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Ein Ganzer Sommer

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Life in cartoon motion...

Last week I finally managed to download and watch Michael Bay's "Transformers: The Movie"", and no Reader, this post is not going to be a review of that 144 minutes of glorious CGI that left me stunned and speechless for a good half hour after the end credits vanished into darkness, and kept my eyes peeled for Camaros and 18-Wheelers over the next two days on the streets of London.

Yes I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and yes, unlike many Transformer purists, I have already forgiven Mr Bay for not keeping with "Bumblebee" being a Volkswagen and making "Jazz" sound like a ghetto thug... Instead, I will thank Mr Bay for re-enacting an almost forgotten institution that every child of the 80's would remember with fondness. Cartoons in the 80s were exciting and funny and cheesy and outrageous all at once and (thank God!!) made long before political correctness went silly. It was the standard routine to rush back after a morning session of school, mop up as much homework as you could before 4 pm and then plonk in front of the television for a daily inoculation of MASK, HE-Man, Masters of the Universe, Scooby-Doo, Tiny Toons, Dinosaucers, Dungeons and Dragons, Count Duckula, Heathcliff... awwwww Lo-o-oord! The list could go on and on and on...

Funny thing I realise now - I probably never watched any cartoons before the 80s. Cartoons were always frowned upon in my family as being violent and brash splashes of colour that kept me from completing my Math homework, and so I had to watch them on the sly. My mother kept me under very close scrutiny throughout my primary school days, and my TV diet then consisted of Michael Landon's Little House on the Prairie at 7.30 pm garnished with two little squares of a Cadburys Fruit and Nut Bar before I went to bed. Yes, those were the days when I was made to go to bed at 8.30, and I invariably fell asleep and into dreams of running through daisy dusted meadows and fishing in creeks chock full of little trout. I got a little Mickey Mouse from time to time of course, but my exposure to animation was set firmly within the boundaries of wholesome Disney for a good while, until I turned 12.

My most vivid memories of my secondary school days include me and my sister sitting in my living room, our eyes fastened on a flashing cartoon, and our ears straining towards the front door for footsteps or a jangle of keys. The moment I heard any kerfuffle behind the door, it was all systems go for the both of us. Operation Cover Up was a marvel of skill and speed - rivalling even good ol' Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michaelangelo in all their "Turtle Power". Within three seconds, I would fling myself towards the power point and flick the switch off; my sister would smooth out the couch free of any tell-tale creases; and the piece of genius I was responsible for was the cold wet cloth we kept nearby, which we very quickly draped over the top of the TV for a whole two seconds to cool off the hot surface. My father would come home, and among the first habitual things he did after he took off his shoes, was to run his hand over the top of the TV to detect if we had been watching those confounded cartoons again. Naturally, if Operation Cover Up failed (as it did on more than one occasion) we resorted to Operation Run Away... which was a last ditch effort to escape the "rotan" (a long thin bamboo-like stick my father kept in his room) which had no difficulty in finding out the location of our most tender and sensitive skin. Ouch!!!

So what was your favourite 80s cartoon Reader? Didn't you just LOVE those theme songs!? Can you remember this one?

Masked Crusaders, working overtime, Fighting crime, fighting crime!
Secret Raiders who will neutralise, as soon as they arrive (at the site!)
Trakkers gonna lead the mission...
And Spectrum's got such super vision!
Muh Muh Muh Muh M.A.S.K!!
It's the mighty power that can save the day...
Muh Muh Muh Muh M.A.S.K!!!
No-one knows what lies behind the masquerade...
Muh Muh Muh Muh M.A.S.K!!!
Always riding hot on Venom's trail...
Come see the laser rays...

Or what about this?

Life is like a hurricane
here in Duckburg
Race cars, lasers, aeroplanes -
it's a duck blur
You might solve a mystery
or rewrite history Duck Tales, Oo-oo
Tales of daring-do, bad and good luck tales, oo-oo
...D-d-d-danger, watch behind you -
there's a stranger out to find you
What to do? Just grab onto some Duck Tales, oo-oo!
Not pony tails or cotton tails but Duck Tales, oo-oo!

Or this one:

Heathcliff, Heathcliff, no one should
Terrify their neighborhood
But Heathcliff just won't be outdone
Playing pranks on everyone...
...The gang will reign supreme
And no one can deny
They'll make some history
And always have an alibi
So join in the jubilee
The cats are great, they'll all agree
You'll find in each calamity
The cat's superiority

Remember the time when it was all about these little blue creatures in the forest?

La, la, la, la, la, la, sing a happy song
La, la, la, la, la, la, Smurf the whole day long
(whistle) - Smurf along with me
(whistle) - simple as can be
Next time you're feeling blue just let a smile begin
Happy things will come to you so Smurf yourself a grin.

(Gargamael speaks) "Ooh, I hate Smurfs! I'll get you, I'll get all of you, If it's the last thing I'll ever do!"

La, la, la, la, la, la, now you know the tune
La, la, la, la, la, la, you'll be Smurfing soon.

and remember when every one knew the words to this one:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,
Heroes in a half shell
Turtle power!

Splinter taught them to be ninja team,(he's a radical rat)
Leonardo lead's, Donatello does machines.(that's a fact jack)
Rapheal is cool but crude,(give me a break)
Michaelangelo is a party dude.(party)

Well Reader... what can I say... they don't make 'em now like they used to hey?!
I found these cartoon montages on YouTube, and watched them through with a mixture of nostalgia and embarrassment last night. So, why don't you do the same, and then let me know which ones you still remember and smile about...

And I promise not to laugh if you admit that you liked "My Little Pony and Friends"... (*snicker!!*)



Criekey said...

I think I was a 90s kid - but I totally LOVED the Transformers.
Trasformers more than meets the eye.... Lov-vit!

anon no more said...

I actually liked Strawberry Shortcake! Terrible!!! I am so ashamed...

Anonymous said...

I liked My Little Pony... and because of that I will remain anonymous...

Riverman~~~ said...

nevermind, I forgive you... Now come clean - Who are you???

Anonymous said...

Won't say! Nya-nyah-nyah!

lara said...

I think I still have a old video cassette of the Smurfs. It's probably worth a lot right now. Not that I intend to part with it!

mf said...

I really liked He-Man, but who the hell was Shera? Some twin sister of He-Man? I never saw her on the box.

Jackie said...

Shera - a first attempt at Zena!

Jammy C said...

I likes Mighty Mouse! Remember him? This little mouse that could do all sorts of things and flew on a rocket...

jericho said...

I loved the Smurfs! Gargamael and Azriel rock! I actualy went to the garden and searched for them!

anon no more said...

A mouse on a rocket! Hmmm! It would only be in a cartoon!

GGH said...

For me it was Speedy Gonzales. Love the song too! No idea about the words though...

mf said...

Beep Beep!
Love it!

Riverman~~~ said...

I liked the coyote!So sad but true.

Yvonne said...

hey riverman~~, thanks for the walk down nostalgia lane. i absolutely enjoyed transformers and mask. did u watch this other cartoon - "centurion"??

Jabba said...

Transformers was a cut above the rest, for the character development.

I still remember those Insecticons, constantly agitating against their Decepticon overlords. "Let's get out of here, out of here. It's a Decepticon ambush, ambush."

Gargoyles was also great (but short-lived).

Riverman~~~ said...

Hey Yvonne, Yeah! Totally LOVED Centurions too. But I will go with Jabba on Transformers. The series was before its time.

Never watched Gargoyles though...

lara said...

Have you watched Marco - about this little boy that lost his parents and then went all around the world to try and find them?

really sad and sweet.

Samantha Richardson said...

Thanks for this post. I have been looking for pages on old cartoons and this one seemed to cover most of the stuff I used to watch during my childhood.

Good memories!

6767Poncho said...

Another LHOTP fan! Yeah!

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