Jowett’s post: Taking a deeper look at Cartoon characters of the 90’s

Posted: October 12, 2011 in Jowett's Posts
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Howdy! Normally I would post a conversation with the lads in the band, but due to a mental work schedule, I have been left without one this week. So I thought about what I could do in place of a conversations of cat’s, puppets and other stuff that will inevitably get us sued. I consulted the band and they reckon I should write my own post. I wasn’t too keen on the idea but when Mike, in a brilliant bit of reverse psychology, said “There’s not much point in doing one without us, it wont get much attention” I decided to do one anyway.

In keeping with the theme of destroying the memories of childhood hero’s for many people I decided to take a look at Cartoon’s of the 90’s. I know, this has probably been done to death, but I am going to put a slight slant on the idea. I am going to look at what these cartoons really meant

So I’m going to jump straight in to it

POKEMON

I really got in to Pokemon, it was great. But, like many of these cartoons, until you step back at a later age and think about what it really was, you wont realise its a bit wrong. Here is a summary of what I see now when I think of Pokemon

It’s about a world in which people capture animals and make them fight other animals for badges’

Which, if I’m not mistaken, with or without the badge reward system, is illegal. If I wandered around my local park with a chimp under my arm that was armed with a knife, and offered to battle it against some random bloke walking his pit bull, I would be arrested. Cock fighting is illegal as well as many other types animal fighting, so why is Pokemon alright? They never go in to the darker side of the Pokemon world where medicine is being tested on them and different shades of eye shadow “Oh look! the shampoo has gone into Pikachu’s eyes, he doesn’t seem to like it. NEXT BOTTLE!”

JOHNNY BRAVO

Now, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to realise why this was a bit dodgy, but I will sum it up anyway

It’s about a sex addict, that sounded like Elvis, best friend was a little girl and spends every day hassling and perving on women

When you are 11 years old, you don’t think about why this concept is definitely too mature for us. You just think “I’m a bit bored of him failing to chat up women and dedicating the gym to only the upper half of his body”. And what was the deal with his relationship with that little girl? She was always around! But to be fair, he did seem to not like that girl when she was around. An aspect that was carefully looked at by the writers when considering a relationship between a pervert and a little girl

    SCOOBY-DOO

Apart from the obvious drug references I wanted to point out something else. They made this cartoon so Scooby-doo could talk…sort of. You just take it for granted that ‘because he’s a dog, that’s the best he is going to be able to talk’. Until they introduced ‘Scrappy-doo’ who could talk with PERFECT DICTION!

This just made me think “Well…..what’s wrong with his uncle? Was it the drugs? Was it a stroke?”

So basically, Scooby-doo was

A dog with a speech impediment”

Scooby was subsequently taken off these kids by the authorities. Turns out Fred used to kick him

It was the last straw after several counts of wasting police time for emergency calls about ghosts

                                                                                                                             COW AND CHICKEN

This one was a one-off. It was the only cartoon I watched as a 12-year-old and thought “…………This aint right”

A cow and a chicken, brother and sister. I remember it even baffled and confused my dad so much he told me not to watch it again…..

 

      FREAKAZOID

Literally

A bloke with ADHD

Not so much a super hero, more as a bit of a tool with attention deficit disorder. No one ever said  “Well clearly, this lad is ill” “No he’s not! He’s a bit of a character!”

It wasn’t classed as that when I was in school, he would have had to have taken medication

                                               

     

                                                                                                                                                    DEXTER’S LAB 

Dexter’s Lab was a good cartoon, but like the others, had deeper theme’s. This cartoon was basically

“A bit of a loner, has no friends and spends all his time in his room”

They cut off this cartoon before it got to the episode where he walks in to his school with a gun and shoots everybody before turning the gun on himself

His sister went on to give talks on bullying

That’s all the one’s I could think of. If you can think of others, don’t hesitate to join in!

If you miss the band’s ramblings then you can catch an interview we did earlier in the week with H. E. ELLIS here

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CHEERS!

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Comments
  1. I loved your summaries!! “A bloke with ADHD“ really made me chuckle.

  2. Very funny! You should do more 🙂

  3. susielindau says:

    Oh my God! This post is hilarious. I laughed all the way through! I never thought of those cartoons as being so subversive. Thanks for clearing their meaning up for me!

  4. susielindau says:

    You should add a twitter share button. There are thousands out there that would love this too! I will copy, paste and blast to the twitterverse for you!

  5. absolutet0ss says:

    Well…what about cat dog? that was a right mix of issues. A mixed race set of siamese twins with no arse hole and two mouths. It aint gonna work!

    Good Post!

  6. It’s about time somebody pulled the curtain back on the Scooby Doo experience. The truth is out there. 🙂

  7. Cow and Chicken is the best show on this entire list! Not only are they brother and sister, but their parents are human with no upper bodies (check out the first episode if you want proof)…so creepy and yet so hilarious, and so not right, all at the same time. 🙂

  8. cupitonians says:

    Excellent Read. You know what else I think of when I think of cartoons in the 90s? Captain Planet, Powerpuff girls SWAT Kats, Dumb & Dumber, The Mask, Johnny Quest AND Sponge Bob Square Pants! Aaaah good times!

  9. I never noticed that about J Bravo… but it makes perfect sense.

    Also… some strange people I know here in the west *cough* Sarah Palin *cough* would say that Dexter is really a Russian spy hell bent on arming nuclear weapons on the home front… I heard he’s on the no fly list.

    Great Post.

    BTW, you did great without the band.

  10. Oh yeah… @ cupitonians you must mean the Jonny Quest Reboot cause Jonny Quest was originally created in 64′

  11. Cartoons, I have never really been into them. The old tried and true Buggs and Tom & Jerry was about it for me. My kids on the other hand watch different ones. I still don’t understand Spongebob. There are so many things wrong with it from a clinically sane stand point 😉 I don’t see the huge fascination with it but what do I know I’m not 10 anymore. Still a squirrel under water, yep just going to stay in my java induced world.

  12. zombo says:

    “Well…..what’s wrong with his uncle? Was it the drugs? Was it a stroke?”

    Very funny!

  13. Jowett, this is excellent! I vote that you post your own stuff when the band is preoccupied with their shenanigans. 😉

  14. I still think Popeye had the hardest job. In every cartoon he was trying to keep Brutus from raping Olive Oil.
    Les

    • Keith Wadley says:

      That is so true. And I don’t care how many times I saw him eat spinach, it just didn’t work for me. Never could hold it down.

      Keith

  15. pharphelonus says:

    It’s funny that when you get to be older, you see those things so differently.

    Was Shaggy always wanting to eat because he was as stoned as he sounded?

    Why did the kid you pictured in the Pokemon one look just like Speed Racer?

  16. scribbla says:

    Hehehe… great post!

  17. H.E. ELLIS says:

    I loved Freakazoid! He reminds me of me.

  18. Anxiety Girl says:

    You forgot to mention that Pokemon’s main theme, “Gotta catch them all”, is basically encouraging animal hoarding.

  19. Anxiety Girl says:

    Oh and thanks for the laugh! I definitely think you ought to do a couple “personal” posts more often. 🙂

  20. hiliminarious says:

    When I look back at Pokemon, I can’t help but think about how they have this amazing technology to put their animals in these tiny balls and carry them around, and the animals are perfectly fine with it. I wish we had that. It would certainly make going to the vet easier!

  21. Jowett – great stuff!

    i think you should do more of your own commentary – just a thought

    the conversations of the band are hysterical, and i have to admit i’m ‘hooked’ – but what a funny perspective to life you bring

    write, and write more

  22. absolutet0ss says:

    podcast….

  23. jenibo says:

    Haha. I like the bit about Scrappy-Doo. He was always a bit annoying, but it was nice to be able to understand what he was saying. Scooby is sweet, though.
    It’s too bad about Dexter. No one likes him.

  24. zencherry says:

    I vote for you to do this sort of post more often. You’re hilarious! Tell me, what’s your take on the Animaniacs and Catdog, remember those? Just keep writing, doesn’t matter about what. I’ll be back. 🙂

  25. the master says:

    I’d like to, if I may, extend your original parameters to include the 80’s as well.

    Inspector Gadget
    A mentally and physically disabled man solving crimes with the aid of his carer, a guide dog and sundry disability aids. On the surface a heart-warming story of a man serving his community despite his impairments, look deeper and you’ll see a warning that certain people are just not cut out for certain jobs, and can in fact cause more damage than they prevent. Just ask Chief Quimby.

    The Real Ghostbusters
    The battle of present day rationalism against dangerous ancient mysticism. At least at the beginning, until meddling by conservative forces led to Slimer taking centre stage to reinforce established dogma. We can only imagine that, had it continued with its original laudable goal, we wouldn’t have creationism being taught in classrooms today. Plus what they did to Janine was just criminal.

    Captain Planet
    An insidious attempt to ready us for worldwide genocide under the pretext of “conservation”.

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    Just pure undiluted awesome. Nothing more than that.

  26. mojo jojo from powerpuff girls is the 90’s version of wile e coyote… i wanted to see him catch the rough, mannish puff (buttercup?)… it would be a fair fight, then.

    yes, my now grown daughters made me watch it when they were kids… no, i didn’t enjoy it…(!!!)

  27. demonsking19 says:

    waooo i love all these cartoons 🙂 few dayz ago i even read a post about Pokemon and lolz a week ago i started watching jhoney bravo and was thinking about making a post related to it 🙂

  28. Alex(ander) Mahler says:

    Not to say that I disliked any of the above but
    why is that so many children’s cartoons get away with
    these bizarre and occasionally inappropriate themes?
    i.e. Cow and Chickens infamous “Pork Butts”.
    Yes, that’s right, it’s all coming back to you now:
    the human parents who literally fired pigs bottoms with
    a catapult to their children who are a boy-chicken(?) and a cow for diner…
    And don’t even get me started on Ren & Stimpy…

    I think I may have been scarred for life…

  29. Cayman Thorn says:

    Where’s Bill Clinton?

  30. genesismeranda says:

    Ok I was feeling the same about all the cartoons, especially Johnny Bravo and Cow and Chicken. But you just CANT make fun of Dexter!!!

    And what about Pinky and the Brain? haha Good memories.. =)

  31. Does Scooby really have a speech impediment, or do you think he learned diction from his first owner – perhaps Popeye the Sailor Man? By the way, Scappy Doo may have perfect diction, but the mutt really creeps me out.

  32. Hey, don’t leave out the Tick! No psychosis as funny…

  33. eof737 says:

    They were all quite creative endeavors even though they were odd… You forgot to add Spongebob! 🙂

  34. thysleroux says:

    Awesome post.
    Interesting.

    Despite the fact that I have always drawn my own cartoons I don’t always reflect on the deeper meanings contained within the work of others.
    perhaps my stuff is subversive at times? Hahaha

  35. kiyokotown says:

    More of these … very funny!

  36. Rick says:

    “Pokemon” is a Japanese contraction of “pocket monster.” Heh heh heh.

  37. Ally says:

    Ha that’s true. Johnny Bravo was a freaky cartoon now that I think of it. LOL “Hey pretty Mama…” What was wrong with the 90’s anyway?

  38. Umm… You’re awesome 😉

  39. Apparently you and I lived in different dimensions, because I had only heard of one cartoon and that was scooby-doo. Ok, Ive heard of some of the others, but never watched. On second thought maybe its not different dimensions, but different decades. I’m just way older than you are. Back to the point. I loved your take on Scooby. You’re so right! He was totally a dog with a speech impediment… this will keep me randomly laughing throughout the day. Thanks!

  40. Jan Simson says:

    Good times, those 90’s. Weird cartoons, though. Great post! Cheers.

  41. kazekitty says:

    This was genius. I was thinking of doing something like this. But I couldn’t do this one justice. The Scrappy Doo ‘perfect diction’ line undid me.

  42. And the 90’s seemed so normal at the time…

  43. C. Pendola says:

    Embarrassingly enough, I used to have a character crush on Johnny Bravo. Now I have a crush on this decades version… Archer. I know. Feel free to judge, I clearly deserve it. This was thoroughly entertaining, you should continue writing your own posts.

  44. robingraham says:

    “I remember it even baffled and confused my dad so much he told me not to watch it again…..”

    LOLZ, as I believe the kidsters put it.

  45. Scooby Doo. My favorite. Awesome post.

  46. Hey J.
    You’ll have to do the annalysis but how about:
    I Are Weasel
    Courage the Cowardly Dog(that was a scary dark cartoon. My kids loved it)
    Cat/Dog
    Two Stupid Dogs

  47. mishfish13 says:

    Hey! It’s a post about all my favorite childhood cartoons! Wait…. hahahaha.

    But oh my god how I hated Cow and Chicken.

  48. Aj b33m3R says:

    “This one was a one-off. It was the only cartoon I watched as a 12-year-old and thought “…………This aint right””

    That put a smile on my face.

  49. myemilyrose says:

    hello!

    I love all these guys! Scooby Doo is ultimately the best 🙂

    My.

  50. sashaviking says:

    Always thought Johnny Bravo was a perv… 😉

  51. Lol! Awesome post! Will you do one of the 80’s? 😉

  52. creativeflow01 says:

    the things we learn looking back. I always though Mandork was scary from Dexter Lab. but looking back I realise that the kid just had issues.

  53. Having a shocker at work today and took time out to read this. Hilarious, loved it, thank you!

  54. thebeach2013 says:

    Thanks for checking out my post about the 80,s. I loved this!

  55. I’ve watched far too many episodes of Pokemon in my day! Great post.

  56. damercdabomb says:

    i absolutely love. Good work, Jowett

  57. ashleygoo says:

    You have… How do they say it in England? A way with words. 😉

  58. […] Likewise this blogger is good for a giggle and a grin- http://imonthebandwagon.com/2011/10/12/jowetts-post-taking-a-deeper-look-at-cartoon-characters-of-th… […]

  59. umi says:

    Cow & Chicken plus Dexter for sure! Cow & Chicken scarred your dad for life. LOL!

  60. Your band mates are just wrong about your writing.

  61. Steve Smith says:

    Jowett,

    That was entertaining, and made me wonder why, even at my age, I still read comics without thinking about the characters’ underlying motives, agendas, etc. My favorite comics (in the forties and fifties) included The Katzenjammer Kids (you’d have fun psyching this out); Terry and the Pirates, Nancy and Sluggo (God!); Prince Valiant (mostly for the artwork).

    Thanks for taking time to read my Spider story. I’ll check in with you from time to time . . .

    Steve Smith

  62. sherbertbomb says:

    Jowett I really love your blog so bloody funny, but I have to tell you mate, your apostrophes do my head in!

  63. lostnchina says:

    Why did I *just* stumble onto this? But… sigh…you just made me feel very old going down dysfunctional cartoon memory lane….

  64. Adila says:

    tbh, I recently started watching all these 90s cartoon again! haha
    I missed I Am Weasel lol

  65. hahaha! Great post! Good laughs! Love the humour! More pls…. 🙂

  66. Xelomon says:

    How about Power Puff girls? And I are Baboon? An the classical Tom and Jerry…

    I love your post on cartoons, it makes me think about them twice (I was planning to show them to my daughter, since these new cartoons are freaking me out). But I realise ol’ Dexter and Boneless cousin (from Cow and Chicken) might freak her out more!

  67. Cow and Chicken. OMG I forgot all about them! I used to watch them with my older kids. How funny.

  68. spider42 says:

    Completely loved the post bro! 😀 Growing up in the 90s myself I have to say I agree with you about pretty much all of it – though I stand firmly in my belief that ALL the cartoons that I watched growing up are infinitely superior still to what passes for kids entertainment this past decade-ish… its gotten horrid!
    Oh and what I loved most about this post is that I myself love to screw with my friends and mess with peoples childhoods like this too! 😀

    …and yeah, cow and chicken was one of the most disturbing things Ive ever seen… still is and that says a lot considering some of the stuff I’ve seen since. 🙂

    Cheers…

  69. Dude,

    The one I just remembered was my favorite.”Pinky and the Brain”

    Pinky- Tall, skinny, stupid mouse. The Brain- Short, chubby mouse with the face and voice and personality of Orson Wells.

    “It’s Pinky and the Brain-brain-brain-brain Brain-brain-brain-brain”

    Pinky: “Hey Brain. What are we going to do tonight?”

    The Brain: “The same thing we do every night Pinky. Try to take over the world.”

  70. itchemeyer says:

    Chimp with a knife. Laughed my ass off at the whole visual. You’re right!

  71. I am a bugs bunny a pal girl and can’t think ill of my poor bugs! Although, fog horn leg horn was a bit of a “toole ” at times !

  72. Well done, you’ve managed to successfully do what no man has done before.
    You’ve pinpointed the exact reason I’ve always been such a fan of Scrappy Doo as compared to his uncle. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love Scoob, but he leaves much to be desired as a conversationalist.
    Also Cow & Chicken was amazing. Huge. Fan.
    Great post, makes me wish it was Saturday morning and I had a huge bowl of cereal, my Garfield PJ’s, and a cartoon network marathon.
    🙂

  73. ann says:

    love. this. post. and holy crap you get a lot of traffic, mate! anyway, it’s well-deserved…this had me laughing my arse off all the way through. i’m a bit older than you and truly love cartoons, so i saw many of these through the eyes of a 20-something. a few points, if i may: scrappy-doo ruined everything. he took rainbows out of the sky and replaced sugar with aspertame. i despise scrappy-doo. and you were too quick to judge cow and chicken. it was a magical moment in cartoon network’s repertoire.

    on another note, the bits about johnny bravo and pokemon had me nearly pissing myself. and what an interesting take on dexter’s lab…but surely not every troubled genious has that in them, right?

  74. VigneshKrish says:

    Awesome Post!! Reminds me of the cartoons I used to see and you hit the nail right on Johnny Bravo’s coffin. I hated that and still hate it. Thanks for the giving me a trip back to cartoon heaven….

  75. zapple100 says:

    There was also catdog and Hey Arnold. Two of my favorites that I wish they would bring back.

  76. Isla White says:

    Brilliant post! When I sit now and watch some of the cartoons my 7 year old is in to, II can see how much things have changed. Spongebob is genius and we can watch that over and over and it is still funny!

  77. I was already an adult when Cow and Chicken came out and watched it with my children. Seeing the description of it through your eyes, I now have to wonder why I didn’t find the whole Brother/Sister thing strange. Then again….in my family….

  78. Susan Balducci says:

    I think a comic strip about your band should be your next endeavor – not done to my recollection, could be fun!

  79. Wow! This is great! I enjoyed reading about the various cartoons and the premises surrounding the illogical devices that drove them. I have banned all of the above in my household, and now, I can share the reason why. As I read, I instantly thought of “Catdog”?!? If this cartoon wasn’t a hoot, I don’t know what was. Imagine the implications involved in creating such a character. It would suggest that, for once, a cat and a dog took out time from fighting in order to breed.

  80. Funny shizzle! Either I’m old, or American, or both but I would hae liked to see some of the cartoons I watched analyzed–Tom & Jerry, Mighty Mouse, Woody Woodpecker… Great observations about Scooby, of course. How about Inspector Gadget! What was HE on?

    Assuming they were all hopped up, it’d be fun just to consider what each character might have been ingesting.

  81. bluntspear says:

    lol so true. no wonder we’re all soft in the head!

  82. Great article! Love your writing & keep it coming! Thank also for visiting my blog (http://disasterplanc.wordpress.com). I agree with Susan Balducci above – you should create a comic strip about your band. Thanks again!

  83. What a great comic relief for today…and well researched!

  84. jannatwrites says:

    The only one I’m familiar with was Scooby Doo (because it was around in the 70s/80s). I’ve never thought about why Scrappy Doo could talk so well, but it just might keep me up tonight wondering. Hmmm…maybe Scooby will be the face of the next anti-drug campaign?

  85. Terry Stawar says:

    Very cool. I miss Freakazoid.

  86. deepwellbridge says:

    Great post! They don’t make cartoons like the used to, in fact it’s gotten worse. I saw some piano students of mine watching a show called the “The Problem Solvers.” Everything about that cartoon was wrong! A weird sort of dressed thing with a low groggily voice solves problems. When he has a solution, he takes off his pants…. so um yeah its basically teaching kids to take your pants off when solving “problems” with weird men that speak in a low groggy voice.

  87. All of these deserve an adult side-eye. Of course, I didn’t see anything wrong with any of them at the time. The one exception is “CatDog” which raised many more questions than answers in my youthful brain, the most pressing being “How does it go to the bathroom?”

  88. Holly J says:

    I always suspected Johnny Bravo had a…problem.

  89. larrydb says:

    You have to love Scooby Doo – a classic!

  90. bmj2k says:

    Very nice job! Your take on Scooby Doo? Priceless.

  91. Sara no "H" says:

    Why did bravo only work out his upper body? It does seem a bit odd.

  92. maybz says:

    This made me remember Cow and Chicken…hehe…i missed these characters

  93. annewoodman says:

    I am sad to say I never made the connection with Scooby and Scrappy. But I am now very concerned about Scooby’s evident decline.

    As a parent, I’m thinking you should watch some current cartoons and give us the heads-up on what we should be most concerned about: Phineas and Ferb–why is one of them a genius but can’t talk? And don’t even get me started on Spongebob. Inquiring minds want to know.

    You would be performing a public service.

  94. Hilarious! I never thought of Scooby having a speech impediment before – trying to work out why? Well done and thanks for visiting my blog.

  95. Keith Wadley says:

    I think the cartoon Doug was on during the 90’s too. You know, the one where the kid turns into a super hero when he wears his underwear over his shorts and puts a belt around his head that somehow has the excess pointed straight up like a cobra on an Egyptian tomb? I loved the show though, with The Beets band and his buddy that was all blue, kind of like he ate too many smurfs or something. Enjoyed the post. Will check some older ones out too to see just how you fared compared to inputs from your band members.
    Keith

  96. 1walrus says:

    Shaggy: Looks like we’re busted this time, Scoob!

    Scooby: Rut-roh!

  97. saucyminxcreations says:

    LOL! Now I know why I’m so screwed up!

  98. bigron42 says:

    It’s weird how Scooby seemed to be the dog that wasn’t so smart, while Brian from Family Guy is a canine intellectual who speaks perfect English. He’s also a singer, dancer, co-star, TV watcher, drinker, college student, man about town, lover, and entrepreneur. Yet he still has his doggy moments.

  99. ogresan says:

    I always thought Dextger was more likely to go postal on DeeDee than his classmates, though it probably wouldn’t have gotten him anywhere–she was more a force of nature than a sister.

  100. terribogard says:

    No TMNT?

    I guess they started in the late 80s, but they definitely stretched into the mid 90s.
    And you’re counting Scooby-Doo as a 90s cartoon?

    I have a few objections to this list, but I enjoyed reading it. It’s been too long since I thought about Freakazoid!

  101. janet says:

    Yuck; they haven’t made any good cartoons since the 80’s. Gargoyles was a good one. My kids loved it, and it seemed to me that it connected with a lot of kids who felt “different”, which is probably most kids. Good art, good story, that makes a good cartoon, with a life lesson thrown in.

  102. sorrygnat says:

    best of luck with your blog-i’ll try to connect my son to it; he’s of your era; i’mhappy you liked my blog- you go guy!

  103. David Eric Cummins says:

    I literally laughed out loud reading this! I used to watch all of these (with the exception of Cow and Chicken). Didn’t think anyone else remembered Freakazoid!

  104. coachmisti says:

    How about Catdog! That was some weird stuff!

  105. psiknight99 says:

    Dexter’s Lab, ah, that was something special! 🙂

  106. The Scooby Doo was spot on! Very funny.

  107. jeangarrell says:

    Reblogged this on njgarrell and commented:
    hilarious. I loved most of these cartoons.

  108. jeangarrell says:

    What about the Smurfs?

  109. Lynda says:

    I agree with youngamericanwisdom! This is excellent!

    But, I am surprised you didn’t pick on Sponge Bob… I mean, what is the huge attraction for kids in a wet sponge and dorky starfish?

  110. mrsdeboots says:

    Very very funny. I will admit, like some others did, that Johnny Bravo was a favorite.

    I always liked to believe that Shaggy from Scooby Doo was on LSD and imagined allll that shit. Like only Scooby was real.

    Speaking of LSD, I scrolled thru the comments and was suprised no.one mentioned

    ren and stimpy? Sorry for the spacing, phone is crap.

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