An Article about the qualities of cartoons and they went down in recent years
Cartoon Qualities Gone Down
Without a doubt, TaleSpin was one of the best cartoons in the 90’s, and it was one of the most memorable cartoons in that time along with a long list of other cartoons of the 90’s.
Now, there have been a few good, decent cartoons in recent years—some of them are animes, but very few of them managed pull off all the elements of a good quality cartoons like TaleSpin did. Mostly the ‘good quality’ is based on one’s opinion, but let’s put opinions aside and look at the facts.
Comparing SpongeBob Squarepants to TaleSpin is a laughingstock. SpongeBob can’t even hold a candle to Molly Cunningham! There have been a few episodes when SpongeBob would teach the audience a thing or two, like teaching how to tie your shoes in song. But other than this shoe-tying lesson, SpongeBob is not teaching the kids anything and is inspiring stupidity in the kids by acting overly silly and childish that it is not funny, but downright ridiculous. And his laugh is so annoying; I wonder how the kids can stand him!
But to be honest, is SpongeBob really setting a good example for jobs? He works in a fast food restaurant—yes, most teens have that as a first job, but is SpongeBob teaching our kids to just work in one thing and not follow your dreams? It looks that way. And for another, fast food is not good for one’s health, but I doubt we’ll be learning anything about health or eating healthy from a fry-cooking sponge.
Now, in TaleSpin, we have mixed drama, comedy, love , darkness, sadness, joy, friendship and family all together and it flows evenly. Most of the faults of TaleSpin were due to the many writers who wrote for certain episodes and to Michael Eisner for removing the most key moments in TaleSpin, such as the scene of Rebecca singing Home Is Where the Heart Is and “I’m his navigator…always.” The word “always was cut out too. They were some of the key moments and he took them out! Whatever faults you might find in TaleSpin, it is nothing compare to the faults of SpongeBob, which mostly focuses on the stupidity style of comedy.
Also, cartoons today are somewhat disturbing. SpongeBob is no different, more than once he was running around in the nude or in his underwear, and he always sleeps in his underwear. What is that teaching the kids? TaleSpin was never disturbing, I mean, Kit and Baloo go around wearing no pants and yet it is not disturbing, as they’re both anthropomorphic bears and therefore have nothing to hide, and even if they did have something to hide, their furs pretty much does that for them anyway.
There were a few disturbing moments in the Fairly Oddparents too. One episode had Timmy wished himself from his bathtub to the comic store, only to realize that Cosmo and Wanda poofed him there without any clothes on. (That episode must’ve been written by a pervert or a guy with a sick sense of humor.) That sort of thing would never happen in TaleSpin, even if Kit did have a couple of wish-granting fairies.
Comparing TaleSpin to other Nicktoons is another laughing matter, each of them are as bad or worse than SpongeBob or Fairly Oddparents, so we won’t go into details about them.
Avatar the Last Airbender is okay though, it’s dramatic, funny, scary, sad and romantic, one of the few modern cartoons that managed pull the usage of all these elements off.
Rocket Power is pretty good too, you almost always learn something from Otto and the gang, and sometimes we learn something from his Dad and Tito.
Now, let’s compare TaleSpin with a few modern Disney cartoons.
Phineas and Ferbis about two stepbrothers on a summer vacation, following them as they came up with different ways to spend their day like any other brothers or stepbrothers do, but they always go too far, they go far beyond any typical boys’ outgoings and projects. One of them included Phineas driving a racecar. A man did asked whether he was too young to be driving racecars, and Phineas replied honestly “Yes, we are.”
Teaching the kids honesty? Maybe, but aren’t they also teaching kids that adults are moronic idiots? (As an adult myself, I feel insulted by the adults’ stupidity in that show.) It certainly seems so, for the adults never do anything to stop them, and the same man who asked Phineas whether he was too young to be driving racecars told them to “carry on” or “have fun."
To some people, this might seems as though Phineas and Ferb are teaching the kids to have no respect for authority by doing stuff that normal kids wouldn't be able to get away with as Phineas and Ferb does. This may often sends the kids into their rebellious stage way before they reached their teen years—every parents’ worst nightmare. This could be more or less correct.
Kit and Molly never were disrespectful toward Baloo or Rebecca, though Kit did leave to fulfill his dreams a few times (see Stormy Weather and Flight School Confidential), but he always come back after realizing that his heart and dreams lies with Higher for Hire and its crews. Kit might’ve been somewhat rebellious, but never disrespectful.
American Dragon Jake Longis another…questionable animated series, for Disney’s standard. It’s about a boy named Jake Long, who has the ability to transform into a red dragon. His duty was to help the magical creatures that roam the city (possibly New York, judging by the accents.) This show would’ve been okay if it weren’t for the toilet humors and having Jake to clean toilets with his dragon tongue…enough said.
Toilet humors were never used in TaleSpin, (thanks goodness!) in fact, the only episode a bathroom was mentioned, was in Balooest of the Blue Bloodswhen Wildcat asked the butler for the bathroom.
Now, enough with comparing other shows to TaleSpin, let’s talk about the 90’s cartoons and the modern cartoons in general.
Most cartoons in the 80’s and 90’s were designed to be more comical and educational, rather than just comic alone. The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics were dark and more violent; the cartoons in the late 80’s however, were nothing like comic books. Raphael was originally a hot tempered and violent turtle who is always challenging Leonardo’s leadership. In the cartoon, however, Raphael was more comical and somewhat sarcastic. At the end of some episode, they teach the viewers about the environment and how to recycle properly. One time it was drink can holders. Leonardo demonstrated by cutting the drink can holders up into pieces with his sword, saying “Always cut these up before you throw them away.” For a fish in the pond got caught in one of those. Another one showing kids on the beach, one of them let go of their balloon. Michelangelo came and told them that that was a bad idea, and then Raphael caught the balloon from a blimp-plane and explain that sea animals are likely to eat them and make them seriously sick and that if the balloon got caught in the power line, they can cause a blackout -- a very important lesson to learn! -- It's safer to play with balloons indoors.
Seriously, where are the cartoons with these basic lessons attached?!
The 80’s Transformers cartoons were the same way, when they weren’t fighting the Decepticons, they were teaching the audience one thing or another. Optimus Prime’s advices to his men and his wisdom were always inspiring and kids hang on to his every words. At the end of some of the episodes, they provide its’ viewers with educational safety tips, such as a boy falling off a boat and was rescued by an Autobot who told him he should always wear a lifejacket, like the seatbelts in a car or a motorcycle helmet.
Another episode ended showing how dangerous it was to ride a bike after dark unequipped, saying that they should wear bright clothes and have reflecting tail light on the back of their bike so people could see them better. Every one of those safety tips and teachings between right and wrong ended with the Autobot saying “Knowledge is half the battle.”
Also, some 80's and 90's cartoons, such as G.I. Joe taught and advised against drugs and other bad substances, and even Sega and Dic with The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog had a segment after each adventure called Sonic Says, with Sonic teaching Tails and the viewers to be against different things, such as drugs, bullies, ect, ect. Adventures of Sonic as well as Sonic Saturday Am (Sat Am for short ) was made by Dic, which at the time was, and still is a somewhat a subcontracted company of Disney.
Another good example of the good quality in cartoons going down is the comparison between The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and My Friends Tigger & Pooh.
My Friends Tigger & Pooh is a computer animation television series, based on Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne. The television series features Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends, including two new characters: a 6-year-old red-haired girl named Darby and her dog Buster. Although Darby appears to be the main human friend of Pooh and the gang, Christopher Robin still appears sporadically. It is not known if Darby is related to Christopher Robin or just a friend of his.
My Friends Tigger & Pooh is nothing like The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, which provides lessons and teaches the viewers through each of the characters’ daily lives, kids learn to be a hard worker from Rabbit and to have fun from Tigger. My Friends Tigger and Pooh took a more Dora the Explorer approach to teaching the kids, which is really a bad idea.
For one thing, they ask the viewers a multiple choice question and then they would pause, like they were waiting for the viewers to shout their answer. A little kid can say anything and pick all the wrong choices, and then the show would automatically pick the right answer and declare them correct. This method would be better if it was on a computer game rather than on a show. This is not a very good way to teach children, they did better with The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh with the characters learning their own daily lessons from life experience and the kids learning along with them as they watch.
Sadly, Mickey Mouse and the gang have undergone the same thing with Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse, also taking a more Dora the Explorer approach to teaching the viewers. It can be said by many Disney fans that Walt Disney did not create Mickey Mouse to be subjected to teaching a preschool audience with a similar teaching method as Dora the Explorer. Some people would see this as a disgrace to Mickey Mouse’s long history as a legendary cartoon character.
The bottom line is that today’s modern cartoons are not aiming to educate its viewers, and those that are aiming to educate are for preschoolers, though poorly done. As stated above, that method of teaching would be better on computer games rather than on a show. Education seems to have taken a backseat in a lot of today’s cartoons for the purpose of being more entertaining. In the 80’s and 90’s, most cartoons were more evenly balanced, being both educational and entertaining, as they should be.
The Idol Rich episode of TaleSpin taught several things just at the beginning of the episode. Never take shortcuts through dark alleys alone, never trust strangers and always try to outsmart them if you’re out-muscled.
Good lessons and examples we learned from these old cartoon shows, it is a shame that this generation is missing out on them…