I wrote this in response to a Facebook post by my old friend Femi aka The Drifish (www.anartkeymusic.com). Femi listed his top 10 non-anime animated series, going on to defend many of his choices and omissions by expressing that most adults name the cartoons they grew up with out of nostalgia, while he never stopped watching cartoons and thus could acknowledge how much the genre has grown in recent years. Because I was unable to counter such logic, I opted to proceed in an entirely different direction, as you’ll see here!
“I must admit, Femi, your points have been well-thought out and strongly supported as usual. You clearly know what you like and why you like it, and your assertion that most older cartoons have not aged gracefully is a fair one.
However, in the words of Uncle from the Jackie Chan Adventures: “One moooore thing!” I must submit for your perusal these bygone gems which you most surely must have overlooked; all of them poignant in their groundbreaking, artfully-rendered tale-telling timelessness!
10. Beverly Hills Teens: ‘Twas a cartoon about rich kids solving their problems with money. To dislike it would be outright . . un-American.
9. Bigfoot: The humanity which was given to that everloving big blue monster truck was simply . . wow. Knight Rider had not a thing on it.
8. Dick Tracy: This product of the 60′s has been latter-day-panned for its racist stereotypes. But considering who just got voted into the White House invoking just such stereotypes, I can only consider this to be proof of its forward-thinking brilliance. Well done, Dick! (You’ll also notice the graphic inspiration for your beloved Samurai Jack, particularly in the episode when Jack was dressed up like an old-school gangster. Clearly there would be no Jack without Dick. If you disagree, you don’t know Jack . . I mean, you don’t know Dick!)
7. Snorks: It was like The Smurfs except . . underwater! Like they put the ‘surf’ in the ‘Smurfs’! Everything’s better when wetter. (Well, except Gremlins.)
6. The (Fake-Me-Out) Ghostbusters: Not to be confused with “Slimer and The Real Ghostbusters”. Oh no. We’re going all original here, with an ape as a supporting character and no connection at all to the source material. The villain’s name was Prime Evil. Get it? That’s one of them double entendres; fancy French stuff!
5. Gobots: ‘I got the props pon cock; f*ck the know-nots /
Whose techniques are weaker than the graphics for the Gobots . . ‘ ~ Tame One of the Artifacts, ‘Cummin’ Thru Ya F*ckin’ Block’
Sacrilege! Anyone unwilling to admit to the clear superiority of Leader-1 and company over those knockoff Transformers sounds like the true “know-not”. Shame on Tame One! Perhaps Cy-Kill and the Renegades should commence an all-out ‘attack on New Jerusalem’!
4. Jem and the Holograms: The music. (‘Mischief! We’re makin’ mischief! Makin’ miiiissschief!’) The intrigue. (Rio just kissed Jem not knowing that Jem is really his girlfriend Jerrica. A setup? So that’s where Jelisa got the idea to set Walter up with that phony Ja-fakin’ persona in that one episode of A Different World!) The excellence of this cartoon is exceeded only by the luminosity of the live action film it recently yielded. And speaking of which . .
3. The Super Mario Bros. Super Show: Upper-echelon animation. Superb storytelling. A shining pearl in the grand tradition of other outstanding video-game-based-cartoons such as Pac-Man, Sonic, and Street Fighter. And the predecessor of one of the finest film adaptations known to man.
2. Hammerman: 2 Legit! 2 Legit 2 Quit! Hey, heyyyyy!
1. Street Frogs: The utter quintessence of animated excellence. The pinnacle of pop culture. What the Ninja Turtles aspire to be in their mutant teenage dreams. There is, simply, nothing better. ‘Who can do hip hop better than a frog can? Street Frogs!’”