November 25 2008

An Era Is About To End

Remember getting up on Saturday morning to watch cartoons?  Well, that’s quickly coming to an end.

In January, Fox will end its contract with the 4Kids cartoon block, which will then move over to The CW.  Considering the health of that “network” (I use the term very loosely), this is pretty much the death throes of the Saturday morning cartoon as we knew it.

It is true that this is partially being done because they don’t feel they can compete with channels like Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Toon Disney and so on, so kids won’t be totally without enterteinment, but it is still sad.  What bothers me the most about this decision is that Fox isn’t replacing the cartoons with educational shows or the like, but instead they will be treated to “longform ads”… yeah… infomercials.

By no stretch of the imagination am I saying that cartoons were ever educational, though they tried, but replacing a tradition with commercials for the likes of cleaners, the Handy Switch and you just know Billy Mays will be in there somewhere.  Why not run something educational?  Heck, bring back School House Rocks! Sure their animation may be dated, but not much about what they taught has changed… unless… was there one about our solar system having nine planets?

It just saddens me on some level to see this coming to an end.  I can remember as a kid living for Saturday mornings, and always being torn about which cartoon would win if there were two on at the same time I wanted to watch.  All the while, munching down on a giant bowl of cereal I had concocted from mixing 4 to 5 different styles together.  You know, now that I think about it… maybe it was Saturday morning cartoons that led to my weight problems!

Stupid cartoons!

Oh well, still sad.

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