My Take On… #239: What Happened To You, Cartoon Network?

Ah, Cartoon Network, in the 90s, this was every prepubescent kid’s dream come true, 24 hours of nothing but cartoons and not just a selection of cartoons but a variety of cartoons, so many cartoons from the classic cartoons of the golden age of animation all the way up to the new golden age of animation of the early 90s. It was a dream come true.

Most of the short cartoons were aired in half-hour or hour-long packages, usually separated by character or studio – Down Wit’ Droopy D aired old Droopy Dog shorts, The Tom and Jerry Show presented the classic cat-and-mouse team, and Bugs and Daffy Tonight provided classic Looney Tunes shorts. Late Night Black and White showed early black-and-white cartoons (mostly from the Fleischer Studios and Walter Lantz cartoons from the 1930s, as well as black-and-white Merrie Melodies and MGM cartoons), and ToonHeads would show three shorts with a similar theme and provide trivia about the cartoons. There was also an afternoon cartoon block called High Noon Toons, which was hosted by cowboy hand puppets (an example of the simplicity and imagination the network had in its early years). The majority of the classic animation that was shown on Cartoon Network no longer air on a regular basis, with the exception of Tom and Jerry and Looney Tunes.

It took a while for Cartoon Network to truly find its’ place among most audiences and by the mid 90s, when Cartoon Network launched their originals, it was as popular as Nickelodeon if not, more popular. For its’ first 13 years on the air, Cartoon Network was a destination for cartoon lovers everywhere.

25 years after its’ debut, however, the network has unfortunately become a pale shell of its’ former self. The network that promised itself thousands of hours of various cartoons when it was pitched back in 1991…

…has been boggled down to 18 shows on its’ lineup….EIGHTEEN!!! And in that promo piece, they talk about having 3,000 half hours worth of cartoons back in 1992 and never having to worry about scrounging for shows…and yet that’s exactly what’s been happening nowadays?

What happened to you, Cartoon Network?

This was a network that used to pack thousands of hours worth of cartoons onto one network but since then, have seem like they’ve just given up.

I mean, anybody who grew up with Cartoon Network? Remember when they used to treat every show on there like it was special, remember those awesome bumpers they used to show inbetween commercials:

Yeah, what do we have today?

Riveting.

And hey, how have they been promoting their movies they show recently?

By the way, nice job of taking a great movie like The Lego Movie and making half of it nothing but screaming and loud noises….you want to see how they promoted their movies back in the heyday:

Once again, variety, actual production into making these movies look like friggin’ epics whenever they would appear on TV, epic music, the voice of Don Lafontatine, and like I said, various ANIMATED movies not like the sometimes animated films but mostly whatever table scrap live-action/CG hybrids we have the rights to air that ABC Family, Disney, and Nickelodeon don’t have the rights to right now.

No, really, half the movies they play on Cartoon Network are either Diary Of A Wimpy Kid movies, the Alvin & The Chipmunks sequels, a couple of Blue Sky movies, a couple of DreamWorks movies, a WB movie or two, and that’s it. Most of these movies aren’t even 15 to 20 years old and most of the time, they’re holdovers from other networks.

You saw what they had in the 90s, not just the WB and Turner movies but also a plethora of Universal films like The Land Before Time movies, the An American Tail films, Balto, and We’re Back! A Dinosaur Story, they had Charlie Brown movies, Twice Upon A Time, Gay Purree, and just all these other movies.

Even in the mid 2000s, when they actually had live-action movies started airing on the lineup, it was kind of interesting. I mean, to see the 1989 Batman movie on Cartoon Network, it was odd but you know what, it worked. They even showed Disney movies like Honey, I Shrunk The Kids and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Disney movies….on a Warner Bros. owned network, my god, what a time that was.

But like I said, most of the movies on Cartoon Network nowadays are just the same 20 movies over and over again.

And speaking of repetitiveness, let’s talk about the original programming on Cartoon Network. Now, back in the 90s, Cartoon Network knew how to hook us into their original programming with their Cartoon Cartoon Fridays lineup, that needs no introduction:

Not only that but anybody remember when they used to have stuff like Cartoon Cartoon Weekend…

An entire weekend of nothing but the Cartoon Cartoons but not only that, there were also those times when you watched new shorts and you got to choose which cartoons would become new series later down the line.

By the way on the subject of weekend long blocks, remember the awesomeness of June Bugs they used to have at the start of every June:

Yeah, you want to know what we have nowadays:

Now, don’t get me wrong, we still have original Cartoon Network programming that’s actually good, shows like Adventure Time, Regular Show, Steven Universe, Clarence, Amazing World Of Gumball, We Bare Bears, all of these shows are very funny, all of these shows are great, these are all really strong cartoons that prove the network still has the chops……too bad, 95% of the schedule is focused on cramming either Teen Titans Go! or that shitty Powerpuff Girls reboot down your throat.

I’m not joking, Teen Titans Go! and PPG 2016 (because I refuse to call that shit Powerpuff Girls) take up so much of the goddamn schedule, you’d swear the network would change the name to Teen Titans Network.

Don’t believe me? Just take a look at one of the most recent schedules they put out:

Yeah, Teen Titans Go! took up 62% of the schedule at Cartoon Network one week. 62%….my god, why must you keep piling on this garbage instead of actually putting that schedule time into some of your actually good original programming?

And that’s just one week, go check out this website, experience how ridiculous the scheduling is at Cartoon Network, this is a network that once promoted itself as having 3,000 half hours of material and now spends more than 50% of its’ lineup filling it with nothing but fucking Teen Titans Go!

I mean, have I made my point yet? Anything else I need to remind people of? Maybe the Big Games they used to have on Super Bowl weekend:

You get my point, Cartoon Network is nothing but a shell of its’ former self nowadays, wasting more than half of its’ lineup on one show, pushing most of their original cartoons off to the side and giving them barely any promotion, repeating the same 20 movies over and over again, and just not having any fun like they used to back in the day.

Cartoon Network, you used to be the greatest thing to kids everywhere in the 90s and 00s but now, you’ve just reduced yourself to a new low in entertainment.

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