I loved cartoons growing up. The first of many geeky addictions, right up there with my proclivity for eating Cheetos like they were a dietary necessicity. It was all pretty much “oohh, bright colors and rock music. Must watch cartoon.” (I am so easily lead.) They were the first form of art that I totally fell in love with. Cartoons affected me a lot as a kid, as they taught me many lessons. I learned about racism watching “X-Men”, “Looney Tunes” taught the importance of a well placed pun and I learned about tragedy when I saw Optimus Prime die in “Transformers The Movie (1985)”. Given the choice between comics and cartoons, I'd take cartoons first. I lived for watching anything animated. Cartoons made me think anything was possible. The mix of fantasy, sci-fi and action fueled my daydreams. “Transformers” made me imagine ways my dad's truck would turn into a robot. “Thundercats”, I actually thought I could get a Thundertank when I got my license. “Inspector Gadget” made me think I could become a famous investigator .... with bionic super gadgets. I even watched “JEM and The Holograms” because I liked rock music. Did you get that?! “JEM”! I'm not proud of it.
Even the simple joy of waking up early Saturday morning to watch cartoons was a little different for me. And I mean early! Like 'getting up at 6:45 in the AM to watch “The Mighty Hercules” before “The Smurfs” came on' early. I loved cartoons so much, I consulted the TV guide the way a D&D Dungeon Master consults the Monster Manual so I could maximize my viewing habits and make sure I caught “TaleSpin” and “Chip 'n' Dale's Rescue Rangers” everyday without fail. My chores also made for interesting programming choices too. I'd work just hard enough to impress my parents, then run for the remote. I helped my grandmother on Saturdays by vacuuming her house for her. That being said, I would time it so well that I could finish watching “Spider-man” (the '67 version, of course) then dash across the road, vacuum and haul ass back just in time for “He-Man & The Masters of the Universe.”
Cartoons didn't just held sway over me on Saturday mornings, but Monday to Friday afternoons too! I would sometimes do my homework on the school bus, just so I would not be interrupted while the Ninja Turtles slapped Shredder around before throwing him back into Dimension X. (You'd think they would aim for a maximum security prison once in a while.) Then, I'd watch “DuckTales” and wish I could swim in Uncle Scrooge's money bin. Thank God my mom was kind enough to let me know hard money was and save me some brain trauma. I also watched “Power Rangers”, but that's was mainly because I was such a “Transformers” addict, I'd watch anything involing shape-changing robots. Some of my childhood heroes even had animated series. Chuck Norris and his “Karate Kommandos” defended the world and Mr. T revealed he was not only a badass, but a darn fine gymnastics coach in “Mister T.” I did want to learn karate, but I knew for damn sure that this boy was not built for gymnastic competitions.
I guess, in the end, that maybe ... maybe my dad was right and I spent WAY too much time watching cartoons as a kid. But you know what? I kick ass at TV trivia!