Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, or Nickelodeon: Which classic cartoon channel is the best?
Hot on the heels of the Disney Channel library going live on Disney+ and Cartoon Network being slated for HBO Max, Nickelodeon and Netflix have settled on a multi-year streaming deal.
Now, at long last, all the archives of the Big Three '90s cartoon channels––Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon––will be available for 24/7 streaming. Thus begins the official Cartoon Wars of 2019.
See, if you actually want to be able to access all three archives at any given time, you'll be spending $35 per month across all three subscription services. Us millennials can barely afford an avocado toast, let alone three separate streaming platforms. But let's be honest, nobody actually likes Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon equally, anyways. One of them is clearly better than the other two.
If you grew up watching '90s cartoons, reading that last sentence gave you a visceral gut reaction, guaranteed.
Maybe your first thought was something like: "I loved Gargoyles, that show was bomb. Disney Channel ftw."
Or maybe your reaction was more personal, echoing something deeper: "Rugrats formed the very foundation of my childhood. Chuckie's relationship with his father informed my own experience growing up in a single-parent household after my mother's tragic death when I was very young."
Too bad you'd be wrong in both of those scenarios. The best channel was Cartoon Network. Why? Because Cartoon Network had everything. Genius boy scientist doing wacky experiments? Dexter's Laboratory. Female empowerment superhero narrative? Powerpuff Girls. Oh, and don't forget Samurai Jack, which won eight Primetime Emmy Awards.
And let's not even get into Adult Swim, which kept the cartoon goodness going late into the night. Without a doubt, Cartoon Network was the superior source for all things cartoons.
All joking aside, it's exciting to finally have all the best cartoons from our childhoods streaming at our fingertips. But at the same time, I can't help but feel that when everything is set up on competing platforms, we're finally reaching a point when streaming has come full circle.
Netflix's biggest disruption to the classic TV model was its ability to give viewers so much content that was available anytime they wanted it, all in one place. Why would anyone need a cable subscription when so many great shows were available on demand for a cheaper price?
But now that there are so many competing streaming platforms breaking different content up across different subscription platforms, we've circled back into a bastardized "channel" model. We're essentially paying for premium channels all over again.
In a twist fully reflective of our capitalist hellscape, the enhanced corporate competition to get our money for accessible content has ultimately made said content increasingly less accessible. Moreover, they all get a lot more of our data now, which means that on top of returning to what essentially amounts to a feudal channel system, we're also giving companies a lot more access to our personal info. Good thing they're only using our nostalgia-driven data to peddle us more harmless nostalgia though, right?
Still, it's nice to have so many beloved cartoons, at the very least, available. And while I might not keep every subscription going long-term, I certainly look forward to abusing a few free trials.
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11 years ago, on July 10th, 2009, Colombian singer Shakira released the first single off her third studio album.
"She Wolf" is a synth-pop banger built on a B minor progression. It was, in many ways, an insane song, born out of the singer's own frustration and ennui.
Though the music was composed by John Hill and Sam Endicott, lead singer of post-punk band The Bravery, the lyrics were all Shakira's own. "[Shakira] contacted him (Hill), asking if he had any stuff," said Endicott. "We never had her in mind. We just made the thing independently of her, and then she liked it a lot, and she sang over it. She used some of the melodies we put in there and then wrote these crazy lyrics about being a werewolf. And that's how it happened."
Shakira - She Wolf www.youtube.com
March 11th is just around the corner!
Jack's Back...With A Beard
The trailer for Samurai Jack dropped this week. If you didn't grow up watching the stoic samurai Jack calmly dispatch robots and aliens in his attempt to travel back in time after being hurled into a dystopian futureverse by an evil shape shifter, well, you can get caught up right now . If, on the other hand, you're already a fan of creator Genndy Tartakovsky's haiku of a masterpiece, then mark your calendars because this new trailer will definitely get you psyched for Season 5 on March 11th.
Why I'm Excited
The new trailer shows Jack fifty years after Season 4. With the exception of some new muscles (and follicles), Jack appears unchanged by time. After spending 4 seasons trying to get back to his chronological home, Jack is still stuck in the future, and seemingly feeling a bit down about that.
Tartakovsky says that the show will have a darker, grittier, tone than past seasons. The creative team includes many of the original cast and crew, including Phil LaMarr as the voice of Jack. Much of Jack's signature style is sure to be in place while the added freedom allowed by Adult Swim (as opposed to Cartoon Network) creates a compelling opportunity for a fresh take on the solitary samurai.
Why I'm Concerned
I have reservations about something that should be an overwhelming positive. Enhanced technology. All previous seasons of Samurai Jack have been hand crafted. This creates obvious limitations but I often find that those technical limitations foster more creative products and that the ability to do more for cheaper doesn't always result in the best art (films such as the Star Wars prequels or Peter Jackson's The Hobbit don't ease my anxiety on this point). However, Tarakovsky states that the animation team is working hard to make the new season feel hand crafter even though they're using digital technology. Only time will tell.
The loss of voice actor Mako Iwamatsu as Aku is also a legitimate concern. Mako's death leaves a void that's impossible to fill, yet it is always possible this obstacle could prove a creative opportunity. Once again, this will all be much clearer come March.
Regardless Of These Concerns...
The first four seasons of Samurai Jack introduced us to a world that was equal parts artistically adventurous, poetically beautiful, and just straight up badass. It's time to get excited, count down the days, and catch up if you haven't already.
If you're desperate for more news on the new season, check out the behind the scenes video below with some great insight from the creators and actors involved in Season 5 of Samurai Jack.
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