Review Of: Cartoons

Scooby-Doo: Let’s put aside the ha-ha Scooby and Shaggy are getting stoned and Fred wants to have sex with Daphne jokes and concentrate instead on the simple fact that this show sucked. The same thing happened every week! Lost spooky mansion/ clearly bad guy farmer/ split up/ trap goes hilariously wrong/ unmask bad guy who’s not really a ghost after all. Come on! How about mixing it up a little? A second plot, maybe? Seriously, even “The Smurfs” didn’t pull this kind of bullshit!

However, I do like the theme song of this show. As an added bonus, the musical keynote, “Scooby Doo: Where Are You?” neatly establishes an existential crisis at the heart of the show — or, at the very least, a cris du coeur — which the resounding refrain of “‘Rover Rhere!” neatly solves. Or, um, whatever.

Also, I do like the episodes where Scoob and the gang are hanging out not with Batman and Robin or the Harlem Globetrotters, but with some completely obscure mid-70s television star: “Hey, check this out, gang! …Holy cow, it’s… Phyllis Diller!/ Conway Twitty!/ Rip Torn!” Grade: C-minus


The Smurfs: Still better than “Scooby-Doo”! As you may recall, the reason that Gargamel wanted to capture the Smurfs was because they represented the secret ingredient that would magically transform lead into gold. Question: wouldn’t this make the Smurfs equally as valuable as gold, or at least, in an open market, proportionally valuable? Why even bother transforming them at all?  In fact, hold on a second. I have to make a call to my broker…

“Jimmy? Jimmy, it’s Oliver. I need you to do something for me right now. Take all my money — listen to me now, Jimmy — I want you to take all my money out of Steel and put it into Smurfs. Yah, you heard me. Good… Good… Okay. Smurfy. Done.” There now. All finished. Now… where was I? Grade: B-plus [1] [2]


Duck Tales: This is a show that I refuse to make fun of. Scrooge McDuck, the richest duck in the word! Huey, Dewey, and Louie! Webby! Duckworth! The Beagle Boys! I watched this show well past any reasonable period of teenagerhood, and I refuse to feel lame about it for a second. ”Duck Tales” rocks! Who wouldn’t want to search for buried treasure every week with your rich uncle who owns three cubic acres of money? Plus, I can quote the entire theme song from memory:

Life is like a hurri-cane
Here in Duck-burg!
Racecars, lasers, aero-planes!
It’s a Duck-Blur!
…D-d-d-danger lurks behind you!
There’s a stranger out to find you!
What you do is grab onto some Ducktails!

Whoo-hoo indeed, my friends. …Whoo-hoo indeed. Grade: A-plus, natch


The Jetsons: Frankly, it’s nice to see a vision of the future that doesn’t involve evil robots or robots running amuck or Keanu Reeves battling robots. In “The Jetsons,” robots were treated with the same casual disregard with which you would treat a used-up, ten-dollar Saigon whore. Put even more simply: in “The Jetsons,” robots were humanity’s little bitch. And that’s the way it was meant to be.

Plus, hamburger pills. Whenever Astro and Elroy ran away from home, they would take miniature hamburger pills in their (space) backpacks with them. Sweet! I want futuristic hamburger pills! And judging from the reactions of the characters on the show, eating a hamburger pill apparently provides the same level of enjoyment and satisfaction as eating an actual hamburger. Even sweeter. Grade: B-plus [3]


Tom and Jerry: Take one cat. Add mouse. Stir briskly. Garnish with anvils, exploding rockets, and sharp pointy knives. Serves: Everyone.

What a great show! I guess that Tom was trying to eat Jerry, but in my mind, they just really really hated one another. In fact, I always assumed some sort of backstory where Tom’s brother had killed Jerry’s never-shown mouse-wife in a car wreck or drug-turf war or something. I mean… this fight was personal, people.

Also great were the episodes where Tom had not only to contend with Jerry, the bulldog, his own stupidity, and gravity, but also with the enormous, incredibly angry, racist-caricature black housemaid, who we only ever saw from the shoulders down. Man, did that lady have a temper, or what? “Thom-mas! Thomas! Git yo’ motherfucking ass in here! Goddamn motherfucking cracker-ass cat! I swear to God, Thomas, if you don’t git your ass in here right now, I’m gonna take your @##$$** and shove it so far up your @##$$ that you’ll be eating motherfucking @#$ for breakfast for a week!” Um… Holy shit! Yes, ma’am. Grade: A [4]


He-Man (“The Masters of the Universe”): “I am Adam, Prince of Eternia, and keeper of the secrets of Castle Greyskull.” Really? Please tell me more! “This is Cringer, my fearless friend. Fabulous secret powers were revealed to me the day I held aloft my magic sword and said, ‘BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL! I HAVE THE POWER! ‘” Please, continue. “Cringer became the Mighty Battle Cat, and I became… He-Man: the most powerful man in the universe!” Really? You’re the most powerful man in the universe? Like, for real? Doesn’t that render the show sort of… anticlimactic? It’s kind of like having an action show that features Jehovah. “Will the Lord God of Hosts manage to get across town to his girlfriend’s house before the bomb explodes? Tune in next week… to find out that he does.”

But hey… That’s cool. Most powerful, least powerful, whatever. And the show gets an extra-added grade, boosting it up to a B-plus, for featuring — in addition to “Skeletor” — a bad guy named “Stinkor,” whose power was… that his farts were really disgusting. Am I kidding here? You wish that I was kidding here. And so do I.

Anyway, I also recommend checking out the live-action movie version of “The Masters of the Universe,” starring Dolph Lundgren. It’s really really awful! And Courtney Cox is in it. Go figure.


The Snorks: This show is sort of like what would happen if you attempted to kill “the Smurfs” by drowning them. “…Holy shit, they’re still alive!” “…Oh, man, nothing kills Smurfs. Didn’t you know that?” Grade: D


ThunderCats: “Feel the thunder! Feel the cats! ThunderCats are loose! ” Okay, I can’t actually remember the lyrics to every cartoon theme song. Those are probably not the words. Feel the cats! sounds particularly sketchy to me.

So the ThunderCats, as you may or may not remember, depending on whether or not you had a social life in middle-school, were led by Lion-o, and… God… that’s a stupid name. Lion-o? Was that like a thirty-second writer’s conference meeting or what? Anyway, and they were led by “Lion-o,” and faced off against the dreaded mummy villain “Mum-ra.” Jesus, what stupid names.

O-kay… let’s pull it all together. Mum-ra, he certainly was one mighty villain, oh yes, except for his one minor weakness: he could be completely and magically defeated at any time by showing him his own reflection. [5] …Huh. Imposing! And yet where you and I would have just started carrying mirrors around with us everywhere, it somehow managed to take the ThunderCats a full half-hour long cartoon to defeat Mum-ra every time that they met him. But, hey, what do you want? They’re fucking cats. My cat here in my house in New Orleans can’t get past the whole hey there’s an identical cat trying to attack me stage with mirrors, so maybe we should all feel fortunate that we had the mighty ThunderCats on the case. Grade: B-minus Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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