Nostalgia cartoons take over Netflix
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
With the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and rumours of an upcoming Jem and the Holograms revival, it’s clear that people just can’t seem to get enough of classic cartoons. And nobody has picked up on this better than Netflix.
Netflix has been updating its catalogue of ‘80s to ‘90s cartoons, branching out from the X-Men TV series from 1992, to include the likes of Batman: The Animated Series and Scooby-Doo. So then let’s take a look at a few of the newer additions to see if any tickle your nostalgia bone.
My Little Pony: No, I’m not talking about the new MLP that features anorexic ponies and a fandom of creepy 40-year-old men, but the MLP of old! It’s nice to see all my favourites back again in their squishable, huggable glory. Netflix hasn’t uploaded the short-lived ‘80s television show, but what they have done is gain the rights to the movies. So if you’re looking for a super girly trot down memory lane, pretty much every MLP movie from the late ‘90s to the early 2000s is available.
Batman: The Animated Series: I might be admitting my age a bit when I say I grew up on this show. Let’s be honest, many of you might not have even been born in 1992. But that doesn’t change the fact that this series is quintessential for any superhero fan. Aside from it being Batman, this cartoon was one of DC’s first major moves into animation, and the lore developed in this series has stuck. Many of the ideas and characters developed in Batman: The Animated Series have had a serious impact on the artists and writers of today’s comics and cartoons, meaning that the character development and aesthetic stylization synonymous with Batman (dark, brooding etc.) became such because of this series. Admittedly it gets pretty terrible towards the later seasons, when it becomes a little too soft narrative-wise and the art budget gets cut, but the early seasons are well-worth a look.
Garfield and Friends: Now this cartoon is old even for me, but I’m not sure if I could name anyone who isn’t familiar with this lasagna-lover. So far Netflix has only uploaded a single season of 16 episodes that ran from 1988-89. Though this series still runs in syndicate on major networks such as YTV and Teletoon, it’s nice to be able to marathon the entire first season. The episodes are just that, episodic, so there’s no overarching plots to concentrate on. Jim Davis originally developed Garfield for the funny pages of the paper, and none of that charm is lost in this classic cartoon. I even enjoyed the random trips to Orson’s Farm!
Jem and the Holograms: I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this one. Though I never experienced the glory of Jem through television when I was younger (it aired before I was born), I did have two older sisters to hand the gauntlet and VHS tapes down. Filled with catchy pop music and crazy ‘80s fashion, Jem and the Holograms is probably one of the biggest cartoons of its era. It’s fallen to the wayside recently, relegated to late-night airings on Teletoon Retro instead of the mainstream coverage that X-Men, Batman,and Garfield got. To be fair, this series does deal with some pretty heavy issues such as drug abuse, theft, abandonment, and death. It also seems to be a pattern with the major networks that specifically female-orientated cartoons aren’t ever picked up for broadcast syndication, but let’s avoid that feminist rant for now. All you need to know about this show is it’s truly outrageous, and a movie based on the series might be in the works.