End of an Era
Saturday Morning Cartoons... What images are conjured up in your head when you hear those wonderful words? Now when you pass on the magic of Saturday mornings to your kids and grandkids, they will only be stories of your childhood, never to be experienced in the same way again. I heard on the radio the other day that we have reached an end of an era. The practice of hours upon hours of animated features to "babysit" a generation since the 1960's has come to an end. Saturday Morning Cartoons are now a thing of the past.
Sure, you can still find these classic favorites in collections or on 24-hour television, but it's not the same as sitting cross-legged within arm's length of the television dial waiting for the next pre-selected cartoon to come on...
I don't know about you, but I was raised in the culture of waking up way before the time to get ready for school (which was physically impossible during the actual school week), creeping into the living room with a bowl precariously filled to the brim with a favorite sugar cereal and milk and plunking myself down a few feet in front of the gigantic floor model television set and staying there, mesmerized for hours until the Soul Train whistle told me that the dancing was over for the week. Even then, I could be easily enticed to extend my floor time with the Saturday afternoon movie selections such as Ma & Pa Kettle, Jerry Lewis, Bad News Bears or even a little Abbot and Costello.
I have NO idea what was going on in the house or even if my parents existed as I got lost in that world of animation, Superheros and funky dance moves!
I'm sure the parents across the nation were happy to oblige this Saturday morning indulgence so that they too could get a few hours of peace and quite. After all, this was a time in history, when most parents were home for the weekend and stores were still closed on Sundays.
I know as in the case of my parents, they were happy that I was glued to the television because that meant that I wasn't getting into anything else! My obnoxiousness was contained to my square of floor space or a corner of the couch.
I recall making out my Christmas lists with the parade of new and amazing toys that I just HAD to have! I also helped out with the grocery list, because before we ever set foot in the grocery store, I knew exactly which cereal I wanted because of the toy that was advertised in each. I knew all the tag lines for all the cereals, restaurants, and toy brands. ... And to think that people call Saturday mornings a waste of kid's time!! Lol!
for their assistance in passing seventh grade American History, learning our multiplication tables and making elementary science tolerable! It may even be the beginnings of my love for the English language that translated into the writing that I enjoy today... (I would have NEVER figured out prepositional phrases without those little ants!)
By the 1990's the programming began to change to keep up with the many choices of cable tv, and the traditions of Saturday Morning Cartoons was soon destined to be a memory as the networks began to drop out one by one. Yes, this culture/tradition is limited to a specific generation as by the time my kids came along, they were the VCR generation and there was always a steady stream of Disney classics of their choosing, to keep them occupied while Mommy got those few extra hours of sleep.
It was a little sad to hear though that it is now officially over. The last television station to participate in Saturday Morning Cartoons has called it quits. The CW's Network, Vortexx has called it quits by canceling the last block of cartoons to be switched with live-action educational shows. Pfft... who needs that?
Boy, I suddenly feel old. Even a bit nostalgic... and I didn't think I was old enough for that... But let's linger in the yesteryear for just a moment more and share with me your favorite Cartoon classics, memorable commercials or most beloved Schoolhouse Rock episode!!