The Great Cartoon Debate, Part II: Open Discussion on Nick Toons
I first started watching Nickelodeon in its infancy, when I spent a lot of time babysitting for my cousin. She was enthralled with Pinwheel, which was a precursor to Nick Jr. Pinwheel was a block of cartoon programming aimed at the pre-school set. It included the Japanese cartoon Maya the Bee, David the Gnome and The Littl' Bits and The Noozles (upon searching, I'm suprised to find that not only does Maya still air in places, but she's got her own video games). I hated these cartoons. Crappy animation and morality tales did little to hold my interest. The voicing on Maya was flat and the story lines seemed to repeat themselves. Everytime the theme song came on (i>Maya. Maya the Bee. Maya.. Maya the Bee), I would try to get teach Krys to sing the Monty Python song Eric the Half a Bee instead (Half a bee, philosophically, must, ipso facto, half not be). Never worked. David at least ad the voice of Tom Bosley going for it, but there were just too many lessons crammed into one half hour show. I wanted fun and mayhem in my cartoons, not morals! Unfortunately, my cousin couldn't take her eyes off of Maya or David, so I was stuck, as television was the only thing that kept her from bugging the crap out of me with her incessant why questions. Eventually Krys went to school and I stopped watching Pinwheel. Well, no. That's not entirely true as I was pretty taken in by Eureka's Castle and still wish that Nick would rerun those shows. But that was not a cartoon, so it's not important now. Later on, Nickelodeon would produce many fine cartoons, none of which approached the sugar coated fantasy land that Maya and David lived in. Which is a good thing. I mention these Nick cartoons because I opened the discussion up to other cartoons and I think it we would be sadly remiss to not include the following: Ren and Stimpy Rocko's Modern Life Angry Beavers Invader Zim Fairly Odd Parents SpongeBob SquarePants There are plenty of other Nick Toons to be talked about, especially the Klasky-Csupo shows (Frankly, the only K/C toon I liked was Rugrats). Just do not get me started on CatDog. That show freaked me out. Unfortunately, circumstances beyond my control (read as: family dropping by unexpectedly) preclude me from waxing nostalgic or fawning over these stellar shows or beating up on the shoddy ones. I leave the discussion of the merits/demerits of Nickelodeon cartoons - old and new - up to you. I'll include some of your comments in my final analysis when I eventually wind this discussion up sometime in the distant future.