I've been seeing a lot of articles recently announcing that this is the first time in 50 years that there are no cartoons being aired on broadcast TV, and that makes me really sad. From Monday through Friday it took an act of God and my three German Shepherds bouncing on my head to get me out of bed on time for school, but come Saturday I'd be up at 5:30am, planning out the cartoon schedules on the various broadcast channels like the invasion of Normandy. Fox Kids, Kid's WB, UPN Kid's, Disney's One Saturday Morning. Eek the Cat, Bobby's World and Animaniacs in early elementary school, Pokemon, Batman Beyond and Digmon in middle school and even all the way through my early years in college juggling Intro to Statistics with Yugi-Oh! It was one of my earliest and most consistent traditions, and the fact that kids today won't know that joy is somewhat heartbreaking. And also makes me feel really, really old.
In addition to the actual shows I used to watch I always used to remember were the commercials. Commercials for snack foods I used to gorge on (those cereal commercials had story lines more engaging that most soap operas), the toys I used to play with and of course, video games. While commercials today are generally just trailers of game play (or at least 'simulated' game play), video game commercials from the late 80s to the early 2000s often had to rely on things besides the graphics of the games to best convey what the games were about and how they were played. And as a result they were well, weird.
I think everybody's seen this one by now, the commercial for the original Legend of Zelda, complete with cheesy rapping. But this is only the tip of the iceburg for video game weirdness.
This commercial stuck in my mind, because casual racism aside, it'd really creepy. I'd have to change the channel every time it went on.
Even the commercials for the video game accessories were EXTREME, which was the ongoing theme of most 90s stuff.
And don't think that non-Nintendo commercials weren't as bizarre. This Spyro ad starts normal enough but by the end...weirdness.
This was probably the first commercial I ever saw for Pokemon, and it actually really turned me off from the series, since I assumed from the crushing all the cute things on the bus the aim of the game was to hurt the Pokemon. It wasn't until I played someone else's game that I realized how fun it is.
And while looking up this commercial, I came across the original trailer for the original Pokemon anime when it was first imported. And lemme tell, this thing was a beauty. I heard rumors of this thing, and my friend, who was a bit of a tall-tale teller told me about seeing it, I didn't believe it actually existed. There are no words:
And to think, kids today will miss out on all this