To say I watched a lot of cartoons as a kid is a gross understatement. I was full on addicted to them. At a certain age, I watched cartoons on Saturdays from like 6:30 AM(after the detestable New Zoo Review) to about noon(when Looney Tunes ended). Sometimes Sunday mornings had a few cool things to offer to(the amazing THUNDARR THE BARBARIAN for example). Several of these shows informed my toy buying habits for years and years(G.I. JOE and M.A.S.K.). The fact that they were always intended to do just that still kind of irks me. It is a bit shocking to look back on those Saturday mornings only to realize that they were like some sort of stream of consciousness infomercials meant only to sell all kinds of products to kids. Nonetheless, I took great joy from my Saturdays and on weeknights I'd often be glued to USA Cartoon Express' glorious mix of oddball shows. I have to acknowledge the classics though. Looney Tunes, though they were already 20 or 30(or more) years old when I'd see them, were(and still are) endlessly entertaining. Those characters are still so wonderful to this day. On the lesser side of character development(beyond speculation of drug use) there was of course the gang from Scooby Doo. Not sure why, but even right now, whenever I hear the bit of interstitial music that plays over the episode titles it has this warming nostalgic calming effect on me. Like I've just been told a bedtime story and am drifting off to sleep. Scooby Doo seeped into my consciousness so much I even went as far as to have a "Scooby Doo chase" in one of my student films in college. Along with cartoons, another of my biggest interests as a child was video games. I loved arcade games from the first time I laid my eyes on their gloriously hypnotic flashing lights. Whenever my family went on trips and stayed in hotels, I'd stake out the gameroom right away. So when Saturday Supercade started airing in the early 80s, it was a dream come true of sorts. Looking back on the few episodes I've been able to get my hands on in the past 5 years, I see just how poorly constructed and written the show really was(despite a catchy theme song). It was just a cheap cash in on the arcade game craze going on at the time. Pac-Man was a slightly better show, but I never really got into it all that much. One thing I didn't notice too much as a kid was how much cannibalization went on from one show to another. Jabberjaw is just a cheap Scooby Doo knockoff or there's a musical lick from the Scooby Doo theme in Richie Rich's intro. M.A.S.K. seems to be clearly trying to mesh both The Transformers and G.I. Joe into one show. As a kid I know I didn't care. Just funny too look at now, how much the cartoon "industry" observed successes in the same way that movies and other TV shows did. Lots of imitation, very little in the way of inventiveness. All that being said, they still gave me hours and hours of enjoyment as a youngster and I really do appreciate that. I should mention that this post is inspired by and a direct tie-in to a Top 7 Tuesday post I was asked to do for the wonderful Cineawesome site.
1. Looney Tunes 2. G.I. Joe 3. Superfriends 4. Scooby Doo 5. Thundarr The Barbarian 6. M.A.S.K. 7. Saturday Supercade 8. Spiderman and His Amazing Friends 9. Jonny Quest 10. Space Ghost 11. Dungeons and Dragons 12. The Herculoids 13. Hong Kong Phooey 14. Help!... It's The Hair Bear Bunch 15. Grape Ape 16. Dynomutt Dog Wonder 17. Speed Buggy 18. Richie Rich 19. Shirt-Tales 20. Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch
Below, please enjoy many of the opening themes to some of my favorite shows. First and foremost, my current favorite theme, the one from M.A.S.K.
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