What will you remember the most about your childhood?
Will it be all those enchanting bedtime stories your parents told you? Or will it be all those times you spent playing the swings and slides with your friends at the neighborhood park? Or maybe those breezy days when you went kite-flying or swimming? Or hide-and-seek games with your siblings?
What will it be?
For me, a huge fraction of my childhood was spent watching the T.V, at home with a big throw cushion! Maybe some of you might be mildly astonished at this statement, and some might even think, “Oh poor thing, she has to stay at home and watch Astro the whole day!”
But those years were absolutely the best! Because you see, those days just lazing about and let my imagination run wild as the characters on the screen were one of the best memories from when I was 4 to 6 years old (Come on, who doesn’t love to just lie about and watch cartoons all day?).
I simply loved what I watched when I was little. Trust me, I’m about to let you know why.
Being a kid, I loved the shows on telly. There was ‘Bear in the Big Blue House’, ‘Hi-5’ ‘Madeline’, ‘PB & J’, ‘Totally Spies’- Sam, Clover and Alex, ‘Out of the Box’, ‘CatDog’, ‘Sesame Street’ and my all-time favorite, ‘Art Attack’ (yup, that’s right, I’m a proud 90s kid). To this day, I can still remember all those ‘adventures’ I went on (or my mind embarked on, rather) as the characters on the telly told me wonderful stories and took (okay, figuratively now) me to amazing places. This is going to be sort of peculiar because I literally learnt a lot just from watching TV.
I’m going to name three of my favorite cartoons. They are ‘Bananas in Pyjamas’ (I can never resist B1 and B2) aired by Playhouse Disney, ‘Art Attack’ and the ‘Powerpuff Girls’, aired by Cartoon Network. Among all the cartoons I watched, these were my absolute favorites. My eyes will not leave the television whenever these programs are on T.V.
My mum would call out to me whenever my programs were on and I would sit on the floor with a huge cushion for comfort and allow my then innocent mind to wander off and immerse my thoughts in the things they were doing, be it the Bananas picking shells with the ‘Teddies’ on the beach or Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup fighting crime…trying to save the world…(c’mon ya know the song)
In Bananas in Pyjamas, there are two bananas, called B1 and B2, as well as three adorable bears, Amy, Morgan and Lulu. There is also a Rat in a Hat who owns a small grocery store in the show. As the name suggests, the two banana brothers, B1 and B2 are always clad in blue and white striped pyjamas and are quite adorable as they can be oh-so-silly at times! They have many fun adventures together which involves going to the beach, helping each other out in solving problems together, pulling childish pranks and throwing surprise birthday parties for one another.
In Art Attack, Neil Buchanan, an English presenter, was what really got me inspired to create art and to paint with poster colors. He was recognized worldwide as the Art Man and to me; he was some sort of an art idol. He presented methods to create many creative, innovative and artistic things using recyclable or everyday household items which motivated me to try my hand at making these crafts.
Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup are the three mini sized super girls that, as cliché as this is gonna sound; help fight crime and save the day! Together, they help ensure the peace and safety of a fictional Townsville in the USA. The closing theme to the cartoon offers a nutshell description of the three Powerpuff Girls’ personalities: Blossom, commander and the leader. Bubbles, she is the joy and the laughter, and Buttercup, ’cause she’s the toughest fighter. Each of them has their own respective colors, Blossom is pink, Bubbles is blue while Buttercup is green. They wear dresses that match the color of their eyes along with white stockings and black Mary Jane shoes.
I am seriously guessing this is how I became such a daydreamer since my childhood days. I was exposed to a lot wacky and impossible stuff on telly, which made me laugh a lot and think of even funnier things that could have happened.
And I guess that is how I became interested in drawing. I liked how the shapes and colors look on the screen and something inside me wanted to create something that was as spectacular to remind myself that Neverland perhaps did exist.
Furthermore, there was something new being introduced to me, but at that time I was not entirely sure how to name it. I saw love between friends and family, kindness to others that are not like us, teamwork to overcome odds and courage against the evil ones.
The lesson in bravery was everywhere. How else would Totally Spies, Power Puff Girls, Power Rangers and Ultra man save the world anyway?
Gradually, these soft skills, high morals and civic values were instilled in me. By a cartoon series! Talk about the benefits of cultivation analysis.
There are benefits for children who watch T.V. as it offers kids inspiration, educational exposure and more. I’d like to think that certain programs on T.V. made me the open-minded, optimistic and easily-ecstatic person I am today, and I’m happy to be who I am.
Looking back, I have to admit that I am indeed lucky to have the opportunity to watch such entertaining programs. They filled my days as a pre-schooler with many laughs, tears and joy. As I grew older, there was less time for the telly and I slowly grew out of the habit as well due to busy schedules and other hobbies. But I will never forget my childhood ‘buddies’ on the telly and how I had once enjoyed watching their silly antics and playful adventures on screen.

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