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The End Of What We Grew Up With As Kids

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by beaker, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    MC poster DrTooth and I have long bandied about the notion of how so much of the stuff we grew up with in the 1980's and 1990's has been done away with. When old Sesame Street episodes have to come with a parental advisory warning, certain cereals done away with or all the creative/imaginative children's programming being nixed in favor of Dora/Blues Clues/Barney garbage...it's a sign.

    - Jack in the Box announced they will no longer have toys in their kids meals:

    - Certain cities like San Francisco have banned happy meals altogether.

    - Toys now pretty much suck. Most action figures now went from 5-7" to super duper frail and dinky
    3 3/4" figures but STILL cost the $10-$12 price point as bigger figures did.

    - Saturday morning cartoon rituals have long gone away

    - So to, the advent of the arcade went the way of the DoDo

    - Most children's movies are cgi heavy, obnoxious films that lack any of the fun or magic and imagination of pre modern kids/family films(Smurfs, Yogi Bear, Chipmunks 1/2, Scooby Doo,
    Garfield, etc...all garbage movies in both look and substance) As well as the all cgi films, which there's way too many of.

    - I DO applaud the advent of exercise video games, but back in my day as much as kids played Nintendo....we were outside. a lot. We didnt need virtual Wii tag football or Wii basketball. We went outside and actually did stuff. Most people now just come home, and veg like a zombie in front of the tv til bed time.

    And remember when you could just relax, take your time?

    Everything has to be instant gratification, cynical. Texting EVERY second the day. Everyone now has a PC in their pocket...always texting, chatting, twittering, updates. Always plugged in. Everything has been reduced to "like" "unlike". It's this whole "iGeneration", where everything is now-now-now ADHD addled, multitasking...total cultural entropy where everything has been remixed, rebooted, rehashed, mashed up and autotuned with a dubstep beat and lolcats meme image. Defriend, twitter, blah.

    I feel bad for kids these days.
    newsmanfan likes this.
  2. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Well normally I'd get upset about this too. But I've just become more and more aware lately of just where those toys come from. They're made by under paid children in dangerous sweat shops. I know this is nothing new, but I think we've ignored it for too long.
    It is very frustrating, it's all about underestimating children and pandering to the lowest common denominator.
  3. The Shoe Fairy

    The Shoe Fairy Well-Known Member

    As much as I hate to say it, Stop Motion tv series.
    I have a love of them, MacKinnon and Saunders-style with the cotton wool snow and such, but sadly it has become just so much cheaper to do a bodge job and hire the cheapest possible CGI animation now that it is commercially available. In recent years there have been a number of reboots for what would be considered British and/or Australian classics for childrens' television adapted directly from the original small scale stop-mo puppetry to terrible cheap animation. I find this awfully depressing and I think that in many ways, this will only continue to become a niche genre, no longer as style but a niche genre.
  4. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    @heralde: Yeah, sadly most Americans don't think about the Chinese, Vietnamese or Bandledeshi sweat shops where most their clothes, toys, etc is made. Often times, places where young women live and sleep in deplorable living quarters the few hours they have a respite from painstakingly making stuff we buy for very little.

    Also the pandering thing...it just seems like when you go back to School House Rocks, Muppet Babies, Fraggle Rock, etc it wasnt about pandering. It was letting a child foster her or his imagination.

    @the shoe fairy: Well, there's been a number of cinematic efforts with stop motion. Coraline, The Fantastic Mr Fox, Corpse Bride, Sam and Max, $9.99, A Town Called Panic, etc. A bit of a stop motion renaissance if you will. CGI is just so ubiquitous and noisy...to me it still doesnt do justice to say, early 80's matte painting or animatronics. Because your mind still recognizes its a fake, non organic and un-tangible product.
  5. The Shoe Fairy

    The Shoe Fairy Well-Known Member

    I was going to mention Corpse Bride and Fantastic Mr Fox (a favourite film of mine) but they are somewhat unique as both of them were well funded and backed by entertainment industry deities. Indeed the whole thing of "non-organic" is especially true, it just makes it seem as if there is less work put in. It is the same idea as buying a pair of pants mass marketed and mass made for a chain store vs. going to a tailor and having them made specifically for you. The rationale behind the former is it's cheap and people will buy it, the reason one would prefer the latter is that the handiwork is evident in the finished product, and that product is hard to genericise.
  6. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Indeed, Wal Mart is not our friend and I think we paid for all this when the poisonious toy scandal broke. We simply can't ask for low prices and then expect high quality. Especially when you're dealing with countries whose governments just don't care about people's health and rights.

    I don't know if it's just this particular crop of parents in this generation (no offence to parents here! ;) ). But somewhere down the line it became the norm to "protect" children from things "they won't understand." I'm sure there's some kind of socio-logical trend that's responsible for this, but I'd have to do more research, lol.

    Yeah I mean, a lot of times I look at CGI and think "yeah...that's a cartoon!" It doesn't look as real as people insist it does. And attempts to make it look more real often end up creepy, lol.

    There's this movie from 1985 that I guess was kind of an early attempt at a Jurassic Park type story. Called Baby: The Secret of the Lost Legend, about some scientists discovering a living baby dinosaur. Now, the animatronic effects definitely look silly nowadays. But there are times when the character sort of does feels real in a wierd way, because it's a physical "creature" you could hold and touch and not a CGI cartoon that you know came from a computer.
  7. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    For the most part, the Chinese made sweatshop toys are only made by child labor if they're bootlegs. That's why I steer clear of unofficial bootleg merchandise (if I can help it... sometimes you just won't be able to know). Those are dangerous too. They're illegal, so they're covered in the exact same lead paint that Mattel was under fire for putting on Elmos. Only THEY don't have to save face and recall anything! Avoid bootlegs at all cost, even if they're wacky and wild and too funny to resist.

    Other than that, there's nothing that I haven't said. The Fast Food toy is going to be extinct if uppity parental groups that don't want to pay taxes and shifty Pediatricians get their way. Thanks media sensationalism of the obesity epidemic. BTW, you know obese REALLY means more than 20 pounds overweight, right? HA! I bet you thought it was people who were 300 pounds or over too! Way to pad the average, huh?

    Kid's cartoons are getting it from all ends. Junk Food commercials are apparently evil, and that's MOST of what made the advertising worth while, the rise of terrible live action kid's sitcoms, network deregulation, and the fact no one wants to watch TV anymore, yet complains how there's nothing good on anymore... the only cartoons they make now are for teenagers and adults (Regular Show and Adventure Time are becoming quite successful).

    Kids, in short, don't want to be kid's anymore AND their parents and society want them to grow up faster... the same parents start whining about how they're kids are rushing into sex and how kids are so sexualized now. Why? They have no reason to have a childhood anymore. We give them iPhones so they can play Angry Birds (which SUCKS) all day, we force them to do all this homework, all these standardized tests... we make them worry over jobs they're going to have in the future when they're still in the womb...

    Here's the saddest thing you'll ever hear. The last generation to care about their childhood are people in their late 20's and 30's. I just give up. Saturday Mornings are for get rich quick scheme infomercials with "authors" who are yet to be indited. Junk food is sold in plain brown wrappers behind the counter with the porno. Kids care more about what cereal gives them the cleanest bowel movement than the most chocolatey marshmellowy goodness... and they're still fat because you grow out of playing and exercising when you're 5 now... unless of course they want to look good for premarital stuff because there's nothing else to do, except play long winded violent X-Box games.
  8. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Even the non child labor Chinese products aren't made in great conditions though. Look at the accidents happening in the Apple product factories lately.

    That's an interesting point. We want kids to eat healthier and be active, yet at the same time we're letting them spend all their time on phones and the Web, which aren't terribly active exercises!
  9. The Shoe Fairy

    The Shoe Fairy Well-Known Member

    Just on the whole "war on on obesesity" thing - the classification of obese is based on BMI, and so imagine all the incredibly fit and healthy footballers who would be placed in the category of obese due to the amount of muscle on their body, cause muscle weighs more than fat. It's things like this and the spin that the media puts on the issue that blow it out of proportion.
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Yeah. I mean, think about it. China doesn't care about it's own people. Why would it care about some other country once they got the money? Small things, UNFORTUNATELY need to be made overseas to make them affordable (toys, lightbulbs, crap like that), but it's the bigger stuff like electronics and home appliances being made over there that kill our economy.

    Wanna hear the biggest bull on the planet? This will blow your mind, and I might repost it in its own thread. Kid's cereals are staring to be healthier than the healthiest adult cereals. Even oh so healthy, "replace all your meals to lose weight" Special K has High Fructose corn Syrup. I just bought a box of Quisp. Know what gives it that Quazy Energy? brown sugar. Even a neon green bone shaped Pebbles cereal didn't have High Fructose Corn Syrup in it! But I find Bran and various other "healthy" options sweetened with corn. BULL! Bogus! At least with Pebbles and Trix commercials, they don't say eating it will help you lose weight!

    BMI is outdated and pointless. That's where the "Obesity epidemic" comes from. Bad math. And here's the kicker... again, Obese is poorly defined. We tend to think of very VERY large people, well over 100 pounds overweight. By the BMI, everyone here, unless they're anorexic is obese.
  11. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    Corn sugar (because it would be ridiculous to call cane or beet sugar "fructose-glucose cane/beet granules") is actually no better for you than any other sugar: 55% fructose to 45% glucose, as opposed to a 50-50 balance in table sugar. The "high" part comes from the fact that it's higher in fructose than regular corn syrup.

    Plus, "natural" sugar is just as processed.
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I don't care all that much about that. They say it's much more laxative like than regular sweeteners. And I'm kinda one to believe that, if you get my drift.
  13. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Aspartame is way worse though. I was wondering why I was feeling so so terrible, blah, had poor short term memory. My friend said "man, look at all that diet soda you're drinking". But yeah, high fructose corn syrup and aspartame is in everything, along with dangerously high levels of sodium. Why do companies do this? Because its cheap, its addictive, doesnt fill you up. I now try and eat organic when I can, but its hard. I do like fast food now and then...and while I LOVE to cook stuff from scratch now that I have my own place, it can be a bit tedious and ya just wanna microwave something.

    @Heralde: Uh...those arent accidents. Those are dozens of people at the Chinese Apple plant jumping off the building, literally.

    @The Shoe Fairy: I totally agree with what you mean...even something like The Corpse Bride and others use computers to map out movement and stuff. I LOVE the stop motion in Return of the Jedi, Robocop...theres a sort of jarring effect they employ. I understand why people like the old schools top motion Christmas tv films or Ray Harryhausen.

    @Heralde: Im the same way, my mind cant shut off the fact its fake fake fake. Rise of the Planet of the Apes trailer: cgi is not quite there at all to fool the brain. Avatar, I couldnt get much into it...and I saw it 3d on imax. Tron Legacy Imax 3d I did love, least visually...so for some landscapes it works, just when whole characters are 3d, it kind of sours it.

    I totally remember seeing Baby when it came out in theaters...85 or 86 I believe. Very cool. The Never Ending Story is one of my absolute favorite films, and a movie that would be almost all slick cgi without any nuances today.

    And to all regarding health, weight, etc:
    I think its a mix of people not realize these companies are poisoning us(not to be too much of a conspiracy theorist, but why is America so obese these days?) plus absolutely a lack of any kinetic movement in life. Now at the moment, I dont have a car so I have to walk a lot/take the bus. But the average person just doesn't get any modicum of exercise. Just wake up, take the car to work or college, come home...on with the telly and computer.
    newsmanfan likes this.
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I think the true conspiracy is that the way we work and the way we educate, we're just trying to create a culture of fat lazy drones that are too jaded to do anything. Plus, it's so much enjoyment for the rich people who get the fat sucked out of them to see these poor little worker fatsos bumbling around while they're doing blow in a jacuzzi or something. We get no movement at work or school, but we're tired because we're bored, we're stressed, and we chug a bunch of coffee down everyday (how come there's no Super Caffeinate me Documentary?) Students are too stressed to come home and play, they get no exercise at school, but there's enough time in the day and enough money in the budget to shove test after test in front of our kids to see how much funding they deserve. And so much money goes into making the tests and correcting them... there's a sweetheart deal with local governments.
    newsmanfan likes this.
  15. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    I'm not going to weigh in-- er, pun not intended -- on the obesity issue very deeply here; I have seen ample proof that the young 'uns around here, at least, are typically overweight and lazy and often spoiled, even the lesser-paid folks, unfortunately. And it's horribly true that the megacorps don't give a rat's bum about the damage they do the environment, social impacts, etc.


    I spent over an hour today in an amazing toy store which clearly appeals to both the tiny tots and the nostalgic over-35s like myself. There were classic kids' books with gorgeous illustrations, Sea Monkey kits, kites, windups (including tin ones!), little games and toys and all kinds of wondrous things...AND this store has been in the community for years, and won awards for "best fun store" and so on from local and well-circulated papers consistently. The point is, it is aimed at innocent pleasures...and it continues to do good business.

    I bought a mini kaliedescope for a friend, and a "Movie Stars of the '50s" fashion paperdoll book for one of my housemates whose birthday it is today, and held back from purchasing the entire line of small, plastic, very authentic dinosaur skeletons for myself to set up my very own desktop dinosaur museum. (Tempted. Very. Recalled budget and stuck to gifts for others. But I'll be back.)

    So...appreciation for interactive, non-cgi, non-videogame toys still exists, thank the Frog!
  16. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    The thing is with older films I feel like you can see the effort and the work people put into everything, when the effects were actors in costumes, puppets, stop motion or even early camera tricks. They didn't have "advanced technology" so they worked with what they had and the results had a lot of heart and quirky charm. I just don't feel that same appreciation when I see CGI. Which I know isn't fair, CGI artists are very skilled and talented and work very hard too. But often it's all just too streamlined and perfect looking.
  17. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I have to say, it is a might unfair to put all CGI in a bad light. After all, a medium is a medium, and a great artist can make anything shine, while a hack can ruin anything. I gush about Pixar and to a lesser extent post Over the Hedge Dreamworks all the time. Honestly, it doesn't matter what medium these films are in, they're well written and well acted. I mean, I can't say enough about Up.

    And sometimes a CGI effect is needed in a movie no matter what.

    However, it's the pointless overuse in cheap kiddy movies and some adult ones as well, not to mention the horrid little thrid party animated movies from terrible studios that have no business in the industry (to say nothing of the bad, F grade student CGI they have for local and or shifty commercials) that put the medium in a negative light.
  18. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah definitely, and I did say I knew it was a bit unfair, hehe. I thought Lord of the Rings' Gollum was proof of the quality CGI could produce under the right circumstances.
    I do think CGI works best when it's supporting a movie's effects. Making CGI the whole movie has been hit or miss at best!
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'd rather see a movie that's entirely in CGI than a movie with CGI characters done wrong.

    CGI is best when it supports the rest of the film. I LOVE the look of Where the Wild Things Are, using the original puppet bodies, but CGI effects perfecting the mouth movements and emotions. That's one thing the film got right. They managed to get something in there for everyone to react to and blend the animation in flawlessly.

    Where as the Chipmunks or Yogi Bear look pasted in.
  20. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Yeah but often movies entirely in CGI ARE what's wrong, lol. ;)

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