I grew up with lingering memories of a black and white Cubby singing oaths of loyalty in the name of The Mouse while chugging my Ovaltine. What have my children got to look forward to? Vapid, precocious, untalented, unworthy, wastes of time and money.
The Disney Channel seems to focus on producing more and more cringe-inducing displays of a total lack of entertainment knowledge.
Except for Phineas and Ferb, and perhaps the odd time they re-run old cartoons.
Seriously. I was a lucky, lucky, sugary-ceral-fortified little bastard. Saturday morning cartoons had merit, worth, and were a reason to wake up at 6:30am and stick my hand into a box of Fruity Pebbles for something more than the shitty prizes.
I could cram another dry mouthful of oversweet, overcolored, and over-artificially-flavored Pop Rock substitute and turn on Felix the Cat, The Bugs Bunny and Road Runner Show, and ABC. The only other channel fighting for my cartoon connoisseur delight was CBS. NBC had nothing to bring to the table. There was no mention of Williams Street or Cartoon Network at the time. I could sit for a few hours in front of the tube, raise the volume just enough to drown out my parent's snoring down the hall (but not enough to wake them and ruin my morning regime), and watch claymation rasins dance to my sugar-coated delight.
Disney had my ass for an hour on Sunday mornings when everybody else was showing political and religious sermons. And before Starcade came on.
Micky Mouse cartoons. Donald Duck. Goofy, and his friend (and total dick) The Narrator. Chip N' Dale (whom I hunted with my trusty collection of rubber bands before I could afford one of those plastic disc guns at the 7-11). Then the video game game show with Mike, Alex, Mark, or Geoff before Mum finished ironing my pants for Sunday School.
Now, I would uncomfortably twist an old Taco Bell spork in my eye before witnessing the war crimes against humanity that are ANY of the programs that get aired on TDC (The Dumbass Channel - "You're a dumbass for watching it!"). I would of course have to be justly incarcerated for letting my daughters get caught up with shit like Hannah Montanna ("Billy Cyrus Exploits His Spawn") or iCarly (watch muppets get given a bad name) or Wizards of Waverly Place (Dom Deluise forgot to tell his son making deals with mouse-hat-wearing devils would NEVER allow him a chance to do a movie with any of Burt Reynolds' illegitamate progeny. Or any other quality entertainment).
I wonder how the level of ignorance applied to mouse-stamped bullshit would have differed if Uncle Walt was still around today. I'm sure he would have succumbed to the greed of merchandising - he was a businessman after all. He would have totally bought in on the Pirates franchise.
I think the hype would've been done differently. Instead of the usual cranking out of shit on shit with the philosophy of, "if you ate this diarrhea up, you suck down the autotune-polished turd that is Justin Bieber," there would be a more mature and civil tone. Uncle Walt would stroll on screen, one hand in his sport coat pocket, and charmingly smile. He'd quickly point out with few words and in leveled tones of a practiced speaker why you would want to hear musical squeaking from something not wearing only gloves, shoes, and red trunks. He'd outline a "brand new age of young entertainers, ripe with promise and talent" even though they'd still suck fetid ass through a Mickey Mouse curlywurly straw.
The Mickey Mouse Club may have still spawned media whores; the Timberlakes, Auguileras, and Spears' of our time. The difference would be they could sing and wore more clothing than tourists on a beach in the French Riviera.
The movies would still be hit-or-miss as they have been since the ways of ink and paint changed to time and pixels. Uncle Walt would have definately latched onto Pixar like a leech, but would have outright bought the studio rather than prick about with partnerships or copycat sub-studios. He knew what quality potential was.
And, for the love of Jim (my hero), Brian Henson would not have been making such a mistake selling the rights if Walt was still around! I think if Uncle Walt saw what the little shit had done to Jim's company, he throw little Brian over his knee and spank the bastard bloody then give control over to Lisa.
I miss the good stuff; the hand-drawn cartoons. I miss the programs that enriched our knowledge of science, technology, and Charlie the Cougar. I miss the only thing giving me a stomachache was not the overemotion of hacks trying too hard to supposedly act, but not realizing I'd accidentally eaten the "Pour It On, Ameriaca!" bumper sticker from our box of Frosted Flakes.