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Editorial Reminisces About "Human" Nicktoons

 
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MASTERNC
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:34 am    Post subject: Editorial Reminisces About "Human" Nicktoons Reply with quote

I couldn't agree more with this article.

http://www.newsobserver.com/105/story/447478.html

Quote:
Everyone can smell the summer air. For me, this always exciting transition from school to summer has become a source of nostalgia. I remember lazy summer days -- blazing afternoons spent tossing Nerf balls and sending diving torpedoes in cool water at the pool, tangy lime freeze pops and golden grilled cheese sandwiches. And, of course, one of my favorite summer rituals was cartoon watching, maybe better termed cartoon absorption.
I was one of those kids who could flip on Nickelodeon and remain entranced for hours. Even if I had seen a rerun dozens of times, my fourth-grade mind would wrap itself excitedly around the 15-minute plot.

In my day, which admittedly is hardly the era of Looney Tunes, cartoons were wholesome -- not in a Cleaver family way, but in a relatable way. I felt as if I were living out the plot with my favorite main character.

Doug Funnie was the classic protagonist; Patti Mayonnaise, the classic crush; Skeeter Valentine, the classic best friend; and Roger Klotz, the classic bully. Doug was the kid's kid, and, as trite as it may sound, I felt as if his story were mine. He was the type of character who just wanted to do what was right, and I rooted for him. I watched "Doug" religiously.

Arnold was the same type of guy -- a fourth-grade kid living in an ethnic neighborhood in a city resembling New York. He too had his best friend, Gerald, and his crush, Lila, and his bully, Helga. Every possible situation drove the plot in "Hey Arnold!" I went with him and his friends to search for shapes in the clouds in Central Park, and I fought alongside him in that desperate attempt to save the favorite neighborhood oak tree. Arnold was a hero.

"Rocket Power" took place in a summery southern California town. And an afternoon spent with Otto and his friends really felt like summer. Granted, I was no surfer, but I still related to the kids on the show, as they competed, solved moral dilemmas and enjoyed stress-free, abundantly sunny summer days.

My younger sister, 10, is now at the same point I was when I loved these '90s cartoons. But from what she tells me about the cartoons on television now, the current version of the classic character seems seriously skewed. Just try on for size some of these timeless themes of childhood:

In "Avatar: The Last Airbender," characters living in another time and place are just like American kids, as they bend natural elements like air, fire, water and earth while fighting enemies of opposing kingdoms. And who couldn't relate to those sassy girls from "W.I.T.C.H.," who, with their supernatural powers, protect the center of the universe from strange, fantastical creatures wishing to harm it?

By watching "The Buzz on Maggie," kids experience the exhilarating life of a fly living in the city dump. And if kids are so simple-minded that they need a cartoon about an actual human, there's always "The Fairly Odd Parents," where young Timmy tries to outwit his evil baby sitter and apathetic parents by wishing for things from his eccentric fairy godparents. "American Dragon: Jake Long" tells a classic, heartwarming American story -- a Chinese-American boy carrying on his family legacy by transforming into a crime-fighting dragon; his crush is from a hunting clan that targets dragons, and training him is a 600-year-old dog.

Let's face it. Flipping on a cartoon these days means watching kids (or flies and dragons) with bizarre powers caught in bizarre kingdoms of mysticism. I'm not saying that kids shouldn't occasionally be transported to another world by the cartoons they watch, and I recognize that some of the cartoons from my childhood may have also been of the fantasy genre.

But it would be nice for kids to get to know that friendly Arnold, or the good guy Doug, or a fun, carefree Otto. My nostalgia obligates me to urge this.

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ottoman
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, Nick, the only way to bring interest back in Nick, is to go old school again. Très content Old school Nicktoons were the best, except RP, which IMO is the best ever! Très content

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tommy_baby
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's right. Old Nick can be related, but Nicktoons of the present may have some too. MAY. I mean, there arn't many pig pink idiots or Boy Genuises to be entirely honest, but there are others. I can relate too...

Timmy: I'd make a lot of thought-less wsihes too.
Danny: Let's face it. I'm not popular.
Arnold: Don't we all?
Tommy: I let my imagination control my life at times.

That's about it.

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knoodelhed
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah! What Greg (article author) said. Some of the "bizarre" cartoons are neat, but the cartoons about mortal characters who could be real are interesting because ...well, they could be real. Très content
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Mike2000
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally agree with that. I don't know much about the newer cartoons - they haven't succeeded on interesting me. Of the few shows I've been watching on Nick lately, the only ones I might like are AGU (because of the reasons Scott said... these kids might be real), and perhaps, and only perhaps Avatar and Danny Phantom, and those only because they are starred by human kids, though both of them are a tad too... adventurous for me. Embarassé

But I must confess I'm becoming sort of a Nick-at-night addict myself! Très content Not that I can watch Nickelodeon at any other time of the day, even if I wanted... huh Anyway; down here they are airing many of the live-action shows I remember from my childhood and adolescence, from the Munsters and the Addams Family and Bewitched to Alf, Diff'rnt Strokes and Step by Step. Now if only they aired Tim Allen's "Home improvement" too... Tire la langue
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick is interested in genres that aren't in our everyday lives and viewers enjoy that. It can get boring to watch an average, normal cartoon. Viewers taste change overtime. Sure some cartoons are nostalgic of different times and that works. These cartoons today are different from another generation from the one before, but they somewhat carry an element or two or even a style of animation that is applied in their cartoon today.

Nick will find another Spongebob-type cartoon in a couple of years, its just the creator will have to step up the plate and deliver to the viewers.

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tommy_baby
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knowing Nick, it'll have to be a very big plate!

I admit, you can't relate to some of them (Spongebob, Catscratch) but some still have that goodness. FOP, with Timmy who, like all of us, will wish for something stupid and senceless. Zim, with Dib who is that complete dork you find almost everywhere (like me!). Danny Phantom, with Danny who gets bullied constantly. Jimmy Neutron, where you have a obbsessed but still cool guy in Sheen.

Nostalgia remains. Here's to Nick!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

other relatable nicktoons:
the angry beavers:how you can sometimes feel isolated
the wild thornberries:kind of like tab,except lifting your pain to someone/somewhere else.
catdog:how sometimes you feel like you and your best friend is exactly like you.
aaahhh!!!real monsters:how oyu think that your life is a dump,but you still live through it everyday.
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Rugrat
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow! I think the exact same thing, all the time. That article was very well written, btw: I really enjoyed the sarcastic rips off of all the new cartoons.
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