Monday, August 23, 2010

Nickelodeon Nostalgia, Part 5

Yesterday was my 25th birthday. I think that puts me in the right nostalgic frame of mind to write a post about 90's Nickelodeon. I would like to point out before I start that these are the cartoons I regularly watched and considered myself a fan of. Please don't bug me with "What about THIS cartoon?" because I probably just didn't like it.

Rugrats - For my generation, Rugrats is possibly the most well-known Nickelodeon cartoon, if you include the movies and the spin-off series, All Grown Up (if not, the most well-known, second only to The Ren & Stimpy Show). For the 5% of people who haven't heard of it, Rugrats followed the adventures of 4 babies (Tommy Pickles, Chuckie Finster, and twin Phil and Lil DeVille) as well as two slightly older kids (Tommy's cousin Angelica and Susie Carmichael, the latter of which joined later in the series). Various adventures included a trip through "Mirrorland," being locked in a toy store, setting sea monkeys free at the beach and fighting various monsters. For me, the show kinda jumped the shark when Tommy's brother Dil was born (and jumped it again when Kimi joined the series as Chuckie's stepsister after the second movie), but I watched this show regularly since the first episode (which featured Tommy's first birthday).

Doug - Other than Ren & Stimpy, Doug comes closest to the popularity of Rugrats. In fact, Ren & Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi has apparently stated that of Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy and Doug, Nickelodeon thought Doug would be the big hit. The show followed Doug (full name Douglas Yancy Funnie), who, in the first episode, has just moved with his family to Bluffington. The show also regularly featured Doug's best friend Skeeter Valentine, his crush Patti Mayonnaise, school bully Roger Klotz, dimwitted next door neighbor Bud Dink (who constantly bought new gadgets and device that were "very expensive) and Doug's family (father Phil, mother Theda, theater-obsessed sister Judy and dog Porkchop). The show also often featured the music of a fictional band, The Beets. The show only ran for  a few seasons on Nickelodeon, but was later picked up by Disney to run on Saturday mornings on ABC. The later seasons were not very good.

Rocko's Modern Life - By this point I've realized that for my generation, most Nicktoons were well-known, and this one was no exception. Rocko followed a wallaby named Rocko as he interacted with his sog Spunky and his friends friends Heffer (a steer that was adopted by a family of wolves) and Filburt (a turtle that later married a cat). Other regular characters included Ed and Bev Bighead (frogs that lived next door to Rocko, Ed was ill-tempered toward Rocko and his friends and Bev was ill-tempered toward Ed), Gladys (a hippo that usually ended up angry when interacting with Rocko), Chuck and Leon (chameleon brothers) and Mr. Dupette (Ed's boss and Rocko's former boss). The show was aimed at children like all other Nicktoons, but there quite a few double entendres (for example, the show featured a fast food restaurant called Chokey Chicken.

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters - If Rugrats is one of the most well-known cartoons from Nick, Real Monsters is one of the least well-known. And even among those that remember it, most seem to have not liked it. I can't understand why, because I loved this show. The show followed a trio of monsters that attended a school to learn how to scare children. The main focus was on Ickis, a red, rabbit-like monster (who was, in fact, often mistaken for a rabbit) who's special ability was to grow super-huge. Ickis was nervous and often messed up his scaring assignments, but at times found the courage to save himself and his friends, and once pulled all the monsters together to protect their existence. He lived in the dorm with his two roommates, Oblina (a shape-shifter who could also pull her internal organs out through her mouth to scare) and Krumm (who scared using his eyes, which he carried in his hands, and his overpowering stench). The three were taught by The Gromble, and when necessary were disciplined by The Snorch. I was very excited to find out that the entire series is streamable on Netflix.

This is getting longer than I meant for it, so I'll save the rest for tomorrow. Thanks for reading.



  1. Doug is also the only Nicktoon that was ever sold to another company (Disney). Sad really because they don't even air repeats of it anymore.

  2. No repeats and also they stripped away what made it good. For me at least, I seem to recall friends disagreeing. But I just didn't find it funny anymore.

  3. They Disney-tized it. Not that I mind Disney products, they just didn't comprehend what made Doug great and ruined it.

    Plus, changing voice actors doesn't help.