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Which Children's Shows Should Be Reprised?

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Published August 31st 2013
When I was little, my devoted mother would get up in the wee hours of the morning, come downstairs, and start recording all the Saturday morning shows for me to watch. And watch I did. I watched them again, and again, and again. Then I became a teenager, and taped over everything. I now regret that so much. Why? Because none of these programmes are on anymore.

Despite there being more children's television channels now than there have ever been before, I can't help but weep at the quality of some of the entertainment programmes they are given. Granted, there are some good ones, (e.g. Peppa Pig, Charlie & Lola) but most are pretty rubbish compared to the cartoons and shows we used to get.

What happened to the shows of our generation? There are still a few about, (The Rugrats make an appearance every now and then) but most of the things I used to watch as a kid are no longer on air. I think this is a shame, because it was quality entertainment.

So my question is, which children's shows that you used to watch, would you bring back? When I say 'bring back', I don't mean have them remade into a new series, but rather syndicated on television. There have been several revivals over the years, and quite frankly I'm upset at what digital obsession and money grabbing has done to my beloved favourites: 3D Winnie the Pooh (and they've replaced Christopher Robin with a little girl), a 3D Mickey Mouse Club, a terrible animation job on the new Looney Tunes Show.

the jetsons, hanna barbera
Image from Wikipedia

Although some of my favourites have at last made it to DVD (The Flintstones, Moomins, Popeye, etc), there are a lot that are not available outside the US and Canada. For some reason, the producers don't seem to think it is worth bothering with anyone else, and have only made region one releases. The Jetsons is a prime example of this. The show was produced by Hanna-Barbera, and first aired in 1962. The Jetsons were your typical middle-class American family from the 60s; George, the man of the house, lives with his wife, two kids, and dog. They also have a maid called Rosie, who just happens to be a robot, because they live in the year 2062. It is a futurist sitcom that should be brought back.

huckleberry hound, hanna barbera
Image from Wikipedia

Other Hanna-Barbera cartoons that need reviving are Huckleberry Hound and The Tom & Jerry Kids. Huckleberry Hound was one of Hanna-Barbera's earliest creations (1958), and the character referred to Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, and appeared in seven minute shorts alongside other cartoons, as part of a half-hour show. His trademark features included a southern drawl and a tendency to sing 'Oh My Darling, Clementine'. Each episode, he would appear in a different job, such as a policeman or sheriff, and it was his job to catch the bad guy.

While the Original Tom & Jerry is widely available on DVD and television, the spin-off show, The Tom & Jerry Kids seems to have disappeared entirely. This is surprising considering that it only premiered in 1990, and I would have expected it to still be around. Unfortunately, Cartoon Network removed it from syndication in 2006.

Another American big timer was Droopy; this rather depressed looking dog was created by Tex Avery during his time at MGM. The basset hound's deadpan voice made him an instant hit when he appeared in 1943, and he had the uncanny ability to get from one place to another instantaneously.

The busy World of Richard Scarry
Image from Wikipedia

The Busy World of Richard Scarry is a French/Canadian animated series that aired from 1994 to 1997. It was based on the Busytown book series by Richard Scarry, and although he was American, the characters looked distinctly Swiss. The series is based around the everyday events of an everyday town, only all the citizens are animals. The main character is Huckle Cat, who goes off on adventures with his best friend, Lowly Worm.

Moving across the pond, there were some pretty good kids' cartoons made in Britain too. The Welsh company, Siriol Animation, who made Wil Cwac Cwac in the 1980s. Based on a 1931 children's book by Jennie Thomas and J.O. Williams, it is about Wil, a duckling, who lives on a farm with his other poultry friends, and is constantly getting into trouble. It was originally aired in Welsh, but dubbed in English for the rest of the UK. Despite this, all the characters kept their strong welsh accents, which gave it an added flavour of interest.

Image from Wikipedia

There were great children's shows that were not cartoons too.Playdays ran from 1988-1997, and was aimed at children of 'play school' age. Mr Jolly hosted the show alongside his puppet friends Why Bird, Poppy the cat, and Peggy Patch the patch doll. It also featured guest presenters such as ZoŽ Ball, Trish Cooke, and Dave Benson Phillips, who would introduce each new segment of the show. The show started with the title sequence, in which the playbus would be driving down the road, and on each day of the week it would go to a different bus stop, which featured different puppets and shows.

Gameshows were also a great form of children's entertainment, and one of my favourites was 50/50. The format set up was that fifty pupils from two different schools would compete against one another for a trophy. Each child would be given a number from 1 to 50, and then a computer would select numbers at random. The children with those numbers would compete head to head in quizzes, puzzles and inflatable obstacle courses. The school with the most points at the end was the winner. There would be no point in airing old episodes of this, but I think it is one of the few occasions when making new episodes would be well worth while.
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Love your articles, always filled with nostalgia. Jamie and The Magic Torch, Why Don't You?, Banana Man, and Inspector Gadget were some of my favourites growing up!
by EricaL (score: 3|1625) 1661 days ago

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