When we were kids, we had a plethora of cartoons to watch on the multiple kids’ channels that were broadcasted on the satellite channels. Nevertheless, children today seem to gravitate towards the platform of YouTube for their primetime entertainment. That is not a problem because tastes change with time. Children living in this time of cheap Internet tariffs and easy availability of content to stream have made their lives easy. When compared to the generation before where there were strict times for watching television. The problem today is with the cartoons that are aired on the television today. Although they still garner an incredible viewership. I still feel that they are not as memorable in terms of the story they follow. I mean we seriously had cartoons of different genres like comedy, action, drama, science fiction.
Today cartoons follow the straightforward storyline of keeping kids engaged. They have random characters doing random things just to keep kids engaged. Although that is what the purpose of a cartoon is to keep the kids engaged while they eat their food and stuff. Nevertheless, my point was that the stories back then were good enough for an adult to watch through. And I have no shame in admitting that I still watch those cartoons. Therefore, I have been bragging about how good those cartoons are. Now you must be thinking when this old man is going to stop lecturing. So let me stop lecturing and tell you a little about those cartoons and what made them a watch for a century.
A Closer Look at Cartoons
So before I start raving about the great cartoons of my generation. I must confess that some of them were Japanese anime. Now you might think about what Anime is. Well, an anime is what you call a cartoon in Japan. These Japanese cartoons were broadcasted on cartoon networks and were dubbed in Hindi or English for India. Now let us look at the cartoons genre-wise. Cartoons that showed great talent in storytelling as well as the animation of that time.
Comedy and Drama
1. Tom And Jerry
So let us start with the classic. American cartoon Tom and Jerry are one of the most famous cartoons. It also has frequent feature films which are still being made on it to date. The show started as a series of short films. Creators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera created the show in the 1940s. These short films also won the academy for their animation.
It followed the simple plot of rivalry between a mouse named Jerry and a cat named Tom. Each episode followed Tom who tried his level best to throw Jerry out of the house while Jerry tried to run away and ridicule tom. These numerous attempts to best each other were followed by a lot of mayhem and destruction, which added the element of comedy. It showed the marvel of storytelling and how characters are drawn on paper; sound effects executed practically through items like balloons could make all ages laugh equally hard and loud. It also had several recurring characters like a pet bulldog who depicted the strong bully for Tom and had a soft spot for the mouse jerry.
The animations themselves were hysterical like the muscles that bulged when lifting weights. Tom and Jerry have had a no. of spinoffs for each generation to enjoy like Tom and Jerry Show or The Tom and Jerry Kids. Overall, if you have not watched it for some time or the unfortunate scenario of having never watched it. I urge you to watch or rematch this gem, which has managed to keep the kids in every generation alive.
2. Crayon Shinchan
Shinchan was another great comedy cartoon from Japan that is still broadcasted on the Hungama channel. Its plot revolved around 5-year-old Shinchan from the Nohara family who was a notorious and carefree child who studied in kindergarten. His daily adventures with his family, friends, and teachers were what added the element of comedy to it. It was a fun show with great writing and had been spun off into many films, which became very popular. The story also moved forward with the introduction of Himawari who was Shinchan’s little sister. However, it is still being aired, the writing, jokes have degraded, and kids today have better stuff to concentrate their energy on.
Pokémon was another great anime from Japan that was broadcasted on Cartoon Network. It followed Ash Ketchum in his quest to become the best Pokémon trainer of all time. His first Pokémon was Pikachu who was a mouse who could shoot thunder accompanied him. Over the years, many seasons of Pokémon have been completed with ash going on different adventures in various areas. There was also a villainous group called team rocket who would become obstacles in his various adventures and added the element of comedy. Pokémon is a widely popular cartoon that has been adapted in movies and video games like the popular Pokémon go game. This has been a show filled with great storytelling, action, comedy, drama, and some lessons here and there.
Action and Thriller
1. Ben 10 Franchise
In the action genre, Ben-10 was another great show whose story was incredibly well written and evolved with seasons. The plot followed Ben Tennyson who while camping with his grandpa Max and his cousin Gwen found an alien watch that gave him the ability to transform into different aliens from a different universe. What followed was his adventures as a newly turned hero who saves the world with his Grandpa Max and cousin Gwen. The show has a wonderful story and is seriously enjoyable by all generations. The story also progresses with its two seasons that is Ben-10: Alien Force and Ben-10: Ultimate Alien.
The story had a sense of mystery around it which kept the audience guessing what was going to happen next with adequate up-gradation in the Aliens as well as the Villain. One of the main villains and Ben’s arch-nemesis was Vilgax who has been constant since its early days. Though the show is still going on with Ben-10: Omnitrix it has lost most of the storytelling charm it held initially.
2. Scooby Dooby Doo
Scooby Dooby doo was one of the shows that brought out Sherlock in all of us. It was perfect for those who enjoyed a good thriller. The plot revolved around a group of students and their dog Scooby doo who would solve all the mysteries that took place around them. They would uncover the culprit who was doing the mischief in the end. With good writing required for a mystery thriller like these and some haunting music and a catchy theme song to accompany it, this show was marvelous to watch. It has also been spun off in different shows and movies. One such show is Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated which was an absolute delight to watch and had all the elements of a good thriller and is worth the binge.
3. Dragon Ball Z
Dragon Ball Z was another great anime from the beautiful lands of japan which was dubbed and broadcasted by Cartoon Networks. It has now created a franchise with different seasons and different stories with recurring characters. Though the one broadcasted was the original Dragon Ball Z. True to its name it also had a dragon who could be summoned by collecting all seven Dragon Balls and grant any wishes. The plot revolved around a Saiyan named Goku and his quest to find the dragon balls.
These adventures were divided into multiple Sagas. Sagas like the Saiyan Saga which was an introductory line of episodes. This was followed by the widely popular Frieza Saga which introduced the cartoon’s first major Villain. Cell Saga was next in line which is still among the favorites of the fan. Last in the series was the Majin Buu Saga which got a mixed reaction from the fans. But what this did was excite fans to a whole new genre of stories that created a taste for good stories among the viewers. It promoted ideas like friendship, the will to never give up, and the courage to train and practice endlessly for your goals. All in all, it was one of the best cartoons at the time and has garnered a massive following globally who still follow the ongoing series.
Avatar: The Last Airbender broadcasted on Nickelodeon, Phineas, And Ferb which was broadcasted on Disney, or other gems like Ninja Hatori, Chota Bheem, etc. deserve this special mention which brought extremely good storylines for all ages. They were part of our learning as a kid and were popular even today. Some of them like Ninja Hatori and Chota Bheem are still aired on television and are still watched by many kids due to their engaging story.
Now I know that I have missed many of the cartoons. But these were some of them that I watched and learned a lot from. They depicted great values just from a series of moving pictures which cartoons today do not. Today cartoons are made just to keep the kids engaged. But these were the cartoons that Inspired kids, created a personality-filled with passion. These cartoons highlighted great values like friendship, commitment towards work, strong will. These cartoons were won to force one to think about, talk about.
One could feel the excitement towards the episodes which will be aired in the schools. Kids would talk about it endlessly. Fight about it, bond over it, and learn from it. One of the examples I can give you is the word Aglet which was popularized among kids by an episode of Phineas and Ferb and you would see kids boasting about it in school (Aglet means the tip of the lace of a shoe). Kids today still learn these things through various other mediums but it is unfortunate to see cartoons today are not one of them. Hope some good cartoons are made once again that would make this learning great again.