17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Toys and Television of Yore...

I wonder if I had started having kids at age 43, instead of 23, if I would be as excited about reliving parts of my childhood.

Often this reliving comes in the form of toys and television. Every once in a while thoughts of Rainbow Brite, Punky Brewster, Care Bears, My Little Ponies and Pound Puppies creep into mind. And then the toy companies decide to resurrect some of the old-school 80's toys, and I am a bit of a sucker.

I have recently gotten my fix of the olden days by watching Smurfs with my Pukey on Boomerang. And I also recently purchased the DVD of the Chipmunk Adventure, having remembered watching it over and over again with my sister. And the other day I tivoed Grease on tv, because I remember fond memories of watching it with my sister.

After watching some of these old gems, I realized they are not so gemmy. Smurfs is always about good vs. evil, and many of the other cartoons on Boomerang have a lot of violence in them. And not just hurting each other, like trying to kill each other. Grease, (I guess we all know this already, but it was a wakeup call to watch it as an adult) is about teenagers, in HIGH SCHOOL, shacking up, smoking, cheating on each other, getting pregnant (or not), drinking, and just being all around lewd. The Chipmunk Adventure has the villains as lying, deceiving and smoking cigarettes. One of our favorite movies, Annie, has an alcoholic Orphanage "director" and uses the swear G-D more than once. When Disney re-made it with Kathy Bates taking over for Carol Burnett, she was NOT drunk, and I am sure there were no swears in the production.

So now that I am watching these as an adult, my mommy radar goes off and I think..."I don't want my children watching this." But then I think, well, I didn't necessarily get what was going on when I watched as a kid, and even if I did, I turned out ok.

So where does this leave me? Basically, I don't want my daughters to watch Grease. And I don't mind the Smurfs, but if there is a lot of violence happening say on Droopy or some other random cartoon that surfaces, then I turn it off. And I just can't give up my Annie and Chipmunk Adventure...but I guess I can start the movies a few scenes in (to avoid the cartoon villains smoking scene), or cut them a little short (to avoid the G-D words at the end of Annie). When we were little and watched Grease, my sis and I had to fast forward the drive-in makeout scene. We were very vigilant about this, so I guess I can try to edit as well.



  • I think I'm about the same age as you (30) and I have been so excited about some of the cartoons & toys coming back as well. I don't get Boomerang, so we haven't seen the Smurfs, which I LOVED as a kid too. I recently rented one of the original Strawberry Shortcake DVDs with a few episodes on it. I had remembered how much better the original series was to the new version, so I couldn't wait to watch it with my girls. I couldn't believe how horrible it was! It was essentially a very long commercial because they kept introducing new houses, cars, dolls etc. for you to buy (which I had as a kid) and the stories were so lame. Strawberry Shortcake would just sit down and cry every time she encountered a problem, which was extremely annoying. They also had this horrible theme song that ran through my head for weeks afterwards. It's funny how something that you think was so great as a kid is much different viewed through the eyes of an adult. Two shows I watched as a kid that I am happy to say lived up the memory was He-Man and She-Ra. He-Man is better, but both of my girls really enjoy both.
    posted by Anonymous mkc at 10/10/2007 10:00:00 AM  

  • Yeah I'm totally agreeing with you. Nearly every show I liked growing up is not appropriate to me show to my kids imo. And I don't think it is because my standards are too high. I think I just care about my kids. Even kids shows drive me nuts today. We do ok with play house disney and pbs during the mornings but when we've had tv, anything else wasn't allowed to be watched. Nemo ticks me off b/c of the whole "we're living in our own sh--"cut to something else before they finished the word. Many many shows we don't watch for this reason. I now totally understand why my parents screened movies for so many years. I'll continue doing the same for my kids.
    posted by Blogger Angela at 10/10/2007 10:23:00 AM  

  • I don't have kids yet (4 months away!) but I have seen the My Little Ponies and Pound Puppies come back with great joy. I am so excited to be able to indoctrinate my children on the joy of My Little Pony. I rented the old 80's movie a few months ago and it was just as awesome as I remember it. I don't know about their new movies, but the old one is still good.

    um...that's about all my input :) I was just excited about seeing MLP and Rainbow Brite in a blog entry, hehe.
    posted by Blogger Kris Akarti at 10/10/2007 11:26:00 AM  

  • I grew up on Fairie Tale Theatre, and bought the collection as an adult. Watching them all again, I can't believe all the sexual inuendos throughout them that I had no clue about when I was a kid. I still love them but will be careful about a few as my kids get older. Scooby Doo is another that was so different as an adult-but for another reason. It's so dumb! I just had no idea how it was basically the same episode over and over and over with just another old crochety man as a monster in disguise! :) It makes you think though- I remember recommending a movie to a friend and then rewatching it after several years and being so embarrassed that I'd recommended a movie with so many swear words. I'm glad shows are more careful now but I do love some of the things coming back (can't wait to introduce my little pony and strawberry shortcake to my little girl!)
    posted by Blogger Liz&Meg at 10/10/2007 11:39:00 AM  

  • I used to love Scooby-doo, but man, as an adult, boredom city. Basically, run away from the monster, run to the monster, remove the mask of the monster. The whole show is 75% running.

    But hey, at least they don't use the word "smurf" for every single verb in the English language.

    And Grease is awful. My mom didn't let me watch it, and I would watch it at my friend's houses anyway. But basically the message is: Slut yourself out if you want the guy. He won't take you if you're wholesome. I get why my mom didn't want us to see it, and I don't want my kids seeing it either. Grease 2 is even worse, althoug it's fun to see Michelle Pfeiffer as a Pink Lady.

    My mom didn't let us watch Three's Company, and I never knew why. It was so funny!! Now I get it, but I can tell you all that innuendo went right over my head. I had no idea, truly. It could have been that I was just naive, but I don't think so. I was just young.
    posted by Blogger The Wiz at 10/10/2007 12:01:00 PM  

  • Two of the movies that my sister and I watched over and over again growing up were Grease and A Chorus Line. My mom would FF through one song on A Chorus Line, but otherwise we just watched away, dancing like maniacs. Watching Grease years later was quite the eye-opener! It's true that those things went right over my head when I was young. I think it really depends on your kids - if they key into that kind of thing very quickly, then maybe you want to be especially careful, even in the early years. But if they are pretty oblivious and just want to watch people sing and dance, I say go for it. I mean sure, I turned into a slutty sex-crazed maniac, but that doesn't mean your kids will too. ;-)
    posted by Blogger marian at 10/10/2007 12:46:00 PM  

  • Gah, I totally agree with you. I had my husband find me the Smurfs Christmas special this last year, and I was shocked with how dumb it was. But you know what will always rock on?? Alvin and the Chipmunks. Are they on DVD yet?? I feel myself wanting some right now...
    posted by Anonymous reva at 10/10/2007 02:37:00 PM  

  • Faerie Tale Theatre! YES. I got the boxed set too...and some of them are good...but yeah, edit some too...I seem to recall a pink pig with a lot of boobs.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 10/10/2007 06:37:00 PM  

  • I was allowed to watch "Grease" but not "Footloose." When I saw both as an adult I thought that was backwards and asked my mom about it. She couldn't even remember why!
    posted by Blogger colds1 at 10/10/2007 07:22:00 PM  

  • Yeah, we hit Boomerang too. For a while they were showing the old Tom and Jerry cartoon, and my boys were head over heels in love- but I was horrified by some of the stuff. My kids didn't even know what an ashtray was, let alone a cigarette.

    I do think most of it goes over their heads, but the world was far less sanitized when we were little.

    And I'm with Wiz on Scooby Doo- I loved it as a kid, but not so much now.

    Whatever happened to the Schoolhouse Rock stuff, where we actually learned something? Who can't sing Conjuction Junction, or remember how a Bill becomes a Law? That's what we need!
    posted by Blogger tracy m at 10/10/2007 10:43:00 PM  

  • My daughter was really interested in Annie around 2 1/2 years old.
    She was soo cute singing "Tomorrow", but then there were the times that she said "kill, kill, KILL!" and I couldn't help but laugh at her, but then I always told her it was impolite.

    I loved it. I'm OK. I'll let them watch it.
    posted by Blogger Lacey at 10/10/2007 10:58:00 PM  

  • I'm thirty, so I watched a lot of the same shows and movies you're talking about. As a mom of two girl (ages 9 and 7 1/2) it's been fun to go down memory lanw with them.

    One thing that I loved as a kid that my girls also loved was Jem and the Holograms. I still kick myself for not buying the DVDs when they were released a few years back! They also love Scooby-Do and Alvin and the CHipmunks, although I don't really enjoy them as an adult. ;)

    I think one thing to remember is that the movies we saw as kids on TV were almost always editted. I'll never forget watching the 1997 re-release of Grease and being *shocked* that my parents let me watch it! The next time I was home, I pulled out the old VHS tape that my mom had taped Grease on (off of the TV). It was *heavily* editted. The scene with Rizzo and Kinicki in the backseat at the drive-in movie? Totally gone. As was the references to Rizzo being pregnant.

    All of the these movies we watched as kids that are coming out on DVDs are the original theatrical releases with everything left back in. This came back to bite me in the rear a few weeks ago. Target has "The Goonies" on sale for $5. I thought my girls would enjoy it, so I picked it up. Boy, was I shocked when I heard on the the characters saying "B-S"! Again, I had only ever seen this movie with the edits. By the time this happened, they were already into the movie and the damage was done. Of course, they loved the movie. So we had a talk afterward about good words and bad words. ;)

    But yeah, we just have to be careful.
    posted by Anonymous Jennifer in GA at 10/11/2007 06:47:00 AM  

  • I'm right there with you on all the shows and with all your adult reactions to them. But I am very reluctant to say that I care more about my kids than my parents cared about me. It's just a different world now. Back then kids hardly ever rode around in car seats either and I won't say that's because my parents didn't care. What "good" parents do now has a different definition.

    That being said, I figure I didn't turn out that bad, so while I am careful with content, I'm not a freak about it. At the very least you can use "questionable" sequences or actions to open up a dialogue with your kids.

    Long live Annie!
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 10/11/2007 08:37:00 AM  

  • Yeah, Boomerang. When my kids first discovered it I thought "Okay, I used to watch these shows and I turned out alright." I, too, was surprised at how inane Scooby Doo is, how violent Tom & Jerry are and how obnoxious the Smurfs are.

    Grease! Wowza! I had no idea as a kid what any of that was about. It was all just words and music and that amazing Olivia Newton-John. I remember the first time I saw it was at a slumber party and my mom called everyone she knew beforehand to find out if it was appropriate. Apparently all those conservative Mormon mommies said "yes." To this day I can't believe she let me see it!

    I don't know when I'll let my daughters see it. I cringe when my oldest daughter wants to watch High School Musical and that's baby stuff in comparison!
    posted by Blogger lainakay at 10/11/2007 10:31:00 AM  

  • Ooh, for a while I think I had a whole Strawberry shortcake ROOM. Curtains and everything. LOVED Annie. Wasn't allowed to watch Grease until I was older. Punky was awesome. I loved Charlie and the choclate factory as well as Mary Poppins.

    I went through a wierd phase where I was obsessed with Haley Mills in Parent Trap and PollyAnna. I wanted to BE her. I can't wait to watch those movies with my kids.
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 10/11/2007 07:29:00 PM  

  • My life as a boy crazed young woman finally makes sense to me. I watched Grease as a kid.

    posted by Blogger Zinone at 10/16/2007 03:18:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home