Illustration by Christine Renney
‘Did you ever notice the cartoons in those old American TV Shows?’ he asks.
‘Which shows?’ she glances up, a little perplexed.
‘I don’t know which ones, it doesn’t matter, but there is always a scene where the kids are watching cartoons. Sometimes, actually no, most of the time it’s just one little kid, boy or girl, sitting on the floor right up close to the screen whilst the real action is happening elsewhere. The parents are arguing in the background or quietly making plans in the kitchen. Those cartoons – did you ever notice them?’
‘Not really. Why?’
‘Because they are bad. I mean really depressingly bad. The colours have faded and the action and animation are so stilted, even the music is uninspiring.’
He stutters to a halt.
‘And your point is?’
‘I don’t know what my point is but why aren’t these kids ever watching Scooby Doo or Bugs Bunny or Tom & Jerry or Roadrunner or any of those great cartoons we watched when we were growing up? Deputy Dawg or Wacky Races? Top Cat?’ flailing his arms he motions toward the television sat in the corner.
‘Hell, if you switched on the TV now and Bugs Bunny was playing I’d sit down and watch it.’
‘Yeah, so would I.’
‘Of course you would, who wouldn’t? But those kids aren’t watching Bugs Bunny. Why is that?’
‘I don’t know,’ she ponders, ‘maybe it’s because of copyright. Perhaps those old shows weren’t able to show the great stuff, the classics and they hadn’t any choice other than to drag out the bad cartoons, the poor and pale imitations.’
‘Yeah, possibly or were those cartoons made especially for those shows? Put together quickly, cheaply, because they didn’t think anyone would notice them anyway?’
‘Maybe.’ she pauses, thinking. ‘But no, I don’t think so. There are already enough bad cartoons out there but nobody wants them or cares that they are bad. They are the cartoons that should have been forgotten.’