Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Joseph Barbera Dies

It really is the end of an era. NYT obit here.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Wither Misty?

As you may have surmised, my sole purpose as a parent lately has been to warp my young son's mind with cartoons that I consider classic--some trashy (see Scooby-Doo entry), some considered artsy like early Warner Brothers, and kitschy (see Speed Racer entry). Time will only tell what deleterious effect this will have on his developing psyche, but I am content for now to ignore these possibilities and revel in satisfying my own cartoon-based obsessions.
Much to my husband's chagrin, one of those obsessions happens to be the Pokemon saga. Before there was a child, there was my insatiable thirst for Saturday Morning Cartoons which would lead inexorably to the WB where I saw my first episodes of Pokemon. I really don't know what it was about this particular cartoon, but I fell in love with it from the get-go. I didn't go all the way into fangirldom with the card-collecting frenzy that afflicted so many 10 year-olds during that time, but I watched the series and the new movies religiously. My husband was helpless to save me then and is now watching with the same helplessness as my son twists his way into Pokemon hell.
I knew this would lead to embarrassing situations in the real world, and I was right. We were over at a friend's house for a playdate and of course these particular friends are smart and don't let their children watch TV, so they were scratching their heads when my son suddenly blurts out, "Bulbasaur, I choose YOU!"
But vicariously living the Saturday Morning Cartoon lifestyle through my son is not what I wanted to talk about or, rather, ask. Where the heck did Misty go? As seems to be the usual for me, I rely heavily on Wikipedia to source me on the 4-1-1 about my favorite character of the Pokemon series, especially because of all the hentai sites you have to wade through on Google. Now when I watch newer Pokemon movies I get a little nervous when I don't see Misty, but after reading the Wikipedia entry, it seems like Misty is going to phase in and out, being supplemented with May, who seems like a Misty wanna-be if you ask me.
Am I a dork, yet?
Wait, no I'm not -- here's a chat thread about the whole May Haters/Misty Likers school of thought, supported by a Cole Sprouse website, whoever the heck that is. Oh wait, I'm sorry -- They're all 10 YEARS OLD! My bad, I really am a dork.

Mach Go! Go! Go! (Speed Racer)

I was sadly mistaken when I thought the English intro to Speed Racer was especially rockin' and visually appealing!

Speed Racer Redux

Last week was one of those weeks where you take your child to the library and take out, say, 16 videos of various formats. Yes, it was one of those lost weeks where the TV becomes the babysitter, and mom goes into a holiday frenzy. One of the videos I got for my son, unbeknownst to him, was the Speed Racer Collector's Edition which has the first 11 episodes. This was not a DVD to just put your kid in front of -- I was dying to revisit the exciting tales of Speed Racer that I remember from my childhood. If you grew up in the 70's the afternoon broadcast TV landscape for kids was a wonderful east-west fusion of badly animated, badly dubbed, Japanese cartoons. I would have to say, in my part of the world growing up, there was a mighty triumvirate of Japanimation (the uncool term for the now-cool word, "anime") consisting of Speed Racer, Astro Boy, and Gigantor. My husband, on the other hand, remembers Speed Racer, Gigantor, and Kimba, the White Lion (those Floridians, you know...).
Watching the old episodes again was a great treat -- I know from reading in other places that Speed Racer enjoyed a renaissance of sorts in the 90's and the release of the DVDs in the aughts has reinvigorated the franchise. It is sad, in a way, that so much of the early Japanese animation brought to the U.S. was as taken for granted, if not more so, than their English cousins because it was part of a cheap package to put on in the afternoons to sell toys to after-schoolers.
My son was completely enchanted with the heroic, if rambling, struggle of Speed and his friends and family, and kept asking about "the Masked Racer." He just couldn't wrap his brain around the fact that Racer X was actually Speed's older brother Rex, and in retrospect I guess I had the same confusion when I was his age, as well.