Some things are remembered not because they are awesome, but because you have memories of them. I remember watching a number of lovely cartoons when I was little, and though they might not seem to be the most amazing cartoons to anyone else, I still have a soft corner for them, maybe because they remind me of some place, some long-gone time, and some happy memories.
Here’s a list of four cartoons I used to watch as a kid. Unfortunately they are rather obscure and most people I’ve talked to haven’t even heard about them. If you ask me how good or bad they are, I think my response would be biased, and I will always have good things to say.
I used to wake up early every morning when I was a kid growing up in Kenya, just to watch this cartoon. If you think you’ve heard the name ‘Ewoks’ before, you’re most probably right, because they are characters that appear in the original Star Wars – in The Return of the Jedi to be precise. This cartoon series banked on the famous Star Wars films to give it a strong footing in the animation world. It ran for 2 seasons from 1985-1987. However, it did not become very famous. The series followed the adventures of primarily four Ewok youngsters; Wicket, Kneesaa, Teebo and Latara. Wicket is the one who befriends Princess Leia in ROTJ by the way.
There were significant differences between the first and second seasons in terms of animation and storymaking. If you ask me, I would still say that I loved this series. It was quite well-animated (LucasArts), and the characters were fleshed-out. It was humorous and yet scary (for me as a kid) at some parts. I do not think any good DVD version of this series exists, and one that exists apparently does not have the original soundtrack. But this is something I would love to see on DVD, in its original form. Here’s a youtube link to an episode.
POPEYE AND SON
I gather that this series is rather infamous, especially among Popeye purists. However, it was the first Popeye cartoon I had watched in my life as it used to come on TV shortly after the Ewoks. Maybe this is why I loved it so much. As the name suggests, the cartoon revolved around the adventures of Popeye and Olive’s son Junior. Popeye’s nemesis Bluto also has a son, who as expected, is Junior’s enemy. This is quite a modernised version of Popeye, so don’t expect Popeye in a sailor costume. However, he does appear in various shirts and Olive Oyl seems to be pretty comfortable in pants. The show ran from 1987 to 1988 just for one season, and had thirteen episodes. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera.
Why do I love it? Well it got me to eat spinach. In this series, Junior also inherits his dad’s ability to gain superhuman strength after eating spinach. It also was real fun to watch Junior and his friends go on some adventures. I really miss this series, but I can also understand why people hate it. Apparently some episodes have been released on DVD in the UK, but I am not so sure. Here’s a youtube link which might come handy only if you speak Swedish (I don’t unfortunately).
My dad got this on tape when I was in Kenya. This absolutely hilarious cartoon series, which remains one of my favourites, unfortunately ran for only one season and had only 13 episodes. Too little I think. The name gives away a lot. In fact this series was sort inspired by the original Mission: Impossible series. Here, a team of cats and dogs (hounds) are sent on some very funny missions by their boss (whose face we never see). These characters and their very moody car go on some great adventures and misadventures, planning a way to celebrate their success, right when another message from their boss appears.
The show was aired on NBC in 1972. I am not sure if any DVD version exists, but I doubt it. Thankfully some episodes are available on youtube to watch. I loved this show because of its humour and characters. I wonder why they even stopped the show.
YOUNG ROBIN HOOD
I do not think many people are even aware that Hanna-Barbera had produced such a cartoon series. My dad got a few episodes of this cartoon on VHS when I was in Cambodia. I really fell in love with the series. I haven’t watched it since then, but the animation was really good and the story itself didn’t disappoint. Here Robin is a teenager and might I add, quite handsome as well. His group of Merry Men also feature, as does Maid Marian. A very swash swash buckle buckle type series.
The show ran from 1991 to 1992 for two seasons (26 episodes). I have not watched all episodes and I am not even sure this is available on DVD. I wish it were. It’s a series worth keeping. I wonder why it is so difficult to find online. In fact, no youtube video was available until February 2012, but now it is, thanks to some kind soul. So here is a link to an episode. Enjoy!