Times change and so do the cartoon serials that we so fondly used to watch when we were kids. The company of some awesome cartoons made our growing up exciting and full of adventure. Serials like Duck Tales, Tale Spin, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, etc., kept us glued to the television sets afterschool and during Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Brilliantly dubbed in Hindi, these anthropomorphic cartoons where animals were displayed living and behaving like humans, were perfectly written and executed. Mostly filled with adventures, they had the perfect mix of elements that made sense to us children. Gadgets, intriguing storylines, magic, good guys beating bad guys – they had everything to make your childhood an awesome place to be.
That was the 90s. It’s more than two decades now and animation has went beyond Walt Disney’s wildest imagination. The concept of 3D animation brought a flood of toon shows that is mostly abound with superheroes. Ben 10, Chhota Bheem, you name it.
In fact, they aren’t even denoted as ‘cartoons’ anymore. ‘Animation’ or ‘anime’ is the word people commonly prefer. Of course, that is the correct and more accurate terms for the shows, but calling it ‘cartoons’ strikes a deeper chord, right?
I still wonder why they haven’t changed the name of the channel from “Cartoon Network” to “Animation Network” or something relevant.
Anyway, let’s take a walk down the memory lane and recall those good old days of cartoon serials, which taught us – you don’t always need a superhero to save the day:
Obviously, this comes first. The exciting adventure tales of Scrooge McDuck, world’s wealthiest duck, with his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, was the most loved toon show. For those of you who don’t know, it was Disney’s most successful animated series that paved the way for future Disney cartoons, such as Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, and Darkwing Duck. And, we bet whoever has watched the show can easily recall the lines of its title track- “Zindagi toofani hai, jaha hai, Duckberg. Gaadiya, lasers, hawaijahaz, ye…..”
Storyline: Uncle Donald joins the U.S. Navy and leaves his 3 nephews under the care of his elder brother, Scrooge McDuck, who lives in Duckburg. Other important characters include, Gyro the scientist, and Launchpad, the pilot infamous for his crash-landing skills.
Meet a wannabe-hotshot pilot who has a penchant of landing right in the middle of trouble every time. Bearish Baloo and his sidekick/navigator, Kit Cloudkicker, looms large in our memories for many reasons. The perfect mix of action, mystery, and Baloo’s lovable character gave Tale Spin the second spot after Duck Tales as the most loved toon show of the time. Plus, it had an excellent theme song like DT.
Storyline: Baloo flies a cargo plane with navigator Kit for a company “Higher for Hire” owned by Rittika Mahalingam, out of the city of Cape Suzette. Other main characters were Pantar, the mechanic, Louie, Baloo’s friend, and Shere Khan, an extremely wealthy and ruthless businessman.
Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers
Chip and Dale, along with friends Monterey Jack and Gadgets form a team of Rescue Rangers and start a detective agency to solve cases.
Storyline: Two chipmunks open a detective agency and deal with crimes that are “too small” to be handled by the police.
Winnie the Pooh
Aired during Saturday mornings, the tales of a teddy bear Pooh and his friends taught the real meaning of friendship and other different morales of life.
Storyline: Winnie-the-Pooh, or Pooh, is an overweight honey-loving silly teddy bear. Along with friends Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga, and Roo, they deal with different situations everyday and learn from their mistakes.
Adventures of the Gummi Bears
Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears defended its name to the fullest. Written wonderfully, each episode of this fantasy-themed cartoon promised adventure like no other toon show at the time.
Storyline: A clan of dwarfish bears secretly live beneath a hollow tree and harvest berries for a tonic that puts bounce in their steps. Considering their magical and mechanical advancements, they choose to live relatively unknown to the humans of the world. However, they are not very good at that.
Timon & Pumbaa, Goof Troop, Darkwing Duck, 101 Dalmatians – they were all live in action and adventure. And, while those 2D animations lacked the improved visual perspective brought by CGI nowadays, we believe those were still more personally appealing. The fact that some real talented artists spent hours drawing to create our all-time favorite toon shows frame-by-frame actually made more impact than today’s animation series, which is getting lost in CGI.