Justin had a chat with composer Jim Lang who composed one of his favorite Nicktoons shows Hey Arnold. Jim Lang discusses his beginnings, how he fell in love with music, what it's like to come back to compose for Hey Arnold and talk some of his favorite compositions from the show.Read More
Hey Arnold is one of my favorite cartoons and Nicktoons of all time. The show had a good moral compass, great cast, fun stories. However once in a while Hey Arnold got serious. The show gave episodes with adult themes, adult problems and these episode as a kid made you think. These episode were pack with emotional depth and it was touching. Here are the top 5 Touching Moments in Hey Arnold.Read More
The Game Shows Of Nickelodeon - The Nickelodeon of my era had tons of great game shows. These game shows not only were fun and entertaining, but it also educated you in the process. These shows tested kids mentally, physically and taught good sportsmanship. Some of my personal favorite game shows on Nickelodeon were, "Double Dare", "Nick Arcade", "Legend Of The Hidden Temple", "Figure It Out" and of course my favorite "Guts." These shows were creative, challenging and really made us kids who grew up in the 90's want to be on these shows. I was dying and hoping that Guts would come to New York City, but it never did. Here are some clips/episodes of the great game shows of Nickelodeon.
Legend Of The Hidden Temple
The Shows Of Nickelodeon - I would be here all day if I would to go through all the great shows that were on Nickelodeon back in the day. Just to name a couple, "All That", "Journey Of Allen Strange", "Alex Mack", "Clarissa Explains It All", "Are You Afraid Of The Dark?", "The Adventures Of Pete & Pete" and many more. These shows made us laugh, some made us cry and others made us scared. These shows had some great stories that I would never forget. Who will forget the story on "Are You Afraid Of The Dark" with the brother and sister and one of them happens to be an alien? Everybody will always remember "All That" for great skits such as "Good Burger", "Repairman" or "The Librarian With Laurie Beth." The Nick shows of the past have so many unforgettable moments. But most importantly most of them taught a moral lesson as well as entertain us. Kids were kids back in the days, subjects such as love were touch on, but it was done so innocently that parents didn't care. Nowadays on television junior high school kids are in serious relationships and dealing with issues of cheating. The shows on the old Nickelodeon were original, creative and most importantly had substance. Here is some clips/episodes of some great Nickelodeon shows.
Clarissa Explains It All
Cartoons Of Nickelodeon - Probably the best thing on Nickelodeon besides the game shows and TV sitcoms was the cartoons. "Rugrats", "Doug", "Ahh Real Monsters", "Angry Beavers", "Rocko's Modern Life" and "Hey Arnold" just to name a few. These cartoons and more were very different than any on television. It was original, creative and thought provoking. It's no secret that my favorite Nicktoon was and always will be "Hey Arnold." There was something really special about "Hey Arnold." It was a show with moral value, substance and at times even made me cry. Episodes like "Arnold Christmas Special", "Parent's Day" and "Pigeon Man" were all tear jerkers. You didn't see cartoons that instill such emotion in you. Doug was a brilliant show but also showed the stages of having a crush, fear of talking to a girl and many more. The cartoons on Nickelodeon were truly ahead of there time and the best part about it, even the adults picked something up from watching it. These toons had substance, made you laugh, and will stand the test of time. Here some clips/episodes of my favorite Nicktoons.
Rocko's Modern Life
A toast to golden age of Nickelodeon. The age where cartoons had moral substance and meaning, the characters and moments will stand the test of time. The game shows were wacky, crazy and entertaining as hell. The TV shows were fun, silly, dramatic and scary. A toast to the actors, voice actors, directors, producers who made some of the best programming for kids. A toast to the good old days of Nickelodeon.
Tell us your favorite Nickelodeon shows, moments, characters in the comment section.
1. Moral Lessons - Whether it was direct, subliminally, or through humor 90's cartoons always had some message or lesson to teach their audience. Sad to say you really don't get that in today's cartoons as much. Cartoons like "Hey Arnold" is a perfect example of morality being the key element in the show. Arnold always had some lesson to learn, to show or to teach. One of my favorite episodes in "Hey Arnold" is "The Pigeon Man" episode. In this episode Arnold meets a man named Vincent who only companions are pigeons. If you look deeper into the episode, you'll see a man who lost faith in humanity, only to have it restored by Arnold. Here is the best scene from this tear jerker episode, and gives a great lesson that there is still good out there.
The Pigeon Man Speech
"Hey Arnold" is the not the only show that pulled out messages, or had tear jerkers episodes. A really good Spiderman TAS episode was "Make A Wish" when Spiderman meets his biggest fan. The episodes plays out like any normal Spiderman TAS episode. Peter has his issues, he is thinking of quitting Spiderman, he's lost and doesn't know what to do. Until Madame Web and a little girl name Tania remind him why he is important, why he is needed. The ending has a nice tear jerker when you find out about Tania. Check the clip below.
Spidey Biggest Fan
Finally another example of moral lessons is from a cartoon that you least expect to tackle the issue of death. The "Rugrats" Mother's Day Special did just that. Chuckie finally finds out the truth about his mother and the way it was written and handle, is still one of the most tear jerker moments I've seen in a cartoon. Check out the clip below.
Chuckie This Is Your Mommy
I can sit here and name tons and tons of shows, that taught lessons, had dark tones but still came off as something watchable for kids. The 90's cartoons wasn't afraid to touch on topics like death, drugs, being bullied and more. These cartoons were bold, brave and had enough to balance story without coming off as preachy.
2. Originality And Moments That Live Forever- Cartoon of the 90's was so diverse, so original you would watch the shows for hours. From Animanics, Dexter's Laboratory , Doug, Rocko's Modern Life, Batman TAS, X-Men TAS and many more. These cartoons were fresh, unique and stood out from each other. Doug was nothing like Rocko's Modern Life, Batman TAS was nothing like X-Men's TAS. Each cartoon was original in animation, story, theme, design and it was a pure enjoyable. 90's cartoons have moments that I will never forget. Doug first date with Patti when they nearly kiss, but didn't. Darkseid killing Dan Turpin and Superman going ballistic. There are tons of moments that will forever stay in your hearts. Cartoons of the 90's are classics and still stand the test of time and are relevant and needed more than ever these days.
3. The Theme Songs - Who can forget the catchy theme songs of the 90's cartoons. The 90's cartoons theme songs were some of the best. How can you not love a theme that goes "We're tiny, we're toony, we're all a bit a little looney." If you grew up watching these toons there is at least one theme that is always in your brain. I' am guilty of humming or randomly singing the Animanics theme or Rocko's Modern Life from time to time. The theme songs were catchy and got you excited for the show, not many theme songs do that today. Not only was the theme songs great, but the background music was as well. Some of the best background music came from Batman TAS. Composer Shirley Walker put her all into the series leaving us with some of the best OST from an animation. She treated the cartoon like it was a motion picture and that made Batman TAS really stand out above the rest.
I could go on and on about why the 90's era of cartoons ruled. However why don't you just watch some for yourself and see the magic, the glory and the lessons. You'll see why so many kids of the 80's and 90's outcry about today's cartoon. The cartoons are not the same they seem to lack the magic, the moral lesson, the originality that made the 90's cartoons so special. I love the 90's cartoons and will always.