Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!

18.1.07

Top Ten Day: My favorite cartoons

Who doesn't love cartoons? Commies, that's who. And uptight religious types. But cartoons are the bedrock of childhood, and therefore, we all have our favorites. Unless you're Amish. And you were probably sneaking out to watch them anyway!

1. Star Blazers. Good golly, I love this cartoon. I remember playing outside with my two best friends around 1980 and stopping whatever we were doing at 3.30 because Star Blazers was coming on. This was in the days when kids actually played outside, remember. But we always knew when to quit! The two main storylines - the quest of the battleship Yamato to find Iskandar and stop the Gamelons from bombing Earth; the assault by the Comet Empire - were simply wonderful, full of action, adventure, some romance (blech!), and plenty of weird sights and sounds. I never read comic books as a kid, but this kind of serial story prepped me for them later in life. We had to watch every day! And when we found out that Gamelon and Iskandar were really twin planets - wow. What a bombshell! What a great freakin' show. I have a few episodes on DVD, but have never gotten all of them. It would probably be a costly thing, but when I watched them again a few years ago, they were still fun to watch, so it might be worth it.

2. Battle of the Planets. Another Japanese import, even more obscure than Star Blazers. For years I couldn't remember what this was called, because after it aired here, it dropped off the cultural radar. My friend Ken finally reminded me, and later, it turned out my lovely wife watched both this and Star Blazers, which was one of the many reasons I fell in love with her. The G-Force, as they were called, always fought the same villain, but the fact that they were five kids, one of whom was portly, made them intriguing. And the Phoenix Force, which manifested when they combined their powers, was awesome. A real blast of a show, but one that probably wouldn't hold up as well as Star Blazers. I read a few issues of the comic book based on it a few years ago, and they just weren't that good. Still, for an 11-year-old, this was the shit.

3. Futurama. I know it's sacreligious, but I always liked Futurama more than The Simpsons, even though the latter is a great, great television show. Futurama looked cooler, because the animation is better, and Fry always seemed like a better slacker than Homer. It's wildly funny, and its skewering of pop culture is spot on. All the characters are excellent, too, with Katey Sagal's Leela shining above all. It's sad that this never got the ratings that The Simpsons did, because it is just as brilliant as that is.

4. The Simpsons. Meanwhile, it's amazing to consider that several critics consider this one of the top five television programs ever. That's bizarre. Its quality has slipped in the past decade, but for a few years, it was as good as anything we had ever seen, and even in decline, it still manages to get a lot of laughs. The focus on Homer in the late 1990s hurt it, but recently, they seem to be back on track a bit, even though the humor isn't as good. Still, it's better than almost any other comedy on television, and that's not bad.

5. The Transformers. I know this is coming out as a live-action movie, but I doubt if I'll see it - how can it compete with my childhood memories???? I always loved this cartoon, and even though it tended to get a bit repetitive after a while, I loved seeing the robots transform and kick the crap out of each other. And that vulture robot was really cool. I mean, how sinister can you get, having a vulture robot???? And the sound effects when they transformed were excellent.

6. G. I. Joe. This is another mid-1980s cartoon that, like The Transformers, probably wouldn't hold up today. Maybe it would. But back in the day, it was awesome. I loved the action and the villains and the fact that the battles would be thick with laser fire yet no one ever got hit! This was The A-Team of cartoons! And was the any character cooler than Snake Eyes? I think not!

7. Secret Squirrel. Secret Squirrel was always fun, and even though I never saw very much of him, due to the fact that the episodes didn't show up that often (he was created in 1965, six years before I was born), I always had a soft spot in my heart for him. I liked the whole spy spoof thing, I liked Morocco Mole, I liked the freakin' holes in Secret's hat! What the hell was up with that? This was a goofy cartoon, but those are often the best kind, right?

8. The Mighty Heroes. Is this the most obscure item on the list? None of these are exactly obscure, but The Mighty Heroes didn't last long in 1966, and they resurfaced over the years but never became cultural icons, but I still love them. How can you not love Strong Man, Rope Man, Tornado Man, Cuckoo Man, and Diaper Man? They fought crime, they made jokes, Diaper Man swung his bottle at the bad guys and bashed them - it was all grand! Very poor animation, but I didn't care back then - I was too busy enjoying the hell out of the show.

9. Jonny Quest. Not the new version, which is pretty bad, but the old version, which rocked. I loved Jonny Quest - the exotic locations, the weird villains, and the fact that bad guys actually died occasionally! The animation was pretty good, too, and even though I hated Bandit, it didn't ruin the show for me. This was James Bond and Indiana Jones wrapped up in one show, and it was so much fun to watch the gang blow stuff up and escape from various death traps!

10. Superfriends. Yes, Wendy and Marvin were lame, as were the Wonder Twins. But when the Justice League - whoops, I mean the Superfriends - went up against the Legion of Doom, who hung out in that great headquarters, it was good stuff. I'm not entirely sure why I didn't buy comics when I was a lad - accessibility, maybe? - but I sure did love these heroes. Especially Apache Chief and Samurai. I don't know why.

11. Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Yes, this list goes to eleven! I couldn't leave without including this cartoon, which introduced me to the Marvel Universe years before I started reading about it. The old Spider-Man cartoon had the great theme song, but this had better animation and better villains, including a bunch of X-Men bad guys (which makes sense, as his "friends" - Iceman and Firestar - were mutants). The episode where the Juggernaut comes oh so close to bashing Professor Xavier is one of my favorites. What a cool show.

So there you have it, arrested adolescents! What are some of your favorites? Share!

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8 Comments:

Blogger john sweet said...

Quick and off the top of my head whilst finishing my lunch break... newer stuff like Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab 2021, Robot Chicken, Futurama, and Family Guy... the old stuff, Herculoids (which I think was part of a different show), Thundarr the Barbarian (HELL YES!!), BattleTech, Tennesee Tuxedo and Friends, and The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show... oh, and I love old Johnny Quest and today's The Venture Brothers

19/1/07 10:37 AM  
Blogger john sweet said...

How strange... I got some strange error yesterday trying to post my comment. It does not show up as a comment from the "front" page, but when I go to leave a comment I see it listed as a comment.

PHAH!

20/1/07 6:14 AM  
Blogger Krys said...

Thundarr was awesome (yes, I watched that, too along with Battle of the Planets & Star Blazers). I also loved the old Spiderman cartoon, as well as Kimba the White Lion (God, I'm old). There was also a Hercules cartoon I watched back in the day--all I remember is a centaur following Hercules saying "Hey Herc, Hey Herc"--anybody remember that one? Oh, and I almost forgot Aquaman.

21/1/07 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is michele again, Sorry I never post when I am actually signed in, but I am at work and I don't want to goof off too much... :)

Love all of your top cartoons, but you forgot THUNDERCATS! How can you forget about shnnnaaarrrrfff and Cheetarah? The Hulk? oh and most bugs bunny cartoons. Th-th-the-the-the - that's all folks!

22/1/07 9:42 AM  
Blogger Woody! said...

Great site for the Spider Friends. To this day, I can still hear the great music from that fantastic show. That needs to come out on DVD soon.

22/1/07 11:27 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Thundercats was okay. I watched it, but not religiously. Ask your husband about running into his house to watch Star Blazers, Michele. He's as guilty as I am!

I'm surprised Super Friends isn't on DVD yet. You would think it would be a no-brainer to tap into the nostalgia market. Strange ...

23/1/07 2:10 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Hey there. Just discovered your blog a few days ago.

As a kid my very favorite cartoon was the old Spider-man one. The one where only his mask had the webs, and they used the same web-swinging shots over and over and over. It was pretty cheesy, but it's a classic.

Oh, and the Flintstones.

Also, and I was an adult at the time, but I can't neglect Pinky and the Brain. Narf.

Oh, BTW, Super Friends *is* on DVD. Season 1 for sure, and I believe Season 2 as well.

26/1/07 5:50 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Hi, Robin. Good to hear from you. Come back again!

I always liked the old Spider-Man cartoon, and it almost made the cut. So goofy it was great.

Good to know about the Super Friends. I couldn't believe it wasn't out.

26/1/07 6:51 AM  

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