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  1. #1

    When were cartoons the best?

    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)
    Darth Vader is becoming the Mickey Mouse of Star Wars.

    "In Brooklyn, a castle, is where dwell I"
    The use of a lightsaber does not make one a Jedi, it is the ability to not use it.

  2. #2

    Thumbs up

    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.
    Last edited by Jedi Clint; 10-13-2001 at 02:25 PM.
    ubi mel ibi apes

  3. #3
    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!"
    Last edited by Jargo; 10-13-2001 at 03:28 PM.

  4. #4
    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.
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  5. #5
    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.

  6. #6
    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!
    ¡Que la fuerza te acompañe!

  7. #7
    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.

  8. #8
    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?
    "To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence… When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." - C.S. Lewis

  9. #9
    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.

  10. #10
    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...
    Last edited by Starfig873; 10-14-2001 at 06:07 PM.
    "Two in the box, ready to go, we be fast, and they be slow!"
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