There have been a few movies revisiting old times recently. It seems that Hollywood is trying to make a profit out of our nostalgia (not to say it worked on me, but it totally worked on me). Anyway, there were quite a few 80s cartoons that got movie adaptations within the last 2 years or so. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Sure. Transformers – again? Why not. Ghostbusters? Bring it on! Disregarding whether those movies were good or not – it got our team here at Reflex Dance Studios thinking about the cartoons we grew up with.
At first glance it might seem like it was a time of extreme gender stereotyping. On one hand we had ultra-masculine shows like He-Man with his hilariously outrageous bob.
I also have to mention the American hero G.I. Joe, the adventurous ThunderCats and many more. On the other hand we saw extremely feminine cartoons like the technicolour My Little Pony, the friendly Care Bears or Jem and the Holograms (which is also possibly the ideal exaggerated representation of what the 80s fashion aspired to be).
However, when you dig deeper, it was also the time to bend gender roles. Shows like She-Ra with its powerful, strong female lead, and Inspector Gadget that flashes out the importance of intelligence, family bonds and emotions really shook up the status quo (letting a little girl – Penny – be the real hero was something fresh and new for that time).
I wonder how much of an impact the messages we consumed with those media had on us as kids. I will say one thing I know, though. After rewatching some of the cartoons I last saw as a naive young lad, well… there were a LOT of adult jokes sprinkled here and there. It’s honestly quite shocking! Do revisit some of those iconic animations. We view them completely differently now that we’re older. Plus, it does shine some light on how much censorship in cartoons has changed over the years.
Coming back to the many adaptations: we can’t wait to see the reinventions of more of our childhood memories on the big screen. And they are sure to come! Personally, I have been fixated on the thought of a retake of the manliest man of all. It makes me cackle.
Brighten your own day and imagine a stereotypically manly actor with He-Man’s hair and outfit. Trust me, it’ll be worth your while.