Does anyone else see a sort of bleak and cynical trend in some early Nicktoons

Ren and Stimpy, Rocko's Modern Life, Invader Zim...hell, even some early Spongebob episodes were like that.


  • Because it's kind of a weirdly childlike view of the world?

    Not *puerile*, mind you, but those shows engage cynicism in a way that is relatable to children.

    There's nothing weathered and world-weary about Invader Zim's offbeat, constantly disgusting, chaotic world. It's reflective of someone overwhelmed by those things because they all feel new. That's why it resonates with kids.
  • That's true. IZ was just over-the-top and chaotic in a way that the others I mentioned weren't. I was thinking more along the lines of Rocko's Modern Life, where an omnipresent corporation controls almost every aspect of the characters' lives. 
  • “I'm surprised. Those clothes… but, aren't you…?”
    That period in Nickelodeon's programming history was interesting for a couple of reasons. You could see them moving away from their family game show and rerun roots and branching out into cartoons where, for a certain window of time, the animators and writers were given a startling amount of creative control. And while Rocko is certainly a curious outlier, most of these seem to be part of that child's-view ethos: The world is big and scary and weird, and being able to see that expressed in entertainment at a young age is empowering, and their chief animation producer, for all her faults, recognised this very well.
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    I revisited Rocko a few years ago and wondered how the hell it ended up on a children's network
  • edited 2016-04-21 19:13:59
    I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    Also I wouldn't call IZ "early" - anything after SpongeBob isn't "early" to me
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