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Saturday Morning Cartoons

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There are shows from one’s childhood that, because of the wonders of the internet and DVDs, you can rewatch now. When a person does that, they usually notice things in those shows they didn’t notice when they were 6 or 7. I’m not much for nostalgia when it comes to the cartoons I watched on Saturday mornings. I’m more prone to be nostalgic about music from well before I was born and books that I read in elementary school. I’ve really only recently gotten into television as an artistic medium and even then I’m less likely to look back longingly at what I watched when I was a kid because there so much good TV happening right now that to me there isn’t a point to going back and rewatching “Rocko’s Modern Life” or “The Adventures of Pete and Pete.” I almost prefer keeping those shows as they are in my memory because I feel like rewatching them will somehow ruin them in a weird way.
My sister has no such worries and so recently purchased the little known TV series “ReBoot.” ReBoot was a computer generated cartoon that aired on ABC from 1994 to 1996 and was about characters who lived inside a computer. Before last night, when my dad, myself, and my sister watched the first episode, I only had a vague memory of what the show was about. I didn’t remember the character’s names for the most part (though they came back to me the minute we started watching) I didn’t even really remember what the show was about to be honest. All I knew was that the technology the show used to create its animation was way ahead in terms of computer animation at the time and that it was something I watched along with “Animaniacs” and a plethora of other Saturday morning cartoons. The first thing that hit me watching the show last night was how very corny it is, but that’s almost to be expected with a kid’s cartoon show. But what really stuck out to me, 15 years or so after the fact, were all the computer references. The main villain of the first episode is Megabyte an evil virus who’s trying to get into the Super Computer. The non-”sprite” characters, the one’s without names basically, are 1′s and 0′s. Literally, they are in the shape of 1′s and 0′s. There was a reference to readme files and Main Frame, the city where the show is set, looks like the inside of a computer. I get those references now, but there’s no way as a six or seven year old that I would have gotten any of them. The show is as much for kids as it is for computer geeks (at least at a very basic level). And watching that first episode for the first time in fifteen years…it was just kind of strange. Not necessarily a bad kind of strange, but just strange. I don’t have a real hankering to now watch all the shows I watched as a kid and watching that one episode didn’t really change my perception of the show as a whole, but it also wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be. Just kind of strange.

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