It's been almost a year since the last edition of Cartoon Nostalgia, Bourgeois Nerd's wildly popular (just go with it) walk down the Cartoontown stretch of Memory Lane. High time for a new installment, then!
A bunch of talking bears who live in a tree, who, when they drink "gummiberry juice," start bouncing around like rubber balls. Yeah, totally written by potheads. What always got me, even when I was younger, was that part of the conceit of the show was that this group were the last Gummi Bears in this geographic area, and they were all related, so just how were the younger Gummi Bears supposed to propagate except through incest? Gross!
David the Gnome
A Spanish (surprisingly, since I thought it was of German or Dutch or some other Northern European origin) import, the adventures of a rosy-cheeked gnome with a pointy red hat and a rosy-cheeked gnome wife, who was a doctor who rode on a fox to see his patients and teach us about respecting animals and the environment.
"Darkwing Duuuuuck! Let's. Get. Dangerouuuuuus..." Basically, Batman with ducks, though without quite as much "vigilante avenging the death of his parents in a corrupt, Gothic cityscape" angst.
Jon Lovitz, surprisingly adorable in cartoon-form, as a movie critic a la Ebert. Its spoofs of crap Hollywood movies are, ten years or more later, horrifyingly more plausible than ever.
The bear from The Jungle Book runs... an airline? Battles air pirates? Yeah, just go with it.
One of my all-time favs, along with ExoSquad, Batman: The Animated Series, and Gargoyles (which I never really watched, but I know has a large cult following), the X-Men cartoon was another in a string of surprisingly dark, complex, mature cartoons from the 90s. I'm not really sure what it was in that decade that made it prone to such almost savagely gritty cartoon storytelling, but I loved it! They didn't insult your intelligence or maturity, and that's always appreciated. Plus, I soooo wanted mutant powers, though I probably would have gotten something crappy, like the power to staple with my hands or something.
One thing this show did, borrowing from its comic book roots, was serialized story arcs, something I haven't seen another cartoon series ever doing. (My favorite were the Phoenix ones. I yelled "I. AM. PHOENIX." to the TV waaay too much.) It also furnished cartoon beefcake for this budding homosexual. Gambit (sexy) and Cyclops (a total weenie, but hot) and Wolverine (total bear-Daddy), and even some of the baddies, like Mr. Sinsiter (vampire-sexy) and Magneto (magnetic), all fueled my pre-pubescent gaiety. Plus, there were kick-ass, complicated women like Storm and Jean Grey and Rogue. Heck, I even liked Jubilee, the yellow trench coat wearing newbie, which is unpopular, let me tell ya.
Wolverine in yellow, though? Not a good look.
The Muppets! As babies! Having fantastical adventures through the power of imagination and musical numbers! All while living with a nanny who's only visible features were green-and-white striped knee socks! What's not to love?