Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Saturday, April 28, 2007

'Toons Of My Yoot

The Pink Panther Didn't Always Sell Insulation...

Tripping lightly down the meme-trail, we take Velociman's lead and explore the influential animatoons of our childhood...

There's cartoons you watch, and there's cartoons that change you... Make you look at things from a completely different perspective...

Now, I loved me some Saturday morning 'toonage. Like most red-blooded Amurrican yoots, I stumbled to the family room at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning and fired up the Zenith console TV, then dashed to the kitchen for the box of Honeycomb cereal as the tubes warmed up. Then, it was 4 uninterrupted hours of laughter and mayhem, until the dreaded noon hour arrived with the unwelcome interruption of Soul Train and the local news.

I really like the Warner Brothers creations, and am quite fond of the singing frog. I can still sing the Banana Splits theme song and remember well those odd live action/animation hybrids that show aired. Few cartoons have ever shown themselves to be as witty or subtle as the Pink Panther episodes. And Bullwinkle... Oh, my. If you don't absolutely love "Moooose undt Sqwerl", well, Wossamotta U?

As much as I loved those cartoons, as soon as the TV was off, they ceased to have influence on my brain. They are what they were designed to be, light, breezy entertainment.

No, it took a much darker type of 'toon to make a real influence.

My pal Rockhauler's gonna shit kittens when he reads this next bit, 'cause he really really hates this show. Still, I loved it so much I would run the 2 miles home from school to be in time for the show to start, 'cause waiting for the bus to get me home would make me 20 minutes late.

Here's the opening theme song... Some of you might remember this.

I was too young to know what anime was... All I knew was that this new-fangled 'Star Blazers' creation was a kick-ass cartoon! It was like nothing I'd ever seen before... When people got blown up, they didn't dust themselves off and snap their beak back into place! They were blowed-up dead! It had a real sense of drama and loss, and you grew attached to the characters and the story.

Now, in all honesty, I have to say that 30 years later I find it almost unwatchable. Animation has improved exponentially, and there's much better anime to be found, if you're into that style of 'toon. At the time, though, it was all I could talk about.

Here's the link to Second Season (Comet Empire) intro theme, and the Space Cruiser Yamato closing theme in one clip.

There was another animated film that arrived not long after Star Blazers that had a significant impact on my life. I bet most of y'all will remember this movie:

If 'Star Blazers' had me sitting up at attention, 'Heavy Metal' had this pre-teen boy jumping up and down on the chair, making rock & roll devil signs with one hand and grabbing his crank with the other...

Yeah, it was a sloppy bit of rotoscope-intensive animation, full of half-assed plots, bare-assed wimmens and big-assed blazing guns, but it's about as far removed from Porky Pig and Daffy Duck as you can get, and in a youth desperately wanting to grow up, it was a no-shit E-Ticket ride.

How can anyone under 12 years old with a fanboy attraction to horror films and World War II aircraft watch this clip, and not be profoundly influenced??

B 17

If you need one more dose, this is a fun clip! Captain Sternn!!!!

So, there they are... the 'toons that scroowd my haid on crookit!

"Wow, man... Good Nyborg!!"