A Look at Shows Starring Younger Versions of PeoplesAs time goes on people get older. That’s how things work. The rules of course do not apply to cartoons. As a result there are many spin offs of cartoon series where characters are younger then in the original. This is usually done in order to explore new stories that would otherwise not make sense or because the writers are out of ideas. Let’s take a look at some of these series.
This may be the first show to retroage characters into younger versions of themselves. It’s the first one I noticed. It was also one of the few times it actually worked. For a long time I preferred Muppet Babies to The Muppet Show. Probably because I didn’t know who any of the celebrities on The Muppet Show were nor was I entertained by the musical numbers. I was however entertained by cartoons and Muppet Babies was definitely a cartoon. I really liked cartoons as a small child, to the point where I was peeved when Muppet Babies did that thing where they randomly show a live action clip. Looking back I can appreciate how awesomely random that truly is. I also can appreciate the fact that most of those live action clips are from Star Wars. Star Wars is awesome.
Baby Looney Tunes
Shit. Nothing more then pure shit. First of all the morning showing of Hamtaro was replaced by Baby Looney Tunes, so strike one right there. Secondly they already did this. It was called Tiny Toons and that show rocked. Tiny Toons is a legitimately good cartoon even when the shades of nostalgia are removed. It was witty, self aware, and could even tell a good story when they felt like it. You have to give credit to a show that can parody things most children won’t actually get, but can still be entertaining to those kids. I had no idea what Saturday Night Live was when I saw the episode Weekday Afternoon Live but I still loved it. Most cartoons throw in humor for adults by having veiled sex jokes or drug references. Tiny Toon Adventures could make jokes that appealed to adults simply by being clever.
So there existed a show that basically was the Looney Tune characters but younger that was by all means great. Then years later Baby Looney Tunes was born, and I’m guessing if we pulled its hair back we would see a 666 branded someplace. Baby Looney Tunes is nothing more then a Muppet Babies rip off except with the intelligence of an actual baby. The Muppet Babies were babies but they were smart enough to do interesting things. Baby Looney Tunes are pretty much toddler intelligence and are less interesting then watching a real life toddler because at least a real life toddler might fall down, so you could get some laughs from that. Baby Looney Tunes has absolutely no redeeming factors. The stories a mundane, the jokes idiotic, and the concept about as fresh as a week old diaper. Whoever green lighted Baby Looney Tunes cannot make up for this abortion no matter what he does. His suicide would be a benefit to humanity.
Baby Looney Tunes also ignored Taz-Mania, the origin story of the Tasmanian Devil. At least I think the Tasmanian Devil is younger in this series then his other appearances. It’s kind of hard to tell. He is supposed to be the oldest child of the family but all the other Tasmanian Devils speak proper English and wear clothes. I think Taz might be autistic or something. The show could take place after his Looney Tune shorts, before, or possibly during. Taz never changes his appearance or behavior so you can’t really tell.
An odd quirk about Tasmania is that I have never encountered anybody else who watched this show. I don’t mean anybody else who watched it regularly like I did either. I don’t know of anybody other then me who saw any episodes of it. Unlike the rest of the world I absolutely loved Tasmania to the point where I copied that dad’s thing where he would say "Blah blah blah yakkity smackity" or at least I think that’s what he said, I don’t remember. I can’t ask anybody else what he said because nobody else ever saw the show.
There was a Flintstone Kids public service announcement about buckling up that outlasted the actual Flintstone Kids show by about 15 years according to my estimate. In the PSA Fred’s dad would sing a song to the tune of "Dem Bones" about the parts of the seatbelt. Thankfully there are only two parts to a seatbelt so it was mercifully short. This commercial is my only memory of the show Flintstone Kids other then the basic concept, that being, The Flintstones are children or alternatively ‘How can we make more money from The Flintstones.’ Flintstone Kids is unmemorable but at least it is better remembered then Viva Rock Vegas.
A Pup Named Scooby Doo
A Pup Named Scooby Doo showed that the Scooby Gang’s childhood was exactly like their adulthood. Hauntings occurred, mysteries were solved, turns out it was Old Man Winters the entire time. For what A Pup Named Scooby Doo lacked in Harlem Globetrotter appearances it more than made up with Red Herring jokes. You see Red Herring was the person Freddy always assumed was behind the mystery. It was never Red Herring. Red Herring was nothing more then a false clue that threw them off on the wrong path, yet Freddie always accused him. I forget at the moment why I decided this was a positive but I guess I think it’s funny or something. I can’t actually think why this would be funny but I suppose it might very well be funny in execution.
A Pup Named Scooby Doo also made Daphne into a rich lazy person stereotype and Freddie into an idiot stereotype. Usually turning a character into a stereotype is a negative, but neither one of them had a personality to begin with, so this was actually an improvement.
An argument could be made that Bobby’s World is in fact not a show about a person or group of persons when they were younger. I like to think that it is about Howie Mandel’s childhood, even though Howie Mandel himself plays the father. It certainly is not about Howie Mandel’s kid because Howie Mandel is a homosexual.
Bobby lived a pretty depressing life. His siblings hated him, his parents ignored him, he has frequent hallucinations, and I’m pretty sure his uncle is a sexual offender. I’m not saying the uncle molested Bobby or anything but I’m pretty sure he is listed in the sex offender registry for waving his penis at somebody. This combination of loneliness and schizophrenia can cause a child to grow up to become a horrible broken man, like Howie Mandell. Bobby’s World was basically Howie Mandell trying to work through his trauma childhood and become at least a resemblance of a normal functioning adult. It did not work.
Marco and Bobby have the same haircut.
The Fox and the Hound 2
Not technically a TV show, but rather a movie but I’m sure it had the production values of a TV show. The Fox and the Hound tells the emotionally story of innocent children in Appalachia who don’t understand why they are suppose to hate each other. The Fox and the Hound 2 is about a circus. I’ve never seen it so I can’t comment on the show too much. I would like to know when in the scope of the first movie it is suppose to take place. Copper gets tied to the barrel pretty early on. Then he goes off on the extended hunting trip and does not return until he is grown. I don’t know when he found time to run away and join the circus. Maybe it took place during one of those asides where the birds are trying to eat that caterpillar. The Fox and the Hound 2 gets the Johnny Dangerous stamp of approval because baby Todd and Copper are adorable and now we get an entire 90 minutes of their cuteness. It’s enough to melt the heart of any serial killer.
Sabrina the Animated Series
A cat in a bathrobe? How intriguing.
Remember Sabrina the Teenage Witch? Remember how the series begins with Sabrina, a teenager, learning she is a witch? Well forget that because it turns out she had these powers before she was a teenager. Thus is the premise of Sabrina the Animated Series.
Sabrina really works better as a cartoon since magic powers are easier to depict when you aren’t restrained by special effects budgets. Also Salem wears a bath robe most of the time. I’m not sure why he wears a bath robe since he is a cat but I found it entertaining the one time I saw this show on TV.
X-Men Evolution was basically any lame teen drama combined with X-Men. Like Degrassi if Toby could shoot lasers and had to fight Sean in a battle to the death. At least the first couple seasons were. Eventually the show just became your basic super hero cartoon and I stopped paying attention. I enjoyed 18 minutes of teen drama and 3 minutes of tacked on fighting that served no purpose. It was enjoyable in the same way seeing a mentally challenged person drive a Go-Kart into a wall is enjoyable.
The show was just so gosh darn ridicules. They would be all "Oh my god I can’t believe I don’t have a date for the prom" one minute then all of a sudden BAM! Magneto is tossing cars at people. Its like two entirely different shows were happening at the same time. Kitty Pryde even dated one of the bad guys. It was bizarre. They would be hanging out in school laughing and then that night they would try to kill each other.
The X-Men were also kind of dicks. At the beginning of the show the X-Men constantly battled a group of three high school aged mutants gathered together by Magneto. This group never trained and had little adult supervision. I imagine they were very malnourished since nobody cooked for them or bought food. Meanwhile their were more X-Men and they were highly trained. They even had better powers as well. They really should have found a more appropriate group of villains to battle. It was like a karate master fighting a retard who was just in a Go-Kart accident.
X-Men Evolution was nice because it told the origin story of the X-Men. It might have been an origin story that differentiated from the comic boon but comic books are for nerds so who cares. I’m no nerd so I don’t read comic books. I’m too busy attending cool parties and writing lengthy articles about cartoons for the internet.