Animation – the old school way

Original artwork by J. Scott Campbell

If you haven’t guessed, I’m suffering from a bout of insomnia.

Fortunately I have WordPress and Teletoon Retro! Currently I’m watching the origin story of the Clock King unfold in the best animated Batman cartoon. Looking back on the style of animation, it seems so crude and low-budget. But looking at all the animated shows when I was a kid, I realize that it wasn’t about how perfect the animation was or even how realistic it looked. It was all about the stories and seeing my favourite heroes in action.

I would watch the old-school Spider-Man with as much admiration as the 90’s X-Men cartoons. The originality was just awesome and Teletoon Retro has launched me back into that world all over again. No matter how old you are there is always an old show that evoke’s memories of  being excited to wake up early on the weekend.

Aside from the classics that everyone knew and loved (like Transformers, ThunderCats and He-Man to mention a few), I had a few particular gems that are still close to my heart.

1. BraveStarr

 BraveStarr was one of those heroes that I really related to. With many heroes being either white or black, I finally had a brown hero that I could emulate. Sure he was native, but at least his skin colour gave me a new choice for a Halloween costume.

He brought a great sci-fi twist to the classic western story that was able to provide odd characters, cool gadgets and a horse that was an actual bi-pedal sidekick. I love He-Man and Tiger-Cat, but if Tiger-Cat could stand up and fight beside me like Thirty-Thirty could, he would be even cooler. It was unfortunately short-lived, and shared many similarities to the ThunderCats and He-Man but it was still one show that holds a special place in my heart and made me secretly want to be a cowboy.

2. Voltron

 For those of you that watched Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, this is the solid gold anime it originated from. Voltron was the ultimate in space/robot adventure. Inspired the Japanese Anime robot saga’s, Voltron came to fruition when there was no means to translate some of the most popular Japanese shows into English. The success of these lion shaped robots made it one of the most widely syndicated shows and some of the greatest toys to play with. I also loved the fact that the original toys were made entirely of metal. This meant that no matter how much abuse you dished out, these toys could take it.

3. C.O.P.S.

 This shows was not only awesome because of the characters and stories, but the toy line was my favourite, aside from the Transformers. The high-tech gadgetry translated well into toy format and gave me hours and hours of enjoyable adventures. The more gadgets and accessories a toy had, the more creative I could be when playing. I would create storylines that included C.O.P.S. vs. Ninja Turtles, C.O.P.S. vs. Transformers and even C.O.P.S. vs. Thundercats. Yeah I crossed universes, what are you going to do about it.

Well my trip down nostalgia lane has come to an end, but if you want to relive some of your old classics, tune to Teletoon Retro. This weekend they’re having a marathon of The Real Ghostbusters, which should be fun to watch. Now let’s see if I can get some sleep. Work’s going to be a pain in the ass tomorrow but this post was worth it!

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