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Some observations and questions about 80s cartoons

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2021 7:35 pm
by Fireminer
I recently talked to a French-Vietnamese who went to America in 1980s to study, and among other things we talked a bit about 80s cartoons. He raised some good points and questions that I would like to bring up here:

1. There was a lot of entertainment for children in the 80s, but there was also a dearth of variety of quality, which was why so many children stuck with WWE and low-quality animated show.

2. There was a weird relationship between America, violence and moral in the 80s. People didn't bat an eyes when they make animated shows for children filled with violence like Rambo and G.I. Joes, but were ready to go up in arms for whichever rap, punk or metal albums.

3. Life always suck if your family is poor, but because toy commercials were everywhere, it really created a sense of isolation if your parents couldn't afford the latest toy.

4. Not a lot of people actually remember how terrible shows like Thundercats were because there were very little to them. They had selective memory, but not even for the show. When they ask for something like a reboot, that is just because they want some of that "feel" they had during childhood.

What do you think about these opinions? I

Re: Some observations and questions about 80s cartoons

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2021 8:57 pm
by Akage
I didn't get to watch a lot of cartoons during the 80s because my parents insisted that school and extra-curricular activities came first. The ones I saw were on Saturday mornings during that block.

1) The cartoons I remember are - My Little Pony, Rainbow Brite, Popples, Lady Lovlilocks, Smurfs, Gummi Bears, TalesSpin, DuckTales, Chip N Dale's Rescue Rangers, Care Bears and Jem. Every so often, I might catch a couple of episodes of the 'boys' shows like Transformers, Thundercats or G.I. Joe while at my babysitter's house, but I wasn't really interested in them that much. I was the weird kid that watched more episodes of Nova on PBS than I did cartoons or children's shows. I've rewatched a couple episodes of Smurfs, Gummi Bears and Rescue Rangers. I think GB held up the best out of all of them. Disney put on a lot of quality shows during the 1980s (and Gargoyles too, but that was in the 1990s).

2) I think it had more to do with the 'Say No to Drugs' campaign that Nancy Reagan heavily pushed in the 80s. People, especially the Karens of the era, were concerned that the drugs and the topics expressed in the music of the era would cause their perfect prince or princess of a child to become a degenerate. "Won't somebody please think of the children" was more or less a rallying cry for these (mostly white) women. Violence was of a lesser concern, but I think this also had to do with the fact that the Cold War was still very much going on in the era. This is just the opinion of someone who was very young and didn't understand much about the issues. My parents made me watch the news every day so while I would be able to tell you the names of people in the news, I had no idea as to the concepts behind them.

3) I think toy commercials have gotten even worse. You could always turn off the TV but now, you have children on YouTube that are sponsored by toy companies to play with their products and cultivate a certain image while interacting with their product. That's much worse than it was in the 1980s and 1990s.

My parents didn't buy a lot of toys for me as a kid because they didn't want to spoil me. Once I turned 12, they refused to buy any more toys for me.

4) Everyone has nostalgia for their childhood and the things that they enjoyed. This is something that's exclusive to children born in the 1980s.

I don't want a reboot of any of the American shows I watched as a kid because America, as a whole, has gotten so 'woke' that it's lost its sense of humor. In the 1980s and 1990s, everyone could make jokes about everyone and I loved that notion that we could all laugh about not only our flaws but that of everyone else too. For example, I watched the Animaniacs reboot a couple months ago. Animaniacs was my go-to show during the 1990s because it felt like it was aimed to older children. I loved The Goodfeathers, Slappy Squirrel's war with Beanie the Brain-Dead Bison and Hello Nurse lamenting that no one respects her for her intelligence. In the reboot, all of that is gone. No Slappy. Can't have the GoodFeathers around because it's offensive to Italians. And God forbid Hello Nurse returns because she's an unhealthy model to young girls who already look up to The Kardashians.

Re: Some observations and questions about 80s cartoons

Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:14 pm
by davemerrill
Fireminer wrote: Wed Jun 02, 2021 7:35 pm I recently talked to a French-Vietnamese who went to America in 1980s to study, and among other things we talked a bit about 80s cartoons. He raised some good points and questions that I would like to bring up here:

1. There was a lot of entertainment for children in the 80s, but there was also a dearth of variety of quality, which was why so many children stuck with WWE and low-quality animated show.

2. There was a weird relationship between America, violence and moral in the 80s. People didn't bat an eyes when they make animated shows for children filled with violence like Rambo and G.I. Joes, but were ready to go up in arms for whichever rap, punk or metal albums.

3. Life always suck if your family is poor, but because toy commercials were everywhere, it really created a sense of isolation if your parents couldn't afford the latest toy.

4. Not a lot of people actually remember how terrible shows like Thundercats were because there were very little to them. They had selective memory, but not even for the show. When they ask for something like a reboot, that is just because they want some of that "feel" they had during childhood.

What do you think about these opinions? I
1. Animation for children was pretty bad in the 1980s, which is why we became anime fans. Wrestling has been a thing since the 1950s; its popularity comes and goes.

2. Actually, violence in TV cartoons was condemned in the late 1960s and through the 1970s - there were national network TV rules against characters hitting each other, no guns or bladed weapons, etc. In the 1980s, syndicated TV cartoons were allowed to get around a lot of those rules and shows had more action in them, but you'll notice on cartoons like Rambo and GI Joe, no one is show being shot, guns are lasers or stun guns, pilots always parachute from damaged airplanes, etc. America was more concerned with sexual content than violence. Maybe still is.

3. this is extremely true.

4. most people want to recapture the fun they had as kids, whether watching a TV show or playing a game or whatever. I always thought Thundercats was junk, but there are plenty of other shows I enjoyed as a kid that do *not* hold up when viewed later, as well as shows like Clutch Cargo that everyone knew was awful from the start.

Re: Some observations and questions about 80s cartoons

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:40 pm
by runesaint
Along these lines, if any of you have memories of GI Joe (good or ill), I recommend episode 11 of season 5 of 'Community'.