Cartoon Character Pictures All over FacebookJohn Cave Osborne
What do Nancy and Sluggo, Captain Caveman, Huckleberry Hound, Tweety, Bullwinkle, Chilly Willy, Hong Kong Phooey, Speedy Gonzales and Hermey, that one elf who wanted to be a dentist on Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer all have in common?
They “like” my book on Facebook. And as I interacted with such characters this past weekend, two things came to mind. I like them, too. A lot. But, also, they made me feel sorry for my kids.
As Sierra noted on Friday, the cartoon explosion on Facebook avatars is part of a social justice campaign designed to raise awareness about violence toward children. Like Sierra, I don’t think the campaign will be effective, per se, in actually combating the epidemic. But it sure has filled me with a wave of nostalgia. There’s just something, I say, about Foghorn Leghorn, I say, that’ll take a man back.
Surfing Facebook made my Strollerderby compadre, Carolyn, think of cartoon characters who have stood the test of time. Maybe I’m just negative, though, because all it made me think of was how bad my kids have it when it comes to animation. Because today’s cartoons are seriously lame.
Sure, Carolyn’s right. The Smurfs are still alive and well thanks to the Macy’s parade. And, yeah, the Peanuts gang might appear on TV a couple of times a year for a holiday special, but today’s children don’t have regular access to the iconic characters that we grew up with.
I suppose, however, I could be turning into what many parents eventually turn into—some old curmudgeon who thinks only his generation got it right, mired in yesteryear, even when it comes to the mindless media of cartoons, clinging just a touch too tightly to Casper.
But if that’s the case, it’s only because today’s cartoons suck. (Sorry, I just can’t help being myopic on this one.) I mean, sure, there’s Dragon Tales. And it’s okay and all. But Calliou? That kid’s horrendous. And can someone please tell me why he’s bald? He’s like 8 or something.
Kipper the Dog has his moments. As do Lola and Charlie, though once the novelty of their British accents wears off, all you really have are a couple of bickering siblings. None of the aforementioned cartoon characters can hold a candle to Bugs Bunny and his posse. The Ant and the Aardvark? Forget about it. Scooby Doo? The Jetsons? Fat freakin’ Albert? Need I go on?
Didn’t think so. Because it’s evident that this is more than just a simple case of generational bias. Cartoons today are nowhere near as good as those of my youth. Though, I suppose, there are exceptions here and there. Like SpongeBob. No question that’s a good one. And Phineas and Ferb. Those guys are hysterical, as is their evil foil, Dr. Doofenshmirtz. But the vast majority are just annoying.
Which, again, makes me feel sorry for my kids. Because none of the cartoons back in my day annoyed me.
Oh. Except Woody Woodpecker.
And Scrappy Doo. (They kinda jumped the shark on that one.) But those are it when it comes to annoying.
Well, those and the Care Bears.
Wanna play? What’s your favorite old-school cartoon? Least favorite? What about today’s cartoons?
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