Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Disney Afternoon

I have not been an avid watcher of Saturday Morning Cartoons in quite some time now. I do remember a short time in my childhood when this was the best thing about the weekends. Then, I started to enjoy my sleep - so waking up early to catch the cartoons was no longer worth it.

I believe that early morning cartoons on weekends were invented for the parents, instead of the children. Send the kids downstairs to watch cartoons while the parents catch up on some much needed snooze time.

I, however, am now waking up in the early morning hours again thanks to my 20-month old son. He is not a huge fan of television yet, but he does have a few shows that he will watch parts of. He enjoys the Backyardigans and our Saturday morning fix of My Friends Tigger & Pooh and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Cartoons have changed a lot since I was a kid. Most are educational in a way, especially the new Spanish learning cartoons like Dora and Diego.

My favorite cartoons, however, weren't the Saturday Morning Cartoons, but during the week after school. I remember getting home just in time to watch The Disney Afternoon, and would watch the two hours of cartoons until supper was ready. It was perfect for kids getting home from school.

The first year of Disney Afternoon consisted of The Gummi Bears, DuckTales, Chip 'n Dale's Rescue Rangers and Tale Spin. Each year, however, the first show would be removed and the shows would all slide up a half hour for the arrival of a new show at the backend of the two-hour block.

The first year was my favorite, though. The Gummi Bears was one of my all-time favorite cartoons, and losing it after just one year was disheartening. I did continue watching, however, as I enjoyed the newly installed Darkwing Duck. The following year, DuckTales was lost and Goof Troop was the new kid on the block. This, however, would be my final year of watching. It could have been because I was getting older, but I never truly got into Bonkers or especially Gargoyles.

The first three years, however, were my favorite cartoon years. I still remember the first commercial previewing the new Disney Afternoon, and how excited my sister and I were that we would have something to watch when we returned from school.

I don't seem to see anything like this on television anymore, but then again I might not be looking hard enough. Back then we didn't have as many television channels to choose from - and so far I am not a frequent viewer of Disney, Nickelodeon or Boom (I am sure I will be soon enough). But, as far as cable television, a Disney Afternoon-type block for kids just doesn't seem to exist.

I'll tell you what, though, sometimes I long for those lovable Gummi Bears.

For your viewing pleasure - the six intros to the Disney Afternoon.

Gummi Bears


Chip 'n Dale's Rescue Rangers

Tale Spin

Darkwing Duck

Goof Troop

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