Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wednesday Factoid: Childhood Shows

Today's Wednesday Factoid is: What were your favorite childhood shows and characters?

As you might imagine, I kinda dug cartoons when I was a kid. And continued to dig cartoons as a teenager, and currently dig cartoons as an adult. So even though from my vantage point as pushing-forty adult type my teenage years were "childhood," I'm only talking about my favorites from childhood childhood.

My favorite cartoons as a kid:
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks 
  • The Care Bears
  • Charmkins
  • The Ewoks
  • The Gummi Bears
  • The Hugga Bunch
  • Inspector Gadget
  • It's Punky Brewster
  • Jem and the Holograms
  • The Littles
  • The Mysterious Cities of Gold
  • The Popples
  • Rainbow Brite
  • She-Ra
  • Shirt Tales
  • The Smurfs
  • The Snorks
  • Woody Woodpecker  
Hooray for the 1980s.

For the record, I didn't really like any live-action shows as a kid. I had a weird belief that kids' shows were animated and adult shows were not, and if a show was not animated, I thought it was not for me. The exception was Sesame Street, so I guess that technically belongs up there too. I didn't like a lot of the other live-action shows I knew to be for kids like Electric Company and Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood

I didn't really start developing favorite characters for most of these unless I was really into them. I didn't even know the characters' names in some cases. But I had favorites in a few cases, and sometimes when my sisters and I would play games, we would pretend to be our favorites and act out stuff from the cartoons.

For Alvin and the Chipmunks, my sisters and I actually just liked the Chipmunk Adventure movie, and we dug the Chipettes. I would usually be Brittany. Largely because she was the bossy/leader type and I thought as the eldest I should be her, and I liked her leg warmers.

I was honestly not huge into The Care Bears but my friend Ellen was so I enjoyed it along with her. My favorite was Birthday Bear and I still have a little pillow plush of him.

For the Ewoks cartoon I was kind of obsessed with Princess Kneesaa and I got my mom to make me a cape that was like hers, with little Ewok ears on it even. To be honest I'm sure I only liked her because she was a princess and a girl.

I liked Sunny from The Gummi Bears and Huggins from The Hugga Bunch. And I really wanted to be Penny from Inspector Gadget. She had a computer book and could talk to her dog on her wristwatch! Sometimes my sister would pretend to be Brain the dog. I don't think we ever came up with any actual ideas for mysteries to solve though.

I liked the Punky Brewster cartoon and thought Punky herself was a lot of fun. Jem and the Holograms made me think I wanted to be in a rock band, and I thought Jem was awesome. I used to sometimes play I was Lucy from The Littles. I had a Rainbow Brite coloring book and Rainbow herself was my favorite. I sometimes pretended to be She-Ra and loved playing with the dolls. And even though I was obsessed with The Smurfs in early elementary school, I did not have a favorite Smurf.

Probably my favorite cartoon character throughout elementary school was Potato Chip from Popples though. I had a HUGE thing for Popples, for what had to be a couple years. I had all the different Popples' color combinations memorized and could tell you which Popples were in which size categories (there were three big ones, three medium ones, and three little ones).
Gosh, and I still feel weirdly happy when I look at her. :)

When I was a child, the formula for being my favorite seemed to depend on a) being a girl; b) being a blonde; and c) having some association with pink. I just automatically liked girls who looked like me and wore pink. It's weird how consistently that played out, with Jerrica/Jem being a blonde sometimes and a pink-haired rock star sometimes and Potato Chip being a yellow-furred pink-haired Popple and Brittany dressing in pink and Huggins being the pink doll and Birthday Bear being yellow with a pink cupcake on his belly and Sunny being a yellow bear and She-Ra looking like what I thought I would look like as a grown-up. Amazing how easy it is to find characters that look like you if you're a blonde white girl, huh? Yeah.

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