Retro cartoons were the at their prime best during my times at the 80s/90s, I used to look forward to watching cartoons after school, it was a way we kids used to de-stress and chill out after school. Mom used to stock up my favorite snacks and fix me a yummy sandwich along with my fizzy drinks (yeah we weren’t health conscious during my times!) but we were happy and carefree!
The best part of these cartoons were they taught us a lot about life and helped us connect to our heart and feelings. I remember thinking of how my favorite characters would’ve handled a situation and that kind of helped me as a kid with an obvious wild imagination.
Back in the 80’s/90s kid’s had a sense of wild imagination, maybe because these cartoons influenced us to play outdoors more and experienced adventures and mysteries along with been physically active.
Here’s a list of a few cartoons, that taught me about life:
This was an emotional roller coaster for me, I think one of the most emotional cartoons ever created by Disney, Bambi was a little fawn who was struggling to get on his feet, as time went by he loses his mother (this was the hardest thing I’ve ever seen, I was so emotionally affected I remember wanting to cling on to my mom and even sleep with her till I felt better) He finds his girl and falls in love, she gets in trouble , he gets into a fight and saves her and the end he becomes a father.
What this taught me was to survive, How Bambi had to survive despite been young and his mother dying, he did not stop there he had to continue with his life and learn to grow up and learn to fight for survival which made him strong.
Favourite quote: “If you can’t say nuffin nice, don’t say nuffin at all” (this was so adorably said by thumper! And I remember how this stuck to my head every time I tried to be mean to someone)
Snow White & the seven dwarfs
There were 2 lessons I learnt from this cartoon, one was to not talk to strangers, when the woodsman failed to kill snow white, the queen disguised herself as an old woman, despite the advice from the dwarfs , snow white talks to her and lets her inside, the evil queen takes this opportunity and feeds her a poisoned apple, which made snow white fall into deep sleep. The dwarfs advice stuck to me and I remember being very alert as a kid, it was better to be safe than sorry.
The second advice was Beauty is mainly from the inside. The jealous queen was in a rage and thought the only way to be the fairest of all was to kill snow white, which she failed, the magic mirror recognised snow white as the fairest, was because snow white was not only beautiful from outside but from inside as well. This stuck to me, and I tried my best to be less judgemental as a kid and tried to see everyone inside beauty.
Favourite Quote: “Remember you’re the one who can fill the world with sunshine!”
This after Bambi was a very emotional cartoon, I remember how I used to be in tears every time Dumbo was made fun of and when separated from his mother. This cartoon taught me that Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, everyone was making fun of dumbo’s large ears, he was the joke and mocked at. But to his mother he was perfect, and that his flaws were what made him adorable and unique.
The second lesson I learnt was that your story never has to be sad and that you could always change it by creativity and hard work, Dumbo though was dealt with the harshness of life, but with a healthy dose of his creativity and hard work and support from the crow’s he was able to rise above his circumstances. We have the power to write or change our destiny the best way possible and that nothing was impossible!
Favourite Quote: “The very things that hold you down are going to lift you up!”
This was one of my favourite cartoons, the Romanov monarchy had always inspired me after this cartoon, I was so into this cartoon loved the mystery behind Anastasia and how fate brought her to Dimitri and how she was able to get back to her grandmother. This cartoon taught me strength, she very clearly showed she didn’t need any help and was able to handle herself well. Though been strong she had a good balance of feminity by dreaming of the ball rooms the princess outfits she was still a little princess in heart.
This cartoon also lightly touched the deep sadness and tragic of loosing a family and trying to feel complete, she dreams of having a dance with the king her father, no matter what, your family and your roots are what makes you a strong person as you grow!
Favourite Quote: ” I guess every lonely girl would hope she’s a princess.”
Yes, this is surprisingly made it to my list, Captain planet and the planeteers were such a growing trend during the 90s, this cartoon inspired me to join our environmental club in school, and I remember been an environmental captain promoting awareness and feeling proud!
This showed me the importance of saving planet earth, it was just the right way to spread awareness to kids, it was awesome and told the stories of 5 teens from around the world, this showed me that no matter what our nationality or race we were, we all can join hands to make this world a better place!
Favourite Quote: “The power is yours!”
Kiki’s Delivery Service
This cartoon was unique from the usual cartoons, I did start getting my Japanese cartoon influence after this, they had a way of been touching yet makes you think, This was a story about a young witch striking out on her own, she sets out on a year-long apprenticeship with her little black cat. She settles down in a charming little town, she gets help from a baker’s wife and she decides to be an entrepreneur where she uses her broom and creates her own delivery service!
This cartoon still continues to be an inspiration as I embark on my own adventures! this showed me the benefits and struggles of an entrepreneurship, where your hard work and kindness to people can make you a successful entrepreneur and taught me how important it is to do what you love!
Favourite Quote: “Smile, so we can make a good impression!”
The Secret of NIMH
This was a story about a widowed mouse, who must move her children before the local farmer starts plowing and she seeks help from a group of rats with heightened intelligence.
What this cartoon taught me, was the importance to seek help when needed and not to shy away from asking. Despite been a widow she was still able to be courageous in finding her solution. And with the intelligence, we should do good and cause no harm to anyone.
Favourite quote: “Courage of the heart is very rare..”
This is such a magical cartoon which makes you drift into a fantasy world where a fish princess falls in love with a human boy and wants to be human. a son of a sailor who lives with his mother and waiting for his dad to come back. And Ponyo’s father who’s concerned about his daughter’s well-being and worried about her wanting to be a human.
This cartoon taught me that acceptance is important. Despite Suske been human and Ponyo been a goldfish, he had to accept her as who she is for her to be able to be with him. And that you should never give up what you wish for, Ponyo got her wish because she put all her heart into it with true love and true friendship and acceptance.
Favourite Quote: “Ponyo loves Sosuke! I will be human too!”
I hope you enjoyed this post, do take some time to watch your childhood cartoons, it is a great way to de-stress, learn, think and escape reality!
Thank you for reading my post!