Monday, April 25, 2005


What's up, doc?

Sunday morning found us dealing with yet another feverish baby, this time my elder son. That's one sick kid for each and every weekend since Easter - it's wearing a little thin by now.

So we cuddled up on the couch together, watching early morning cartoons. Usually, when we're not watching DVDs or tapes, we watch non-commercial television like TVO (the Ontario equivalent of PBS), but I noticed they were playing Bugs Bunny on one of the regular cable channels, so we bent the rules.

Does everyone of my generation feel that same nostalgia for Bugs Bunny? Of all the animation that's come since, I don't think anything holds a candle to those old shorts. I remember Saturday afternoons in the 1970s, watching Bugs Bunny with my folks and their friends, just before my dad went out to barbeque some hamburgers for all of us. (It's weird to look back and realize I'm older now than they were then.) The first movie my father ever saw was a Bugs Bunny cartoon, on the boat coming over from Holland in the mid-1950s, matter of fact. Man, those things have staying power!

I was pleased when Tristan said, "Hey, that's Bugs Bunny!" Of course, I live with an animator and we have a pretty decent collection of cartoons on DVD so I shouldn't have been surprised that Tristan knew of Looney Tunes already. We got to see a couple of golden oldies: the one with Elmer Fudd and the music from the Barber of Seville, and one of the ones where Sylvester battles the baby kangaroo masquarading as a giant mouse. Watching them is like being seven years old again!

What really surprised me, though, was the commercials. Twenty-odd years later, and they're still hucking the exact same things they used to pitch when I was a kid on Saturday mornings: Frosted Flakes with Tony the Tiger, Froot Loops with Toucan Sam, Strawberry Shortcake dolls (are those really back?) and, my favourite, Star Wars toys! Except when I was a kid, they didn't have a lightsabre that changed colour so you weren't always stuck being Obi Wan, nor a mask that changed your voice so you sound like Darth Vader. (We'd best change the subject before I begin to pine for my Han Solo action figure and long-lost full set of Empire Strikes Back cards. FULL SET! Can you imagine what they'd be worth on e-Bay? I could retire!)

So we survived the siren song of an hour of commercial TV, and I didn't see one plug for Beyblades (I know, they're probably passé already) nor one commercial done in animé (god, how I despise animé). The ads didn't really seem to phase Tristan at all. But, um, please excuse me while I go search the Toys R Us Web site to see how I can get a light sabre that changes colour...