I don’t know how it is today, but when my kids were kids, Saturday morning meant one thing: Cartoons. My son was a G.I. Joe/Transformers fan while my daughter was into Rainbow Bright, Strawberry Shortcake, and My Little Pony.
Back then, as I suppose it is today, the cartoons were specifically made to sell toys, and like the good little consumers we were, my kids had them all. In fact, I’m sure I can still find a Joe or a Pony in the attic if I bothered to crack open one of those dusty boxes or trunks up there.
The animation of the shows wasn’t all that good. Understandable since they had to kick these half hour serials out on a weekly schedule. Still, they were good enough to keep millions of young eyes glued to the tube (that’s a rather scary image, isn’t it?) every week while the minds behind those eyes were bombarded with ads for overly sweet cereals and plastic baubles.
Ahh! Those were they days!
More than a few adults watched as well. I never watched them consistently, but I did catch a few Transformers episodes. I was into some of the live action fare back then, like Land of the Lost.
Since my kids have grown and move on, Saturday morning no longer fills my house with bad dialog, explosions, and tinkly sounds, and I kinda miss it. I tried watching some of the shows offered up today, and some are pretty good. For instance, I liked the Spiderman and Ironman animated series, and Star War: The Clone Wars is also very good. But, for the most part, I’m not a fan of what’s being offered these days, which is why my interest was piqued when I saw free episodes for the updated versions of some of my kid’s favorite shows.
For starters, there’s My Little Pony. The new version looks like it’s being produced in a Japanese anime shop. That’s not bad, but it’s not to my taste, even if I was into My Little Pony (which I’m not). Still, it’s at least on par with the shows of old, and the dialog seems to be a lot better.
My Little Pony
There are new characters, lots of pastels, and huge, shimmery eyes everywhere. Your little girl will likely love it. You can own or rent part 1 of the first episode for free.
If you need little less pastel and a little more combat then G.I. Joe: The Decent Part 1 may be more to your liking. It is to mine, but only just so.
The dialog and the story is more in line with what I like, but I’m not a fan of the animation, which looks hastily drawn and colored, and movements are stiff and choppy, as if they cut out a few too many frames for economy’s sake. Still, it’s not bad for Saturday morning fare and, like My Little Pony, you can rent or own part 1 of the first episode for free.
If you want a good story and great animation, then you must check out Transformers: Prime. Again, part 1 of the first episode is free for rent or own, and this one you’ll definitely want to do either.
Here you can tell that some time was taken to make this show look good. The animation is smooth as silk and the characters have a substantive 3-D quality to them. It’s like watching a high quality video game that’s been made into a show.
The story is similar to the movie version, but I think I like this one better. The movie seemed rushed at times while this show takes its time and lets the characters interact more.
Good story, great animation, and at least a half hour of you-time while the kids watch, and its free. What more could you ask for?
That’s a wrap for this week. More free stuff below with direct links. Enjoy!