Most of my website is dedicated to things I like. Well, here's something I don't like: CAPTAIN PLANET! I'm sorry, but villains who cackle while they talk about polluting the earth just don't inspire me. There are very few animated shows these days that are really good to me. Sure, most of them are intended for young kids—and that's fine, but really, now. Are we supposed to have feelings for some of these moronic creations? Give me a break! Kids are much smarter than that. If I see one more non-violent, moral-ridden, so-called "action" show...
Oh, those older cartoons (starting with Popeye, no doubt) teach our kids that violence is the only answer! Well, occasionally it is, but that isn't the point; it's the parent's job to teach that. I see gratuitous violence as a release that's normal, and even therapeutic. Hell, after I sat through an entire episode of Captain Planet, I wanted to destroy something! (Or at least turn over the neighbor's garbage.) Some people out there say that the show is evil and is corrupting the minds of our children (because of the pagan Gaia/Earth worship thing.) I too believe it's evil, and corrupting the minds our children: it's retarding their creativity!
I will also mention those atrocious Saban shows—you know the ones—Power Rangers is the most easily recognized one of that foul bunch, a ripoff of an old Japanese superhero show called "The Five Rangers" The original show was kind of dumb, but it didn't have the transparently awful humor as well as the retarded side characters; the bad guys also got blown up, which is a huge plus to me. (Maybe that's why I like Japanese shows so much.) Just keep in mind that nearly all of those shows are "dumbed-down for American TV" versions of old Japanese shows. If you want to see a really good Japanese superhero, look for Inazuman. (There are VHS tapes floating around on the web.)
Thundercats: I got off on this show during my mid-teenage years. Choosing to ignore breathing and falling in space, lame laughter at the end, and Snarf constantly repeating his name, it was the best animated series that I ever saw on TV. The main villain, Mumm-Ra (seen above frying the captain) was by far the best bad guy I ever saw. Never mind the fact that he didn't win, he was treacherous, and inspired fear in the good guys. Lately, many shows treat their villains poorly: they are merely a nuisance. Mumm-Ra got wide-eyed terror for his trouble: he was much more powerful than any single Thundercat—it took several of them to defeat him, if you ignore the few times Lion-o got lucky. Anyway, if the good guys don't get scared, you really can't respect the bad guys, yes? He had this reflection weakness that used to upset me to no end, but they eliminated that later on in the series. (Whooo hoooo!) This is a show that should be brought back—perhaps with writers who understand physics.
Anything Anime: Okay, almost anything anime. I recently got addicted to "Ghost in the Shell" (From the same people who created Akira.) I knew I was in for a treat, but the sheer scale of the artwork that went into it was totally staggering. If you have a stereo VCR, it will kick your ass! The story was so deep I had to watch it twice to really understand it, and it was one hell of a ride. Visit Manga Video sometime and see what you've been missing. (Oh, yes: occasional cursing, nudity, realistic gunfights, and a head exploding helped too. Heh heh.)
Gargoyles: (Otherwise known as "Star Trek Guest-o-rama.") This show was very well done, had enough violence to satisfy me, and most of all: DEMONA! Even though USA network clipped a rather suggestive moment (involving Angela and Broadway) that I remember seeing, it's still worth watching. The animation is top-notch! See Jared's Art Gallery for an awesome Demona picture.
Fire and Ice: This will probably never be shown on TV, because most of the characters wear next-to-nothing, and many people die violently during the movie. This features the artwork of Frank Frazetta (a personal favorite of mine) and the mad animation (or rather: Rotoscoping) of Ralph Bakshi. There is a great villain in this: Nekron. If you see this, GET IT!
Transformers: Alien robots that turned into earth vehicles. Believe it or not, there was a decent plot around this. I was very addicted to this show when I was growing up, and the characters were very interesting to me. (Now, could someone please explain the "missing parts"? Certain characters have pieces that appear out of nowhere—Optimus Prime's trailer comes to mind, heh heh.) Favorite character: Devastator! Even if you don't like this show, check out the Transformers Movie that's in video stores, the first half alone is quite satisfying! (I guess it's easier to kill off a bunch of robots in these shows, eh?)
Transformers - Beast Wars: Yes, good enough to list separately. This show pulls off 100% computer animation in a big way. Sure, ReBoot did it first, but I wasn't quite as interested in it once the novelty wore off. TBW on the other hand, was quite fascinating. While it didn't have as much appeal to me as the original show, I watched it anyway. I just hope the forthcoming new series is decent. Favorite character: Black Arachnia.
Silverhawks: This show was made by the Thundercats people, and you can tell that most of the voice actors are the same. This show used to upset me because they started showing it right after they ended Thundercats on my TV station. Looking back, it was a cool show. Favorite character: I'll have to go with the main villain—Monstar. He was cool, even if he resembled Mumm-Ra a little too much.
Spiderman: Say what you will, it's still a fairly good show. Nothing on TV will be quite as deep as the comic books, but I still enjoy it. Favorite character: Venom!!!
X-Men: And to a lesser extent, Iron Man. Good stories, lots of action, and good animation. My only complaint is that we see Wolverine using his claws to go through walls, dig into dirt, but never into bad guys! Come on! (Okay, I suppose that would make it R-rated.) Anyway, I like it! Favorite character: Rogue! (Rrrowwrrr! Yeah, I picked a "good guy" for once. Heh heh.)
X-men - Evolution: I have mixed feelings about this show. While I do enjoy "all things X-men," I have a problem with the whole teenage school scene happening. Rogue was altered to resemble her movie counterpart (which wasn't bad, but it doesn't mesh with the other animated show.) Anyway, the stories I saw were pretty good, but I take them in a "parallel universe" sort of way. Hmm. Seeing many of these characters being portrayed as teenagers... this brings up memories of Muppet Babies and Tiny Toons (or am I just warped that way?)
G.I. Joe: So what if it was a show based on a line of action figures? So what if it was a little like the A-team? (You know, they perforate an entire town but never hit anyone.) I used to watch this show long ago, and I always wanted to see what Cobra Commander looked like underneath that hood. I remember a teaser where you see the back of his head and he's telling Destro, "it must be difficult, watching me eat." Needless to say, I was hooked.
Men In Black: Yes, I found myself watching this show, dumb humor and all. It must have been the weird alien designs that kept me coming back.
Well, that's it for now. I believe in keeping the earth clean, but not at the urging of some dumb-ass superhero. Do your kids a favor: let them watch the good stuff I mention above and watch it with them! Who knows? Maybe they'll grow up to be great artists!
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