Autumn has to be my favorite season of all. The weather gets cooler, the leaves turn brown and fall, and all of the cool holidays come with this season. It also doesn’t hurt that my birthday is in October. What I used to hate about the Fall was going back to school. However, one of the things I liked best about September was the new television shows and schedules. I was always psyched about new prime time shows that were starting up. But, the shows I looked forward to the most were Saturday morning and weekday afternoon cartoons. The summer would have previews that build excitement for the upcoming cartoons. A major change to the concept of weekday afternoon toons came in September, 1990. That year, Disney cleared a two hour block to showcase their own cartoons. It was called “The Disney Afternoon.”
The Disney Afternoon ran for seven years and would have cartoons phase in and out throughout the years. I am going to concentrate on the first season because it was the one where I gave my most attention to. I was watching a lot of cartoons that year. The Super Mario Bros. Super Show was kicking ass and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came on after the Disney cartoons at a late 5pm. That was strange because around Christmas it was already dark out when I was getting my TMNT fix.
Gummi Bears was originally a Saturday morning cartoon that I used to watch but they moved it over to the Disney Afternoon for a time filler (I guess). It first came on the air in 1985 and kept running on Saturdays until it moved to weekdays. The story is about a bunch of bears with special powers. The humans became jealous of the bear’s powers and forced them into exile. I don’t know what kind of A-holes these people must be to be prejudiced against some cute furry bouncy bears. Maybe the Gummi bears have a jerky past themselves and are whitewashing their history, thus making the humans as the bad guys. Maybe the cute fuzziness of the bears made them ultimate cock blockers. Who could get lucky when cute bears bounce through your window while you’re doing the deed and then innocently ask what you’re doing?
Another theory of mine on why they were exiled into the forest is because of their Gummiberry Juice. The Gummi bears would cook up a batch of this stuff to obtain super-bouncing powers. If a human drinks it, they would temporary obtain super-human powers. In one episode, the younger, female bear, Sunni attempted to make a batch of juice but it exploded. If a group of magical bears tried to introduce Disney’s version of Meth into my neighborhood, we’d probably kick them the hell out too. Begone, Biatch!
Ducktales was a cartoon that I started to watch since day one. It first aired in 1987 as a lone Disney cartoon during the weekdays and was so popular, it eventually lead to the creation of the Disney Afternoon. The story is about a rich duck who is left to care for his three nephews while their guardian, Donald Duck goes off to the navy. It quickly becomes apparent that Scrooge McDuck is a cheap bastard. He nickels and dimes everyone he meets, including his nephews! In fact, the only way Scrooge has any adventures is on expeditions to find lost treasures, ergo, making more money. Let’s not forget that McDuck is the richest duck in the world. That’s kinda greedy. Scrooge is kinda dumb too. Instead of going on dangerous adventures and putting someone else’s kids in danger, Scrooge could have some of his banks dish out sub-prime loans and then cash in when the adjustable rate goes up. As smart as Scrooge is, I’m sure he’ll know when to sell mortgages before they lose value. No recession could touch his skills. He could be the ultimate fat cat…uh, duck. In addition, Scrooge has some problems. In the Treasures of the Golden Suns episodes, he was getting Gold Fever. His eyes were turning beady, he would get the hiccups, and he would scratch himself because he was fiending for gold. Scratching as if he was a crackhead.
C’mon Scrooge, set a good example for the kids.
Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers became part of the hour of Disney programming a year before the Disney Afternoon came to television. The show aired from 1989 until September, 1993. The story is about Chip and Dale who opens a detective agency. In the show, Chip and Dale wear clothing. Chip is modeled after Indiana Jones and Dale is modeled after Magnum P.I. Thinking about it now, a movie with an Indiana Jones and Magnum P.I. duo would be all kinds of awesome.
Gadget is a mouse who has the skills to make “gadgets” that help with their investigations. Both Chip and Dale had a thing for her and always pined for her interest. One of them should’ve just flat-out told her his feelings. It’s obvious both of them are gunning for her and it’s first come, first serve, unless Gadget is kinky. Whoever would get here is the lucky one because with her skills, it looks like she could invent stuff to keep things interesting in the nest.
You don’t know how crazy she can be.
Zipper the fly and Monterey Jack round out the rest of the team. Zipper doesn’t speak English but buzzes. Monty translates Zipper’s speech because I guess he speaks Fly. Monterey has a weird quirk. Whenever he smells or sees cheese, his face gets all skewered and he looses control. I used to know some coke heads, and whenever cocaine was mentioned, they would perk up and ask for coke. Monty totally reminds me of their reaction.
Hmm… with Gummi bears and their meth juice, Scrooge with his gold fever, and Monterey Jack with his cheese jones, it seems as if Disney is giving some kind of pro-drug subliminal message. No wonder the “Say No To Drugs” campaign didn’t work. If this is my last blog post and I’m never heard from again, then I guess I was right. Gulp!
Last but definitely not least is the awesome Talespin, which is based on the characters from The Jungle Book. It first premiered with the Disney Afternoon in September, 1990, about twenty years ago. The last episode was aired a year later but reruns aired until September, 1994. One of the big points about the show I never noticed until recently is that the show seems to take place in the late 1930’s. The technology and architecture styles resemble that era. Even the broadcast of news is delivered through radio.
The story is about a pilot named Baloo who defaults on bank loans and loses his company to the bank, which is then purchased by a feisty woman named Rebecca Cunningham. Baloo has a young flight navigator named Kit Cloudkicker and they make deliveries in their plane while avoiding sky pirates. I don’t understand the logic of someone purchasing a courier business when pirates with weaponized planes roam the outskirts of town, but I didn’t major in business, so what do I know?
Right off the bat, it’s easy to quickly realize that Rebecca is kind of a bitch, but I guess you have to be when you’re a boss, especially when you have a slacker employee like Baloo.
Baloo and Rebecca have a weird love/hate vibe going on between them. I know I’m not the only one who noticed this with the weird youtube love videos of Baloo and Rebecca. One of the co-creators of Talespin stated that their relationship is based after Sam and Rebecca from the sitcom “Cheers.” This leads me to believe that at some point, one thing will lead to another. You know what I mean.
Hurry up and get it over with!
Although many more cartoons appeared on The Disney Afternoon, the first year was the one I paid the most attention to. This two hour cartoon block was big news back then and basically anyone around my age can tell me all about it as if it was still on T.V. These cartoons can be found online and they are also sold on DVD. I still put it on every once in a while and it reminds me of simpler times when I didn’t have so many responsibilities and was carefree. They were all great cartoons and my son will know them instead of the junk that’s currently on T.V. I’d suggest your kids do the same. Peace.