Nostalgia Nook: A Cartoon Network kid


Bella Lee, Staff writer

They say there are three types of kids: the Cartoon Network kids, the Disney Channel kids and the Nickelodeon kids. Growing up, my older brother and I were staunch Cartoon Network kids. My older brother is a little over two years older than me, so our childhoods were pretty much the same. We played with similar toys, shared the same group of neighborhood friends and watched the same TV shows. While we did watch a couple shows on Nickelodeon, such as “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Danny Phantom,” our true love was Cartoon Network.

One of our absolute favorite shows to watch as children was “Ben 10.” We watched this regularly from around the time the original show started until my older brother was almost in high school. He and I were very disappointed when we heard that a reboot was being made. This was the same case for “Teen Titans.” While we religiously watched the original, the reboot “Teen Titans Go!,” was only of interest to our younger brother.

However, one of our all-time favorites was “Total Drama Island.” My older brother and I watched every single episode of it as well as its sequel, “Total Drama Action.” By the time the later shows in that series came around, our age group was no longer the target audience. A couple years ago, “Total Drama Island” announced a reboot that my older brother and I were actually excited about. I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

I mourn many of the shows from Cartoon Network that were highlights of my childhood but no longer exist. This list includes, but is not limited to, “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends,” “The Grimm Adventures of Billy and Mandy,” “Chowder,” “The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack,” “Courage the Cowardly Dog,” “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “My Gym Partner’s a Monkey,” the list goes on. While reruns exist, they don’t hold the same nostalgia as when I was younger and I was able to watch these episodes on cable for the first time. The excitement of waiting for your favorite cartoon to be on TV is lost with platforms like Netflix putting the entire vault of episodes at your disposal. Nobody races back after grabbing snacks during a commercial break. No one stands in front of the TV sensor so their sibling can’t use the remote. We’re getting older, and the little moments like these just don’t happen anymore.

One of the most heartbreaking moments my older brother and I experienced was when we started seeing these shows on Boomerang—the channel that mainly shows much older cartoons like “The Flintstones” and “Looney Tunes.” Several years ago, my older brother and I were watching Boomerang with our younger brother. Lo and behold, a show that came on was the original “Teen Titans,” which had my older brother and I slack jawed in shock. Our childhood was now seen as vintage, and it was a true heart breaker for the both of us.

The 30th anniversary of Cartoon Network just passed and when I look back, I am happily reminded of all the shows that I loved so much and what drew me and my older brother closer together. Shows like these simply aren’t made anymore, and we’re lucky to have had them while we were growing up. This makes me wonder what shows that are currently on will be considered old within the next few years. And even beyond that, what will kids in 30 years think of the shows we watched when we were younger and what will their shows be like.