STAFF PICKS: OLD SCHOOL CARTOONS

Susan
Sailor Moon

For my favourite old school cartoon I have to go with the story of a magical blonde girl with special powers who was chosen to defend the world from the forces of evil. Nope, not Buffy.

“Fighting evil by moonlight, Winning love by daylight, Never running from a real fight, she is the one named Sailor Moon!”

Serena started off as a clumsy, underachieving, and ditsy blonde 14-year old (in other words, more of a regular kid) and through the course of the series became a noble, heroic, mature woman as she realized her true identity as the reincarnated Princess of the Moon. Which also involved a lot of short, short sailor skirts and kicking some gem monster ass.

As an adult, I can better appreciate the fact that the series not only featured strong warrior women who were still loving and sexy, but also an actual lesbian love relationship between Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune.

I’ve only seen the far more heavily censored English dubbed versions of the TV series, but the manga has recently been re-released and depending on what happens with rights, maybe a DVD set or the TV series will be released again soon.

Jenelle
Beetlejuice

As an adult, I have pretty much outgrown cartoons save for the occasional South Park or Simpsons episode. I will, however, sit down and watch Beetlejuice if it’s on.

Beetlejuice, which ran from 1989-1991, is a fantastic animated series following the adventures of Lydia Deetz and her best friend Beetlejuice, who happens to be a slimy, crude and shapeshifting ghost. The cartoon is loosely based on the film of the same name.

Lydia, a social misfit in her clean-cut town, has the power to call Beetlejuice into the Living World and she also has the power to visit the Neither world—the creepy, macabre alternate reality that BJ hails from.

The show, which was Directed and Executive Produced by Tim Burton himself, can still be enjoyed in all of its campy goodness on Teletoon Retro.

Tormaigh
Dick Tracy

The Dick Tracy Show (1961-1962) is my favorite cartoon. No, it wasn’t a part of the Saturday morning cartoon lineup of my day. I actually came across it at about age 13 on VHS. At first, I assumed I was too old for it, but we only had farmer-vision, so of course I popped it into the VCR one night. I fell in love with it instantly. Only 130 five-minute episodes exist, and my VHS tape had 10 of them.

The show has of a catalogue of stereotyped, less-than-smart cops and robbers with hysterical accents, ridiculous plots, simple animation, bullets whizzing everywhere never hitting anyone, and cheesy one-liners to close each episode. It was pulled from the air in the 70s and 80s because it was considered by some to be racially insensitive. Now, it can be found on Netflix. Go figure.

Mary
Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop is a notorious anime for a number of reasons. Any descriptions given do Cowboy Bebop little justice; you would have to watch it to understand the sheer charisma within. To keep it simple, Cowboy Bebop is in a stylistic league all its own with only the 2002-2003 TV series Firefly coming close.

Cowboy Bebop is packed with philosophical themes including existentialism, existential boredom and loneliness. We follow five lost individuals who become a team of bounty hunters  aboard the space ship Bebop. Each episode is something new full of humor, misgivings and personal tragedies constantly edging closer to the final solution.

Cowboy Bebop isn’t fluff; it is about life for better or for worse. You will have good days and bad  days and days which will haunt you until your demise. Why is Cowboy Bebop worth your time? Simply, Cowboy Bebop is like an animated reflection of life—electrifying.

Chris
The Raccoons

I chose some Canadian content for my favorite childhood cartoon – The Raccoons – but it wasn’t until I tried to explain why I liked it that I realized what an impact it actually had on me.

 
Originally broadcast on CBC from 1984-1991, The Raccoons follows a group of environmentalist forest animals who attempt to foil the plans of industrialist aardvark Cyril Sneer to destroy the Evergreen Forest. With the help of their friends, Bert and Melissa Raccoon operate the local newspaper and fend off the advance of Sneer’s corporation week after week.

 
This cartoon may have had more of a direct influence on my life than I ever thought, considering how it has turned out thus far. I’m not sure if I’ve based the moral code I’ve developed as an adult on a childhood cartoon, or if I should be angry with the CBC.

Dylan
Dragonball Z

I watched a lot of shows when I was growing up. From Hey Arnold to Beasties, I watched them all. However, when the question of my favorite childhood television show arises, the only possible choice would have to be Dragonball Z. The epic story line, the epic battles, and the epic animation make Dragonball Z force to be reckoned with in the industry of badass. And let’s not forget about the awesome Super Saiyans. Seems like only yesterday I was watching Gohan turn into Super Saiyan 2 and making Cell his beeotch. There is one thing I couldn’t stand about this show: It took approximately ten episodes of standing around for some Super Saiyan goodness to happen, along with other epic and non-epic things. And don’t get me started on the Spirit Bomb boredom caused during Goku’s fight with Frieza. Gawwlllh.

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