Latimer: As a nineties kid, I always felt like we had the best cartoons – all the Marvel cartoons, Gargoyles, Animals of Farthing Wood, Mummy’s Alive, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, Batman… the list goes on!
Those cartoons had proper, involved story-lines.
But somewhere in the late nineties cartoons got fixed on this one episode, one story, structure, that I never liked. I always missed the ‘larger picture’, the big story arcs.
Then, around this time, I more or less stopped watching cartoons – so they remained, in my mind, fixed in that ‘one episode, one unconnected story’ structure.
In slightly later life, I swapped Western cartoons for Eastern ones. This would be around the time my obsession with anime kicked in. In anime, big story-lines never went out of style!!
I noticed early in the naughties Western cartoons started to taken on this East-meets-West style; an almost ‘anime but not quite, style’. I think it was due to the popularity of anime at the time.
That was probably what brought me slightly back to Western cartoons.
I think out of all those new ‘East-meets-West’ cartoon series, Avatar, has got to be one of the best.
Forget that terrible movie version. The cartoon is where it’s at!
Avatar is a great show. I was late to the game – I haven’t seen all of Avatar: The Last Airbender, but am a pretty big follower of Avatar: Legend of Korra.
I love the style, music and feel of Avatar… It’s a well-thought out story-line, with interesting characters, with interesting ethnic backgrounds. Basically the story is focused on a world where people have the power of controlling (bending) elements; water, fire, earth and air. The avatar is the one person in the world that can do all four and is sort of the, near as I can tell, spiritual and bending guide of the people. A big figure-head basically.
When the avatar dies, the next avatar is born and so on….
So, when the new Avatar Korra takes centre-stage, you know that the previous Avatar, Aang, is dead.
Which is pretty sad actually, given that the last time we see him is as this chipper 12 year old kid who saved the world. We don’t really get time to grieve over that, we just have to accept it, which is… yeah kind of rough!
But there’s lots of cool, funny characters in Legend of Korra too (and Korra is a very strong female lead, so that’s pretty cool!)
My favourite characters are Bolin and his little red panda Pabu – Bolin is just brilliant…
Okay, so maybe the best cartoons didn’t end with the 90s, maybe there are lots more to come! 🙂