Tuesday, March 05, 2013

90's Week: Day 2

And a very happy Tuesday to all of you mugs out there;)

Yes sir, today's Day 2 of 90's Week, and today I focus on the cartoons that entertained the hell out of me in the 90's.

I don't know about you, but as much as I enjoyed and cared for the iconic cartoon heroes of the 80's, it was really in the era of the 90's that I really blossomed and matured in taste as far as cartoons go.

And really with the exception of maybe an odd cartoon or here, the main channel and line-up of cartoons that really hold the most appeal for me was FOX. Yes the FOX channel was a favorite for me back in the day, and with it's huge roster of cartoons for the entire decade, I became a very loyal and faithful viewer.

Consider the long list of cartoon franchises that appeared on the FOX network in the 90's:

-We started out with mostly Disney cartoons, like Goof Troop, Darkwing Duck, Tale Spin, and Duck Tales. All good for the time, and general pretty decent. I loved Duck Tales in the beginning, with it's catchy theme song and all, then Darkwing Duck because of the Batman-like spoof character; Tale Spin was fucking awesome because of Baloo and the kid. Seriously, who didn't want to be flying alongside F'N Baloo back then as his sidekick and navigator?
Goof Troop was alright, but quickly just got too dumb and silly for me; definitely the weakest of the bunch on my opinion.

But Hark! What's this coming to the network in the fall of '92?

OMG, It's BATMAN!!!!!

Oh man, that show really turned me from a causal Batman fan, to a fucking devoted follower of his for years. And you can all thank Paul Dini and Bruce Timm for that.
I could devote an entire post to just this show alone, and I probably will some day, but this was what started to separate the older generation of cartoons and how they were written to the then present-day. Batman:TAS was very ahead of it's time in terms of animation and writing, not too mention the voice talent.

To this day, and I know Randomnerd agrees with me here, Mark Hamill's Joker is the best and truest iteration of the Joker period. I'll fight you to the death if you disagree with me too;)

But alas, for some fucked up reason, the series only lasted 3 years. Yeah I know. It's later show up on the WB Network in several versions, but the first was the best. Hands down!

FOX still spoiled me and countless others of my generation:
While Batman was going on, we were all treated to the best that Warner Brothers had to offer when it came to the other cash cow franchise of theirs: Loony Tunes, or more specifically, Tiny Toons.

Who as a kid growing up back then didn't love this show. It attempted to be hipper with the kids by using , well the kids, or cousins of the more popular Loony Tune characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy, and Pepe Le Pew.

It worked for awhile for me, as it added a new take on an old reliable franchise, yet still remained easily accessible for any kid not familiar with Loony Tunes.

To this day, my favorite episode ever has to be the with the character called Foul Mouth.

Foul Mouth had a little problem: He couldn't stop cussing. Period. No matter the situation, he'd cuss worse than a fucking sailor in a shit storm. See what I did there;)

So, he asks his pal Buster Bunny to cure him of this affliction, all of which mostly fail, leading up to the big finale; Buster hooks Foul Mouth up to a Clockwork Orange-like machine that'll punish him for cussing. Of course it doesn't work, and just pissed off Foul Mouth so much, he breaks the machine just from the sheer amount of four and five-letter words that come out of his mouth. This shit was funny, and yes, you know this was right up a very young Mr.Morbid's alley.

FOX wasn't done with us yet; nope, they then decided to spring the Animaniacs on us.

Who can forget Wacko, Yakko, and Dot?
They had a catchy theme song that introduced the whole cast, but was easily memorable.
With 5 years worth of shows, we got the main cast, plus the Pinky and The Brain, the gangster pigeons known as the Goodfeathers, and so much more.

Hell, who could possibly forget such timeless concepts like the Wheel of Morality, or Good Idea; Bad Idea?

And the hits keep coming my friends:
Eek the Cat, Sam and Max, The Tick, Big Guy and Rusty, the last three all based of independent comic characters that were really too weird for even  the mainstream audience. But I loved 'em all just the same.

Of course Marvel Comics represented big time by then, launching Spider-Man and X-Men on the network.

They were pretty damn good themselves back then. Trust me, those shows helped move a lot of merchandise, especially action figures. I had so many back in the day, I still can't get over just how much I had.

Marvel would try to capitalize on the success of the Spider-Man and X-Men franchises by launching shows like the Silver Surfer and the Avengers towards the late 90's. If you blinked, you missed the Silver Surfer, and The Avengers didn't last too much longer either. I don't know why the last one didn't work out, because even with the re-designs, it seemed to be pretty solid. Of course the now cancelled series on Disney XD is actually even much, much better, but still.

Oh, and can't forget the Iron Man and Fantastic Four cartoons either. They're were pretty damn good themselves, not to mention the figures they helped push and sell too.

So yeah, FOX back in the days when I looked forward to watching Saturday morning cartoons, kinda like now, but it was better then.

Honorable mentions for cartoons I watched in the 90's, but on other channels are as follows:

-Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?
She started out as a computer game I played in elementary school, and then become both a kids' quiz show, and animated series on FOX later on in the late-90's.

-The Incredible Hulk
The then UPN network wanted to jump on the animated superhero train, and thus this show happened.
It was pretty good too, using the traditional Hulk-is-hunted motif as the main theme. It did feature some fun guest-stars such as Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider, and Thor. She-Hulk also showed up and a more regular basis, oozing pure sex.

Did I mention the toys? Ok, just making sure;)

-Spawn: The Animated Series

This show wasn't little kiddies by no means, you know, just in case it being on HBO didn't tell you right there. Not to mention the actual blood, gore, and violence. Oh and sex too. Can't forget that.
It didn't last too long either, but David Keith's voice made Spawn all the more cooler than the Spawn Movie. 

-WildC.A.T.S./Savage Dragon

God bless Image Comics for trying so hard to compete with the big boys. Hats off to Jim Lee and Erik Larsen for trying to make their dreams come true, even though both series sucked hard! I don't know if it was the animation, bad stories, or what, but these shows didn't age well, nor live up to the hit comics they were based off.

At least there were the toys......

Whew that's a lot of shows. I'm sure there's more, but they'll have to wait for a possible sequel.
Hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane, reliving your own childhood past with these beloved shows as well.


Randomnerd said...

Okay, so I remember RACING home after school to watch cartoons. There was none of this 24/7 cartoon network crap back then. No DVR. And my parents were not the type to set the vcr to tape cartoons for us. So we RAN our little patooties home to catch Tiny Toons, and Animaniacs, and hellyeah, BATMAN! And to this day, Mark Hamill is THE VOICE of the Joker. Not just to me, but to my kids. Who find it disturbing when someone else does his voice. Especially my son. He thinks it's a plot device, actually. He's sure it's a fake Joker. I have to explain Mark Hamill retired. Every time. I've considered writing letters. I'm tired of having the conversation. And Animaniacs I have on DVD, which my niece (4) is now addicted to. She does the best impression of Buttons you ever heard. To random strangers on the street. :)
I'm an awesome parent.

Dale Bagwell said...

Awww, now I want to hear her impression;)

and your son has damn fine tastes when it comes to who does the Joker's voice(I wonder where he gets it from;)

Yes, alas, poor Hamill's retired from the game. And with the exception of video games, that and old DVD sets are the only way we'll ever get to hear that trademark laugh anytime soon:(

No DVR's, exactly. If you didn't have the hindsight to program the shows on your VCR, you were SOL.

Dan said...

Love the 90s. Spawn was awesome in its style. It played after midnight in nz but was worth it. X-Men and Batman go without saying, and I thought Animaniacs should be mandatory viewing ESP by those without a funny bone.

As for Marks Joker I remember hearing it first on Christmas With The Joker. I was in the kitchen raiding the fridge and without sight instantly knew who was speaking. He was over the top as Trickster in Flashs TV show, but as Jokes it was like 'that's it!! That's how the Joker should sound - like a crazy Luke Skywalker! And too think it was in front of us all that time.

Randomnerd said...

Honestly, I think the Spawn cartoon was better than the comic. But I was never that enamored of the comic.
Now I've got "It's a Great Big Universe" stuck in my head.

Dale Bagwell said...

@Dan, never really thought of it like that, but yeah I guess a crazy luke skywalker works for me;)

I love, LOVE that over-the-top laugh of his. I only tried it to duplicate it once or twice to no avail. No one can touch the master on that one.

And yes, I actually do remember the old Flash tv show briefly, and did catch his performance as the Trickster. Because of that role, i'm pretty confident in saying that's what landed Hamill the gig as the voice of the Joker....well that and because he's Mark F'N Hamill;)

Random: Yes, yes it was, and I followed Spawn's comic for a bit back then. I enjoyed the toys, the cartoon, and even the movie, but the comics..eh not so much.

Omega Agent1 said...

Carmen made the cut! Your a pal. And Batman is the reining superhero champion, the best animated series and the most, all the coolest vehicles, probably the most action figures ever made, live action tv show and movies the list could go on. Wouldn't you just trade your life to be Bruce?

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