An overview and reminder of just how great the late 80s and 90s Disney cartoons use to be. The Nostalgia Critic makes a lot of astute observations that I had never thought deeply about before.
In most cartoons for instance the hero is either righteous, or incompetent, but Darkwing Duck was a glory hunter, fighting crime for fame and gratitude. The critic notes he is like a child playing out his fantasies and that made me consider how the series was ahead of its time in predicting the man-child of today. Growing up on comics and cartoons, they now have the ability to re-enact their childhood using the skills they have gained as adults.
The critic also timelines the steady decline in quality from 1992 onwards. Goof Troop heralded the start of Disney trying to be ‘cool’, ‘hip’ and ‘relevant’, which had the opposite effect of being aged, cringeworthy and committing the sin of targeting an audience that existed on a marketer’s excel sheet. Even as a young tyke I could tell what Disney was trying to accomplish; speaking to ‘my generation’ when in fact my mind rejected it because I felt no affinity with Max. Nothing about his American suburban life felt relevant to my life in a British terrace house. It is telling how decades on when furs get nostalgic about Disney cartoons; DuckTales, Tail Spin and Chip ’n’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers will crop up more frequently in conversation than the likes of Goof Troop or Bonkers.
One final thing I noticed is how Disney released their cartoons differently between the US and the UK. In the UK they were broadcast Saturday morning on ITV under a variety of show formats. Subsequently I was confused when Nostalgia Critic did not talk about programmes such as The Little Mermaid, Jungle Cubs and 101 Dalmatians The Series, till I realised they were not part of the Disney Afternoon slot and in the case of The Little Mermaid was on a completely different channel.