Where have all the great cartoons gone?



It’s 4:00pm and I’m home looking at the television screen, expecting that in any moment I’ll enjoy what used to be my favorite hobby as a child – watching cartoons. Suddenly some rather distastefully drawn characters pop up, only for me to realize it’s Cow and Chicken? I wait patiently and quietly, enduring the torture for 30 straight minutes and guess what? Up next… It’s Captain Red Beard, the next 30 minutes were as gruesome as the others with Sponge bob entertaining me torturously finally after that came the 5:30pm news. So I changed the station hoping to at least find a good cartoon to watch on another Nigerian Tv station but the best could find on any station was “I am weasel” –  who cares?!!

I started to retrospect on my childhood days, how I could barely concentrate on Tuesday afternoon classes because I knew Samurai X would start by 4:00pm. By the first clang of the bell I would be racing home, the only thing on my mind would be Samurai X, Samurai X… after that was Ghost busters then Godzilla, after which I would browse other stations and would regularly find some showing cartoons like power rangers, Bambi, Tom and Jerry or Bugs Bunny. On Saturday, there was Carbury’s Breakfast television show, and I would wake up as early as 6:00am and sneak out of bed just to watch cartoons. Yes I agree, it was a bad habit but at least I had something to look forward to during the weekends, and there was a time Cable Channel was still free and DBN used to show cartoons regularly? The question is what’s happened to those cartoons and TV shows? Nowadays even the Tom and Jerry I see on TV is hardly funny, Tom has learnt to talk and Jerry has run out of tricks. Whoever is making this version obviously lacks Fred Quimby’s humor. They’ve replaced the fairly manageable cartoons like Johny Bravo and Pinky and the Brain with stuff like Teletubbies. Why?

I remember asking an 11 year old whether she’s ever watched Lion King, her answer was no, she had not watched Pocahontas either and she had merely heard of Beauty and the Beast. “Well what about Cinderella” I asked, “Oh! I have watched the movie” she replied. My point is that children of this generation no longer have access to quality cartoons save Avatar – The last air bender, Superman and perhaps Batman but most of the best cartoons have disappeared. What will this generation of kids say about their childhood 10 – 15 years from now?

I can hardly count the number of times I’ve had exciting conversations with friends about the cartoons we enjoyed during our childhood. Do you remember Voltron – Defender of the Universe? It was like the best in its time, especially before Power Rangers tried to make for a substandard remix. Anyway we also had Ninja Turtles, The incredible Hulk, Hercules, Captain Planet, Biker Mice from Mars (“Let’s Rock and Ride”), Magic school bus, Popeye, Peter Pan, Birdman, Jumbo (that’s from way back), Spotty, Tarzan, top cat, Iron man, The mask, Freakazoid, Fantastic four, Spiderman, Silver hawks, He-man (“By the power of Gray Skull…”), Thunder-Cat (“Sword of Omen come to my hands”), Inspector Gadget, Seven holy warriors, Casper the friendly ghost, Scooby-Doo… Oh! Don’t forget the classics like Bambi, Lion king, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, Little Mermaid, Toy Story, 101 Dalmatians, Hunchback of Notre dam… and so many others. Where have they gone?  If you remember any of the really cool or just okay cartoons from your childhood please share. Oh! and for all the Voltron lovers, here’s a little treat.

Voltron opening soundtrack

By Obanor Chukwuwezam Riomachi



  1. Catoon was my favourite movies when I was a child between the age of 6-15. I’ve always loved to be watching Catoons movies in those days. The question is why was I watching Catoons? Was there any important thing or message to learn from the Catoon movies? Or was I only watching the Catoons for fun?
    In those days most of the Catoon movies were very educative and learnt alot from from Catoons.

  2. The red rangers z another. I believe d basic thing i learnt 4rm dose cartoons where pronunciation and the act of speaking right. But i also enjoyed d funny dumb tom and tricky Jerry. I miss Kenshi himura d bathousai. But i fink u can still enjoy some of dis cartoons in DVD thanks 2 our aba brodas

  3. This is interesting! Just a wk or two ago i discussed this same issue with a friend and we both agreed that great cartoons are no more! The likes of Alice in the wonderland, Barbie, the simpson, the little mermaid, my favourite Pocohantis, the Lion King, voltron, the thrilling scooby doo so many as the writer as mentioned above. Though, i got enough scolding for neglecting basic chores and watching cartoons, stil yet, i do not see it as a bad habit. Infact as far as i’m concerned, any kid that misses these great cartoons does not have a fulfilled childhood yet.

  4. Although im less dan 20 d cartoons i used to see on t.v are far better than the ones i see now.
    D new nd computerised version of ‘tom nd jerry’ is very annoying.
    In terms of education, those cartoons are very educative. While watching ‘gasper the friendly ghost’ when i was about 6 years old i got to know for d first time d meaning of d adage ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’ via one of its episodes.
    I think t.v stations can help with the problem of these boring cartoons we have now.

  5. bros you are my man it’s like we were born in the same time zone. all the cartoons you mentioned are my favourite. i even want to find a cd of the pinky and the brain. even when walk into a cd shop i get tired because nothing good is on the shelf. what is been air is not funny and almost to violent..

  6. i have been reading news on information nigeria for some time without leaving a reply. After reading this piece,the reminded me of my sweet childhood. It wasn’t all about cartoon,remember sesame street,rentaghost,dr. Who,robin hood which has a great and memorable intro. It also reminded me of friend i haven’t thought of for a long time. Kudos to you bro

  7. u forgot to put tumbolina, ninja tortoise, Alice in wonderland. in those days, never will lik forget 4pm.even in my sleep i knew it was time for cartoon. also part of the news once are not that bad, like Shrek, Garfield and ice age.