Rich Douglas | @richdouglas4
Growing up, I bet you were like me and watched classic cartoons like Looney Tunes, and reruns of old Hanna-Barbera episodes. Why wouldn’t you? Cartoons were an essential part of childhood (that and scaring the cat who lived on Mrs. Bannister’s porch)! Plus, you learned so many valuable life lessons from cartoon. They taught you that quicksand was a real threat, and it would probably swallow you whole one day. You learned the best way to avoid ghosts and monsters was to dress up in silly costumes or go through a hallway full of unmarked doors. You learned when someone threatened you, the best response was, “Of course you know, this means war.”
If you’re also like me, you had parents who saw the “danger” in the cartoons of the late 80’s and early 90’s. The Simpsons was the only cartoon mom and dad would NEVER let you watch; unless you were over at a friend’s house and snuck one in. (Mmm... sacrelicious...)
My own wonderful, well-meaning parents tried to find other, more Christian options for my cartoon viewing. Mind you this was a little before the awesomeness that was, the Disney Afternoon (DuckTales, Darkwing Duck, TaleSpin, etc.) So we drove over to our local Christian bookstore (LifeWay, Family Christian, Joshua’s) and found VHS tapes of Christian shows to watch. Here are a few Christian cartoons from the ye olde 1980’s…
Psalty and Friends – 1980
You know what really gets kids’ attention? Inanimate objects that talk and sing. Thus Psalty, the singing songbook, was born. Debuting in 1980, Psalty first appeared on “The Kid’s Praise Album” through Maranatha Music. Psalty tied the fun, worship music for kids together on the debut album, which became a huge hit for kids and their parents. Many albums followed, and Psalty’s family grew to include his wife, Psaltina, and children, Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. Although Psalty was never in an animated series, you saw his face all over Christian bookstores, with products that included music, videos, plush dolls, books, and even dinner ware. Psalty did appear LIVE and in person at concert venues all over the country. But time was not kind to Psalty, click HERE for his “behind the music” special.
Kyle Bueermann | @KyleBueerman
Oh, muse: sing to me the song of my childhood.
My inner 10-year old is rejoicing. Thanks to the wonders of the interwebs and Netflix (seriously, you should check these things out), TGIF is slowly being brought back to life. My family and I recently binge-watched the first season of Girl Meets World. I felt a certain sense of accomplishment by being able to show my kids the new adventures of Corey, Topanga, and of course Shawn.
Then, this past Friday, the much anticipated first season of Fuller House was mercifully unleashed on a waiting world (Confession: I’ve only watched the Pilot episode of Fuller House, just before our internet was switched off for our big move). Just the mention of Boy Meets World and Full House bring back many memories of our family huddled around at TV on Friday nights. Sure,they were cheesy. Sure they went for cheap laughs. And I will forever argue that those things are greatly under-appreciated in our world today. Those shows showed us strong families front and center in Prime Time. They certainly remind me of simpler times in my own life.
But, of course, we can’t live perpetually as pre-teens. And the reboots of these shows remind us that sometimes life doesn’t end happily-ever-after, but it can still turn out alright with the support of family and friends. Perhaps I’m just being nostalgic. However, this has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that an episode of Fuller House brought me to the point of sobbing as an adult. Nothing, I tell ya. Don’t judge me.
Anyway, I’m thoroughly enjoying these reboots of some of my favorite shows as a kid. Maybe some more are on the way. Your move, Urkel...
Kyle Bueermann is a New Mexico pastor. He has been married to Michelle since 2004 and they have two kids who are far cooler than he will ever be. He takes his ministry, but not himself, seriously. In addition to his family and ministry, Kyle loves Johnny Cash and the Texas Rangers.You can contact him on Twitter at @kylebueermann.