Cartoons: Over the ages. For all ages?

09Dec10
Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie (1928).
Image via Wikipedia

Cartoons (televised shows) in India since I was a kid (like age-wise…not so wise) have changed so drastically since then. That if one doesn’t look at the whole chronology, the song “ye kahan aa gaye hum” comes to mind.

My chidhood started from the single Sunday-only black and white (usually) Disney‘s Mickey Mouse toon that I’d sleep during and feel miserable as I waited for the next Sunday with apparent strong determination. It was like one channel, one show, one day. Catch it or miss it. While still in school and when only DD Metro had been added (not the whole cable network yet). It added a few more shows that happened a bit into late morning/early afternoon. Somehow Tales Spin and Duck Tales never left a memorable impression for me. I’d like it for the sake of liking the only cartoons happening all thru the week…as a kid.

Then Cartoon Network happened. 😀 (don’t have that expression now when I see it though) For a person who loved cartoons. Cartoon Network was dedication to the childish fantasies. Totally new toons. Deviation from Disney only content. It used to come at random times. I’m guessing test run. Finally when it did come as a regular channel, 8pm used to be a disappointing time, when TNT used to take over the channel to show movies I never cared much about then.

I think given that CN (not the chinese TLD) exists to this day, much of my observation about changes in animated content on television is from content shown on Cartoon Network.

The original Cartoon Network logo used from Ap...
Image via Wikipedia

The initial main toons on CN were The FlintStones and Jetsons (I liked the latter more). There were some more shows. Some that came at no particular schedule but were brilliant animated short films. Even at that point, the imagination ran wild. Cartoons showed what was impossible. 😛 Regardless of your age, the cartoons still appealed to only a select age group (mentally) of the audience. There were simple concepts and themes involved didn’t include breaking my head beyond mere consumption of the visual content.

Then came content that ‘grew up’ with my generation. Swat Kats, Johnny Quest, Speed Racer (or maybe not), etc. Thankfully the mental faculties developed adequately to enjoy these shows ‘knowingly’. Honestly, I did take time to appreciate the shows. But the progress was not bumpy. Some of the shows from earlier phase also overlapped and us (not the country God blesses at end of every politician’s speech) viewers weren’t just hurled into new cartoon content with no bridge between.

Then more parallel themes came about. Anime from the far east. More Indian content based on mythology appeared. More channels came about with their own share of original content. They were all happening in phases, through the years. It felt like the intended target audience had definitely ‘shifted’. From a point onwards, my choicest of toons just started fading away and I didn’t quite connect with the new range of toons. However I could see that excitement I lost in eyes of younger folk, who talked of the new characters and shows with such keen interest.

When I see CN and Pogo today, I feel totally weird. I don’t mind a bit more realistic theme in cartoons (I feel anime does that, except the characters look like clones). I’m not into following religion, but that’s not to say that I find a mythological superhero (kid version) has an episode where he celebrates an occassion of another religion. The atheist in me likes the way this is a parody of how people can craft histories and then do remixes. Yes. Indian mythology based cartoons are remixes and are as horrible as their (Hindi) song counterparts. Its also weird to find Tom & Jerry running as frequently as CID on Sony. They should air those for free without ads. Its also weird to find these kid’s channels showing movies that may have some element of comedy but are in no way children oriented and have half the movie cut off to make it kidpropriate.

Trying to rush to the weirdness part of the modern toon shows, I sure have missed many of my favorite toons of the 90’s, but they all fit in with the growing up phase. They all fell in place. No harm in admitting I don’t ‘get’ today’s toons and toon channels.’

p.s. Do check out Tom & Jerry in some public domain archives. They were not cat & mouse but a funny pair of guys. Real old animation.

p.p.s Am I just not cartoon watcher age anymore? Is this why its happening? What’s the first cartoon you liked?

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3 Responses to “Cartoons: Over the ages. For all ages?”

  1. Nice nostalgic read. I remember waiting to hurry back from church on Sunday mornings to watch Mowgli and Talespin! 🙂 (How come you haven’t mentioned the jungle book!?) I also remember watching He-man a lot. I think it was on Metro. And the crazy tune of Defenders of the Earth still randomly suddenly pops into my head. Nowadays Ed Edd and Eddy is the only cartoon I really like on CN. There’s just too much anime otherwise.

    • 2 Diabolic Preacher

      Thanks for reading. 🙂 Well, it was hard getting the cartoons into a common timeline and theme. I admit I did miss out on many of the awesome toons back when we were kids. Nice to know about your favorites. Now that you say the words “Defenders of the Earth” is playing in my head. 😀

  2. 3 Zephyr_Girl

    I remember watching The Power Rangers, the old ones where they took orders from the ghost in the tube. And Hiedi 😀 Captain Planet- Hes a hero!


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