Rainbow Brite

Back in the day it was all about Rainbow Brite - I remember always being very jealous of my friend's Rainbow Brite doll and magnificent horse Starlight. But for real, this cartoon got super scary (for a five year old). Freaky, evil powers of darkness in the form of villains Murky and Lurky on a mission to suppress colour and happiness. Thank goodness for Rainbow Brite, every little girl's 80s super hero, saving the world with her magical rainbow powered belt and badass star sprinkles - harvested from the mines of Rainbowland. She also had a fluffy sidekick called Twink. Now, in the same way that My Little Pony's made a comeback Rainbow Brite has been made for today's generation and likely many middle aged men ... Rainbros anyone?

- Rachel Bache

Hong Kong Phooey

When I was a kid, I lived for Saturday mornings. It was the only time I could watch all the uninterrupted TV I could handle - and I binged. I binged hard: Fraggle Rock, What Now? and The Muppets were devoured with bowls of porridge covered in brown sugar on my knee - and returned in disgust whenever dad forgot about my hatred of raisins and threw in a handful of them. But if I was extra sneaky, I would get up early to watch my favourite cartoon at 6.30am all on my own. He was awesome. He was a kung fu fighting dog. He was a one-man crime busting machine. He was Hong Kong Phooey - and I loved him. At least, I did until someone introduced me to the far superior Dangermouse.

- Chris Schulz

Mirror Mirror

I have a vague memory of coming home from school one day, turning on the TV and literally crying because Mirror Mirror had been temporarily replaced by the cricket. And I bloody LOVED cricket. But this was much more important - I needed to know what happened next in the tale of the young woman who discovers she can time travel through a mirror to 1919, and her 1919 friends (including a Russian tsar, oddly) could travel to 1995. Incredibly gripping stuff. The ambitious 20-part serial was a co-production (what happened to those?) between NZ On Air and an Australian company, and featured one of the all-time great emotionally-charged TV theme songs.

- Calum Henderson

Hey Arnold

Was there ever a cartoon character dreamier than the sensitive, foot-ball headed Arnold? Even now I can totally see why his classmate Helga harboured such an intense crush on him, even if his tiny hat and weird kilt-shirt betrayed a total lack of style. Arnold, a nine-year-old boy living in a tenement building with his grandparents in New York City, stole my seven-year-old heart with his kind, thoughtful manner. Looking back, the show was also a great example of right-on 90s kids programming. The characters were racially diverse and mainly working class and the show tackled a range of social issues with heart and humour.


- Tess Nichol

Art Attack

Before you judge, let me preface this by explaining: I grew up in Hong Kong. There were only two English television channels and they only began broadcasting at 4pm each day. Aside from Sesame Street, there were no children's programmes mid-week. Nor was there Saturday morning telly. Instead, visiting friends and family would bring us grainy VHS tapes of Thundercats and Inspector Gadget, recorded off English telly (with the added thrill of English advertisements. Such excitement!) But the one show that did make it to air and became appointment viewing was Art Attack, a British series featuring Neil Buchanan. Oh how I loved that show and its over-sized stationery set. I am not and have never been artistically abled. But Neil showed me simple tricks to convince people I was, including how to draw the perfect teddy bear. A skill that continues to impress my young nieces today. Thanks Neil.


Back in primary school I was a total Pokemon nerd. I had the Gameboy game (Blue version - played on my giant grey original Gameboy), the poggs, the toys, the cards - I drew pictures of them on every surface and I even made an adorable shoebox diorama of Viridian forest for my pokemon figurines to play in - yes, I was an incrediably cool kid. Every afternoon after getting the bus home from school, I'd pop in my blank VHS and tape the latest episode of the Pokemon animated series. I would sing along to the show's iconic theme songs and follow the adventures of Ash, Brock and Misty on their quest to become the best pokemon trainers and rid the world of the notorious Team Rocket. It made me wish that I too could leave home at the age of 10, be given a creature with magical powers, with which I could battle and capture other creatures with magical powers and become a legendary Pokemon master. Even today the show and the original 150 Pokemon hold a dear place in my heart.

- Rachel Bache
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Posted by TimeOut - New Zealand Herald on Friday, 18 September 2015

- nzherald.co.nz