1980s cartoons are long forgotten. But today's kids are really missing out on some worthy entertainment.
Today's cartoons simply do not offer children the same morals and values that cartoons from the 1980s instilled. It is true that there are a number of valuable shows for toddlers right up to teenagers, but the sad truth is that children of the "new millennium" are just not as interested in the feel-good happy endings that were a trademark of the animation during this time.
Take, for instance, Rainbow Brite, the little blonde girl who roamed the Earth seeking to bring color to the world, and defeat the villains who aimed to make everything murky and grey. This kid demonstrated courage, hope, friendship, determination and responsibility. She taught little girls that color, light and happiness were important to the world. She fought against adversity (granted, it was always men who were trying to bring the young lady to a depressed state) and overcame numerous obstacles to ensure that the world was full of hope and happiness.
Then there was He-Man, a true hero. He joined the Rebellion (because the evil oppressors were actually the government, of sorts) and fought for the little guy. He kept his identity a secret, even from his family, because he knew it would put them in danger. So they saw his laid-back, lazy alter ego, Adam, milking the fruits of an aristocratic upbringing, but never did they appreciate the bumps and bruises he took for them, or the many times he saved their lives. Adam/He-Man taught boys strength, courage, dedication and sacrifice. He instilled in his audience an understanding that no matter what the odds, and no matter how tempting it may be to take the easy way out, one must fight for the common good.
He-Man's sister, She-Ra, introduced the same values for girls, going so far as to be revolutionary for it's time in suggesting that women have the power to be equal, if not superior, to men. She-Ra possessed more strength of heart than He-Man, but little girls also knew she could take him in a fight. She was an icon- a woman who spoke her mind, who was strong and intelligent, and who rivaled any male super-hero she was compared to. She was a modern-day Wonder Woman.
Like She-Ra, C.O.P.S. (not to be confused with TV's first reality show, COPS) was a cartoon classic about a group of organized-crime fighting police men and women. They pursued justice and never took the easy road. Of course, like all good moralistic TV shows, the bad guys got their just desserts in the end, and the police officers were rewarded with a pat on the back or a kind word, all they needed to make doing their job worthwhile. C.O.P.S. showed kids that doing the right thing, and keeping on the good side of the law, was the cool thing to do.
If you would like more of an in-depth look at 80s cartoons, visit the best site for anything Eighties - The Eighties Club!
Cartoons from the 1980s gave kids hope for a better future. Many 20-somethings, who are starting to have children of their own, are relying on DVD copies of their childhood favorites to help instill the same values in their kids that they learned from these shows. The always happy endings, and never crude and rarely violent scenes were an important part of the lives of kids of the 80s, and cartoon makers (and the pursuant toy-producers) would do well to research what parents of today are looking for in a suitable cartoon.