Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Ten: Cartoons

Being a child of the eighties and ninties, I feel like I had access to some of the best cartoons ever to be made. Animation these days isn't up to the same par. They go for simiplar designs, computer animated designs, and the quatlity is just...lacking. There are some exceptions, but only a few made my list.

10. X-Men: Evolution (2000-2003)
Cashing in on the success of the X-Men film franchise, the WB aired a show which cast the majority of the X-Men characters as high school students. Definitely not following the comics in many regards, it was still a fun series. I particularly enjoyed the Brotherhood getting more screentime as major players rather than just as villains. You cared about them like you cared about the X-Men. And while Evolution is the only place to EVER feature a romance between Shadowcat and Avalanche(who was completely revamped from his comic counterpart), it was adorable. But it didn't stop them from giving a nod to comic fans and allowing Kitty to flirt with Colossus later in the season. Sadly, this series only lasted four seasons, but they were able to wrap up their storyline and give a hint as to what could have happened if the series continued. Their introduction of X-23 led to a new comic book series being made about her, thus allowing the Evolution series to live on in some way shape or form. Season 1-3 were made available on DVD, season four is available through iTunes.

9. Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995)
Fox kids was the highlight of my saturday morning cartoon happiness. They had shows I would watch religously, and they really didn't disappoint when it came to superhero cartoons...well, scratch that, I was NOT a fan of The Tick, but that is not what I am here to discuss. haha. Batman was dark. It was one of those franchises that is so easy to follow: rich man who is a superhero at night. The villains were fun. The animation was beautiful. One day I will get around to buying the DVDs, but I just haven't had the extra money yet (I was buying X-Men DVDs instead. oops)

8. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983-1985)
While I much prefered She-Ra at the time, being a little girl, He-Man was MUCH too boyish for me most of the time and there just weren't enough girl characters to keep me interested for long, I still would watch it when waiting for my other shows to come on. Jem, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Thundercats...they are all very foggy and vague in my mind. He-Man and She-Ra stand out vividly, and I will always enjoy rewatching the both of them. Even if Orko annoys the snot out of me. Cringer/Battlecat is my hero. And I want one.

7. Wolverine and the X-Men (2008-2009)
I must admit, the moment I heard that there was a cartoon called WOLVERINE and the X-Men I bitched and bitched and bitched some more. Not only was the X-Men movie franchised focused WAY too much on the character rather than the ensemble itself, but now they are going to devote a whole cartoon to him? *sigh* Well, I was pleasantly surprised by it. The only issue I had with the animation was it was bright and too similar to the last handful of episodes The Animated Series dished out before being cancelled. I like the darker animation of the early cartoons. Call me a cartoon snob. But the storyline was actually really good and they had good reason for Wolverine to be "leading" at the moment. While one would expect Cyclops and Storm to be automatic leaders if the Professor disappeared, Jean's disappearance renders Cyclops useless, and Storm went off to deal with other things. (P.S. I HATED Storm's hair in this cartoon. It was like a giant oval behind her head. Srsly, animatiors!) Unfortunatley, despite ending on a HUGE cliffhanger, and I REALLY wanted to see how they tackled Apocalypse, the show was cancelled after only one season. I blame the fact that they aired on an obscure cable channel not everyone has or watches. Nicktoon Network? Really?

6. Pirates of Dark Water (1991-1992)
This was a very interesting cartoon that didn't get nearly enough attention. A young man discovers he's really a prince and sets out upon a quest. The dark water in the title was actually a "carniverous" form of water that would devour anything it comes across. It has been so long since I have seen this cartoon that the minor details are a bit hard to remember, and as it hasn't been released on DVD I cannot refresh those memories without seeking bootlegs of the cartoon. I really hope they release it on DVD eventually.

5. Aladdin (1994-1995)
Out of all the disney films they have tried making into successful cartoon shows, I think this might have been my favorite. While Tale Spin had an interesting concept, it lacked the originality of the Jungle Book setting. Aladdin was true to it's film roots and was a lot of fun. The Little Mermaid was a bit too..something. I don't know. I never enjoyed it as much as Aladdin. Perhaps it is because adventure seemed more adventurous with swords and magic carpets. And I had a serious crush on Aladdin.

4. Peter Pan and the Pirates (1990-1991)
Okay, Tim Curry voiced Captain Hook. Need I say more? Yes? Okay, well, this is one of those cartoons many people don't remember ever existed. But I loved it. I was always a fan of Peter Pan, and I liked having the chance to visit NeverLand every day after school TinkerBell was actually likable and not green with jealousy over Peter and Wendy the whole time. It was a lot of fun, and completely overlooked when it comes to cartoon awesomeness.

3. Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers (1989-1992)
Already a big Chip and Dale fan (the chipmunks, people. The chipmunks!) A tv series based on them seemed like a great idea. Throw in two awesome mice and a housefly in a red sweater and you've got a good time. And who didn't think the love triangle between Chip/Gadget/and Dale was just to freaking adorable for words? (I always wanted her to get with Chip)

2. She-Ra: Princess of Power (1985-1987)
Girl Power never was so awesome. And I wish I had She-ra's skirt. She can do flips, cartwheels, kicks in midair, and it NEVER flashes her undies. I am truly jealous. haha. This was probably the first cartoon series I ever truly loved. I wanted to BE her. But I think my favorite character was Frosta, who I think was a queen of a frozen land on the planet of Etheria. There is an episode with her and He-Man that cracks me up everytime I watch it. She is ALL OVER him while She-ra and the other characters laugh, and He-Man blushes and makes excuses to get away. It's amazing!

1. X-Men: The Animated Series (1992-1997)
I would argue that this is the best cartoon ever, or at least the best cartoon about superheros ever, but I will not bore you with such....
Whether it is Rogue and Gambit's love that cannot be acted on because Rogue cannot touch another person with her skin without possibly killing them, Cyclops and Jean's never being able to be married without some catastrophe destroying the day, Wolverine's love fro Jean Grey even though she loves Cyclops more, or...well, you get the picture. The animation was beautifula nd truly brought the comics to life. The look JUST like their comic counterparts. Other than the last few eps where the animation changes and the voice actors for some of the characters (Gambit) changes to the worse, I can't find too much wrong with it. Well, there is a season 3 episode that doesn't air until season 5, and it is confusing because it is part of the Phoenix storyline. But, who can deny the show was much awesome over a delayed episode :P


Dawn said...

I love love loved She-Ra when I was a itty bitty wittle girl. *sigh* and yeah I so wanted to be kick ass like she was.

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