With The Muppets Movie really being well received and reintroduced to a new generation I wonder is this it? Besides The Muppets, Sesame Street and Disney characters not many other “old” children based characters hold up well. With that said many cartoon icons are old, I mean really old. The Flintstones, The Smurfs, Scooby Doo, Yogi Bear, Alvin and The Chipmunks, Charlie Brown and the whole Peanuts world and all these comic book characters that have movies out there about them are old as hell. Everything I just listed was out before I was born, even The Smurfs, they were created in 1958. All these characters are still somewhat relevant today somehow. It’s that time of the year where all those Christmas cartoons will hit the television circuit and make their rounds, from Frosty to The Grinch to Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. All of these examples are old as hell. Of course Nick and Cartoon Network have their own somewhat traditional holiday toons but it’s not the same.
So is that a lost art now, the childhood experience that goes beyond the generation gap grandparent, parent and grandchild all enjoy the same children show or movie? I mean in ten years will there be a Poke’mon movie that can do what The Muppets or Alvin and The Chipmunks have done in theaters? The Power Rangers haven’t faired well as time has passed and they were my brother version of Voltron just in a live action show, but Voltron is way more recognizable than all the versions of The Power Rangers have ever been even now. No matter what new Sesame Street character is this generation’s fan favorite Big Bird is still the flagship character, so what makes these icons… Icons? I mean the kids who asked their parents to take them to see The Muppets have no idea of the television show or the movies, hell they don’t remember that damn Muppet Babies cartoon that was on CBS. For some reason kids now wanted to see them and they (The Muppets) didn’t have to try to fit in like the Emo Barbie with pink hair and tats. They’re the some Muppets I remember and those older than me remember.
I remember thinking Rugrats would be in that league of ageless toons that live on forever but then they got older in the series and lost that chance. Then you take Beavis and Butt-Head, MTV brought them back and only those who remember them care. I work with early 20 something’s, they think the show is lame while those ten years older thinks it’s refreshing to see them again. There’s not a magic moment about them that is passed down to those too young to remember experience of seeing them in their prime. Could Ren And Stimpy, another must see for those around my brothers age back in the day, be popular now? Would they have to resort to trying to be current to reach kids today or even those in their late teens and early 20’s? Maybe because say Loony Tunes have come on so many channels and gets thrown in movies the average kid now knows Bugs Bunny, yeah he may not be the crossdressing wise cracking rabbit dodging bullets he was since the 60’s but for some reason some kids know who he is. I’m sorry but Ash Ketchum, Doug (does anyone even remember him), Arnold (fuck him too), Yu Gi Oh, those Ed Edd and Eddy dudes and most of those original cartoons Cartoon Network and Nick gave life too in the mid 90’s will not have the same impact as Scooby Doo. Scooby Doo could have a movie next year this time and be number one it’s opening weekend, I’m not sure people will flock to see another Poke’mon movie like that right now. I may be wrong but with all this resurrecting old childhood properties no one is really doing the more recent ones, besides Transformers and The Muppets which are old but still babies compared to say The Smurfs.