by Lakia Ross
I was, perhaps, one of the first generations of kids that had the TV as a part-time babysitter. There was no time more special — for me or my family — than Saturday mornings, where I could eat pancakes and watch 4-5 hours of cartoons, and the fam could actually get things done: like sleeping, grocery shopping, and or “just enjoy peace and quiet for one got-durn minute”….
Here are the 10 cartoons from the 80s that helped create the nerd I am today (in semi-chronological order):
Technically a product of the 40s and 50s, Looney Tunes was still going strong in the Saturday AM throughout the 80s. It was hard to choose my favorite episode: (Water, Water Every Hare, The Rabbit of Seville, Long-Haired Hare, Rabbit Fire) but, in the end, I went with What’s Opera, Doc?….Sexy Viking Bugs on that glorious, undulating fat horse…pure Chuck Jones animation GOLD!
When I win the lotto, I am making the Bugs Bunny Network. All classic Warner Bros, all the time. Cartoon Network can suck it…
Scifi turned fantasy? I am soooo THERE!!! “Hi I’m John Blackstar… Did I mention I’m John Blackstar? Anyway, I am John Blackstar…” Seriously they mention that like nine times in the intro. I think space travel has fried his frontal lobe.
LA LA LA LAH LA LA, LAAAH LA LA LUH LAH! What parents didn’t go stark-raving insane from hearing that smurfy theme song over and over and over. I even had a Smurfette birthday cake for my 6th or 7th bday. Did anyone else have this game on the Colecovision? Now those were some controllers….
Dungeons & Dragons
A cartoon based on the GAME???? An adorable unicorn baby with a serious throat-mucus problem? ::swooonnn:: Wait – Why, in the name of Uni’s unimaginative sobriquet, is sista-girl an acrobat?? I’ve played D&D for 30 years, and I NEVER had that Player Class in my Players Guide. That’s lamer than a halfling cleric.
…is an acrobat chaotic-neutral?
Really? We called the things in the walls mice, what have you been drinking Henry Bigg?? This cartoon is based off the book by the Guy who ripped off Mary Norton’s The Borrowers…
What’s cuter than monkeys? Super-fluffy-anime-MonkeyKins-in-cute-outfits-and-freckles-that-can-suck-their-thumbs!!! I had the dolls too, hurr hurr.
Jim Henson, fuck yeah! Although I always wished they would’ve done the puppets like in Muppets Take Manhattan.
Dammit! Kidd’s sleeveless shirt and ridiculous pants done woke up my preteen ladybits….
Pirates of Dark Waters
Started out as just DarkWater and was significantly, er, darker, until Turner took over HB and decided American kids were pussies and couldn’t handle it….
Garfield and Friends
Alas, this cartoon marked the end of my Saturday morning ritual, soon other things — friends, boyfriends, 4-H, dance, full-blown gawthy angst — would take over my Sat. Mornings. But I still break out into this theme song every once in a while….alternate opening song here.
1. Jem and the Holograms Truly, truly, truly Outrageous! Sorry Jem — you got bumped by Bugs. I can’t remember if it was Jem or Cyndi Lauper that had me dyeing my hair with Kool-Aid…
2. Disney’s Gummy Bears
3. Thundarr the Barbarian
4. Pee Wee’s Playhouse
5. Thundercats – Lion-O,if I ever have to make it with a ManCat, you’ll be my first choice.
Lakia is a WAHM graphic designer in Atlanta, Georgia. She is married to educator/animator Tony Ross; their daughter, Izzy, is two. When she is not chained to her Mac (most likely doing something for Jacki here at FnS), Lakia enjoys toddler-wrangling, reading, playing video games, watching cartoons, cooking, single malt hiskey,cross-stitching + other crafty stuff, and, shoes. Visit her website: lakiarosscreative.com.