Nostalgic Memory from My Cartoon-Filled Childhood

Welcome back for another day here on Soontobeangel.  This is the first instance of a new era here on the blog, as I will be trying to keep up a posting schedule of one post every Tuesday.  So, today I am taking a trip down memory lane back to a show that made a big impression on my childhood and I want to share the three most impactful and hilarious episodes I remembered.  And, without further ado, I turn the clock back to look back at that classic 90’s Cartoon show – Recess.

I absolutely LOVED this show!  It was a hilarious compilation of rag-tag characters that fully encompassed the chaos of everyone’s elementary school memories.  I loved how every episode utilized each person’s own unique characteristics and let them be their self.  It was the most tolerant show I have ever seen and I was very excited to find some of the my favorite episodes on Youtube.  Thus, I have posted a few of those below so you can see each one and then read my thoughts on it just under that.

This episode demonstrates an incredible sense of understanding how children deal with serious, adult issues and how they go about learning to navigate them.  I distinctly remembered this episode because it shaped my understanding of language for much of my teen years.  I love the reversal of roles that transpires here – seeing the kids acting like adults and the adults bickering like the children they are trying to protect.  Just a great example of a kids show revealing that it isn’t just a fun, happy little romp for children but an educational tool used to raise big questions.  This episode in no way whomps. 🙂

“Gretchen and the Secret of Yo” really demonstrates exactly what I mean in saying that Recess covered every angle of our youngest years as this story very clearly translates on up into Junior High and High School.  Kids want to feel accomplishment and society (particularly early school life) pushes recreational and sports victories as the ultimate achievement a kid can obtain.  What is so spectacular about this episode is its negotiation of the Talent versus Determination argument – whether or not a person can learn and earn triumph in any field with or without natural skill. Gretchen, being the quintessential geek, obviously lacks any talent in the area of sports but still has the desire to succeed. I love how she tries to reason and will herself to do many things but all of them fail.  Then, when she finds something which she has some talent at, she is able to learn from her coach and work hard to turn that skill into mastery.  It is a great story of overcoming perceived flaws and achieved the goals you set for yourself.  All I can really say about the episode is this:  Yo. 

“Dodgeball City” is by far my favorite episode of a cartoon series of all time.
I love how this episode plays on every western ever made and turns a schoolyard game of dodgeball into a Quick and the Dead  style shootout.  One can clearly see the references made to The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly and Shane (that last joke is one of my all-time favorites). Yes, the whip sound effect is overused but overall the story arc is fantastic as is the general western feel that the animators are able to capture.  The bars growing to form the widescreen shot is hilarious and I give mad props to the wonderful person who wrote this episode.  It has made a lasting impression on me all these years later and I thank them for a great laugh and a great memory of my childhood days.

If you haven’t taken the time prior, I highly recommend this fantastic show from our past.  It was well written, cleverly poignant and way ahead of its time for dealing so openly with tough issues kids face (bullying, clicks, etc).  It is a really fun take on some of the best years of our lives and so I hope you take some time to go back and check out Recess – the stories of our childhood.

Just try to forget this image 🙂

Thanks for sticking around!  I hope you enjoyed each of these episodes and I would love to hear what you think of them.  Were you a fan of Recess or did you prefer the Nickelodeon classics better?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

This Friday on Art of the Trailer I am going to take a look at the first trailer for Thin Ice — a new film starring Greg Kinnear that appears to be trying to mix Fargo with the recent raunchy comedy genre. And I think I can already say that I am not particularly psyched about this film thanks to the trailer.  So, join me next Friday for that review and check back next Tuesday for another post here on Soontobeangel.  Thanks!

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Author: Tyler D. Welch

Filmmaker, Storyteller, Scholar

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