Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be

Rocking out in the forest! Wooo!

One of the main conversations we’ve been having at work this week involves just how much greater kids’ TV was back in the day, a line of thought that culminated in the discovery of an unofficial Raccoons fansite! With MP3s!

If you don’t remember The Raccoons, it was a Canadian cartoon about, well, raccoons. And an ardvark. Called Cyril Sneer. Who had a son. Cedric Sneer. Okay, maybe that doesn’t sell it as much as I’d like (although anything featuring a character called Cyril Sneer automatically rules, in a Dickensian sort of way), but trust me, it was cool. This was largely down to the eighties power pop end theme song ‘Run With Us’, which is up there with the greats. I clearly remember rocking out to it just before Going Live started.

(Going Live! The last great Saturday morning show. If you’re my generation, you’ll remember Gordon the Gopher being terrorised by a shi’tzu and WWF legend Hacksaw Jim Duggan trashing the studio. They don’t make them like that any more. Nowadays its all, frankly, pants.)

The weird thing is, thinking about The Raccoons and Run With Us got me reminising about giant transforming robots. Anyone who’s seen Transformers: The Movie (starring Orson Welles, director of Citizen Kane) will be aware, not only of its sheer cinematic greatness (Optimus Prime wiping the floor with the Decepticon army is one of my all time favourite movie moments, and I’m being totally serious there, it being the first time I went to see a film without my parents), but also of its eighties Hair Metal soundtrack. If you haven’t headbanged or played air guitar to ‘Dare’ or ‘You’ve Got The Touch’, you haven’t lived and you’re missing out on a seminal piece of musical history. Some would call that hyperbole, but you know what? I don’t care. Raise a glass to the eighties; you had to be there.

Oh, and if anyone knows the name of Cyril Sneer’s dog, let me know. It’s been bugging us for days.


11 thoughts on “Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be

  1. omniguy

    I used to love the Racoons as a kid… wasn;t Cyril’s dog called Scheffer… or something like that. It has been quite a while.
    Even Going Live! began to flail towards the end… Saturday morning TV was never the same after it was cancelled. Don’t get me started on Dick and Dom… grr!

    1. matthewhyde Post author

      I think Scheffer was the sheepdog who hung out with the Raccoons. Cyril’s dog was a little dog/aardvark cross (what sort of freaky-ass experiment resulted in THAT?!)…And he was purple, which was just odd.
      And yeah, Dick and Dom. They’re trying way too hard…

  2. sudge

    So much about that post just rocked!
    I remember the racoons, the main racoon worked at a newspaper in the forest or something didnt he?
    Now, transformers the movie. I must agree, one of the all-time greats in movie history! Orson welles and leonard nimoy in the same film, and eric idle! Optimus taking out the decepticons was awesome “megatron must be stopped….no matter the cost” Sheer brilliance. I am also happy to say I have lived, head banging to “you got the touch” and “dare” was a pasttime of mine back in the day (yesterday)
    Anyone remember Captain Planet? The environmentally friendly hero, who to this day has me turning off all lights in a room when I leave it almost obsessive compulsively. I used to love “james bond jr” all about James Bond’s nephew. In retrospect, it sucked. Back then though, he was so awesome. And of course power rangers. I have a ton of megazords in my cupboard right now. My favourite was the tyrannosaurus. Come on, a robot Tyrannosaur, how can you not love that? ME GRIMLOCK SMASH!!

    1. matthewhyde Post author

      Yeah, the Raccoons had a newspaper. Hope it was recycled paper…
      There are very few moments in cinema history as cool as Optimus delivering his big hero line, turning into a big damn truck, running over a bunch of evil robots, transforming AND flying AND shooting bad guys as he goes and single-handedly stopping an army. And he’d’ve sorted out Megatron if Hot Rod hadn’t got in the way. I don’t care if the kid became Rodimus Prime at the end – he got Oppy killed! The fool!
      Captain Planet I remember (have you seen the cast list for that?! Nearly as good as Justice League Unlimited!), but James Bond Jr and Power Rangers were after my time, which makes me feel old…
      Okay, so I remember Pink Ranger. Go figure.

    2. omniguy

      Captain Planet was amazing… at least I remember it being amazing. And Thundercats!!! Greatest superhero cartoon show before Paul Dini started his

      1. matthewhyde Post author

        (More on Thundercats below).
        I’ve only recently got into Dini’s stuff, mainly because it’s only now that it’s being shown at a time I can actually sit down and watch it. Justice League Unlimited is better than the Justice League comics at the moment. The Question is great, and it tries hard to make the B- and C-list characters really cool. I also don’t want to punch the JLU Green Arrow, which is nice.

      2. omniguy

        I love the question, I feel he’s been really underused in the DCU and I can’t wait to see him come to the fore in 52 in May. It’s about time!
        You MUST watch all the Batman series done by Dini, they are the best incarnation of the bat in any medium outside of comics, especially Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker

      3. matthewhyde Post author

        I’ve seen some of the animated Batman, mainly the feature length stuff – Mask of the Phantasm and Return of the Joker – and probably two or three episodes of the regular series. Return of the Joker is great; what happens to Tim is horrifying, and it’s a remarkably mature piece of work, considering it’s ultimately about a bunch of nutters in costumes fighting each other. The shot of the young brainwashed Tim when he’s first revealed is one of the most haunting moments in Bat-history…

  3. sudge

    Captain Planet’s cast list! Whoppie Goldberg, Sting, Jeff Goldbloom (sp) LeVarr Burton to name but a few!
    The optimus scene is just awesome. They nearly rivalled it in the comic when they had optimus take out devastator. He ran up a ramp in truck form, transformed in mid air, landed on his shoulder, pulled out his gun and shot devestator in the face. Brilliant.
    Thundercats! Panthro was a badass.

    1. matthewhyde Post author

      I don’t remember that bit in the comic…My favourite moment in the comics was when the Autobots were getting their butts handed to them until Blaster woke up Metroplex. The big guy then proceeded to take down a Decepticon army with a gun the size of Canada.
      (Just to prove I’m not a lunatic who loves all the insanely over the top fighting and stuff, there’s also a nice issue where Optimus has a bit of the Matrix he can use to heal one of many injured Autobots. He goes through the issue trying to decide who he should use it on, then decides to shoot it into the atmosphere – where it fixes all the environmental damage caused by the Transformers’ war on Earth.)
      And Thundercats ruled! Pathro was the coolest character by far, and he should have been the leader instead of the vaguely annoying Lion-O. Dude built the Thundertank. He is worthy.
      Is now the time to admit I had a crush on Cheetara…?


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