Cartoons: Then and now.

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A while back I created a thread asking what had changed between cartoons of say...the 90s to the cartoons of today. Why they seemed so dumbed down and nonsensical (with a few notable exceptions, of course!)

I've done quite a bit of thinking sense then and have since come to an interesting line of thought: Are some the cartoons of the past and of today really so different? Is Ed, Edd, n' Eddy really all that different from Chowder? Are the Looney Toons all that far off from being Johnny Test?

In terms of design...yes there are HUGE differences: Flash animation is running rampant and many times not done well (looking at you Johnny Test!), and there seem to be more annoying characters than what we remember. I'm sure there are other things I forgot to mention but the differences are not what I'm getting at.

But when we go past that and come down to the formulae of these shows there are some striking similarities. (One thing to keep in mind: I am not including cartoons that are heavily story based like Young Justice, Avatar, Samurai Jack...etc, under these criteria)

Think about it for a moment:

Most cartoons nowadays have either dumb, or simple minded characters, focus mainly on slapstick or verbal humor, and jokes are often repeated ad nauseum.

How many shows does that formula remind you of? If we look at the most basic level of these cartoons they are fundamentally the same, but for some reason some are hated and some are beloved.

For example: I've seen Ed, Edd, n' Eddy get many more positive mentions than say...Flapjack. Why is that? The three main characters from both series have the same characteristics: There is a voice of reason, a voice of greed, and a voice of ignorance. Yet we have tired so much more quickly of Flapjack than the Eds.

So what exactly are the differences that make some cartoons like the Looney Toons and the Eds, more memorable or just plain better than others? Is it in how the joke is delivered? Do the setting and voice acting play a part? Are the characters just less annoying?

What are your thoughts my fellow escapists?

nostalga is a powerful thing

I do think we need more shows like AVATAR the last air bender though

I will second that nostalgia is a powerful thing.

I think its not so much that people are tiring of shows more quickly its just that our attention spans are shorter. We don't have so many other things vying for our attention that our patience for idiocy is smaller.

I know this isn't the popular opinion but I think loony toons are stupid. Aside from the innovation in cartooning I find them boring and unfunny. (yes I know I will get crucified for this)

You watched 90's cartoons for children when you were a child. You're watching a present day cartoon for children as an adult, even without Nostalgia there's an obvious bias there.

him over there:
You watched 90's cartoons for children when you were a child. You're watching a present day cartoon for children as an adult, even without Nostalgia there's an obvious bias there.

Are you saying there's something wrong with liking cartoons as an adult?

Lol, I kid, I kid, but I do see what you mean. As an adult my tastes have changed, matured and things that would have been funny to me years ago aren't that funny now. The same thing can be said of children today with Johnny Test and all those other shows as well, correct?

...But, I just can't help but feel that there is something to the older cartoons that endears them to people a bit more. I just can't put my finger on it. Maybe it is nostalgia and I'm just not seeing it, but I want to see if there are any better explanations out there before I accept that.

captcha: hold your horses. I'm really starting to think that this thing is sentient. Should we be worried?

I keep being amazed by people calling Ed, Edd, and Eddy. For me, it was one of the reasons I stopped watching Cartoon Network, along with some other new shows up there (can't remember the names, though).

Also, I don't like it when people try to break down a work into a neat and simple formulas and try to claim that they aren't that different to other works. Sure, they both feature dumb characters and repeated jokes, but that doesn't mean I have to like both. It's like me pointing out that both <food you like> and <food you don't like> boil down to having ingredients, flavours, and you chewing them, so in effect there isn't a difference, right? Yet for some reason one you refuse to eat, the other you don't.

DoPo:
I keep being amazed by people calling Ed, Edd, and Eddy. For me, it was one of the reasons I stopped watching Cartoon Network, along with some other new shows up there (can't remember the names, though).

Also, I don't like it when people try to break down a work into a neat and simple formulas and try to claim that they aren't that different to other works. Sure, they both feature dumb characters and repeated jokes, but that doesn't mean I have to like both. It's like me pointing out that both <food you like> and <food you don't like> boil down to having ingredients, flavours, and you chewing them, so in effect there isn't a difference, right? Yet for some reason one you refuse to eat, the other you don't.

Well, why didn't you like Ed, Edd, and Eddy?

And I'm not saying you have to like both. I'm asking why, if the shows have so much in common at the basic level, are some shows liked better or worse than others.

Or do you feel that they don't have so much in common at all? I genuinely wanna know.

Dreadman75:
Well, why didn't you like Ed, Edd, and Eddy?

The characters were stupid (too stupid), annoying, and boring. All of them. They were too one dimensional. The episodes were tedious, bland, and lacked funny jokes. Mostly. I'm not saying all of them were unfunny, but most were misses, to the point where none would be worth it in entire episode. The plot was missing. Yeah, disregard that, just joking, but there wasn't anything in the grand scheme of things that made it worth it. They were just...goofing around. And that's it. I felt there was no point or purpose. I'm not saying there should be, but it added to the other annoyances.

I'm so glad you made this thread, because I've been having this similar question swimming around in my head for a while, and I need a place to put it, so to speak.

I feel like it is nostalgia and a change in taste, although in certain ways. Here's the long version of my argument in spoiler tags, and the shortened one below.

Essentially, I vote nostalgia.

I had to try really hard not to put a groan-worthy pun at the end, so consider yourselves lucky that I had the willpower.

EDIT: Also, when you tear this to shreds, keep in mind that this makes sense at 1:30 at night on little sleep, and in the morning it might not.

Other than the fact that Looney Tunes got away with way more than would be allowed today, I'm agreeing with you. I was missing the 90s style of cartoons, being just out there and weird. Then I realized we have Chowder, Adventure Time, and Regular Show. there are plenty of call backs to that style that I don't think we can complain too much.

I still miss Angry Beavers though. Damn that show had so many euphamisms that I didn't get when I was a kid.

I think the first three seasons of Spongebob Squarepants proved more than anything that we are still capable of having Looney Tunes-esque cartoons that are both witty, well-loved by many, and really funny.

Of course, the seasons after the movie came out also prove that wit, creativity, and humor are a lot harder to do than one-gag characters and gross out "humor."

So that's that. Spongebob Squarepants is all at once a representation of how great modern cartoons can be, and how shit they can be.

Dreadman75:
A while back I created a thread asking what had changed between cartoons of say...the 90s to the cartoons of today. Why they seemed so dumbed down and nonsensical (with a few notable exceptions, of course!)

I've done quite a bit of thinking sense then and have since come to an interesting line of thought: Are some the cartoons of the past and of today really so different? Is Ed, Edd, n' Eddy really all that different from Chowder? Are the Looney Toons all that far off from being Johnny Test?

In terms of design...yes there are HUGE differences: Flash animation is running rampant and many times not done well (looking at you Johnny Test!), and there seem to be more annoying characters than what we remember. I'm sure there are other things I forgot to mention but the differences are not what I'm getting at.

But when we go past that and come down to the formulae of these shows there are some striking similarities. (One thing to keep in mind: I am not including cartoons that are heavily story based like Young Justice, Avatar, Samurai Jack...etc, under these criteria)

Think about it for a moment:

Most cartoons nowadays have either dumb, or simple minded characters, focus mainly on slapstick or verbal humor, and jokes are often repeated ad nauseum.

How many shows does that formula remind you of? If we look at the most basic level of these cartoons they are fundamentally the same, but for some reason some are hated and some are beloved.

For example: I've seen Ed, Edd, n' Eddy get many more positive mentions than say...Flapjack. Why is that? The three main characters from both series have the same characteristics: There is a voice of reason, a voice of greed, and a voice of ignorance. Yet we have tired so much more quickly of Flapjack than the Eds.

So what exactly are the differences that make some cartoons like the Looney Toons and the Eds, more memorable or just plain better than others? Is it in how the joke is delivered? Do the setting and voice acting play a part? Are the characters just less annoying?

What are your thoughts my fellow escapists?

To directly answer your question: Having different backgrounds and looks appeal differently to different people, even when the basic character archetypes are the same. It could simply be a matter of preferring 3 suburban teenagers to a whale, a gullible kid, and a clearly drunk pirate. Looks do affect peoples tastes, whether they know it or not.

As for the overall argument, I don't see many of the arguments your making(possibly because I'm very young). For example, I've found the main characters in "Ed, Edd and Eddy" to be very annoying(This didn't keep the show from being funny, but still...). I probably have to agree with the first 2 replies in that nostalgia is probably involved...but not entirely.

I've noticed that you've mentioned "Ed, Edd, and Eddy" a lot, meaning it's probably one of your favorite shows. You've also mentioned "Looney Tunes" which is known to be a classic. This is the problem with nostalgia. You bring the good examples first and ignore the bad ones. You also refer to the few new shows you like as the "exceptions". This could mean that you're determined to believe that on average, shows that are on these days are poor compared to the old. It's a known fact that many classics weren't as well liked in their time and became renowned afterwards. It's not always possible to compare an old show to one that hasn't had time to age. So while you may be right that those specific shows are better than those other specific shows, it shouldn't be proof that one era is better than the other.
(this paragraph sounds like I'm accusing you a lot. If it is, tell me)

So yeah, those are my thoughts.

Generalzdave:

I had to try really hard not to put a groan-worthy pun at the end, so consider yourselves lucky that I had the willpower.

What? I like puns! Put one in. Please.

Part of it is nostalgia, I believe. That's unavoidable. Everyone will have at least a little bit of nostalgic bias when it comes to... Well, pretty much anything. However, I do think that over all cartoons have degraded a bit. We do have some good cartoons, like avatar, adventure time, MLP:FIM (yes, I went there....) but overall, cartoons are just lacking nowadays. Whether its due to a lack of creativity, or the rise of live action kids shows that seem to be replacing cartoons in a lot of areas, I don't know.

Berithil:
Part of it is nostalgia, I believe. That's unavoidable. Everyone will have at least a little bit of nostalgic bias when it comes to... Well, pretty much anything. However, I do think that over all cartoons have degraded a bit. We do have some good cartoons, like avatar, adventure time, MLP:FIM (yes, I went there....) but overall, cartoons are just lacking nowadays. Whether its due to a lack of creativity, or the rise of live action kids shows that seem to be replacing cartoons in a lot of areas, I don't know.

i think i know what theyre lacking and its why avatar,MLP:FIM, and adventure time are all shows you like ,you learned something. now hear me out, every cartoons show in the 90s taught you something(maybe not looney toons but hey it was just done better:) hell GI Joe had little now you knows after every episode,but todays cartoons.....WTF does regular show teach anyone? other then to be a lazy good for nothing ass?

Vault101:
nostalga is a powerful thing

I do think we need more shows like AVATAR the last air bender though

Done!

OT: Nostalgia plays a lot into these things. However, that doesn't hide the fact that most cartoons are somewhat lacking these days. I mean, I went back to one of my favourite cartoons Megas XLR and found it less funny than I remember it to be. Weird huh?

BUT! Megas XLR is still filled with awesome!

I've actually been re-watching a lot of the cartoons I used to watch as a kid and really examining them with fresh eyes, TRYING (not always succeeding, but trying) to cast the nostalgia aside and judge them as they are. Some held up, some didn't. I now present my personal findings.

Hey Arnold - Stands out as a fairly great show. The only thing I find odd about it now is finding some of the stuff Helga does much creepier than I used to (like making out with the statue of Arnold made entirely out of his chewing gum) But that aside, the show is still pretty funny, well written, interesting varied cast of characters.

Dexter's Laboratory (the earlier episodes anyway, before Dexter 2.0) - Still awesome. I can't say much else here.

Cow and Chicken - Um...I'm honestly embarrassed that I used to find this show funny. It's disgusting and crude without being very clever (see the next item) It's just kinda cheap humor that seems like it tries too hard. Maybe Cow and Chicken is still for you but...it's not for me.

Rocko's Modern Life - I'm hesitant to even call this one a kids show. This was actually a pretty insane show now that I've seen with with adult eyes. But what surprised me the most was how timeless the show was. Rocko was from like 1993 and I still find the episode about dealing with movie theatres to be as relevant today as it was then (perhaps even more so) The show is a bit crude, and there was even an entire episode about Rocko's married neighbor seducing him, but the jokes were mature and clever. I give this one a recommendation

Angry Beavers - I'm in an odd place with this one. While I do still find the show mostly enjoyable, there is one thing that bothers me as an adult, but this is not necessarily a fault of the show itself. Dagget is often the one trying to be responsible and do the right thing, but is still the one who gets his butt kicked while Norbert gets to sit back, be cool, and have everything work out for him. I still enjoy it, but as an adult this did get under my skin at times.

Ed, Edd 'n Eddy - Others have discussed this one, and I understand it from both sides. I personally enjoy This show, but it's certainly hit and miss. Some episodes I absolutely loved like the one where they live at the dump, play hide and seek or build a giant cardboard city, but some were...well...pretty weak (I particularly was not a fan of the episodes where they were in school)

Courage the Cowardly Dog - This is another one that I still love, but like the Ed's, I think it's a real hit and miss formula. Mostly great, but with a few bad eggs thrown into the bunch

Johnny Bravo - Okay, I'm a sucker for this show. As a kid I loved it, as an adult I love it. I just flat out enjoy this show. This one is still funny for me.

Powerpuff Girls - Kinda hard to say anything bad about this show. A fun take on the super hero formula. Good characters, good villains, overall good show.

I'll stop here, but that's how I feel about a lot of the old cartoons I loved as a kid. Even though I don't watch nearly as many cartoons today as I did back then, I still enjoy a lot of the ones I see.

I still absolutely love Fairly Oddparents, Spongebob, Chowder, Misadventures of Flapjack, Regular Show, stuff like that.

I think it would be wrong to say that cartoons are the same today as they were back then, but at the same time I don't think it can be say definitively that the changes are a good or bad thing.

uneek:

Dreadman75:
snip

To directly answer your question: Having different backgrounds and looks appeal differently to different people, even when the basic character archetypes are the same. It could simply be a matter of preferring 3 suburban teenagers to a whale, a gullible kid, and a clearly drunk pirate. Looks do affect peoples tastes, whether they know it or not.

As for the overall argument, I don't see many of the arguments your making(possibly because I'm very young). For example, I've found the main characters in "Ed, Edd and Eddy" to be very annoying(This didn't keep the show from being funny, but still...). I probably have to agree with the first 2 replies in that nostalgia is probably involved...but not entirely.

I've noticed that you've mentioned "Ed, Edd, and Eddy" a lot, meaning it's probably one of your favorite shows. You've also mentioned "Looney Tunes" which is known to be a classic. This is the problem with nostalgia. You bring the good examples first and ignore the bad ones. You also refer to the few new shows you like as the "exceptions". This could mean that you're determined to believe that on average, shows that are on these days are poor compared to the old. It's a known fact that many classics weren't as well liked in their time and became renowned afterwards. It's not always possible to compare an old show to one that hasn't had time to age. So while you may be right that those specific shows are better than those other specific shows, it shouldn't be proof that one era is better than the other.
(this paragraph sounds like I'm accusing you a lot. If it is, tell me)

So yeah, those are my thoughts.

Accusing, no. Are you correct though? Yes, I would have to say so.

Something that was already a forgone conclusion to me, the nostalgia argument, is quite possibly the biggest factor, differences in humor, background, tastes,...etc most likely account for the other factors.

It's weird really, not long after the OP I my brain managed to churn out this conclusion, so up until now I was just gonna let this thread die. I wonder how often that happens, you post a question only to come to the conclusion most other people reach almost immediately afterwards.

And to answer your query about Ed, Edd, and Eddy. Yes, it was one of my favorite shows but that was just part of the reason I referenced it so much, the other part was the fact that I was a little tired when writing the OP and I just couldn't think of more examples at the time. Maybe I should stop asking questions when I'm tired...I always seem to come to a conclusion or realize my statements aren't as sound as I thought afterwards.

I hope that answers your questions!

Vault101:
nostalga is a powerful thing

I do think we need more shows like AVATAR the last air bender though

I wish there had been more of them in the past.

him over there:
You watched 90's cartoons for children when you were a child. You're watching a present day cartoon for children as an adult, even without Nostalgia there's an obvious bias there.

I just got done with a marathon of Fairly Oddparents.

By contrast, I just checked out Bravestarr on Netflix a month ago. A show I loved as a child, and watching it now, I think it's bloody awful. I think it's possible to look at things objectively.

I mean, yeah. I still like some stuff from my childhood. I'm a HUGE Galaxy Rangers fan, for example. But I've mostly outgrown Looney Toons. I enjoy Voltron, but not so much the Flinstones. Reboot? Awesome. Spider-Man? Blah. Animaniacs? Cool. Etc. etc.

Maybe it's just me.

Strain42:
I've actually been re-watching a lot of the cartoons I used to watch as a kid and really examining them with fresh eyes, TRYING (not always succeeding, but trying) to cast the nostalgia aside and judge them as they are. Some held up, some didn't. I now present my personal findings.

Hey Arnold - Stands out as a fairly great show. The only thing I find odd about it now is finding some of the stuff Helga does much creepier than I used to (like making out with the statue of Arnold made entirely out of his chewing gum) But that aside, the show is still pretty funny, well written, interesting varied cast of characters.

Dexter's Laboratory (the earlier episodes anyway, before Dexter 2.0) - Still awesome. I can't say much else here.

Cow and Chicken - Um...I'm honestly embarrassed that I used to find this show funny. It's disgusting and crude without being very clever (see the next item) It's just kinda cheap humor that seems like it tries too hard. Maybe Cow and Chicken is still for you but...it's not for me.

Rocko's Modern Life - I'm hesitant to even call this one a kids show. This was actually a pretty insane show now that I've seen with with adult eyes. But what surprised me the most was how timeless the show was. Rocko was from like 1993 and I still find the episode about dealing with movie theatres to be as relevant today as it was then (perhaps even more so) The show is a bit crude, and there was even an entire episode about Rocko's married neighbor seducing him, but the jokes were mature and clever. I give this one a recommendation

Angry Beavers - I'm in an odd place with this one. While I do still find the show mostly enjoyable, there is one thing that bothers me as an adult, but this is not necessarily a fault of the show itself. Dagget is often the one trying to be responsible and do the right thing, but is still the one who gets his butt kicked while Norbert gets to sit back, be cool, and have everything work out for him. I still enjoy it, but as an adult this did get under my skin at times.

Ed, Edd 'n Eddy - Others have discussed this one, and I understand it from both sides. I personally enjoy This show, but it's certainly hit and miss. Some episodes I absolutely loved like the one where they live at the dump, play hide and seek or build a giant cardboard city, but some were...well...pretty weak (I particularly was not a fan of the episodes where they were in school)

Courage the Cowardly Dog - This is another one that I still love, but like the Ed's, I think it's a real hit and miss formula. Mostly great, but with a few bad eggs thrown into the bunch

Johnny Bravo - Okay, I'm a sucker for this show. As a kid I loved it, as an adult I love it. I just flat out enjoy this show. This one is still funny for me.

Powerpuff Girls - Kinda hard to say anything bad about this show. A fun take on the super hero formula. Good characters, good villains, overall good show.

I'll stop here, but that's how I feel about a lot of the old cartoons I loved as a kid. Even though I don't watch nearly as many cartoons today as I did back then, I still enjoy a lot of the ones I see.

I still absolutely love Fairly Oddparents, Spongebob, Chowder, Misadventures of Flapjack, Regular Show, stuff like that.

I think it would be wrong to say that cartoons are the same today as they were back then, but at the same time I don't think it can be say definitively that the changes are a good or bad thing.

It seems like a lot of it comes down to the basics and how they are implemented. Some shows are better with characterization, some are better with the comedy, and some are better at being coherent,...etc.

And, every so often, you'll have those special shows that get the mixture of the basics just right and will, hopefully, be enjoyed by all, not just some.

I'm not going to say nostalgia but rather more of a self selection Bias. Consider that you are comparing everything you see now for better or worse with the stuff you liked as a kid. You are now comparing a random sample of what is on to what was at the time the best TV had to offer.
Personally a couple of my favourite cartoons were and I guess still are Sam and Max, and The Tick and I will argue that they held up well, are funny and entertaining as ever. I don't find anything modern to be as good.
Recently however my Roommate Duties have included vetting TV for a 5 year old and have found the vast majority of stuff to be just god awful IE I'm not letting my kid watch that, mine by association BTW, much of it simply seems so unhealthy and amoral... heck perhaps I am just getting old.

I'm just saying that most of the stuff from the old days was utter shit, so it makes sense the most of the stuff from now sucks, seriously if I remember correctly when Batman and Justice League was airing, there was also horrible stuff on air like Rocko's Modern Life and Ren and Stimpy, which were just painful to even watch for their stupidity, seriously I couldn't watch those things, and now we have who knows how many pieces of shit, but there's also brilliant stuff like Avatar and Young Justice, so I'd say it's about the same, and it's just selective memory and most people just remember the stuff they really like, which actually a lot of it wasn't running at the same time, and maybe remember a few awful shows, but most of the shows are now forgotten.

Remember, cartoons are a fusion of storytelling AND art (the more conventional kind)

Your Ed, Edd n' Eddy/Flapjack comparison doesn't hold up when you actively compare the two.

the three E's featured a lighthearted art style.

Flapjack was just fuckin' scary.

I mean, dear Lord, you've SEEN the show, how often did some character sporting a hideous physical malformation just show up right the fuck outta nowhere? Brr-r-r-r-r-r-r!

Kaleion:
I'm just saying that most of the stuff from the old days was utter shit, so it makes sense the most of the stuff from now sucks, seriously if I remember correctly when Batman and Justice League was airing, there was also horrible stuff on air like Rocko's Modern Life and Ren and Stimpy, which were just painful to even watch for their stupidity, seriously I couldn't watch those things, and now we have who knows how many pieces of shit, but there's also brilliant stuff like Avatar and Young Justice, so I'd say it's about the same, and it's just selective memory and most people just remember the stuff they really like, which actually a lot of it wasn't running at the same time, and maybe remember a few awful shows, but most of the shows are now forgotten.

Whoa, don't go bashing Rocko's Modern Life. I think you've got a bit of a reverse nostalgia filter going on there. It seemed stupid and pointless to you as a kid because you didn't get most of the jokes, almost all of which were about sex and flew over kids' heads (For example, I distinctly remember my mother being upset about how crude it was, and me thinking "what is crude about that?" I didn't realize how crude it was because I didn't get the sex jokes.)

Anyway, my opinion on this is that the 90's were awesome, the early 2000's were awesome, and today is (mostly, it's still recovering) awesome. It was the mid-late 2000's that sucked big time, from about late 2006 to early 2009. Seriously, I don't think there was a single new show that premiered during that period that was good.

All modern Cartoons that don't involve superheroes are totally stupid and trying to keep kids stupid.

I'm now working on the logic of "Fuck you Cartoon Network, Disney XD etc. If you don't want me to pirate your GOOD shows, don't put them on after an Endless stream of visual dog turd once a week and delayed with bajillions of adverts."

The shows of which I speak are, Ultimate Spiderman, Young Justice, And Avengers EMH.
These are the last bastion of non-brain numbing cartoons. And of course, I miss Johnny bravo
:(

I've never understood the hate for modern cartoons. At least, I never understood the intensity of that hate. shows like The Amazing World of Gumball, Regular Show, Adventure Time and Phineas and Ferb are perfect examples of creativity being embraced by television companies. Yes, they follow certain rules but that's how all sorts of entertainment works.

The Animaniacs, Looney Tunes and the other greats of the past offered the exact same thing modern cartoons offer now.

I, for one, love some of the newer cartoons.

Owyn_Merrilin:

Kaleion:
I'm just saying that most of the stuff from the old days was utter shit, so it makes sense the most of the stuff from now sucks, seriously if I remember correctly when Batman and Justice League was airing, there was also horrible stuff on air like Rocko's Modern Life and Ren and Stimpy, which were just painful to even watch for their stupidity, seriously I couldn't watch those things, and now we have who knows how many pieces of shit, but there's also brilliant stuff like Avatar and Young Justice, so I'd say it's about the same, and it's just selective memory and most people just remember the stuff they really like, which actually a lot of it wasn't running at the same time, and maybe remember a few awful shows, but most of the shows are now forgotten.

Whoa, don't go bashing Rocko's Modern Life. I think you've got a bit of a reverse nostalgia filter going on there. It seemed stupid and pointless to you as a kid because you didn't get most of the jokes, almost all of which were about sex and flew over kids' heads (For example, I distinctly remember my mother being upset about how crude it was, and me thinking "what is crude about that?" I didn't realize how crude it was because I didn't get the sex jokes.)

Sex jokes, well that explains why I didn't get the show, but if what you're saying is true then I'll probably still hate it, since I don't like sex jokes since I still tend to not get them, and when I get them I hardly ever find them funny, it's just not my type of humour.

Courage the Cowardly Dog
Megas XLR
Swat Katz
Batman: The Animated Series
Daria
Billy the Cat
Stressed Eric

Those were the best cartoons of the 90s, at least as far as I can remember, And I'd say nostalgia is the primarily the reason I hold at least half of them in such high regard...
That being said I still enjoy Regular Show and Adventure time. Though I'm still waiting for this to get produced:

Dreadman75:
Are the Looney Toons all that far off from being Johnny Test?

Umm... Obviously. Why did you even think of comparing the two? They're not at all similar.

Vault101:
I do think we need more shows like AVATAR the last air bender though

Well, there is The Legend of Korra

DoPo:
I keep being amazed by people calling Ed, Edd, and Eddy. For me, it was one of the reasons I stopped watching Cartoon Network, along with some other new shows up there (can't remember the names, though).

Also, I don't like it when people try to break down a work into a neat and simple formulas and try to claim that they aren't that different to other works. Sure, they both feature dumb characters and repeated jokes, but that doesn't mean I have to like both. It's like me pointing out that both <food you like> and <food you don't like> boil down to having ingredients, flavours, and you chewing them, so in effect there isn't a difference, right? Yet for some reason one you refuse to eat, the other you don't.

Yeah, I don't get it, either. I don't understand what people see in that. It's a show about idiots. Lots of idiots. ...With oddly-colored tongues. Nothing much to see here, folks.

Dreadman75:

him over there:
You watched 90's cartoons for children when you were a child. You're watching a present day cartoon for children as an adult, even without Nostalgia there's an obvious bias there.

Are you saying there's something wrong with liking cartoons as an adult?

Lol, I kid, I kid, but I do see what you mean. As an adult my tastes have changed, matured and things that would have been funny to me years ago aren't that funny now. The same thing can be said of children today with Johnny Test and all those other shows as well, correct?

...But, I just can't help but feel that there is something to the older cartoons that endears them to people a bit more. I just can't put my finger on it. Maybe it is nostalgia and I'm just not seeing it, but I want to see if there are any better explanations out there before I accept that.

captcha: hold your horses. I'm really starting to think that this thing is sentient. Should we be worried?

No, older cartoons have definitely been better. I've been looking at a lot of older ones from my generation that I had never actually watched before, and they are leagues better than what we've got today, like The Problem Solverz, Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, and Fanboy & Chum-Chum. (Note: These are bad cartoons of recent times. Not good cartoons of my generation.)

TheMightyAtrox:
Other than the fact that Looney Tunes got away with way more than would be allowed today, I'm agreeing with you. I was missing the 90s style of cartoons, being just out there and weird. Then I realized we have Chowder, Adventure Time, and Regular Show. there are plenty of call backs to that style that I don't think we can complain too much.

I still miss Angry Beavers though. Damn that show had so many euphamisms that I didn't get when I was a kid.

Exactly! I just don't get it! Back then, Looney Toons was considered suitable for children to watch. Now, it's rated "TV-PG" on Cartoon Network and Boomerang. Why? Why is it that today's childrens' shows are dropping all of these certain elements that some people might consider to be a bit "mature" (guns, bad guys smoking, death, etc.), and replacing them with lots and lots of "child-appropriate" sexual content. Disney Channel is a huge offender of this. iCarly also comes to mind (even though it's not a cartoon, but, it's considered a kids' show).

ecoho:
i think i know what theyre lacking and its why avatar,MLP:FIM, and adventure time are all shows you like ,you learned something. now hear me out, every cartoons show in the 90s taught you something(maybe not looney toons but hey it was just done better:) hell GI Joe had little now you knows after every episode,but todays cartoons.....WTF does regular show teach anyone? other then to be a lazy good for nothing ass?

Well, Regular Show wasn't made for kids. For that matter, what does Adventure Time teach, then? How to go "your way" and kick innocent people around you in the balls when you're looking for a cyclops' head to rip off? Because, that's the direction that Adventure Time is going in.

I also love me some ponies. Just sayin'.

Captcha: "Halcyon Days".

Vault101:
nostalga is a powerful thing

I do think we need more shows like AVATAR the last air bender though

I tried to watch that show, but it just ended up dragging to the point that I quit. Did it pick up after the SS in the earth city?

OT: One of the main things I miss are the old, old cartoons. The ones from the 40's. Something about that slapstick, the imaginative ways Tom and Jerry would do one another in, things like that, just worked. They didn't need story or character, they worked based on the fighting. As for cartoons today, I've not really gotten into any barring MLP: FiM, [1] but newer cartoons just seem so... Hard for me to watch. Maybe it's a problem with me, but I never could invest in what's going on.

[1] Yeah yeah, sue me.

Well, 20-somethings will always bash the currently running cartoons, that's how the nostalgic system works. While I really enjoy me some Ed, Edd n' Eddy, I don't try to fool myself into thinking that show is better than Flapjack or some other modern show I don't like because I'm not a kid anymore. They're about even, I suppose, and it's the additional sprinkle of nostalgia that makes the old shows of "back in the day" seem better than they really are.

Hell, keep that in mind for when someone waltzes in to explain why He-Man and Transformers are miles better than any of the '90-s dross we're fondly recalling. It's nostalgia. It's weird.

Honestly, I recently saw the first Pokémon-film, and I actually rather liked it, in all its stupidity. I didn't even like it as a kid, and I didn't care for Pokémon. That's the power of nostalgia. I wouldn't be caught dead trying to sell that film to anyone that "wasn't there" and as such won't have that mandatory connection to it.

(Also: X'ers, we're not really -that- young, it's you who are getting old. Lol)

the only problem i have with some current cartoons is that they try too hard to be gritty, edgy, dark and 'mature'...well let me put 'mature' into more quotation marks; """"""""""mature""""""""""

but we had a fair share of dumb cartoons too.


(i still remember this epsode because it was funny to hear all the in game sounds and hear hot hot hot by arrow when they jump over lava)
we need more rap! kids love it!

But yeah, cartoon's haven't gotten worse at all. Look at these fine examples:

Adventure Time
MLP:FiM (don't kill me)
The Legend of Korra
Phineas and Ferb

Those three are amazing shows, and they're all very different and unique to eachother. LoK is a story based show with epic battles and tons of characters.

MLP:FiM is a slice of life show that harkens back to the days of Spongebob and Fairly Odd Parents, with amazing songs and characters that all have flaws and virtues. It also shows some of the most mature love scenes I've ever seen in a kids show, any brony will know the scene. Two of the characters are falling to their deaths, and before they hit the ground the one who's had a crush on the other since the first episode confesses. But before he can finish, the other puts her hooves on his mouth, and looks at him as if to say "I know, and it's perfectly fine. I just don't want to be with you" without saying ANY words. Freaking My Little Pony told a better love story in a few seconds than Twilight did in three fucking books!

Adventure Time is definetly a lot like a few older cartoons, really crazy shit at about 9 minutes a pop with barely any overarching story. It also has songs that I would happily listen to on a radio, or on my Ipod. Same with a few of the MLP:FiM songs, come on Smile Smile Smile would just brighten the day of anybody. But the songs in Adventure Time are utterly different, they're mature adults songs that will stay in my head forever. I want to have the ending song played at my funeral, for gods sake!

P and F is an awesome show that has the same formula, yet keeps things different. It's awesome.

So yeah, a lot of cartoons now are just utter shite (looking at you, Fanboy and Chum Chum) but a few of them are utter gold, which I mentioned above. Also, a lot of the shows do have comedy that is either directly copied or inspired by Looney Tunes and classic shows like that. MLP has a bloody Bugs Bunny "hunting season" bit in one of it's episode.

Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends is all I need to be convinced that modern cartoons are still awesome.

Why the hell would you exclude "story based" cartoons?
That is the one thing that changed everything entirely and made things awesome. We have a shitton more diversity now than "just for kids" you know.

Things like spirited away, death note or fullmetal alchemist simply didn't exist back then and you're prattling on about how "most modern cartoons have dumb or simple minded characters".
That is like forcefully closing your eyes for the sake of your point.

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