Friday, June 01, 2007

Maybe I AM getting old.

What the hell is with kids’ cartoons these days?

When I was a kid we had Transformers, Thundercats, He-Man. All quality entertainment that was definitely worth watching.

Today, we have things like “Pokemon”, a cartoon where a kid travels around, catches animals, then forces them to fight each other. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that cock-fighting? “Gotta catch ‘em all!”? More like “Gotta commit a felony and be severely cruel to animals!”

The thing is, I’ll cut Pokemon a little slack. It has a bit of a storyline, but what I saw this morning had me shaking my head with disbelief.

Last night I was watching “Adult Swim”, so when I turned on the TV this morning, it was already on the cartoon network. “Yu-gi-oh” was just starting.

Now, I’d heard of this cartoon. One of my step-nephews has the card game based on it. The card game actually looked a little interesting. You have creature cards, and draw others randomly that give the creature special abilities etc.

What I didn’t realize was that the cartoon consists solely of people playing the card game. Sure, as a kid I played card games or board games based on cartoons, but usually the cartoon had a story that you played out with the game.

The cartoon went as follows:

A guy with badly drawn hair is challenged by a guy, who’s obviously evil, because he said so. Then, they spent the next 25 minutes just playing the goddamn card game.

“Ah ha! I’ve drawn the thunder-slash card which nullifies your creature’s special ability!”

“Ah ha! But I’ve drawn extra manna, which I use to recharge my creature’s shield! Ah ha!”

Let me be absolutely clear. This wasn’t two people actually fighting, or setting magical creatures on each other. This was two people drawing cards. I got the feeling that this is what it would be like if geeks ran the world, and instead of Superbowl Sunday we had “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Sunday” or “Magic : The Gathering World Series.”

It’s just not a cartoon. It’s a goddamn commercial/strategy guide for the card game. This is supposed to be entertainment?

So, anyway, the good guy beat the bad guy, and both acted like it really, really mattered. The bad guy left cursing the good guy’s name and insisting he’d get his revenge one day.

Revenge? One day? They guy’s armed with a deck of fricking cards! Just hit him with something!

I guess I just find it hard to get excited about watching the hero win a card game. Lion-o would have kicked the bad-guy’s ass, He-Man would have got Battle-Cat to eat him and Cheetara would have delivered a 120mph what from her battle-staff.

Don’t even get me started on what Optimus Prime would do.

Even the villains suck. In my day they’d set traps, swing swords or fire laser-blasters. In Yu-Gi-Oh they do dastardly evil things like stack the deck, or use x-ray glasses so they can see the next card drawn.

Ohh, scary! I bet the kids are shitting themselves!

Mum-ra or Skeletor would have done something real, like send their minions out to actually try to kill them.

Ok, note to anyone thinking of making a new cartoon. It’s perfectly fine to make tons of merchandising for your cartoon (I had my own ‘Sword of Omens’, ‘Castle Greyskull’ and a whole collection of Transformers after all), but the idea is to come up with the cartoon first.

Sure, Pokemon was a Gameboy game before it was a cartoon, but it was a little more conducive to a cartoon. Watching someone play a card game for 30 minutes isn’t really entertainment.


OzzyC said...

You're going to be a bona fide curmudgeon by 30. I've never seen yu-gi-oh, but I do remember he-man, thunder cats and many other cartoons of the 80's. They sucked.

You're selling some of today's stuff short. You've got to admit that Spongebob is hysterical.

Sunny said...

You've GOT to be KIDDING, Ozzy.

SPONGEBOB? Hysterical?
Hysterically stoopid is more like it.

80's Cartoons ROCK!

Paulius said...

Thundercats SUCKED?

I would respond to that...but I'm paralysed with rage.

Kato said...

Energon Cubes FTW.