly Symphonies, mostly trouble-free cartoons where they relived other stories or rehashed fables)

- WW2 through '50s era (golden age of Looney Toons, patriotic comedy runs high, characters find themselves in situations where their uniqueness gets them out of jams, violence gets them into severe mischief; mythical superhero Superman makes a huge impact with carefully-crafted toons)

- late '50s through '70s era (birth of TV creates a myriad of knockoffs of the Looney Toons, Warner Animation does a ton of Road Runner/Wile E. Coyote cartoons followed by a string of Speedy Gonzales toons, violence becomes more senseless; situation cartoons like The Flintstones & Scooby Doo become popular despite lower quality animation; cheaper superheroes become popular)

- 1980s era (FCC regulations lift ban on cartoons being created specifically to be tie-ins to merchandising spawning He-Man, GI Joe, Transformers, Super Powers, etc., story arcs become more serious; cartoons spin-off from popular sitcoms and movies such)

- early '90s era (Warner Brothers goes back to comedy-themed roots, creating new characters mostly based on the Looney Toons classics; toy-themed cartoons begin decline due to waning sales)

- 1990s (Anime influences start impacting, comedy cartoons all but disappear for a time, Batman makes a huge comeback, kick-starting the new toy industry, Spider-man follows)

- late '90s through now (Pokemon becomes ridiculously popular overseas and is released in the US to a steady build-up, imitators soon follow; action cartoons begin to take themselves and their story arcs even more seriously; computer-generated cartoons start hitting, generating newfound popularity; Transformers returns in the CGI Beast Wars with a powerful story arc which ties in to the original Transformers; cartoon spin-offs spawn over and over, but don't hit with audiences)

Jedi Clint
10-13-2001, 01:24 PM
I am partial to the '80s cartoons, primarily because I grew up with them. I didn't really like the spin-offs, but He-Man, Transformers, and G.I. Joe are my top 3 favorite cartoons. Number 4 on my list of favorite cartoons is The Tick. I enjoy the WB superhero cartoons (Batman, Superman, X-men), and an occasional South Park as well. I guess I like cartoons from all of the eras you listed, but if I am to chose only one, I chose the '80s era.

Jargo
10-13-2001, 02:26 PM
Well I'm a sucker for those real early Tom and Jerry cartoons. Spike was my hero as a kid. Cool dog daddy! ;) But I love the Roadrunner era with the senseless violence that just isn't palletable anymore. Except in my house.
My dead Uncle Chris was a big fan of those violent 'toons and got me hooked at an early age. So really I'd have to stick with that era.
Marvin the Martian, Bugs Buny and Daffy. Elmer Fudd. Classics that can't be touched on quality of animation and originality.

I hated the eighties stuff with the focus on fewer frames and less actual animation. They seemed so lacklustre. and this new anime inspired crud just makes me laugh at the awfullness. Do all Japanese boys have squints? They all seem to have their eyes shut all the time which is most bizzare.
Of course there are honourable mentions that while not the highest quality in terms of animation are still classics. Like Scoobydoo and Captain caveman. Hong Kong Phooey - "Henrific!" :)

bigbarada
10-13-2001, 02:38 PM
Like Jedi Clint, I'm partial to the cartoons I grew up with. GI Joe, Transformers, He-Man, Thundercats, Ghostbusters, even the Ewoks and Droids cartoons. Sure they weren't very well written by many standards and they pretty much only existed to sell a toy line; but they're a part of my childhood so I love them.

However, my all-time favorite cartoon, Johnny Quest, never had a toy line or hardly any merchandise (at least not any that I remember), just cool stories. Although the recent attempt by Cartoon Network to revive/update it was kind of lame.

I'll also meekly admit that I loved the Smurfs cartoon as a kid.

Emperor Howdy
10-13-2001, 03:01 PM
Definately 70's/80's cartoons. But I'm sure one would be partial to whatever "generation of cartoon" they grew up in. My mom would probably think the original Spiderman sucks, but laugh at the Steamboat Willie crap. (Not that Steamboat Willie wasn't to cartoons what the Beatles were to music, but come on......). Yeah....Spiderman, Scooby-doo, Bugs, Sylvester, the Road Runner, Land of the Lost (wasn't a cartoon, but I really liked that show...rememeber Sleeztaks?....Sigmond and the Sea Mosters was cool too), the short-lived Dragon's Lair, Space Ghost, Speed Racer. I liked that Olympics show with the three teams.....can anyone rememeber their names? It had the Octopus in one, Yogi in the other, and maybe Grape Ape in the third.....which team had the dog that just laughed? "heeheeheeeheeeheeheeheehee"...I think it was the Evil team. G-Force was cool too after school....wait...it was Battle of the Planets. Finally, my apologies for mentioning Steamboat Willie and the Beatles in the same sentence.

TeeEye7
10-14-2001, 05:30 AM
Spending the first five years of life in the LA area as a little bitty kiddie, I watched cartoons hosted by a menagerie of local kid's TV hosts: Skipper Frank, Sheriff John, Tom Hatten, and Chuck-O the Birthday Clown.

Most showed the Warner Bros. and Merrie Melodies cartoons from the 30's and 40's. Classic. No other word for them.

And then there was Popeye. My favorite. 30's vintage that is. The stuff that came out in the 50's and 60's was......well.......let's not go there.

Like eveyone else has said, you like what you grew up with. Those are my fond memories of black and white cartoons!

Rollo Tomassi
10-14-2001, 09:20 AM
I think it can be said that the truly great cartoons of the past can hold up through the ages. Remember the Bugs Bunny/Road Runer hour? It would go toe to toe with the cartoons dujour and held up nicely. Plus somewhere along the line (here in the US anyway) animation became associated as children's fare. Often in the past it was geared towards all ages, but slowly slipped down to kiddie crap where, for the most part, it has remained. I look back and cringe at some of the 80s stuff. He-man? ugh. That animation is atrocious. But I don't get that feeling from watching a Bugs Bunny cartoon from the 50s. That being said here are some classics that I enjoy from all eras.

Scooby Doo. Watched it all the time after school.

Thundarr the Barbarian. I just loved the opening when the comet cracks the moon in two and earth is turned into an instant wasteland. And Mokk was cool!

Dungeons and Dragons. One of the first serial cartoons I can remember. I wish somebody would cram all the episodes onto a DVD and sell it.

Transformers. The classic TV show of my youth. I watched religiously and still have a tape with 8 hours of old episodes that my daughter and I watch today. I can't get enough.

The Simpsons. Nuff said.

And finally....Pokemon. I watch this because my daughter likes it. But I really like the serial concept. It's one big long quest from the first episode when he leaves home up until the latest episodes. Each one is in a specific chronological order from the one before and after it. I think that's really cool. Oh, don't look at me like that....

I think it's funny that no one has mentioned Droids and Ewoks. I remember watching those on Saturday mornings.

bigbarada
10-14-2001, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by bigbarada
even the Ewoks and Droids cartoons.

Ahem!! *cough, cough*

I also really liked the Pokemon cartoon, but I was totally addicted to the Game Boy game for about three months. Then I sold it to a friend of mine, because I was staying up late at night playing it and getting no sleep. Next thing you know, he's addicted and scouring the internet, searching for training tips and saying stuff like, "I've got issues with my Pokemon, I need help!"

I forgot about Thundar the Barbarian, that opening sequence gave me nightmares as a kid.

Anybody remember Centurions?

Emperor Howdy
10-14-2001, 02:56 PM
O.k., I feel rectified. Yes, I compared the Beatles to Steamboat Willie, but Rollo and B.B. just admitted to Pokemon. I think we're all even now.

Starfig873
10-14-2001, 04:52 PM
Oh yeah? Well....*takes a deep breath* I watch Digimon....

Its true..I watch the show, alot actually. Digimon have heart to em. I'm just a big softy, I know. Plus it has a plot, so thats a double whammy.

But back to the question. I have to say the 80s cartoons were the best. I have so many fond memories of some of the oddest cartoons that any youngun born within the last 10 years would think was stupid as heck.

Bananaman, Count Duckula, Dangermouse, The Real Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters *the one with the monkey!*, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, & Smurfs. *sighs* but of course the early 90s cartoons were good too! Nickelodeon used to be GREAT! That was back in the day when you weren't supposed to learn anything from cartoons...now its cartoons that make you learn a moral in every episode. Gone are the days of Ren & Stimpy...*sniff* keep them in your memories 80s children! "Bah!" is what I say to thes new fangled cartoons on Nickelodeon...

Bel-Cam Jos
10-14-2001, 05:21 PM
Originally posted by bigbarada
Anybody remember Centurions?
Wasn't that the one where guys wore armored suits that could add parts to, like cannons, wings, or claws? If so; yes. Yes I do remember them. If not; oops.

I'd go for the 30s-40s Warner Bros. ones. I grew up on late 70s early 80s 'toons, but the early ones set the tone. Very historical in context, and Tiny Toons tried (pretty well, in fact) to do the same for 90s pop culture.

Favorite cartoons, for me:
Bugs Bunny/Road Runner
Transformers
GI Joe
Robotech (mainly Macross saga)
Battle of the Planets
Smurfs
Voltron (lions, not cars)
TMNT (for a BRIEF time)
Ren & Stimpy
Simpsons
He-Man

master jedi
10-14-2001, 07:01 PM
TMNT, Ren and Stimpy, and The Simpsons are the best.

Sith Worm
10-14-2001, 09:14 PM
Growing up in the 80's I'd have to say was the best He-man thundercats and of course G.I Joe. I was checking out cartoon network the other day though and all those shows were on and boy are they lame now!,but I still watched them!

ThomasLane
10-15-2001, 01:03 AM
One of my favorites as a kid was Scooby Doo, and that's my 4-year-old's favorite right now. I think there's just something magical about ghosts, a talking dog, and a bunch of goofballs (or meddeling kids) running around looking for clues. I also loved the Flintstones, Jetsons, Bugs Bunny & the other WB stuff, and Superfriends.

Rollo Tomassi
10-15-2001, 08:46 AM
Originally posted by bigbarada


Ahem!! *cough, cough*

I also really liked the Pokemon cartoon, but I was totally addicted to the Game Boy game for about three months. Then I sold it to a friend of mine, because I was staying up late at night playing it and getting no sleep. Next thing you know, he's addicted and scouring the internet, searching for training tips and saying stuff like, "I've got issues with my Pokemon, I need help!"


Been there...Actually I'm there right now. My girlfriend would play it until the batteries would die on her gameboy, so I figured out you can play it on Pokemon Stadium 2 for the N64 (which I have )so I bought it for HER....but since she's only here part of the time, I went out and got Silver so now I'M hooked playing the damn thing...It's actually quite a clever concept...rock-paper-scissors inflated to a GRAND scale. Those Japanese are clever chaps.

JediTricks
10-15-2001, 09:39 AM
Originally posted by Emperor Howdy
...My mom would probably think the original Spiderman sucks, but laugh at the Steamboat Willie crap. (Not that Steamboat Willie wasn't to cartoons what the Beatles were to music, but come on......).Have you ever really watched Steamboat Willie? Of all the Disney toons, that's probably my favorite - Mickey Mouse acts like a jerk to everybody, he abuses animals, he peeks at his girlfriend's undies, and all while whistling a happy little tune. ;)


Jargo, the golden age of Looney Toons (ww2 till the '50s) is my favorite too. The characters and writing are really good during that era, lots of thought put into the whole package.


TeeEye7, I remember Tom Hatten on channel 5, when I was a kid, he usually hosted Pippy Longstocking movies, Santa Claus vs the Martians, and other kids movies like that, and occasionally would host a Popeye short afterwards if the film ran short - turns out he used to be a tennis star, I'm told.


Rollo, I think the quality of animation changed dramatically when TV was introduced. The best Looney Toons were made for the cinema as stuff to fill time before theaters started their main feature films, but once TV became the main audience's focus, there had to be more cartoon shorts so less time and quality was put into each one. Compare 1947 Daffy Duck to 1960s Daffy, compare Bugs Bunny to anything voiced by Larry Storch. ;)

I also dig the Pokemon cartoon with an actual story arc and fun characters learning lessons as they travel.


Starfig, did you know that the cartoon "Ghostbusters" was based on a '70s live-action show called "Ghost Busters" which the movie had to pay the creators for the use of the title? I didn't personally like the cartoon, but I am pretty sure it was another gem from Filmation, the company that brought us, among other '80s toons, Gilligan's Planet (yikes!).

As for Ren & Stimpy, John Kricfalusi., the creator of that show, has created a new mess called "The Ripping Friends" on Fox Kids' Saturday morning lineup. Also, my 3-year-old niece has got me watching (and singing the theme to) Spongebob Squarepants, which has a "Stimpson J. Cat/Rocko's Modern Life" feel to it. "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS! Absorbent and yellow and porous is he! SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS!" And like Rocko, it requires watching at least 2 of to really get into it.


Don't get me wrong, just because I chose the Golden Age as my choice for favorite era, that doesn't mean I don't love cartoons from all eras.

Starfig873
10-15-2001, 11:01 AM
Ghostbusters rock! Thats all that matters :D

I've seen "The Ripping Friends" its pretty funny, and very weird.

I've watched Poke'mon too, but I got off on watching Digimon and lost track to an extent.

Anyone remember Gumby? Now that was weird.

bigbarada
10-15-2001, 12:46 PM
Hanna-Barbera was the company that pioneered the "let's use as few frames as possible" method of animation. It was necessary at the time in order to make cartoons cost effective for television. If companies never went the cheap route for making cartoons then we wouldn't even be having this discussion, because the art would probably have died out in the 50s.

evenflow
10-15-2001, 05:46 PM
I would have to say that the 80's had the best cartoons:

He-Man
ThunderCats
Silver Hawks
Transformers
Voltron
SuperHeroes
G.I. Joe

:D

Lobito
10-15-2001, 07:55 PM
TV cartoons??? For me, the 80's was the best age. The drawings were not as good as the ones we have now, but the fun factor was there.:D

Transformers...He-Man...G.I.Joe...Thundercats...Superfriends...

master jedi
10-15-2001, 09:16 PM
I never got Transformers. They're cars that transform and fight crime. What's the fun in that?

Lobito
10-15-2001, 09:41 PM
The story was like this:

There was a planet on which all the transformes lived...(i forgot the name of the planet!!:eek: )...anyway...there were two lifeforms in those planets...the Autobots and the decepticons...these two "races" were at war, after a while the planet on which they lived exploded, (im not sure about the planet exploding) so they were sent in ships to another planet..."Earth". Now this happened several yrs. b4 actual time. After some time the robots awakened and they continued their war only this time they were on earth.

Go to Blockbuster and rent the video of the first episodes...u wont regret it!!;)

Jedi Clint
10-15-2001, 09:57 PM
I thought that they went back to Cybertron later in the series. It was my understanding that the Autobots (good guys) were in hot pursuit of the outlaw Decepticons when they crashed on earth. The Decepticons wanted to rape and pillage the planet, and the Autobots vowed to protect earth from them. Both groups needed enough energy to get back home.

Rollo Tomassi
10-16-2001, 10:39 AM
The Autobots and Decepticons were fighting a civil war on Cybertron. The vastly outnumbered Autobots were running out of energy to continue fighting, so they concocted a bold plan to escape their home planet in search of a world rich with resources. The Decepticons got wind and launched and interceptor ship immediately after the Autobots left in The Ark the giant command ship. In the biggest coincidence of all time, two giant asteroids collide with each other right in front of the Autobot ship, knocking it off course. They have to deplete all their energy blasting a path through the maelstrom formed by the collision. The Decepticons, who have been flying behind in the path already cleared decide this is an oppurtune time to attack and blast their way into the ship. A huge fight ensues and the Ark crashes into a volcano on a barren planet. 4 million years pass, the volcano shifts enough to activate the onboard computer Teletran-1. it sends probes out into the world and finds life has sprung up. Turns out it's Earth. It begins scanning vehicles, thinking they are the dominate lifeforms on the planet, and repairing both Autobot and Decepticon indiscrimanately. With both factions up and running, they pick up trheir long standing fued here on Earth. Eventually, Megatron and the Decepticons develop a "Spacebridge" to get back to Cybertron and at one point manage to bring the entire planet to Earth...

Jedi Clint
10-16-2001, 11:08 AM
I stand corrected. Thanks Rollo :) I need to acquire that first episode soon.

master jedi
10-16-2001, 09:33 PM
Originally posted by Lobito
The story was like this:

There was a planet on which all the transformes lived...(i forgot the name of the planet!!:eek: )...anyway...there were two lifeforms in those planets...the Autobots and the decepticons...these two "races" were at war, after a while the planet on which they lived exploded, (im not sure about the planet exploding) so they were sent in ships to another planet..."Earth". Now this happened several yrs. b4 actual time. After some time the robots awakened and they continued their war only this time they were on earth.

Go to Blockbuster and rent the video of the first episodes...u wont regret it!!;)

I don't know. It sounds like a cheesy rip off of Superman to me. Plus I hate japanese art..

bigbarada
10-16-2001, 09:38 PM
Originally posted by master jedi
I don't know. It sounds like a cheesy rip off of Superman to me. Plus I hate japanese art..

Read Rollo's summary on the basic storyline. It's a lot closer to the actual TV show plot. No offense Lobito.:p

Obi-Don
10-17-2001, 08:42 AM
Buggs and the whole gang were and still is my choice. I also liked Star Blazers if anyone remembers that one.

Lobito
10-17-2001, 01:13 PM
No prob BB:) I saw the transformers first episode almost 15 yrs. ago aprox. And Rollo's post is the way it really was. Thanks Rollo!!:cool:

jsb21
10-17-2001, 09:46 PM
I have to go with the 80's. I liked heman, transformers, and GIjoe. Man that brings back a lot of memories!

JediCole
10-18-2001, 04:40 PM
Emperor Howdy,
The show you are thinking of was Hanna Barbara's Laff Olympics. One of their vehicle shows to get as much milage out of their anthropomorphic animal characters as possible. Another was the ahead-of-its-time-and-probably-banned-like-Doctor-Seuss'-"The-Lorax" enviromentally-themed Yogi's Ark. I would love to see some of those as I was formulating a story about how the envormental message was just a cover, the real story was about how all of the animals were really just trying to escape human opression (from Mr. Peebles, Park Ranger Smith, Major Minor, and others).

I did grow up in the days when Saturday Morning was king and the networks really courted the kids with the new seasons. There was a period of a few years when the networks would even air prime-time "preview" shows about a week before the new line-up of Saturday morning shows were to air. One was even hosted by Leonard Nimoy! (Imagine the horror of Nemoy talk-singing "Come Saturday Morning" with a chorus of chirpy kids!) And you usually had heavy advertizing in comic books of the shows that would soon grace your Saturday morning. Though I couldn't stand it after the first 12 years, Scooby Doo had to be the undisputed king of Saturday morning, managing to be reinvinted every few years ad nauseum. But my favorites were Jonny Quest (the single best show ever) and the more mature, continuing series shows like Valley of the Dinosaurs (an animated competitor of the live action Land of the Lost), Sea Lab 2020 (a show that it took years for me to prove even existed, which has recently been given hillarious new life on Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" block of programing as the recut and redialoged Sealab 2021, with outrageous new scripting in the vein of Space Ghost Coast to Coast), The Herculoids, and others. Of course during that time the live action boom was in full swing with Land of the Lost, The Lost Saucer, The Far Out Space Nuts, The Ghostbusters (featuring monser make-up legend Rick Baker as Tracy the Gorilla), Doctor Shrinker, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and others, including an amalgam of the two, Uncle Croc's Block, a short-lived live-action showcase for various cartoons hosted by Charles Nelson Reily in a crocodile suit! I believe that Hanna Barbara introduced Captain Caveman on this show before spinning him off on his own.

buba-fatt
10-18-2001, 05:44 PM
I liked the 60's and 70's era shows like Superchicken, Tom Slick, andGeorge of the Jungle. I also enjoyed obscure loony tune cartoons that had characters that were not reocuring such as the little smart chicken on Foghorn Leghorn and the frog before WB used him in such a degrading way. My brother and I used to watch a Godzila cartoon on Saturday mornings. The humans on the show had a hydrafoil that they cruised around in and Godzila had a son named Godzuki. There was also a Flash Gordon cartoon that a line of action figures was based on in the late 70's or early 80's I believe. This was not a cartoon but Lancealot Link Secret Chimp was a very funny show and I wish that I could find dvd's of it somewhere. To my shame, I watched and enjoyed 80's shows like GI Joe and Heman and will still buy Joe tapes at garage sales. The only show that I watch now is Simpsons but that show was only good between season 2 and the shooting of Mr. Burns.

JediCole
10-19-2001, 11:00 AM
Another classic, Bubba Fatt! I loved the Flash Gordon series. It was made by Filmation about the same period as their sucessful Tarzan series, one of the few incarnations of Tarzan to attempt to be somewhat true to its roots. Tarzan was accompanied by Nikema, a little monkey that actually appears off and on in at least one of Edgar Rice Burroughs' novels (though I cannot recall which one). The show also used all of the Great Ape names for the animals of the jungle (Numa, the lion, Histah the snake, Tantor the Elephant, Bolgani the gorilla, etc.) without ever feeling the need to talk down to the audience and explain the origins of the names. Like Flash Gordon, and indeed many of Filmations features, Tarzan utilized rotoscopy for many of its sequences. This technique uses shots of live action actors running, walking, or engaged in other repeated motions (any standard movements that could be used univerally, episode after episode) as a guide for the animators. This gave the characters a more fluid movement on screen. Filmation even built a model of the standard Mongo spacecraft for Flash Gordon and filmed it with motion control cameras as a template for scenes featuring the ships). I believe they did a Lone Ranger series in this way also.

Lancelot Link Secret Chimp was a bizarre show too, I loved it!