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Whatever Happened To The Mind-Opening Cartoons I Used To Watch As A Kid!??!!

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posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 07:53 AM
reply to post by Magnus47

And as for today's kids' shows not having morals... have you tried sitting down and watching an episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends? What about Kim Possible?

Highly agree'd. Perhaps they don't see it, because it would require them to watch an entire episode? The morals of the story aren't explained in a 30 second blip at the conclusion, or after the show anymore. I know the feeling of seeing some of the newer cartoons and feeling disgusted by them (though Fosters is alright) initially, but I at least understand that it's just my own bias - and not an objective and fair view of their potential merits.

Along with art style, story presentation and structure was also borrowed from Japanese animation as it became popular over here. A hallmark of Japanese animation is that a lot of times there isn't a genuine "Bad Guy". What I mean is, there isn't a character who is simply evil for the sake of being evil. It's to meet an end, or their actions are a result of being misguided. I think this has to do with the way Japanese animation rose after World War II. Think of their audience at the time, and in the decades proceeding. Japan has always held a strong and prideful national identity, but they had recently been subjugated by a foreign power after losing a war in which they were sided with a power that was increasingly becoming synonymous with "Evil" in the rest of the world - and even in their own nation. To them, it wasn't so much a matter of "Good vs. Evil", but rather a conflict of ideologies. To say no mention of the Cold War political atmosphere which followed. Japan surrendered to the US in part for protection from Russian domination (with whom they'd had previous conflicts and tensions) - or worse --have their nation divided between powers as they were seeing in Germany. They were now sided with the "Good Guys", but had the stark realization that the line between "Good" and "Evil" is not always clear cut - and is often obfuscated by misguided intentions and pride.

Hence, their formative cartoons often contained morals, but ones blended into a wider storyline. Their heroes exemplified those morals through their actions and the content of their character, even if they stumble with their own character flaws, contrasted against villains who often were not all that dis-similar to the hero. Rarely did you see the level of clear differentiation as set up in the simplistic dichotomies of western animation.

I think this is also why you tend to see so many examples of the noble villain and anti-hero archetypes in Japanese animation, and increasingly here in the west. This is part of the reason why I liked the Xmen, because it was a parody of real life social issues (namely, the struggle against racism), wherein the differences between people were amplified to superhero/villain status. Many of the heroes introduced were anti-heroes. Wolverine, for instance, had little quarrel with killing - and committed many acts which can be considered villainous and evil in his past. He was helping the Xmen as a way to restore his tortured soul by building something, rather than destroying. A better future for others. Magneto, on the other hand, was a child survivor of the holocaust death camps. He too wished for a better future, but saw the only way to accomplish this future was through domination of those who hated and persecuted his kind.

Magneto and Xavier, Sabertooth and Wolverine - both of these character pairs are mirror images of the other and show that the line between good and evil is often very much a matter of perspective or can be subverted to one or the other by the will to accomplish a goal. I think this presents a much more dynamic storyline that syncs rather well with reality. Therefore, the morals taught are more applicable to real life. He-Man, or G.I. Joe, because their heroes and villains - don't resemble reality as well and, by implication, the morals taught apply only to their universe. Sure a child won't recognize all of this in their cartoons, but they tend to "pick up" on things - even if they often don't have cognitive ability or desire for looking in on themselves and recognize their own behavior patterns.

But.. I stopped reading X-Men after only a year or two when I realized that it was just the same over-used Soap Operas cliches my Mom was watching, only marketed for young men.

[edit on 2-2-2009 by Lasheic]

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 07:55 AM
reply to post by kinglizard

Originally posted by kinglizard
We need to keep the discussion focused on conspiratorial aspects of the topic if this is to remain on ATS.

No problem

If any of you cared to notice. Almost all the animations that I myself have posted; contained strong messages. Many of them are based in space/galaxy/universe settings, am I the only one to observe extraterrestrials in all of them?

Perhaps TPTB wish to inform us (since we were young) that they/we are engaged in some kind of contact with alien life. I've seen many witnesses in the UFO field testify to some sort of war with the apparent visitors.

Also, in the Jayce and The Wheeled Warriors vid; listen to the lyrics of the opening song. And I'll try to quote the singer's opening lyrics below;

"There's a power that comes from deep inside of you"

Sounds a lot like the new age metaphysical theories that have come out quite recently. The Secret ring a bell, anyone? .. I'm referring to the Law of Attraction.

And there's a lot of technology shown that was near unheard of back then.. hmm.. I wonder what the source of their creativity was.

Not to mention all the sorcery and magic, which relates to occultism, symbology, astral projection, remote viewing, hidden energy, and so on..


[edit on 2/2/09 by Majorion]

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:06 AM
Children like Spongebob because its simple, childish, and apeels to a younger audience. Some children would rather watch something that they can understand and follow, than watch a cartoon thats storyline is too hard to follow, which trys to add action with adding a lot of colours and explosions.

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:06 AM
reply to post by Majorion

Majorion, you've gotta check out Soundlessdawn if you haven't already done so.

He has a youtube channel and makes monthly videos displaying the various synchronicities from the cartoons and movies of our youth and media of today.

I believe him and his friend Jake Kotze coined the term "Synchromysticism"

"Synchromysticism: The vast and noble undertaking of piecing together the occult holographic language system of the universe, in order to identify and more aptly understand the relationship between the collective consciousness of all sentient beings on Earth and beyond: using Astrology, Symbolism in Pop Culture, Psychedelic Analysis, Sacred Geometry, Crop Circles, Time Echoes, Quantum Superposition, Music, and the Vast River of Akashic Gnosis pouring from a galactic heart beat oscillation, which is possibly an organic intelligence that is both moving through us and separate from us."

Its great stuff and definitely goes over and above the idea of "TPB" and into the realm of hardcore esoteric symbolism.


posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:09 AM
reply to post by Opulisum

Thats just a case of the BOTTOM LINE for cartoon producers.

By catering to the lowest common denominator its a slippery slope that will eventually produce far worse than the initial low point. Watch Idiocracy to see this idea exaggerated to the extreme.


posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:13 AM
reply to post by TheRealDonPedros

I concur, symbology was a core theme in those 80's animations. Occultism also. Everything you said; was the main point I'm trying to get across to people viewing this thread.

Higher consciousness, and understanding the bigger picture behind this massive and complex universe; is what they(artists/writers/TPTB) were trying to relay.

Forgive me contemporary fans, today's works are hardly masterful or imaginative.

[edit on 2/2/09 by Majorion]

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:24 AM
reply to post by Majorion

Im not sure if the artists of the 80's were necessarily trying to get that message across (although they may have been). I feel its more a matter of, their art being a product of the framework that said art was created in.

"Maximillian Cohen: My new hypothesis: If we're built from Spirals while living in a giant Spiral, then is it possible that everything we put our hands to is infused with the Spiral? " - Pi

If you're familiar with Timewave Zero or the idea of quickening to a singularity or "reset", then 1980's framework was during a looser portion of the spiral Max Cohen refers to, therefore the creations during that time should reflect less tension and more creativity. Hence the reason why todays cartoons are non-stop beeps and bops and colours. Its all about reflecting the tense spiral of today's world.


[edit on 2-2-2009 by TheRealDonPedros]

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:24 AM
I'd rather have kids watch Sponge Bob than the 80s and 90s cartoons. Sponge Bob teaches kids how to deal with interpersonal relationships, responsibility and has character lessons in each episode. A lot of earlier cartoons promoted drug use, violence and escapism. Nothing wrong with a healthy imagination but I suspect that kind of indoctrination is exactly why so many people who grew up in the 80s and 90s can't deal with reality now.

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:26 AM
I actually did this several years ago - tried to remember every tv show/prominent movies I watched as a kid, just to review what kind of messages they each had. (not in order)

Clarissa Explains it All - still trying to obtain the episodes, but the show it mainly about listening to Carrissa's problem - probably why I actually listen to what girls say

Power Rangers - the original series, not the space adventure crap. Tried to re-watch the series but it was too much for me lol. From what I can tell, its overall message is to fight evil guys trying to take over the world, and having huge robots help.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the movies) - still haven't re-watched these so its been awhile. Same overall message of Power Rangers though, fight evil and all that stuff - no robots

Puff the Magic Dragon - Surprisingly, this movie was actually a pretty good one. Teaches to overcome fear and to show courage!!!!

Batman - The Animated Series - Well... come on, its Batman. What shouldn't you learn from Batman? I actually learned my first peices of martial arts from this show. I also blame this show for my analytical thinking process. The one thing that rubbed off on me though was Bruce Wayne/Batman's bad trait - nothing anyone else does is good enough. Dick Grayson and Bruce had tension between each other because Bruce always expected full devotion, which in turn means no social life - its all about the mission. I share the same fate :/ But you need that kind of devotion to fight the NWO.

Batman Beyond - same as above, just better tech.

(I wont even discuss the batman movies pre-batman begins)

Gundam Wing - This series brought back the big robots, which a very interested story concept - The only way to eradicate war is to get everyone to hate it, by involving everyone in war.

This series also let up to the other Gundam series, 08th MS Team, Gundam 0083, Turn A Gundam, Gundam Seed, and recently Gundam 00.

Then there was the Real Adventures of Johnny Quest - need to rewatch that, only remembered that it was entertaining.

The only show anyone needs to ever watch is Batman The Animated Series. It will teach you what it means to be human

[edit on 2-2-2009 by Halzman]

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:27 AM
Captain Planet was by far the lamest cartoon. I can't imagine how anyone could have enjoyed it.

Originally posted by secretagent woooman
A lot of earlier cartoons promoted drug use

such as?

[edit on 2-2-2009 by MeanDirtyKiller]

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:29 AM
reply to post by TheRealDonPedros

I don't know about that. My young niece is teaching herself to play guitar by playing Guitar Hero and she's learned a lot.

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:30 AM
reply to post by secretagent woooman

Spongebob teaches kids how to deal with tough life situations in the same way that Rock Band teaches kids how to be musicians. Its surface skimming to the extreme and the poor kids that learn how to deal with "interpersonal relationships" from Spongebob are those same kids that are terrorizing today's world with their lameness, sameness and live in the now fake-ness .


[edit on 2-2-2009 by TheRealDonPedros]

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:32 AM

Originally posted by MeanDirtyKiller
Captain Planet was by far the lamest cartoon. I can't imagine how anyone could have enjoyed it.

Lame to some. Awesome to others.

As semperfortis pointed out on page 1, this show was probably the most "moral" out of all of them. Notice how all the characters were from different and diverse cultures/ethnicity.

It was also one of the very few pro-environment shows, far ahead of it's time in my humble opinion.

Kids should definitely be watching something like Captain Planet nowadays, heaven knows they need it.

[edit on 2/2/09 by Majorion]

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:40 AM

Originally posted by Majorion

As semperfortis pointed out on page 1, this show was probably the most moral out of all of them. Notice how all the characters were from different and diverse cultures/ethnicity.

It was also one of the very few pro-environment shows, far ahead of it's time in my humble opinion.

without a doubt, but the show itself was extremely non-interesting. the theme song sucked, and the content of the show was boring. I don't think it was very well-written either. giving kids good moral lessons is a great thing, but at least make the show watchable if you do
Spongebob is more entertaining than Captain Planet, unfortunately.

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:42 AM
Most of these "mind-opening" cartoons in the OP were created to market a toy franchise line.

I fail to see how that is "inspiring".

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:45 AM
reply to post by SantaClaus

Actually, that most definitely was Dino Riders. I have the original release VHS of the first couple shows, and it comes with that intro!

Edited to add:

Anyone here ever read Hero of a Thousand Faces? It talks a lot about cultural morality, and that the first morals children absorb are the ones given through the stories we tell to them as children. Hence, the cultural signifigance of story telling.
So while many of these older cartoons were in fact produced to market toy franchises, that doesn't make them less valuable as teachers of morals. ie - Optimus Prime is undeniably from a heroic caste whether he's selling toys or not. The value of things like never giving up, fighting for what you believe in - even against terrible odds, and doing the right thing even when a much greater force is opposing you . . . well. I think those values would hold even more truth for an ATSer.

[edit on 2-2-2009 by OptionFour]

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:52 AM
Sigmund the Seamonster!!!


Land of the Lost! ROTFL!

Oh man what a blast from the past!

These are so classic - I’d love a full dvd collection of them all!


[edit on 2-2-2009 by silo13]

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 08:53 AM
You guys mention Ren and Stimpy?


Beavis and Butthead?

posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 09:00 AM
I must be an old fart! I grew up in the days of:

Marine Boy, Wacky Races, Grape Ape, Scooby Doo, Gigantor, Josie & The Pussycats, Fearless Fly, King Leonardo, Underdog, Grape Ape, Inch High Private Eye, Tennessee Tuxedo, Shazam, Snaggle Puss, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Ricochet Rabbit, Jabberjaw, Yogi Bear, The Funky Fantom, Stop The Pidgeon, Hong Kong Phooey, The Blue Falcon, Birdman and of course The Super Friends and Spiderman (when he was psychedelic)... and a host of other classics!

I guess they had morals... mainly that crime didn't pay... and a crush on a cartoon babe was futile (learned that last one myself)

I miss the seventies. Cartoons were so groovy back then!


posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 09:05 AM
reply to post by TooManyHumans

I think the first one, the island one, is for adults and only shown at night.
My second line.

You all sound like a bunch of old men sitting on a porch talking about the good ol' days and what is wrong with the youngin's.

No offense meant.

Could it be that there is a little lamenting of change?

I have learned that if you are always stuck in era in your life, you can miss out on other things. And to watch these things, you may be surprised at what you like.

Believe it or not, spongebob does teach stuff. They are just clever about it by not making it preachy.

But they are always encouraging the use of imagination. The grouchy neighbor is always trying to get his own way and never wins. There is an episode where Spongebob doesn't take care of his pet and it runs away. Spongebob is always optimistic, friendly, loving, and happy. Often to the annoyance of other people. He has a boss who loves money more then people, and will sell anyone else out for it. Now, would you rather have these unrealistic moral stories? Or the truth? Fact is, in the real world, the bad guy wins quite a bit.

But like I said, cartoons are for entertainment, I don't need a lesson. If I want my kid to learn something, I turn on pbs.

Are there bad cartoons now? Sure. Where there bad cartoons then? Sure. It really is your personal perception.

And no cartoon has ever derailed a child or made them do anything. It is just called bad parenting.

Funny someone brought up Beavis and Butthead. The first time I saw it was when it was a five minute segment on Liquid Television on MTV. That is where Aeon Flux came from too if anyone remembers. Another bizarre show but I liked it.

The moment I saw B&B I was horrified and disgusted (they were playing baseball with frogs and watching them splat.) But I knew instantly that they were going to be big. Boy am I glad that is over.

A show doesn't have to have meaning to be good. The Family Guy is just brilliantly funny. Spongebob is funny. The Simpsons are funny.
When I come home from work, and I am tired and I want to chill. I want stupid funny, not a moral lesson from a turtle or a dinosaur.

Seriously though,

Funny that TMNT has been brought up several times. The sickly sweet cartoon is based on a real life comic book, for adults.

Which in later issues became quite adult themed, swearing, drug use, Raphael was suicidal, and they tried to sleep with April. It is dark and brooding, lots of violence.

The original Little Mermaid, the prince doesn't fall in love with her and she died.

The original story of Bambi by Felix Salten is a disturbing, and dark and violent.

So be careful what you want your kids to watch. These days with the internet, they can easily find this information, and read it. And it is a little disturbing to find your favorite characters can have a disturbing story to them. I was upset when I saw the original Little Mermaid, it was upsetting. A girl likes the living married ending better

[edit on 2-2-2009 by nixie_nox]

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