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The Magic Years
Disney through the eyes of teens
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Adrienne Krock, editor
Saturday Morning Life
I'm 14. I have homework Monday through Thursday, and what I don't accomplish in those four days become work for the weekends. I get up before 7:00 each day for school. There are after- school activities to consider, and I stay up late finishing whatever I possibly can. I have friends, family, and an education to balance, and only two days off each week. I've been busy. I'm just a teenager, after all. I need a break, time to just rest. I have no reason to get up before the digital clock displays four digits on a Saturday morning, right? Wrong. I have a very good reason. It's called Saturday morning cartoons.

So I admit it. I'm just as excited as my little brother (sometimes more) about watching Saturday morning cartoons. One option I have is Disney's 1 Saturday Morning.

Promotional art © Disney
Promotional art © Disney

Everyone in our family agrees that one show is the best. The six fourth- grade friends on Recess (shown above) have won us over with their innocence and curiosity. No matter what comes up, Gus, TJ, Vince, Mikey, Gretchen and Spinelli are always there for each other. They watch out for one another during the perilous recesses of their fourth-grade year, and stand up for what they believe in; even in the face of their frightening principals. These friends are a portrait of what we all wish our friendships could be. We love the comical stories that could never actually happen, but provide great amusement and endear the characters to us even more. The portrayal of the savage kindergartners does seem very accurate, though.

One of the newer shows, which premiered a few weeks back, is Teamo Supremo. This show is about three ordinary elementary school children who team up to save their city from terrible, evil villains such as Baron Blitz. With Governor Kevin, the most entertaining character, to help them, they use only the best, most up-to-date jump ropes, skateboards and yo-yos. Teamo Supremo is an exciting show, and it has some pretty funny moments, but you won't miss much if you get up to grab a donut in the middle of the story. I think part of the reason this isn't my favorite show is because it's a little weird; it just seems a bit... dorky. Your younger siblings may take more of a liking to it though. Give it a chance, but don't feel bad about sleeping through this one.

Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action gives us a glimpse of what it's like to be popular, famous, and undercover agents. Here, Mary-Kate and Ashley take on animated personalities who save the world with a little help from their friends. Under the code names of Misty and Amber, the twins travel all around the world. In one episode, they visited Egypt. You'd be surprised how much you can learn about geography and history from this show.

™ © 2002 Dualstar Entertainment Group, Inc.
Click on the picture above to visit the show's website

Another strange show is Teacher's Pet. In this cartoon, a dog that belongs to a teacher's son longs to be a boy. It sneaks to school each day with the teacher's son, and goes by the name of Scott. This show is amusing because it tells of all Scott's adventures. He learns of the joys and hardships of being a kid. The thing I don't like about this show, though, is the animation. It's weird. I know some people like it, but I still can't get used to the style. Noses are big and red, faces are blue, and Scott the dog-boy is the only decent-looking character. The visual aspect of this show is just too odd for me to enjoy.

Lizzie McGuire tells the story of a young teen's school, family, and friend problems. While the characters in this show are real people, a cartoon Lizzie pops up every so often to express her feelings and thoughts. The star struggles with things like telling her friends the truth about their situation, even when she knows it will hurt them, and could ruin her friendships. This show has become so popular that there will soon be a book series and a full-length movie starring Lizzie.

My little brother and I both enjoy Even Stevens. We're never quite sure whether to laugh at Louis or feel bad for him when his plans to make himself known go wrong. His whole family is very accomplished, and all have something unique to contribute to any situation they find themselves in. But Louis is just a regular teenager. Although he causes much humiliation and suffering to his older sister, Ren, things always turn out OK in the end with Louis's creative solutions. This show also stars real, live people, but it is well worth seeing humans on your TV screen for this half-hour.

Promotional art © Disney

Also on 1 Saturday Morning are House of Mouse (shown above), Lloyd in Space, and The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I really like House of Mouse. In this cartoon, you get to visit with all your favorite Disney characters. From Aladdin and Jasmine to Goofy and Max, they're all there. For half an hour, you can enjoy songs and cartoon clips, and there's always something or other going on behind- the- scenes.

Lloyd in Space is about a teenage alien who has, well, teenage problems. It may not seem like it at first, but it's easy to relate to this extra- terrestrial. The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh must be one of the oldest shows in the line-up, but it's a family favorite. What could be better than following Pooh and his friends through the Hundred Acre Wood on their adventures through life?

While Disney's 1 Saturday Morning is swell, it has some competition for the number one spot.

One show that could easily distract me from Disney's cartoons is the WB's Jackie Chan Adventures. This is one of my all-time favorite TV shows, and most definitely one of the best cartoons on the air. (The website is pictured below.) Here, Jackie Chan is an animated character. Jackie, his niece, Jade, and his uncle all fight evil forces and the usual bad guys by using ancient magic and the like. Don't believe him when he says he's "just an archaeologist." This cartoon is exceptionally witty and smart. Jackie Chan is a laugh a minute. At the end of the show, the real Jackie Chan answers questions that viewers send him. If you watch carefully, you might even learn the Chinese word for "troublemaker."

CLICK HERE FOR SHOW SITE - ™ ©2001 Adelaide Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved
™ © 2001 Adelaide Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Click on the picture above to visit the show's website

The WB also offers X-Men: Evolution. This features our favorite X-Men characters, along with a few new faces. This doesn't come anywhere close to Jackie Chan, but I enjoy watching it when it comes on. Later in the morning you can watch R.L. Stine's The Nightmare Room. This may be scary for younger kids, or rather, a bit freaky. I do enjoy watching this, though. It has real people, and if you're into being mildly frightened when you wake up, you can't go wrong with R.L. Stine, the author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street books. WB is the lucky station to air Pokémon. I try not to watch too much of this, and it could only take me away from a few Disney shows, but it is hard to walk away from Ash and his friends.

FOX also has a Saturday morning line-up. You might laugh at this next comment, but I think you should give Digimon a chance. It may come from having a kid brother, but that show is quite entertaining. Alienators: Evolution Continues is another good show. I wasn't too crazy about it at first, but one morning my brother was watching the cartoon and it caught my eye. It's funny, and, although the storylines are a bit unusual with their aliens and monsters, quite entertaining. It's hard to take your eyes off this one.

Bob the Builder

CBS offers Nick Jr. on Saturdays. Those of us who don't have cable can watch those popular cartoons each week this way! Bob the Builder, Franklin, and Blues Clues are a few of the shows to pick and choose from.

All of these are good programs, but in my opinion the Kids' WB is Disney's biggest competitor before noon on Saturdays. I think that if Disney cut back on the cheesy animation, a style they seem to be going for these days, and brought back Doug, Pepperann and tossed in The Weekenders,1 Saturday Morning would be closer to living up to its full potential. I must say that 1 Saturday Morning has a great theme song.



Jewel's FastFact: Elijah Wood, who stars in the Lord of the Rings movies as Frodo Baggins, also starred as the Artful Dodger in Disney's movie Oliver Twist, based on the novel by Charles Dickens.

Reader mail is the stuff dreams are made of! If you've got any questions, comments or suggestions for future columns, email me at I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday Morning Life


My name is Jewel.

I am 13 years old, and a typical junior high student. I live with my mom, dad, and little brother. My family and I have annual passes to Disneyland so we go quite often. I love school, and science has always been a favorite subject of mine. I am in band and hope to be involved in music for the rest of my life.

Right now, my career goal is to become a deejay. In my mind, that is the coolest job in the world! My hobbies include: listening to and playing music, reading, writing, messing around on the computer and hanging out at Disneyland. We have seven cats (four of them found us), a black Labrador, and I have a goldfish.

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