The best cartoons

The shows that most of the seniors and juniors grew up on.

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This picture reeks of my childhood.

Sandy Hutchins, Sports Editor

Growing up, I loved watching my favorite shows; if it was animated I would watch almost anything. A few shows, though, stood apart from the rest. A couple of my favorite shows are Avatar: The Last Airbender, Teen Titans, and lastly Codename: Kids Next Door. These shows were my favorite for varying reasons, some for the plot, others for the concept; but all were great in their own way.

Avatar: The Last Airbender follows the protagonist Aang through his journey to become the Avatar, and the show takes place in a world that is home to humans and spirits. Human civilization is divided into four nations: the Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Air Nomads, and the Fire Nation. Each nation has its own natural element, on which it bases its society, and within each nation exist people known as benders who can control and manipulate the element of their nation. Aang and his friends must save the world by defeating Fire Lord Ozai and ending the destructive war with the Fire Nation. This was and still is one of my favorite childhood shows because it was one of the first ones that held continuity, meaning unlike most other shows at the time its plot extended past one episode and strung together to form a full story. This was the thing that set it apart from the rest. The idea of bending was also very cool to me; the fact that they could move earth, breath fire, or fly was an amazing idea to my 7-year-old self.

Teen Titans was a cartoon that aired back in 2003-2006 but since it was so popular and critically acclaimed reran for most of my childhood. Teen Titans followed five teenage superheroes: Robin; the leader, Starfire, an alien; Cyborg, a cyborg; Raven, a dark powered girl; and Beast Boy, a joker who can turn into any animal, and their journeys involving saving Jump City. I liked this TV show because it had more mature themes and real character development. It took itself very seriously and I enjoyed that each episode was suspenseful and dark enough to keep it from being “kiddy.” Although it wasn’t always continuous, I loved it anyway.

Another one of my favorite shows was KND or Codename: Kids Next Door. KND centers on the adventures of five children who operate from a high-tech tree house, fighting against adult and teen villains with advanced 2×4 technology. This show aired from 2002 to 2008, the primetime for my childhood. This was a favorite because it was kids fighting against the monotony and boringness of adults and the sarcasm of the teenagers, who my sister just happened to be turning into. This show was a kid’s dream show, kids kicking adults’ butts and living how they want. However, like Teen Titans it was rarely continuous and focused on single episode stories. This did not stop me from loving every episode of it.

I don’t know if the demographic or times have changed, but on the off chance I stop to watch them, the new cartoons do not even come close to the old ones. The shows of today are even shorter, barely making 15 minutes and often have no below the surface plot or character development; they seemed to get dumber as the years went on, but who knows maybe I have just become a teenager, bitter over what I lost in childhood and now look down upon the new cartoons. One of the worst offenders is Teen Titans Go, a horrible remake that destroys all that was good in the original.  The old shows will forever hold a warm, nostalgic place in my heart.