Out of the closet

The following is not written by a journalist.
The essay is written by an individual who despite being past the age identified as primary demographic for cartoon shows, watches more than three hours of cartoons every day. Starting this issue Animation ‘xpress brings you a series (every alternate issue) which shall get Cartoon enthusiasts (And they needn’t be kids) talking and writing about the toons that keep em hooked.

Cartoons have come a long way since Uncle Walt first introduced them to us. There’s a whole new world or rather universe that exists beyond our imagination. The world of cartoons is growing and developing, all this solely for our entertainment and some times to educate us too!

A myth has developed over the years that cartoons are restricted to kid’s entertainment only. Well, watching cartoons can keep you in touch with your inner child. It can also help you relate with kids on a better level and understand how they perceive the world.

We all know that kids watch cartoons, that’s no secret but it’s about time that the adults came out of the closet. Just admit it folks! We know some of you watch cartoons when nobody’s looking. Don’t worry your not alone…

There are so many cartoons flooding television, how can we not get tempted. Some of my favorites are the classic Tom & Jerry, Batman & Johnny Bravo shows on Cartoon Network. Now who doesn’t watch Tom & Jerry? You just cannot resist the cuteness of Jerry. He is probably the only mouse (except for Mickey) whom people won’t mind sharing their house with. The relationship that Tom & Jerry share is one where you can’t live with them & you can’t live without them, kind of like a married couple but with violence.

My favourtie episode is when Jerry’s little French cousin comes to visit. In one episode Jerry is writing letters to his beloved & his little cousin is made to deliver them. On the way he has to fight Tom every time he delivers the letters to & from Jerry’s girlfriend. He is so frustrated with the routine that he is not even the slightest bit afraid of Tom, saying, “En garde! En garde! En garde! Ah Thew!” That was the cutest thing ever! He also sings in another episode while Tom is getting his head cut off but stops to say, “Pouver, pouver, pussy cat”

Batman on the other hand is dark & a little more grown up than Tom & Jerry. Batman is my favorite among all the super heroes. Batman aka Bruce Wayne is the kind of superhero who experienced a lot of darkness in his childhood. He has a phobia of bats caused due to an accident he had while playing in his garden. He fell in to a dry well which was a nesting place for bats.

After the death of his parents by criminals Bruce sought revenge & thus Batman was born. He is the protector of Gotham City. There is nothing to fear but fear itself & so took the image of the bat, his biggest fear. By day he is Bruce Wayne, CEO of Wayne Industries & by night he is Batman, protector of the weak & helpless. He does not posses super powers except for being super rich & his gadgets which are attached to his belt & arm bands are his defense against criminals. His most trusted companion is Alfred, his butler. He raised Bruce & became his guardian after the death of his parents. Batman is dark & mysterious & moves through the night like a shadow while Bruce is outgoing, charming & one of Gorham’s most eligible bachelor.

Speaking of bachelors, Johnny Bravo has the looks & the muscles but lacks in charm & common sense. In his world “hot” women are meant to serve Johnny & his looks however this happens only in his head. In reality he is beaten up & electrocuted by the “hot” women he harasses. It’s fun to watch him suffer. My favourite episode is when Little Suzy tries to sell him cookies by following him wherever he goes. In the end he gives up out of frustration & buys every cookie she has to sell. It has a rhyming dialogue & again is fun to watch Johnny suffer.

Toon Disney also has a good line up of cartoons like Kim Possible, Gargoyles & Dave the Barbarian. Kim Possible known best for her karate kicks & cool wardrobe is a not so ordinary high school girl. Apart from attending school & doing her daily chores she’s also a spy agent. Along with her best friend Ron Stoppable & his sidekick Rufus – a naked mole rat, they save the world from the perils of evil villains like Drraken & Shego. He is Kim’s arch nemesis & is constantly scheming to gain world domination. His sidekick Shego flashes dangerous green rays from her hands. Girl power rules this show with Kim Possible kicking evil butt!

She gets help from Wade, the brains in the operations. He is a computer genius who gets all the dirt on the villains that Kim fights. The clumsy Ron Stoppable & his friend Rufus are comedy relief. In one episode a precious ring is being eyed by Drraken. This ring when worn by anybody gives them enormous strength or rather muscles. Ron who wants to be popular in school wears this ring which gives him a new & muscular body. His muscles posed a huge obstacle when he was caught in a vent while the place was coming down. After much hesitation he managed to slip off the ring which took away his muscles & was then free from the vent & just in the nick of time!

Superheroes are not always humans with special abilities. The X – Men are mutants & are not socially accepted by all. Gargoyles are usually hideous, beast like creatures that may or may not have existed. People generally perceive them as monsters so why not change that outlook by making them a force fighting on the side of good. Gargoyles is another cartoon that is dark & mysterious.

This tale goes way back centuries ago when gargoyles & humans lived together. They are stone by day but awake & alive by night. They are creatures that protect the castles in Scotland at night. One night, one of the gargoyle warriors, Goliath was lured away from his post leading the invaders to take over the kingdom. This was considered a major betrayal & their punishment, a spell cast by a sorcerer that froze the gargoyles in an eternal sleep…until today. They are alive! Now they live in the city of Manhattan sworn to protect humans once again.

Goliath the leader of the clan is a tall, strong & powerful leader. Alisa is a cop who is a close & most likely only human friend of the gargoyles. She & Goliath share a special relationship. Bronx is my favourite character. He is a powerful beast like creature that walks on all fours & does not fly or glide. He is a loyal companion of the gargoyles. He is like a pet but more like a friend. The villains here are the scientists that are after the gargoyles to experiment on them, led & financed by the rich & evil, Zanatos. The story is continuous & not episodic. There is a lot of sorcerery involved in some parts, for instance when Goliath & Alisa travel through time in search for the truth behind Goliath’s past.

In complete contrast to Gargoyles, Dave the Barbarian is loud & sometimes disgusting. It’s a typical slapstick cartoon with anvils & grand pianos falling on people. Dave & his sisters Fang & Candy are in charge of the kingdom when their parents are away. Dave is a wimp who cooks, bakes & knits instead of preparing for war. His sister Candy is a spoilt teenage princess who is superficial & obsessed with her self image. The other sister Fang is more like a monkey. She is ugly, loud & obnoxious. Their uncle – a wizard can never get his spells right, helps the threesome fight battles (by making it even worse). As in all cartoons if there are heroes there have to be evil villains. If the heroes are stupid then the villains have to be equally or even more stupid but still intelligent enough to scheme up a plot. Dave’s enemy is a pig – a very evil & very short one.

The war between good & evil can go on till eternity but stops here in this article. Moving on to the more fun side of life, the life we had as preschoolers. I loved going to preschool. Ah! Those were the days. Now there are so many cartoon shows for preschoolers, Teletubbies, Baby Looney Toons, Rolie Polie Olie & Angelina Ballerina. They are actually fun to watch some of the characters are very cute even after being dubbed in Hindi.

The Teletubbies are aliens that live in tubby land. They are probably called Teletubbies because they have T.V’s on their tummies. Tinky Winky, Dinky, Lala & Poe don’t say much except when the vacuum cleaner does something wrong. They all say, “Naughty nunu!” Another cute character is Zo?« from the show Rolie Polie Olie. She is the baby sister of Olie who can barely talk. They are robots that live on a Rolie Polie planet where everything is round. You have to watch it experience the cuteness of Zo?«. These shows educate the little ones about their surroundings & entertain as well. They are so cute that you just can’t resist them. You have to, have to watch them!
So all those who thought that cartoons were meant only for kiddies, think again! Those who thought you were alone, you are not!

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