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Reviews Comments: A Great Channel, Now Digging Its Own Grave Cartoon Network whole series review by Darkness

Cartoon Network hit the airwaves October 1st, 1992 by airing the Looney Tunes short Rhapsody Rabbit. It was the birth of an all-animation channel. It would change television history and change cartoons as we knew.

Now, I was born September 1st of '94, nearly two years after the channel premiered. I would soon grow up on the channel when I hit around the age of 5 in '99. What I remember was what most called, "The Golden Age" of the channel. I would watch The Powerpuff Girls whenever it was on and was obsessed with it, collecting practically every single piece of its merchandise whenever I could. I watched other Cartoon Network originals like Dexters Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, Ed Edd N Eddy, Courage The Cowardly Dog , and many others like them. I even watched the occasional anime on Toonami like Dragonball Z and Sailor Moon, even though I barely remember any of it.

Cartoon Network, I would consider, to be one of the best channels in the history of television. It brought cartoons into a new light and brought anime to US shores. With the help of Adult Swim and adult humor in its most popular cartoons, it showed that cartoons aren't just a child's medium.

Despite this, most can agree that ever since its logo change to CN in 2004, Cartoon Network has been in a downward spiral. Even though they've pumped out decent original series like Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends, Ben 10, and arguably, Chowder, Flapjack, and the various Canadian cartoons they've imported, CN started to change. With the recent CNReal and airing of live action movies, many believe that the channel has taken a turn for the worse. I couldn't look at CN the same way again.

I say this channel was at it's best in the late 90's to early 2000's with its original programming. Others say it was before with all the classic cartoons. Hopes have risen for the recent airing of classic Looney Tunes cartoons on the modern day Cartoon Network. For all of us longing for the past... it may be coming back.


  • Cliche
  • 21st Dec 09
Can you Please Elaborate on how the addition of Canadian cartoons led to Network Decay? Right now it sounds like Unfortunate Implications, especially considering that us Canucks get so many of our cartoons from you Yanks.

Also, do you realize that They Changed It Now It Sucks and Ruined FOREVER are meant to be used in an ironic sense?

(Reply from the Review Editor: Thank you for your comment. I changed my review to reflect that the Canadian cartoons aren't one of the reasons for the channel's decay. I have nothing against them as I never really watched any of them. I know that many people here in America enjoy those shows and yet I also know many that don't. It's now more YMMV when it comes to opinions on those shows. Sorry for the Unfortunate Implications. And thank you for telling me about the uses of Ruined FOREVER and They Changed It Now It Sucks. I removed the uses of those from my review.
  • 1st Jan 10
Canadian cartoons are still cartoons. And the way I understand it, there are only a few Canadian cartoons, so this doesn't even fit under Major Shifts That Still Fit The Channel Name.

Live-action sitcoms, movies, or reality shows? Definate Network Decay there. Let's hope Cartoon Network recovers from the whole CN Real fiasco, and goes back to doing what it does best. The return of classic Looney Tunes is, I think, a step in the right direction.

(Reply from the Review Editor: Thank you for the comment. Like what I said above, I realize that the Canadian cartoons aren't part of the problem on Cartoon Network. I'm sorry about my wording in the review that made it sound like I was saying that the Canadian cartoons were part of the problem. My wording in the review has been changed to avoid the Unfortunate Implications.)
  • 11th Jan 10
Unfortunately, it seems like someone found out about Looney Tunes being back on, screamed "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!? We're supposed to be marching in the Network Decay Pride Parade!". So Looney Tunes suddenly disappeared again just as suddenly as it reappeared.

I don't really know what happened, but in any case, last I checked, a few survivors of the CN Real fiasco such as 'Dude What Would Happen' were still on the schedule. And they're still hyping live-action movies.

My guess is some people behind the scenes really, really believe Cartoon Network needs to go with Total Abandonment, while others feel they should continue running a mixture of classic and new animated series.

Personally, I think the best thing to do would be to have the head of the network level with us and say that they believe 24 hours of animation is a luxury they can no longer afford due to economic realities (i.e. cartoons are more expensive to produce than live action shows). And that, I think, would basically be telling the truth.
  • Dracomicron
  • 13th Jan 10
Uh, they wouldn't need to produce 24 hours of animation a day, they only have to purchase the rights to show 24 hours of animation a day. Considering how much animation is just sitting on the shelf, it can't be that expensive. Someone get me some Exo Squad!
  • flyboy254
  • 2nd Jun 10
We say this as outward observers, friend. It is possible that the company has not enough funds to devote to the licsensing necessary to bring certain animation libraries to the fold. Also factor in that systems like the Wii, and even the PC, have enough kid-friendly and edutainment titles that some parents would rather use them to entertain their kids instead of sitting them in front of the tube.

However, speaking as one who watched CN from the beginning, I have this to say about the recent turn of events.

  • Dracomicron
  • 3rd Jun 10
At this point, I'm giving CN the benefit of the doubt because The Boondocks is back on the air.
  • 3rd Jun 10
I don't know about what I am going to say. Cartoon Network is slowly coming back from the last few years. Sure they still have the crap "Dude, What Will Happen?" airing new episodes and "Destroy Build Destroy" as part of the remaining live-action shows, but with the addition of "Unnatural History" coming soon... it's hard to say that Cartoon Network is going to come out of this downward spiral.

Still, I think that Flapjack, Adventure Time and Generator Rex are slowly helping getting Cartoon Network out. It's slow, but if "Unnatural History" bombs, then we may just look out for new cartoons in the horizon. But who knows what will happen. It's up to the people working at Cartoon Network to decide what to air, and I hope that they can learn from this and maybe listen to their viewers about what they really want to see.
  • DrStarky
  • 5th Sep 10
I think CN Real was the lowest point. Thet have nowhere to go but up from that.
  • werdnak84
  • 7th Sep 10
They pulled everything CN Real as quickly as they began it. A new Scooby-Doo show is airing that proves to be darker and more dramatic than the previous versions. A new Looney Tunes show is in the works and will premiere soon. They are greenlighting more original cartoons.

I'd say they are aiming to regain their respect.
  • TweedlyDee
  • 29th Dec 10
WRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG! Stuart Snyder is pushing more Live Action shows, namely Tower Prep and some generic sports-award show. It's the end, guys. The time for second chances is over. There have been way too many false starts.
  • Nesbro
  • 30th Dec 10
I gotta say, stuff like Regular Show seem to be pushing the creativity back in. Just remember, on every channel, there's gotta be one shitty block of programming for the people who just don't like the normal stuff. Discovery is a good example. I enjoy watching Myth Busters, but half the time Discovery airs stuff like American Chopper. That doesn't stop me from watching the stuff I really enjoy, I can just change the channel. Besides, that sports show qualifies for the educational programming requirement, which keeps CN on the air. If you ask me, I found the Canadian cartoons to be rather boring and uninteresting, especially 6Teen. They just seemed generic and boring. Also, Tweedly Dee, I'd have to disagree. There's always a second chance. For example, after the Game Crash of 1984, the Video Game Industry took a huge leap back into the spotlight after the NES saved it. We just need a very good show to save CN, and I feel that the new, more original programming may be it.
  • EponymousKid
  • 2nd Jan 11
Cartoon Network premiered more original animated series in 2010 than ever before. The network, quite literally, has more cartoons than ever.
  • kyun
  • 28th Jan 11
Stuart Snyder has no place as the exec of CN. You know where he came from? SPORTS, WRESTLING, AND NEWS NETWORKS! After completely bastardizing those too! He is a hard businessman. He has no creativity, knows absolutely nothing about what a kid wants, what animation fans want, and how to run what is considered the youngest step-child of the Big 3 childrens' networks on television. Granted, they have been steadily learning from CN Real by 2011 now, but Snyder is still there. I fear for this Sports award show.
  • depaderico
  • 28th Jan 11
My Nostalgia Filter might be wired a bit differently because I began watching the channel in the early-to-mid 90s. Night-time television programming was by and large quite dull (for a 12-year-old), so I was elated to find a channel that ran classic cartoons all night (or at least until the early-morning transition into infomercials). Later they replaced night-time programming with Adult Swim, which was funny at first until it began to undergo a steady process of Flanderization into a certain variety of humor that I guess they thought would appeal to somebody my age. It always makes me a bit uncomfortable to feel like my demographic is being pandered to with laser-targeted precision. Ironic humor is funny from time to time, but not when every single show is entertaining only in the context of being ironic, and then in-between shows and during commercial breaks the network inserts additional ironic humor into title cards and "tonight's lineup" announcements. The human body can take only so much irony!
  • MrThunderush
  • 2nd Dec 11
Stuart Snyder is trying to push CN into the spotlight beside Disney and Nick. Both networks have been around longer, allowing them to gain a huge lead over a smaller network like it. Snyder decided to diversify CN to gain the appeal of sponsors and advertisement deals. Unfortunately, he took it too far. I won't be suprised if he suffers public humiliation one day as a means of forcing him out of the corporate chair.
  • DandelionFire
  • 17th Jan 12
I totally agree with this review. I hate the current CN so very, very much. It stopped being good once Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends, Teen Titans, and the Secret Saturdays ended/were taken off.
  • ChaoticTrilby
  • 26th Aug 12
To be honest, I liked Cartoon Network better when it included some Kids WB programs, like Static Shock and Xiaolin Showdown. At least then, I could get my creative cartoon fix all in one nice channel. The Anime from Toonami certainly contributed to this.

In any case, I almost completely agree with this review. CN has sadly gone to the dogs as of late. Seeing the classic cartoons re-appear gave me some hope, but they haven't been aired in a while now and my doubts are returning. I still have hope for a resurrection of the old network so many people grew up loving, but a lot of these newer shows just seem generic and...silly. Like not even the writers are putting much effort into them. The only old show with that same problem was - I'm sorry to say - Cow And Chicken. And even THAT had some nice jokes.

Oh, well. Maybe things will get better. I haven't completely given up on Cartoon Network yet!
  • sixsixseven
  • 2nd Sep 12
Nostalgia Filter indeed.

I did grow up in the golden age, but I've learned that all things much change. There are many a beloved show I would love to see again, but one has to guess the goggles are on tighter than one expects. I harbor little hate towards the network and always like to see what's new. I'm an animation buff, so anything in that realm is of my interest. Yes, even those Canadian flash series everpony seems to dislike I like to watch as way to get a cartoony fix. I'm performing so real fandom heresy here.
  • Darkton
  • 11th Sep 12
You do realize Nostalgia Filter is a bad thing, right?

Also, Cartoon Network has put out some quite good original shows these days, like Thundercats2011 and Western Animation\Young Justice. This review reeks of fanboy "EVERYTHING WAS BETTER IN MY DAY" whining.
  • MFM
  • 11th Sep 12
How so? This review was written in 2009, which was actually a rather low point for Cartoon Network. How do the quality of shows made in 2011 and 2010 reflect on its quality in 2009? You can't just assume that a review was written on the same date as its most recent comment: a new comment bumps it up to the top of the review activity.
  • Darkton
  • 11th Sep 12
I didn't realize it was 2009. My mistake.
  • TomRoid
  • 30th Aug 13
Or you could just, I don't know, move on.
  • qtjinla15
  • 30th Aug 13
Tom Roid you're acting as if everyone here is intelligent and reasonable. XD. Don't you know if that was the case we wouldn't be in this review? XD
  • MrMallard
  • 31st Aug 13
Ha. Ha ha ha.

Nothing useful contributed. Review dead for almost an entire year. gj guys.

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