My four girls – ages 11, 10, 10 and 8 – still stare agog at me when I explain to them that once there was a time, long, long ago, when cartoons were a once-a-week treat, the sole motivation needed to pop out of bed on a Saturday morning.
In today’s world where entire networks are devoted to animation and stations run cartoons 24 hours a days, seven days a week, 365 days a year, it’s difficult for my girls to imagine a time and place where kids’ programming occupied such a small part of the television week.
(They also are completely baffled by the idea of a 13-inch television that got exactly three, count ‘em three, channels, but that’s a different story.)
Yet for all the seemingly endless hours of kids’ programming available today, the vast majority of it pales in comparison to what was available during the days of Saturday morning-only cartoons.
This is not only my own rose-colored remembrance of the past, either. Judging from the way my daughters gather eagerly around me when I grab my computer and ask who wants to watch Bugs Bunny, I’d say they’re as enamored with Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies as I was when I was their age.
I introduced them to Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the rest of the Warner Bros. gang roughly two years, when, while perusing YouTube, I decided it was time to show them what real entertainment was all about.