I have to admit it. I live in the past, or I should say, I wish I were in the past. Not all the time, but most of the time. I love nostalgia and lament so many things that have passed by. When I think of my childhood and all the things the family did, and all the fun I had playing with my friends, knowing that I'll never see these times again sort of brings a whimsical tear to my eye. Now don't get me wrong, I know that progress is inevitable and all progress not bad. In fact if I didn't have my computer or other electronic marvels of today, I would be lost! But there are certain things I personally believe that progress has ruined, or at least taken most of the fun and enjoyment out of.
I feel sorry for most of the newer generation today. Most kids today have video games,. Computers, cell phones, high-tech bikes and a multitude of gadgets that we never dreamed of as a kid. But not to cast stones at todays youth, just walking around WDW today, I noticed so many kids, young kids, just overweight and out of shape it seems like a national epidemic. Of course, the kids are not to blame, it's a combination of so many factors, parents who have to work, kids spending most of their free time playing video games, and eating nothing but junk food. The world has changed. When I was a kid, my mother was a stay-at-home mom, we had breakfast, lunch and dinner, all of us together! Going out to dinner was a rarity and my parents did not approve of fast food.
In the "Good old Days", we never had TVs in our room, in fact the only room that we had TV was in the living room. My father never allowed us to watch TV more than 2 hours on the weekend and a favorite show on the weekdays, IF the homework was done. We spent the whole weekend riding bikes, playing baseball or football, climbing trees or running around. We came in when it became dark, and were so tired from playing, went right to bed. Overweight kids on my block were far and few between.
I feel the same way about our cartoons. I remember cartoons were for one reason only: To make us laugh!. Most of the kids today see nothing but super sophisticated computer-generated toons that try to resemble real life people and situations, it's a wonder why the kids of today seem so worldly for their age. I'm not saying all cartoons are like this, many of the toons, especially on the Disney channel are for education and information, much for the pre-school set. But I find that plain old cartoons, like the old Mickey Mouse shorts of the thirties are rarely shown and when they are, Disney trying to be, and here's a term I detest, "Politically Correct" cuts out many scenes from the original toon, afraid to offend someone in today's climate. This is a dis-service. When these cartoons were produced by Walt Disney, they reflected the times they were made. If anything, they should be kept as historic treasures, showing life and attitudes from the past.
And these cartoons were just plain funny! The sight gags the writers used (A sight gag is like when Mickey Mouse is running, stops quickly and the buttons on his shorts keeps going!) never seem to show up in today's toons. They were hilarious. The cartoons had no political agenda, no "message" to give, and in the case of many of the Mickey Mouse shorts, no real story line per se. They were just to laugh at and feel good. The reason Mickey Mouse is so popular is that people could relate to him and laugh with him. Even when he was fighting with Peg Leg Pete to save Minnie, all of the action was funny and no character ever got hurt! They just do not make cartoons like this anymore and that's a shame, today's kids, unless they purchase the old toons on CD, will never enjoy what the earlier generations have loved. Even the later Mickey Mouse Cartoons, while still classics, began to emulate more and more of today's situations and problems, instead of the old "Slap-stick" humor and abandon of yesteryear. Many of the Goofy cartoons have stories revolving around his son Max, and while there is nothing wrong with "lesson and message" cartoons, I feel what we need is some more of the old time toons. Even with the "Rubber Hose" style of cartooning, which today is considered primitive, makes those old toons come alive like no computer generated graphics could do.
Much like the old TV shows of the 60's, like Gilligan's Island, or F-Troop, we all knew that it was nonsensical that the Professor could build a radio set, a car and all the other "gadgets" he had on the island, but could not patch up the boats holes and go home! This show and all the others were to make you laugh and forget real life, even if only for a half-hour. The same with the old cartoons, especially the Mickey Mouse shorts. I honestly believe this would be a better world if we looked backwards sometimes, and applied it to today.