What Pop Culture Did You Grow Up With?

The other day I was talking to some friends who are a few years younger than me, and I realized it’s getting harder for me to gauge just how old people are. Or rather, to understand it in terms that really make sense to me. I mean, a while ago I found out some friends had gotten married and graduated college when I was still in middle school. That made my mind do a double take, because what were cool college kids doing hanging out with a middle schooler now?

(It’s nice that age barriers matter less and less the older you get, but it also helps to understand where a person is now if you understand where they came from a while ago.)

So to have it all “make sense” to me more, I switched over to talking about pop culture things people grew up with. For Saturday’s chat, we talked about kids cartoon shows.

For me, I grew up with Darkwing Duck, Ducktales, Rescue Rangers, Talespin, Tiny Toons, and Animaniacs. Go back a bit further, and it was all about Transformers and GI Joe. Really early on, I can remember watching Popeye and Woody Woodpecker. I watched the Muppet Show, but it was mostly in reruns. For edutainment, Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers were king, but in my days Mr. Snuffleupagus was an invisible friend for Big Bird, and no one thought he existed.

When it comes to movies, I don’t remember seeing Empire Strikes Back in the theaters, but I saw Return of the Jedi and thought it was awesome. I have nothing whatsoever against Ewoks. I remember watching Raiders of the Lost Ark on VHS and thinking it was way cool, though the face melting scene was a bit much. I saw ET and Back to the Future and The Goonies when I was young. I remember going to Jurassic Park with my friends and watching my best friend chew the heads off gummy bears one by one. The Tim Curry miniseries of IT gave me nightmares. And of course I first watched Groundhog Day when I was still in high school.

“Old” movies for me meant classics like The Sting or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, or all the standard Disney movies. I was in high school when the new wave of Disney classics came out. Little Mermaid. Lion King. Beauty and the Beast. Rock IV remains the best Rocky in my head. Batman was either the TV show or the Tim Burton version. Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit were both Rankin/Bass animated productions.

I lived for TV holiday specials. Garfield. Charlie Brown. “Grown up” shows I watched included Perry Mason (the new one, with fat Perry) and Murder, She Wrote.

I could keep going with this stream of consciousness sharing, but I think I’ll leave it at that. I’d be curious to hear your run down of your childhood (K-12) movie and media memories. Please share!


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