Necessary Nostalgia: One Saturday Morning
Seventeen years ago (17!!) Disney introduced a Saturday morning cartoon block on ABC called One Saturday Morning. Much to the delight of kids across America, five hours of cartoons were aired every Saturday morning. Who can forget the awesome marketing line, “Five hours of summer, once a week!”? The original line-up included shows like: Jungle Cubs, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and 101 Dalmations: The Animated Series. These shows were all great, but there are three One Saturday Morning shows that every 90’s kid couldn’t wait to watch.
You would think that since we were out of school the last thing we would want to do is watch a TV show about kids in school. Nope! Recess was television genius. For the most part we thought we were watching a show about a group of kids trying to make the most of recess, but in actuality the show was built on a highly structured statement about social norms and the struggle to fit into society. I’ve been fortunate enough to catch a few episodes as an adult and it is definitely a different show on this side of childhood. One thing still remains true: Recess is awesome!
Independent and quirky, Pepper Ann Pearson was the cartoon character that all young girls needed but didn’t know they were missing. Along with her equally independent and quirky friends Milo and Nicky, Pepper Ann gave girls a weekly lesson in individuality and feminism. Disney originally developed the cartoon to be a different kind of girl’s cartoon, and they succeeded. In a time when most cartoons geared towards girls were laden with pink, fantastical creatures, fluff (don’t get me wrong I love all those things) Pepper Ann provided a new kind of way to be a girl!
There is probably not a 90’s kid alive who doesn’t remember the catchy opening song to Doug. They probably also remember how much we all loved the show. The show started out on Nickelodeon but was bought by Disney in 1996. When it aired on One Saturday Morning, the characters had graduated from elementary school and were trying to survive middle school. Their age wasn’t the only change that Disney made; the iconic theme song got an overhaul as well. Overall, though, the spirit of Doug remained. Honestly, we were just happy that we got watch Doug, Skeeter, and Patti once again.
One Saturday Morning ran until 2002 when the Saturday morning lineup became ABC Kids. Several other memorable shows, including the non-Disney Sabrina: The Animated Series and reruns of Lizzie McGuire, joined the line-up throughout the five year run, but for me no shows will ever be as cherished as the ones mentioned above. Well, Lizzie McGuire also holds a special place in my heart, but that is for a different day!