Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The GUIDE Makes Me Perplexed


Five cogent comments on TV GUIDE's recently published list of "the 60 greatest cartoons of all time":

1.  What, precisely, qualifies as a "TV cartoon"?  TVG doesn't seem to know.  Putting rebroadcasts of classic theatrical cartoons on the same "level" as made-for-TV series makes no sense, unless you're talking about things like the early-60s Popeye cartoons or The Bugs Bunny Show.

2.  NO Disney Afternoon series???  Well, Disney has no one to blame but itself for that sad fact, given how little respect its video and PR divisions have shown for the marvelous products of the "WDTVA Golden Age."  I'm not going to grouse about the presence of Kim Possible on the list, but it's hard to countenance Phineas and Ferb making the cut but such series as DuckTales, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, and Gargoyles being left out.

3.  There isn't quite as much "presentism" apparent in this list as I'd originally feared.  Sure, there's a clear overrepresentation of 21st-century series, but the inclusion of Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, The Flintstones, and several other "old-screen" Hanna-Barbera favorites -- not to mention the evergreen Rocky and Bullwinkle -- should be at least somewhat gratifying to those of us of a certain age (including those who, like me, watched these shows in syndication).  Listing Scooby-Doo at #5 may be pushing things, however.

4. I'm a bit surprised at the lack of anime series on the list.  Not that I was seriously expecting Astro Boy or Kimba the White Lion to make the cut, but no Speed Racer?  No Pokemon?  No Sailor Moon?  The latter two omissions are particularly noteworthy -- and chilling.  I have in my mind's eye visions of San Diego Cons of 15 years ago, at which Poke-players and cosplaying "Moonies" were such a massive presence.  Bronies are currently all kinds of excited over My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic's appearance on the list.  Let us hope that history does not repeat itself.

5.  Jem and the Holograms... Thundercats...  He-ManThe rest is silence.

3 comments:

Joe Torcivia said...

Chris:

Sorry, but you may be looking at this too much through your own personal filter.

I don’t think ANYONE can dispute that Top-Ten list.

The rest seems to be a nice cross section of several ages. Unfortunately, it does not regard Disney TV’s game-changing contributions to the TV animation landscape but, that unjustly HUGE omission aside, it is still valid overall.

Comicbookrehab said...

I don't believe 5,6, 8,9 & 10 are better than Tom & Jerry. No way. This list is bogus. :)

Chris Barat said...

Joe,

I'm in agreement with at least half of the Top 10; my objection to PEANUTS and LOONEY TUNES is fueled by the definition of what should count as a "cartoon" in TV context. Likewise, most of the rest of the Top 60 are legit. But missing DAFT shows... that's one HUGE (as you said) flaw.

Chris