Cartoon Network celebrating 20 years
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2012 00:10
To be honest, events such as the following are an incredibly rare occurrence for people of my age. I’m only 19 years old and yet, such an event has recently come up that indeed makes me feel, to put is as simply as possible, old. Yes I feel quite old because this past weekend marked the beginning of Cartoon Network’s 20th anniversary celebrations. It’s hard to imagine any kid growing up in the 90’s and 2000’s without the presence of the channel’s iconic television shows so today we decided to take a look back.
Launching on October 1, 1992, Cartoon Network was formed from the remnants of the once dominant power in television animation, Hanna-Barbera, the very same animation giant that was responsible for some of the 20th century’s most iconic children’s characters including Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, and countless others. Indeed some of the earliest original Cartoon Network programs followed the Hanna-Barbera toons’ both in the use of the classic “limited animation” style pioneered by HB and in structure whereby the main cartoon (such as “Dexter’s Lab”) would have two segments at the beginning and end of each episodes while a relatively unrelated toon would headline a segment in the middle.
But as viewers would soon find out, these new cartoons would turn into something radically more sophisticated thanks to the influx of young new talent at the studio.
On April 27, 1996, Cartoon Network premiered what many consider its breakout series, “Dexter’s Laboratory,” created by Genndy Tartakovsky. Featuring a timeless conflict between boy genius Dexter and his rather moronic sister Dee-Dee, the show put CN on the map. Tartakovsky would go on to create the popular series “Star Wars: Clone Wars” and “Samurai Jack,” the latter of which would garner Cartoon Network its only win amongst numerous nominations for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (less than 1 hour).
Dexter writer and friend of Tartakovsky, Craig McCracken would go on create another two wildly popular series for the network “The Powerpuff Girls” and “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” in the ensuing years.
Butch Hartman, creator of Nickelodeon’s “The Fairly Oddparents” and “Danny Phantom,” also served as a writer on “Dexter’s Lab,” as did his good friend Seth Macfarlane the creator of “Family Guy.”
Numerous other hit series have graced the airwaves on CN is the past two decades including “Space Ghost: Coast to Coast,” “ Johnny Bravo,” “Camp Lazlo,” “Courage the Cowardly Dog,” “The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy,” “The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack,” “Chowder,” “Ben 10,” “Teen Titans,” “Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” “Cow and Chicken,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” “Young Justice,” “Codename: Kids Next Door” and countless others. And of course what would CN be without its syndication of popular anime shows including “Dragonball Z,” “Naruto,” and “Pokemon.”
While in recent years CN’s programming has declined in overall quality incorporating some live action programming and running cheaply made flash-animated cartoons, leading to the departure of numerous figures including Tartakovsky and McCracken, we should not forget the amazing shows it has given us in the past two decades. And with some true quality programming gracing the network again in the form of the DC Comic’s based “Young Justice,” who knows what other gems the network might turn out in the future. Happy Birthday Cartoon Network, here’s to another 20.