If you were one of those kids who spent hours in front of the TV, then cartoons definitely have a special place in your memories. The production of such programs is an amazing craft, that thanks to its animators made impossible worlds and figures come to life. Here is my small list of some great cartoon classics that never seem to get old.
The famous one-eyed sailor made his first appearance on a comic in January 1929. After gaining some popularity, Popeye eventually made his debut with Betty Boop cartoon in 1933. It was not long after he would star his own cartoon series, Popeye the Sailor from Paramount Pictures. The fact that he was able to get extra strength by eating spinach would increase the sales of the food and make it one of the favorites among kids for a good time. The industry eventually erected a Popeye statue Crystal City to thank him for this accomplishment.
Curiously, in some versions of the comics, Popeye could also get his strength by rubbing the head of a hen, and also eating some oatmeal. The comics also created the term “wimp” as a reference for some of its characters. Popeye had his own musical comedy film in 1980, with Robin Williams in the role, but received negative reviews and reactions from critics. Popeye would eventually make a comeback on a new animated movie in 2016 in the hands of the director Genndy Tartakovsky, but he walked away from the project and its production and release were delayed.
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A renowned franchise that was distributed and made available over 10 cartoons series for several decades. The basic story involves a group of characters who investigate and solve several mysteries in different places through their “Mystery Machine” van. Scooby, the star of the show, is a rather coward dog, but that somehow is able to solve some great secrets of the plot sometimes. The original series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! made its debut on CBS in 1969 with a total of 25 episodes, and would eventually move to ABC.
Scooby-Doo also made into a series of TV films and spin-offs, becoming one of the most popular titles in the history of animation. The later series and films were never able to reproduce the great hit of the original, but the whole franchise still running today on different channels, making it the longest running animated series on TV. There were four live action films release by Warner Bros, and the first two did great on theaters box office, despite the negative critics. The last two films were released on TV and Home Video with a different cast.
photo credit: Wall Art HD
#3 Looney Tunes
A series of animated short films produced by Warner Bros. It first aired on 1930 as musical shorts for music promotion, and would later earn extra attention and significance with charismatic characters and funny plots. The acclaimed success extended through books, video games, music albums and even amusement park themes. Bugs Bunny, as one of the most charismatic characters, became a cultural icon and the most prominent of the series. Curiously, Porky was one of the first characters to appear, as others like Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and Sylvester would be introduced later.
Looney Tunes also faced some controversy on certain episodes regarding several issues, like racist stereotypes and warfare propaganda, that were considered inadequately relevant and influential at some point in the past. The huge success of the series would encourage the production of spin-offs with real actors interacting with cartoon characters, like Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Space Jam. Looney Tunes is responsible for shaping the way cartoons are produced and is now considered one of the best cartoon franchises of all time.
photo credit: Wallpaper Abyss
#2 Woody Woodpecker
Created by Walter Lantz in 1940, who gave life to Woody Woodpecker, a non-sense bird that made us grin with his over the top situations and stupid pranks. His unique comical traits and wicked behavior made him a lovable character, with a remarkable laugh became a regular joke during the show. He would eventually have his personality reshaped and evolved for a more sane and refined, but still followed with messy and noisy actions. The series introduced funny stories, along with several support characters as his friends and foes. Walter Lantz even starred in some scenes with his infamous character, who annoyed him for the most part of it.
The series was produced by the Universal Pictures and gone through several redesigns until Lantz closed down the studio in 1972 due to production costs. Woody Woodpecker today is considered a mascot for the Universal Studios, making appearances on some of its parks and as a merchandising icon. The recent comeback as Woody Woodpecker Show on Fox Network would bring a great return to the well-known characters in the late 90s, with a modern look and updated jokes and plot development.
photo credit: Woody Woodpecker Wikia
#1 Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerry is an animated TV series created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera in 1940 for MGM. It shows the never-ending rivalry between cat and mouse, with comic chases full of funny, hilarious, and sometimes painful, situations. The series had several shows in the hands of many great artists and their own personal styles, and even a version with 34 shorts by Chuck Jones, who also gave life to Looney Tunes characters Wile E Coyote and Roadrunner. The original series won seven Academy Awards as a short film during its first run on MGM, and was considered one of the greatest television shows by TIME.
There is some criticism against the show regarding its violence (despite being purely comic and with no blood), but to this day no research have ever indicated that this may have some effect on kids’ behavior in their adult life. The series celebrated its 75th anniversary in May this year – a great feat for an animated TV series. Tom and Jerry also featured on special TV shows and films, and a new series in 2014 on the Boomerang channel. With funny jokes and entertaining action, the series still brings us a lot of fun and joy to this day, captivating an audience of kids and adults worldwide.
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Since its inception, cartoons never ceased to amaze us with its captivating characters, funny jokes and incredible storytelling. In this new era of computer graphics, they still have a special place as a form of entertainment, inspiring kids and adults for this and future generations.