Saturday, June 12, 2004

Barbapapa

Barbapapa Cover

Ah, the things one finds on the Interweb! Just looking at this, I can feel my childhood coming back to me. For some reason I've never been able to quite put my finger on, there was just something about the very simple cartoon series that was based on this book that fascinated me, so much so that I can still hum the entire tune with perfect pitch well over two decades after I last saw it.

Looking back on my childhood memories with a more critical eye, I suppose there's no clearer demonstration of the British imprint on my early life than the fact that so many of the characters I found most fascinating would be little known to Americans of my own age - Barbapapa, Rupert the Bear, Asterix, Tintin; while I also watched more than my share of the Hanna-Barbara Studio's output, those cartoons never had the magical character for me that their European counterparts, and while the Disney and Warner Bros. cartoons were a cut above that, they still lacked that something that triggers feelings of nostalgia in me till this day. If I were to state what the difference was, the best guess I could come up with is that the American shows had a ... worldliness to them that might have made them interesting for both young and older audiences, but which robbed them of that air of innocence and wonder that is unique to childhood.