Three children’s cartoons adults should watch.

Whoo boy. Cartoons have come a long, long way from the old, ultra-violent Tom and Jerry of the yesteryears. Further still, it has departed from the clever but still inherently child dominant cartoons of my own youth, such as Rugrats, Victor and Hugo, Dangermouse and so on. Now cartoons are not just the fillers between my favourite shows, but more often than not they are my favourite shows for a number of reasons that I will divulge for a trifecta of excellent programs, each with their own characteristics as to why they deserve a second glance from the disenfranchised adult viewer. Remember that these shows are far flung from the otaku shores of cool anime, and they are also quite removed from ‘adult cartoons’ such as Family Guy, The Simpsons and even something like Ren and Stimpy (whose reliance on gross out humour I could never truly admire). In any case, here are three cartoons I suggest you have a gander at, in an increasing order of importance:

Powerpuff Girls

The name of this particular program is sufficient to remove interest for perhaps 95% of the population, but I can only suggest you hold on and take a look at the often dry, sometimes dark humour of program. The story revolves around three girls (sisters?) who have super powers to save the city of townsville. Included in the cast is Proffesor Utonium(who created them as the intro explains), a rather jaunty narrator and a host of super villains. Its building blocks make PG seem like a girly version of any traditional comic but have no fear. Genndy Tartokovsky (who is also responsible for number 2 in this list) ensures a rich tone of humour, from the mumblings of the ever present Mojo Jojo to the interactions between the girls whose seperate personalities often cause small rifts to appear. The fights are good natured fun, the conclusions are decent and all in all a superior broadcast.

Adult tip: check out the episode which consists entirely of a The Beatles parody. Yoko Ono portrayed as an evil monkey seems… so right, in so many ways.

Samurai Jack

The loftier peak of Samurai Jack was so far flung into the stratosphere of “what sort of viewer is this directed at” but simultaneously being hyper awesome made it create five series then fall into  a dead faint on whether a movie will ever be created. Every single one of Samurai Jack’s episodes is a visual and aural delight for the senses. The story is around the title character in his attempts to defeat the shapeshifting master of darkness Aku (voiced brilliantly by the late Mako). Jack’s magic sword can defeat Aku, but Aku flings him into the distant future, in world overrun by Aku but also populated by thousands of different tribes and thousands of different locales. A single episode typically revolves around Jack fixing a particular tribe, or trying to find his way back home. What is equally impressive with the visual and aural merits (excellent, excellent music at times) is the action sequences which can often last entire episodes leading to a lack of dialogue; the environment and actions of the characters however more than soak up that hole. Samurai Jack is so far departed from other cartoons its difficult to describe in words just what its appeal is, but anyone with a scrap of interest in altering artistic styles will lap it up.

Adult tip: Want a single episode that encapsulates what Samurai Jack is all about? Check out “Jack and the Blind Archers” for a visually haunting experience that fully deserves whatever television and auditory setup you can muster. Other great episodes include “Jack and the mountain warrior” (or something similar to that), “Jack and the Rave” and the interesting “Jack and the Scotsman”.

Spongebob Squarepants

Spongebob Squarepants is my favourite show on television. It is stunningly, shockingly, awe-inspiringly creative and wonderfully executed. There is far too much for me to talk about here (I may well give an entire article to it at some point) but the humour is in a league of its own, the gags are the most incredibly unexpected ever and on a side note, it never EVER resorts to toilet humour to get something funny across. The brainchild of Stephen Hillenburg (an actual marine biologist as you do), the characters are all extremely well developed with no expense of the hilarity. Spongebob himself is perhaps the greatest character ever, his very body being a manipulable medium for the muses that they have writing the stuff to work upon. Watch it.

Adult tip: rumours surface over the apparent qualities of the program for some sub cultures… in any case if you want a good, fun episode… then… any single one of them is mint so yeah just go for it. Kudos to PANTERA offerring their musical prowess on a particular episode too.

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~ by freeze43 on January 5, 2009.

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