In 1984 a comic book called The teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was published. This comic was the story of four brother turtles, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael, living in the sewers of New York City. After being trained by their rat sensei in the martial art of ninjutsu they fight crime and aliens from the sewers. Many people wondered how could a story about “Ninja” turtles be any value to anyone. But we could all learn a lesson from these Ninjas because they all posses admirable character traits. Leonardo is the most courageous, he is also the leader. Courage is the ability to live ones life according to ones own terms. It is not being deterred from living to the best of your ability because you are afraid of whatever obstacles that might be ahead. In life courage is the most important trait that a person can have because without courage you can’t incorporate the other positive qualities into your life. Michelangelo is the creative spirit of the band of crime fighting turtles. When a person is creative he is able to take what he has and make something more out of it. being creative is the ability to not worry about what you don’t have, or what you can’t do, but to focus on what is at hand and what the possibilities are. When a person is creative he has to face the truth. He has to be able to accept what is, and what isn’t Donatello loves learning […]
Recently I was clean out an attic of one of my house rentals and I stumbled across an interesting find. Two weeks ago old Mr. Johnson, the renter of the home, passed away in his sleep. I’m pretty sure I was his only family, non-family. I’ve known him all of my life so I think that makes him a wise old uncle. Mr. Johnson had been lived in the house on Elm street for as long as I can remember. My dad was the original owner of the house, and then willed it to me when he passed. I was going through his attic when I found a pile of old comic. They were dusty, and aged, so I’m sure they weren’t worth anything. But the images on the covers brought back memories. They were comics about Scrooge McDuck, and the Duck Universe. The memories that were awaken were not actually about the comics, but of the cartoon Ducktails, which I admit I actually watched while I was going through Grad school as an exercise in vegetative relaxation. From the old comics sitting in front of me I learned Mr. Carl Banks was the creator of Scrooge McDuck. This makes him the father of Ducktails, the cartoon. Mr. Banks was an unknown as a cartoonist until late in his career. As an artist he was self taught but he did manage to take some lessons through the mail. In 1918 he moved to the grand city […]
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids was a favorite cartoon for millions of adolescent kids, especially those in the African American community. Created by the legendary television actor Bill Cosby, the show was not only entertaining, but it was also a learning experience. In most cases the topic of each show was in itself an educational life lesson, taken straight out of the mind and past of Mr. Cosby himself, where he would reminisce about his youth growing up in Philadelphia, PA. The show had a standard format. Fat Albert, who was pretty much the leader of the Junkyard Gang, and his friends (fellow gang members) would often have to deal with those problems that young urban youths see every day of their lives. Problems such as stealing, child abuse, vandalism, and other social ills which are all to common norms in the inner city. The gang would resolve the problem in a positive manner, and then sing about it at the end of the show. Several shows stand out as what could be considered excellent educational life lessons: “Playing Hooky” – A lesson in the importance of attending school, when two hobos wander into the neighborhood. “The Tomboy” – A lesson that girls are just as equal as guys, when a new girl beats the gang at their own games. “Little Girl Found” – A lesson of focused on the plight of runaways, when a young runaway girl takes something that doesn’t belong to her and […]
He-Man: The Most Powerful Man in the Universe He-Man was a rock-star among the animation action heroes of the ’80′s, for sure! He-Man was The Most Powerful Man in the Universe, and lived on planet Eternia where, week after week, he goes about quietly minding his business as Prince Adam until his arch-enemy Skeletor’s proverbial butt is presented for a weekly kicking. The ace up Prince Adam’s sleeve was a magical sword which gave him super powers with which to deliver Skeletor’s weekly whipping. Prince Adam would be transformed into He-Man, The Most Powerful Man in the Universe whenever he’d hold the magic Sword of Power up to the heavens and say: By the Power of Grayskull! I HAVE THE POWER!!! As far as primeval villains go, Skeletor was the ultimate! The image below shows the old villain in one of his regular fits of frustration at having yet another of his plans foiled by He-Man. Still brings a smile to my face thinking of that scoundrel of a baddy… The series was based on a line of action hero figure made by Mattel, which became so popular that it it gave to the popular series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. He-Man is another retro cartoon series that followed me all the way to the late 80′s although not as far as my other animation secret. Featured images credit: http://he-man.wikia.com | cedmagic.com | github.com | old.he-man.org
The Gummi Bears, solid gold classic cartoon series, started airing sometime in ’85; right about the time when the school bully made huge mischief in my 5th grade life when she decided to make me the focus of a vigorous terror campaign and became the Lady Bane of my existance. What I wouldn’t have given to get my hands on some of that Gummi Berry Juice! “Magic & mystery are part of their history Along with the secret of Gummi Berrie Juice… Gummi Bears, bouncing here and there and everywhere…” Sorry, just couldn’t help but sing along to that! Been years since I heard that classic cartoon jingle! I’ll share something with you now that I would NEVER have owned up to a few years ago: I was STILL watching Gummi Bears in the 11th grade! My darkest secret in a leading role as “Rebel Coolster” in high school was that, I was still hooked on the Gummi Bears. Sure, I was a mover and shaker who performed well at the polls of high school politics but, what my willing minions never guessed was that, once a week, their maverick leader skipped the compulsory after-school hangout (instituted by yours truly, no less) to hurry home because that was the day the Gummi Bears was on TV! THE GUMMI BEARS These classic cartoon characters were a group of bears who lived in a hollowed out tree in Gummi-Glen. Their tree-home had a ga-zillion secret under-forest passageways which led to Gummi pop-out […]
Growing up in the 80′s, I had a variety of fun cartoons competing for my attention on Saturday morning. But, if you were a young boy between the ages of 6 and 12, there wasn’t a cartoon you looked forward to more than “M.A.S.K.”. The thing that made M.A.S.K. so enticing to young boys was how it introduced us to vehicles with the ability to transform during battle. I know what you are thinking…that sounds like a copy of Transformers! WRONG!!! Unlike transformers who were robots transforming into vehicles, M.A.S.K. was about humans who fought evil by getting into vehicles that transformed into other vehicles (completely different). There were motorcycles that transformed into jets, cars that transformed into planes, and much much more. So, if you get a chance, spend some time watching some old M.A.S.K. episodes on YouTube. You won’t be sorry.