Now that we have wresteled with important issues such as global warming, liberal Hollywood, and the reasons that T-Rexes have such tiny arms, let's lighten it up a little by granting the Ran-Dumb award for the best cartoon ever. (You have to read that with the Comic Book Guy's voice in your head, "Best. Cartoon. Ever.") This week I will also be holding a contest to see who can comment with the three best cartoons that were left off my list below, so please comment. Who knows, you might be this weeks big winner.
I was born in 1974, so my frame of reference centers heavily upon the early-to-mid 1980's. By the time I was ordained a Deacon I had moved on to more mature things than childish cartoons, you know, like burning things with magnifying glasses and making boobie traps in the backyard. So without further ado, the best cartoons ever (you can click the hyperlinked cartoon names to see a quick Youtube clip):
The creators of Voltron were geniuses. They had five characters that each rode in these robotic, powerful panther-like vehicles that were awesome by themselves. But they didn't stop there, the five individuals could come together to form a giant, unstoppable mega-robot that wielded a 30-foot electric sword! I still remember being a kid and only having three of the five toy panther vehicles and never being able to fully assemble the megabot. One of the only regrets of my otherwise blissful childhood. Nonetheless, a great cartoon.
4. GI Joe
In the intro we learn that GI Joe's purpose is to, "Defend human freedom against Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world." Not only was GI Joe a very cool cartoon, but it prepared us for life in two ways:
1) It coined the phrase, "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle" where at the end of each episode a public service announcement was given by a soldier with a grenade in one hand and an AK-47 in the other. My personal favorite is from Flint who wisely instructed kids who were yelling at their goalie for allowing the game-losing goal by saying, "Will yelling at Billy help?... Look, if you want to play your best you got to play like a team. Remember, you need teamwork to win, not arguments." If only Kobe Bryant had listened to Flint, the Lakers might be going on a six-peat right now.....
2) Get ready for a future that will be heavily impacted by terrorist organizations that want to rule the world. If only the Bush administration could somehow remind everybody in their in their 20's and 30's that our military is only doing what Sgt. Slaughter, Snake Eyes, Duke and the boys were doing years ago, his approval rating would go through the roof.
Definitely has the best intro of all-time. It gets my adrenaline going to hear the theme song and see all of the he-felines running around. I truly debated having Thundercats ranked as the number one cartoon of all time, and in many ways it is. No matter how good the show, however, you simply cannot get past the sniveling, whining, always frightened Snarf. He is the original Jar-Jar Binks who can single handedly kill an otherwise great show. I'm sure they put him in for "comic relief", but all we needed as kids were explosions and cool fight scenes. In this case, it cost them the Ran-Dumb award.
Autobots. Decepticons. Optimus Prime. Cyberton. What else needs to be said? The storylines were nothing memorable, but I'll never forget the time I saw the Decepticon transform into a casette player/boom box and then two cassette tapes were ejected into the air and transformed into mini-Decepticons! Transformers within a transformer.....definietly more than meets the eye.
And the winner of the Ran-Dumb award is He-Man! Not only is He-Man a classic hero, but Skeletor is hands-down the best cartoon villain in the history of television. I think He-Man also resonated with me because I was accustomed to the uber-muscular Arnold Friberg Book of Mormon paintings. He-Man looks similar to what I imagined Nephi would have looked like weilding the Sword of Laban. To take this one step further, could Battle Cat be the mysterious curelom or cumom referred to in Ether 9:19? It says they were "useful unto man", and what could be more useful than a magical, armored green and yellow tiger?
My favorite part of the He-Man intro is when he looks right into the camera and says, "...and I became He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe!" and then punches you right in the face! Bam! No warning. No reason. No remorse. He just rears back and cheapshots you! Is that really necessary if you are the most powerful man in the universe?
This weeks challenge:Now that you have read my list, please comment with your top 3 cartoons that were not included above. Whoever has the best selections and the best reasons for them will be crowned this weeks champion.