Jun 13, 2013

The 90s cartoons

Being a kid born in the 90s, I have had the privilege of doing loads of things. I have seen the transition from Walkman to iPod, I have seen the boom of the internet, I have seen the development of the silicon chip- my cellphone now is ten times as powerful as computers when I was born! However, what I really cherish about the 90s is the cartoons that were shown in Cartoon Network before it got its new look. If I could summon five or more characters, here are the ones that I would want to talk to.

Racer X (Speed Racer):

Racer X is a mysterious character in Speed Racer, who is actually his elder brother, Rex, presumed to have died in a car crash(in the 2008 movie). In the cartoon series, however, he is banished from Pops' team and he leaves the family, vowing to be the greatest racer ever. He assumes the identity of Racer X and resurfaces later, a far better racer.

The origins of Racer X and the way he developed his skills are different in different versions of Speed Racer (original series, comic series and the film), but one thing is common between all of those- he emerges a fantastic racer- a courageous but selfless person.

All through the series, he is constantly portrayed as a superior racer than Speed, but that doesn't stop Speed from competing with him. Although the viewers know about his identity, Speed comes to know about him only much later.

Captain Planet (Captain Planet and the Planeteers):

The power is yours!

Captain Planet is a superhero who generates on combining the elemental powers of the planeteers- Kwame(Earth), Wheeler(Fire), Linka(Wind), Gi(Water) and Ma-ti(Heart). The episodes typically start with a problem where one of the 'Eco-villains' lead to pollution, harming the planet in the process and the planeteers try and save the day. Their primary aim is to save the world from pollution, criminals and natural disasters.

The usual way in which they summon Captain Planet is by combining their powers in a specific order- Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, Heart. Captain Planet would then appear, saying 'I'm your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!'.

Not only does Captain Planet save the Earth from doom, his punch lines are pretty well placed too. What is better than a superhero? A comedian Superhero!

T-Bone and Razor (Swat Kats- The Radical Squadron):

Enough of humans. Imagine a world where there are no humans, and the world is run by Kats. There are good Kats and bad Kats. There is a Kats Eye news too! Want to hear more? How about Robot Kats as villains?

Anyways, that's not why these two were my favourite cartoon characters. It's their bravery, their determination, their team work that appealed to me. Building the TurboKat- the best flying machine from their junkyard is no joke!

T-Bone is the best pilot ever and the dominant member of the team. He has a big size and huge power, which is revealed in later episodes.

Razor maybe the smaller and lighter of the duo, but he is the mind behind the team. A mechanical genius who can fix almost anything, his mind was tested when the Swat Kats were sent back in the past and he fixed the TurboKat with imperial tools!

In short, as a kid, I never missed a single episode of Swat Kats, which aired at 4 pm, fortunately, just after I would be back from school.

Phantom (The Phantom):

The Phantom refers to a series of superheroes from the African country Bangalla, taken care by the Bandar tribe of the area. The legacy passes on from Father to Son and due to the resemblance, the Phantom is thought to be immortal. Although Phantom has no real superpowers, he relies on his sheer strength, very high intelligence and his reputation as an immortal ghost to conquer evil.

Although Phantom was pretty successful as a cartoon, the Phantom which I am referring to here is the 10th Phantom who features in the comic strip 'The Ghost who died twice'. He is wounded in a pirate attack leading to betrayal and loses an eye in the process. Although his son takes over as the 11th Phantom, he recovers and trains himself to take revenge. He summons the pirate for a duel and is betrayed again as he is shot in the heart trying to save the pirate from a giant squid.

Max Ray, Jake Rockwell and Ace McCloud(The Centurions):

In the near future, Doc Terror and his cyborg companion hacker unleash their forces to conquer Earth. Only one force can stop this evil; a handful of brave men. In specially created exoframes, they can be transported anywhere. Special weapon systems are beamed down from the space station Sky Vault integrating with the exoframes joining man and machine!

Max Ray is a brilliant sea operations commander. The sensible member and undisputed leader of the team. He has a characteristic green suit and usually takes over the operations in the water.

Jake Rockwell is a rugged land operations specialist. He is very short tempered. His weapons are extremely powerful and suited for use on land.

Ace McCloud, a daring air operations expert, in his characteristic blue suit is the bravest in the team. His weapon systems are suited for the air, with one specially designed for space.

Whatever the challenge, they are ready. The Centurions!

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