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Looking Back at Saturday Morning Cartoons

Intro

Hello, I'm BRICH1790 and today I'll be talking about Saturday Morning Cartoons for Millennials. From the 1990s to the 2000s kids be looking forward to Saturdays because no school, an entire day of fun, for some new episodes of their favorite shows from certain channels, but for a lot of kids Saturday morning cartoons. Saturday mornings back then were a special time for kids, waking up to somewhere between the hour of 6 am to 8 am getting a bowl of cereal of their choice, and sitting in front of the TV whether it's in their own room or in the living room being entertain by cartoons shown on basic cable channels. But as time goes by Saturday Morning Cartoons for Millennials began fading away and a lot of Millennials like myself would try many ways to reconnect to their Saturday Morning childhoods but for some, it doesn't feel the same. Now let's look back at the Saturday Morning blocks that bought us joy.

Fox Kids (1990-2002)

In 1990 Fox Kids was launched as the Fox Children's Network, and would rebrand itself as the Fox Kids Network a year later. Fox Kids was known for airing Bobby’s World and the Power Rangers series, which were some of the most popular programs on the network. Fox Kids would remain on the air until September 2002.

Fox Kids was a big part of my childhood. From when I come home from school to when I wake on Saturday mornings I would watch a lot of shows that aired on Fox Kids. Here is a list of my favorite Fox Kids shows

  • Bobby's World
  • Eek! The Cat
  • Batman: The Animated Series
  • X-Men
  • Animaniacs
  • Power Rangers
  • Spider-Man
  • Digimon
  • The Tick
  • Big Bad Beetleborgs
  • Godzilla: The Series
  • Taz-Mania
  • Oggy and the Cockroaches
  • Mad Jack the Pirate
  • Life with Louie
  • Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog
  • Flint the Time Detective
  • Beast Wars: Transformers


Kids WB (1995-2008)

When Warner Bros launched their own channel in 1993, they would launch a children's program block called Kids WB two years later. Kids WB would feature a mixture of Warner Bros.' children's shows that were originated either on Fox Kids or other different channels and newer series that were created later on. A year later Kids WB's parent company Time Warner would acquire Turner Broadcasting System and as a result, both Kids WB and Cartoon Network would share a number of programs. In 1999 Kids WB would bring in the English dubbed version of Pokémon, the series ultimately became a widespread success and would a couple of more English language dubbed anime Yu-Gi-Oh! and Cardcaptors. In 2006 Warner Bros. Television (producer of Kids' WB and owner of the block's original broadcaster from 1995 to 2006, The WB) and CBS Corporation (owner of UPN) announced that they would shut down both The WB and UPN and then combine them into The CW. In 2007 The CW announced that it would shut down Kids' WB through a joint decision between Time Warner and CBS Corporation, due to the effects of children's advertising limits and cable competition, The Kids' WB block aired for the final time on May 17, 2008. I really enjoyed Kids WB in fact I remember visiting my hometown of Buffalo, NY in the summer going to a mall where they had the Warner Bros store and there would be a space rocket with a big screen and I would go into the rocket and see some clips of Looney Tunes cartoons. Here is a list of my favorite Kids WB shows


  • The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries
  • Pinky and the Brain
  • Freakazoid
  • Superman: The Animated Series
  • Road Rovers
  • Batman Beyond
  • Static Shock
  • The Batman
  • Pokemon
  • Men in Black
  • Earthworm Jim
  • Max Steel
  • Jackie Chan Adventures
  • Cardcaptors
  • Viewtiful Joe

Disney's One Saturday Morning/ABC Kids (1997-2011)

In1997, Disney's One Saturday Morning premiered as a two-hour block on ABC. Disney’s One Saturday Morning featured a popular educational musical Schoolhouse Rock!, Great Minds Think 4 Themselves where the Genie from Aladdin teaches us about important scientific, societal, and cultural figures throughout history. Mrs. Munger's Class, and Centerville. Among the programs that featured on the block are Doug (which had been acquired from Nickelodeon), Recess, and Pepper Ann. In 2002, ABC rebranded its Saturday morning block to ABC Kids after Walt Disney Company purchased Fox Family Worldwide. ABC kids contained a mix of first-run programs exclusive to the block, as well as reruns of some of the original series from Disney Channel. Sometime in 2007, ABC Kids would air repeat episodes of Disney Channel sitcoms and animated series as well as new Power Rangers episodes until the series was bought back by Saban, as a result, The Emperor's New School, The Replacements, That's So Raven, Hannah Montana, and Zack and Cody were the last remaining shows. ABC Kids would surprisingly air for the final time on August 27, 2011.

What I enjoyed about Disney’s One Saturday Morning/ABC kids is that it was educational and entertaining at the same time during its early run with Great Minds Think 4 Themselves and Schoolhouse Rock! When it was rebranded as ABC kids I was introduced to some of Disney channel's popular shows from the early 2000s: The Proud Family, Kim Possible, Lizzie McGuire, and Fillmore. Here is a list of my favorite Disney's One Saturday Morning/ABC Kids shows.

  • School House rock!
  • Recess
  • Pepper Ann
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Mickey Mouse Works
  • House of Mouse
  • Kim Possible
  • That's so Ravens
  • Hannah Montana
  • Suite Life of Zack and Cody
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FoxBox/4KIDSTV/CW4Kids/TOONZAi (2002-2012)

After Fox Kids shut down Fox immediately launched Fox Box. Saturday mornings in most areas of the United States, though some stations carried it on Sundays (often due to scheduling conflicts). During its early years, FoxBox would air popular shows like Shaman King, Funky Cops, Winx Club, Sonic X. The block would rebrand itself as 4Kids TV in 2005, around that time new shows like Mew Mew Power, Viva Piñata, Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Chaotic came on board. 4Kids Entertainment announced it would program a competing Saturday morning lineup for The CW, the new block, The CW4Kids (later renamed Toonzai). 4kids TV would discontinue in 2008 due to a dispute between Fox and 4Kids involving 4Kids' failure to pay the network for its time lease and as a result, 4Kids entertainment would fully move on to CW4Kids. In 2010, 4Kids would rebrand The CW4Kids to Toonzai. Toonzai quietly discontinued its run on The CW in 2012.

As much as I enjoyed FoxBox/4KIDSTV/CW4Kids/TOONZAi I didn't enjoy it much because it was taking on and off the air in my area for some reason. But when it does air I enjoy some of the programs. Here is a list of my favorite FoxBox/4KIDSTV/CW4Kids/TOONZAi shows.

  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
  • Ultimate Muscle
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Sonic X
  • Dinosaur King

Vortexx (2012-2014)

A week after Toonzai discontinued, the Vortexx took over. The Vortexx would feature animated programs, as well as several live-action series. Vortexx was the only Saturday morning block without an E/I-based lineup to air on broadcast TV. Vortexx would discontinue in 2014 and would be replaced by Litton Entertainment's One Magnificent Morning which features live-action educational programming as a result, it would be the last conclusive Saturday morning block across the major American broadcast networks that primarily featured traditional entertainment programming aimed at children.

Despite Vortexx being around for about two years, I enjoyed Vortexx while it lasted because it brought back some of the shows I've grown up with. Here is a list of my favorite Vortexx shows.


  • Cubix
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
  • Dragon Ball Z Kai
  • Sonic X
  • Rescue Heroes
  • Power Rangers Lost Galaxy
  • Justice League Unlimited

Conclusion

Saturday-morning cartoons brought a lot of treasured memories for Millennials, the commercials, the actions, the funny moments. Now thanks to sites like Youtube we can watch any of the cartoons we desire any time we want and still enjoy a bowl of sugary cereal. There are also groups on Facebook where people can share their memories with other people. Saturday mornings in the 1990s - early 2010s were bleeding in disguises and I would be lying if I didn't say I missed them!



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© 2022 Branden Richards

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