How many remember waking up on Saturday morning with a bowl of cereal, and watching as many cartoons as they could? I have fond memories surfing the channels to catch my favorite shows.
Nowadays, kids have shows at their fingertips. They can also watch those from yesteryear. They don't need an old geezer like myself to remind them. It's easy to remember Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Rocko's Modern Life, and Recess. Folks like Netflix are to thank for those. But it's the ones you can't find on many streaming services, or even DVD - those are the ones that are easy to forget about.
The Mighty Ducks
After the movies with Emilio Estevez, Disney decided to do an animated series about actual hockey playing ducks. This wasn't the first time Disney did a cartoon about anthropomorphic ducks. But beside the fact they played hockey, there was a catch -- These ducks were aliens.
Mighty Ducks featured a handful of famous voices. Townsend Coleman was Michaelangelo in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He was also The Tick. Ian Ziering voiced Harry Osborn on MTV's short-lived computer animated Spider-Man. But it was his live-action face that he's most known for. You might remember him from Beverly Hills 90210. It's okay if you don't, because 90210 recently joined the bandwagon of TV revivals. But if not, you might have caught him on DC Universe's Swamp-Thing as Blue Devil. Perhaps the most famous of those voices was Brad Garrett. He's done several voices over the years. Although, even with his baritone pipes, he's also one better known for his face. You might have caught him on Everybody Loves Raymond, or 'Til Death.
The Pirates of Dark Water
I truly forgot about Pirates of Dark Water until I was rummaging through the twenty-five cent bin at my local comic book store. Evidently, Marvel licensed this property from Hanna-Barbera. Back then, Marvel was licensing a handful of properties, such as Planet of the Apes, Star Wars, and Barbie. Of course, now that Disney owns both Star Wars and Marvel, they're publishing Star Wars comics again. Hell, they could be taking Planet of the Apes back from Boom Studios now that Disney owns Fox.
Reading those comics, a few things were returned to the frontal lobe of my brain. The most fond was Niddler, a talking monkey-parrot.
Peter Pan and the Pirates
You might remember the animated Peter Pan from Disney. But before I watched the classic from 1953, there was another version I adored. Sure, there was the Robin Williams flick. But my memories of Peter Pan and the Pirates even predates that. So when I first caught images of Disney's Captain Hook, I had a hard time getting over how different he looked. Not to mention, there was the matter of Pan's green attire, compared the brown one I was used to.
I had a tough time looking for this cartoon. With few memories to go from -- no title, only a premise -- I searched for years. I couldn't believe that Google couldn't grasp "goofy android and mad scientist mastodon." Thank God for my wife's master skills. She found Project Geeker in no time.
It's crazy whenever you pick up voices you didn't know back then, but definitely know now. Evidently, Billy West played Geeker, the goofy android in question. I even met the guy at a Comic Con. West voiced Fry, Professor, Zoidberg, and many others on Futurama. He's also the Red M&M, Bugs Bunny in Space Jam, and both Ren and Stimpy. There was Brad Garrett again as a T-Rex with a backwards red cap. And Cree Summer played Lady MacBeth. I grew to know her from Rugrats and Tiny Toons.
Disney had a lot of cartoons spun-off from their classics. Many remember 101 Dalmations, Aladdin, Timon and Pumba, and Hercules. But what about Jungle Cubs?
As the title suggests, this was a prequel about the early lives of Jungle Book characters, Baloo, Louie, and Bagheera. I can still remember "Bare Necessities," as the opening theme.
I think I remember more about the Space Goofs from when they were scattered about the pages of Fox Kids' publication, Totally Kids. I recall the group of aliens, each with a unique personality and an identifying color. They lived dysfunctunially together in a haunted house. From the show itself, I do remember there was a theme song performed by funk/punk legend, Iggy Pop.
Men in Black: The Series
Yeah, yeah, there were three great movies starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. This trilogy helped define Smith's career. And now, there's the spin-off, Men in Black International, which re-teams Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson from Thor Ragnarok. But how 'bout the animated series shortly after the first movie?
The whole franchise was based on the comic book, published by Malibu Comics. But when Marvel bought Malibu, someone decided they would make better movies. Like how The Mask animated series drew more from the comics than the Jim Carrey flick, the same could be said about Men in Black: The Series. But there really weren't many Men in Black comics from Malibu nor Marvel. I do know that it relied heavily on the first movie. There were the Worms, the neuralyzer, Frank the pug, and even Idikiukup and Bob. Remember, the twins who ran the computers at MIB headquarters?
Bump in the Night
I can still hear Mr. Bumpy sing the theme song -- "I'm Mister Bumpy, and I go bump in the night!" This claymation project aired on CBS. It starred Mr. Bumpy as a green monster with purple bumps and big eyes. His thing was that he ate socks. The supporting characters were his two friends, Squishington, who lived in the toilet, and a doll named Molly. Also, I faintly remember a Transformer looking character who served as the antagonist.
Like with Project Geeker, I came to know the voices from the many other roles I heard after this. Mr. Bumpy was Jim Cummings: Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Thanos on Marvel's Super Hero Squad Show, and the flamingo in Gnomeo and Juliet. But before Bump in the Night, he played one of my favorite superheroes: Darkwing Duck. And Squishington was Rob Paulsen -- Raphael from the original TMNT, and Donatello in Nickelodeon's 2012 TMNT series.
Eek! The Cat
Eek! The Cat, also known as Eek!Stravaganza, was one of those cartoons that contained more than just the title. Taz-Mania also did this. This was probably popularized by Looney Tunes. First, you'd watch an Eek the Cat segment. And then the Terrible Thunderlizards. Even in Terrible Thunderlizards, there was a sub-plot other than the title characters that were based on war movie actors, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Paxton. The sub-plot was a couple of cavemen whose inventions were always thwarted by the Thunderlizards. One of the cavemen, I'm pretty sure was played by Booger from Revenge of the Nerds, who also did Snot on American Dad. Then there was a Care Bear spoof, the Squishy Bearz with a tag-along reindeer named Elmo.
Eek was always trying to do romantic things for his girlfriend Annabelle. And he was constantly chased by Sharky, a dog resembling his namesake. I even remember a segment in Totally Kids where a stuffed Eek would send postcards from around the world.
But the thing I remember most about Eek was his speech impediment/lisp. It was very similar to Mort Goldman on Family Guy. Just match "Hey kids, it's Eek the Cat," with "She thinks my psoriasis is sexy."
C Bear and Jamal
C Bear and Jamal was about a kid and his teddy bear. The teddy bear talked, of course. But it was the bear's voice that made the show. I can't watch Blank Check, or listen to "Wild Thing" or "Funky Cold Medina" without hearing C-Bear.
Totally Kids also contributed to a fond memory of the show. Promoting the show, there was an interview with Tone Loc. He was asked to rap a line or two, but he refused, saying that everyone would start staring if he did.
Honorable Mentions: Bonkers, Marsupilami, Skeleton Warriors.
There were other shows I considered for this list. But I remember even less about them. More people could probably tell me about Bonkers than I could tell them. Yet, I can't think about Bonkers without thinking about Marsupilami. But that's all I can picture - just the title character - nothing else. And then, when I think about Pirates of Dark Waters, I think about two other shows. One is Skeleton Warriors. And the other, I can't remember the name. But I know it was an epic fantasy like Dark Waters and the Skeletons, only a little more futuristic.