We all struggle to grow up, often grasping to those things in our childhoods that we held dear and want to remember forever. Unfortunately, we all have to grow up at some point, but rest easy my friends, there is hope. One of the best things about having children of our own, is the chance (read: excuse) to be able to sit down with them and enjoy the cartoons or other shows we fell in love with as children ourselves.
Now, I’m not advocating for people to have more children just for the sheer purpose of watching reruns of old cartoons. Instead, I’m saying that we should take advantage of their own wonder by sharing time with them watching those programs we all miss so much. Being a father of twin boys myself, here are some of my favorites that I enjoy watching with my kids.
Challenge Of The Super Friends
Now there were two incarnations of the show before The Challenge Of The Super Friends, but it wasn’t until Hanna Barbara started to develop the show using both heroes and villains from the Justice League Of America comics, that the show really took off in my mind. With the Super Friends being comprised of Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Apache Chief, Hawkman, Black Volcan, and Samurai, each episode dedicated itself to the team of super heroes battling for Earth’s safety against the Legion Of Doom, which in turn featured Bizzarro, Black Manta, Braniac, Captain Cold, Cheetah, Giganta, Grodd, Lex Luthor, Riddler, Scarecrow, Sinestro, Solomon Grundy, and Toyman. Everyone remembers the Hall of Justice and the Hall Of Doom, which itself was shaped like Darth Vader’s helmet.
What I love about sharing it with my kids today is that I can introduce them to some of the most famous comic book super heroes of all-time, but do so in an age appropriate manner. This way, they get to enjoy the excitement, without the violence often depicted in today’s super hero cartoons.
The New Scooby Doo Movies
Now, you can’t go wrong with any of the many editions of Scooby Doo, well maybe Scooby Doo and Scrappy Doo, but for my money, my heart was always with with The New Scooby Doo Movies. Not only did you get the same level of mystery that the other incarnations gave you, but you also were rewarded with excellent guest spots from the likes of Don Knotts, The Harlem Globetrotters, Dick Van Dyke, The Three Stooges, and Batman and Robin to name a few. Each show was ripe with laughs and still holds a lot of its quality today, with only the characters outfits showing any signs of age.
Like Super Friends above, this show remains age appropriate for kids of all ages. What I love about sharing it with my kids is that it teaches them that there is no real monsters to be afraid of, as they always pulled back the disguise to reveal a crook behind all the shenanigans.
Now here is a show that I really missed before they finally released the seasons on DVD. I’ll be honest, I was never a big Sesame Street guy, and the same holds true for my kids, but that doesn’t mean I can’t hold a soft spot for Muppets in general. That being said, this show was as much about imaginations as it was about learning lessons to cope with all sorts of problems. While they were a fun loving bunch who lived under ground and resembled any but human, they still had to deal with human issues like being comfortable with one’s self and other hot social issues of the early 1980’s, some of which are still relevant today. How many of you who have ever seen this wonderful program can honestly say that you’ve forgotten the theme songs, that the Doozer sticks are made from radishes, or even the trash heap?
As discussed above, this show does a great job of breaking down complex social issues so that kids of all ages can learn the lessons that can carry them forward as they grow up.
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
Now this is the one show in this article that I am doing sheerly out of my own personal enjoyment. I have always been a comic book junkie, although to a much lesser extent now that I am an adult. However, while my days of buying the books have past, I am still able to convince my wife to see just about any comic movie that I desire. Spider-Man, along with Iceman (one of the original X-Men) and Firestar (an original character developed for the show and later added to the Marvel Comic universe), would do the typical super hero thing; defend the city against his arch enemies. As it was presented by Marvel Productions, it had the luxury of using just about any character or villain at its disposal, a trait it would take advantage of in order to keep the show fresh. The show also spotlighted the first appearance of Wolverine in anything other than the comic.
Again, this show, while a tad more violent than Super Friends, it is still age appropriate for most children, as the violence is more implied than it is shown. The show does a great job of sticking to the comics as much as possible, which may be trivial to your children, but to adults, that is what makes it special.
Other shows worth watching with older kids include:
– The Transformers – 1984-1987
– G.I. Joe – Real American Heroes – 1985-1987
– Dungeons and Dragons – 1983-1985
Super Friends, Wikipedia.com
Justice League Of America, Wikipedia.com
The New Scooby Doo Movies, Wikipedia.com
Fraggle Rock, Wikipedia.com
Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends, Wikipedia.com