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cartoons then vs. cartoons now

When you use Netflix with a web browser, there's a lot more ability to sort through what you want, and part of that includes the ability not only to sort by genre, but also by subgenre, and then year released from newest to oldest.

For the heck of it I went to the "Children & Family > TV Cartoons" category. While true Netflix is missing a ton of stuff (no Smurfs?), you can really see how things have changed.

Starting with the very last row, which is the oldest in the Netflix database, this is what's there right now:


I know every one of these. Or rather, I know of them.

The three I remember watching as a kid were Transformers, Voltron and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.

The others, Jem, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and Star Trek: The Animated Series were not shows I watched regularly as a kid (especially since 'Trek was before I was born). I did watch the 'Trek toon later as an adult. But to date I've never watched a full episode of Jem or G.I. Joe. As for why I didn't watch Jem, that should be obvious. As for why I didn't watch G.I. Joe, I was just never interested in it.

These are the 'toons today (some of them):


From left to right: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Adventure Time, Scooby-Doo!: Mystery Incorporated, Wild Kratts and Transformers Prime.

Now before continuing, yes I am aware of the whole brony thing with the My Little Pony crapola. And no, I have never watched a single episode of MLP:FIM and never intend to because it's a children's television cartoon for little girls. 'Nuff said.


The first thing I notice with today's 'toons is that there has been a night-and-day difference in animation style, primarily due to computer technology. Today, toons which feature computer animation use a hybrid of both hand-drawn and digital, whereas before everything was hand-drawn.

The second thing I notice is that today's animations are a lot faster and jerkier. This is again due to computer technology. It is possible - and easy - for animators now to get very precise movements even from the smallest on-screen thing. That, and kids today all watch cartoons in crystal-clear HD, whereas when I was a kid we were all watching tube-type television sets.

The third thing I noticed, which is a surprise to me, is how long certain franchises have lasted.

Just about every popular cartoon from when I was a kid is still running today. Scooby-Doo in particular is one that's just weird because that's even before my time, as it spans all the way back to 1969! The original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! did start that year. Crazy but true. And yeah, that means Scooby-Doo is literally 45 years old.

Many cartoon franchises today are reboots. A few are done right, but most are done horribly wrong. An example of one done so wrong it wasn't funny (literally) was Garfield: The Movie from 2004. I never saw that movie because even the preview of it creeped me out big time. Garfield was not meant to look real. Ever. He is also not meant to talk. Ever. But yep, that turd of a movie exists. ((shudder..)) The horror. Oh, the horror.


Oh, and guess what else is getting ruined? Peanuts. The world's favorite comic strip will be destroyed forever. It's happening next year. And I know it will be awful. I will not watch it. No way. Not happening. I will not have Peanuts ruined for the rest of my life. It's bad enough that The Smurfs movies exist (which are just as bad as the Garfield movie if not worse for their creepy factor). It's bad enough that The Transformers were ruined...

...but now they're going after Charlie Brown himself.

Good Grief.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before it happened. If you were to think of the one thing... the one thing that should not be touched no matter what, it's Peanuts. You simply do not mess with that. But not only will it be messed with, it will be totally destroyed. In 3D, of course.

Well, after it happens, one thing will be true. The bottom will have been hit, because there is no lower to go after that.

It should be no wonder why adults hate reboots of old franchises.

Anyway, like I said, there are good reboots and bad reboots with most being bad.

From what I can see on Netflix, yeah there are a lot of new 'toons for kids to watch, and that's good. But it's also polluted by a crapload of reboots.

There are enough new ideas out there to sweep away the old and bring in the new. How many frickin' times must something be rebooted before it's put out to pasture? I guess the answer to that is, "If there's even a chance that rehashing an old, tired idea will make money, we're doing it no matter how bad we mess it up."

Kinda sad.

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