Posted: 10/28/2009

 

Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s and 1970s Collection Vol. 2

(2009)

by Laura Tucker




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If there’s one thing my kids have a hard time comprehending, it’s the difference between their entertainment choices now and what ours were when we were their age. We didn’t get our first VCR until I was 17, we didn’t get cable until in was in junior high, and even then it was just HBO, TBS, a NYC station, and three network stations from Rockford. We couldn’t watch whatever we wanted when we wanted. Cartoons were saved for Saturday mornings on network TV and sometimes after school on UHF stations. I snatched up the chance to show them what our Saturday mornings used to be like.

Warner Bros. has just released Volume 2 of their Saturday Morning Cartoons series from the 1960s and 1970s. Volume 1, of course, had the more popular cartoons that we remember, so Volume 2 is slightly more obscure. Either way, I remember them, and I still maintain my stance that these are better than Spongebob Squarepants. From the 1960s, the two CD set includes The Jetsons, Bugs Bunny, Magilla Gorilla, Tom and Jerry, Snooper and Blabber, Foghorn Leghorn, and many more. From the 1970s, we have Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, more Tom and Jerry, the Hair Bear Bunch, Valley of the Dinosaurs, Pepe LePew, The Banana Splits, and more.

It was so fun to revisit all these. There were so many interesting things I saw as an adult. For one, the music was actually pacifying now. I would never listen to the Spongebob theme song and find it pacifying, but the music that was behind these old cartoons was. It was just filled with memories and of simpler times. If you asked me to hum a few bars, I couldn’t, but listening to it just had me remembering and saying, “Yeah …”

It was also hard not to notice how far animation has come since then. Everything now is so much more realistic (Okay, that would be realistic if sponges in the bottom of the sea could talk). I’m looking at movement of bodies. When they ran, their hands were often held flat to the sides. The main characters had real eyes, where the background characters just have solid black dots. Many of the characters that came out of Hanna Barbera look like Flintstones characters.

But the one thing that was stunning to notice was how politically incorrect these were for the large part. Not that I minded it, but I just kept thinking they’d never get away with that now. In a cartoon with Pepe LePew, he pretended to be despondent over his intended denying his affections once again, started pouting, put a pistol to his head and started moping away. Can you imagine that going down now? There’s no way.

By the time we watched these DVDs, I think my kids had an appreciation for the old stuff, but they’re definitely not ready to give up the newer cartoons. And I had a great time reminiscing, event though I saw the limitation in the style of animation and the political incorrectness. It was still a great walk down memory lane.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker is the webmaster of Reality Shack, and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, and is a freelance writer providing reviews of movies and television, among other things, at Viewpoints. She is also an Associate Instructor and 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts. Laura can be reached at LauraBelle@realityshack.com



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