Nickelodeon Announces ‘The Splat’ Cartoon Block: Is Nostalgia Hurting Creativity?

It was announced this weekend that Nicktoons such as Rugrats, Hey Arnold, and Doug will be returning in a new cartoon block titled The Splat. The cartoon block will debut on TeenNick on October 5th. It will run every night from 10pm to 6am eastern time. The news was received with joyful cheers from the audiences that consumed the content as children. These 90s kids have demanded one thing from the market for years and now it looks to be coming in droves… nostalgia.

Children loathe the phrase “back in my day”, often spewed by adults they view as out of touch and past their prime. However, this new brand of nostalgia is different. It is for days that can still be seen in the rear view mirror, and touted by people who are not past their prime, but rather entering it. The product of an age where childhood can be easily stored and discovered with the click of a button. Millennials never had to worry about losing their toys or even keeping them in good condition; the internet did that for them.

It’s normal to look back at the past with rose colored glasses, but it’s important not to fall into the trap of dismissing everything that has come after. A quick search on the internet turns up multiple results about how phenomenal it was to be a 90s kid. Unfortunately, some of these same articles put down the art and entertainment that have succeeded the “wonderful” decade. I have had conversations with peers who will openly disparage the 2000s and beyond, unable to see the quality content being produced because of tunnel vision for the past. We’ve become old geezers forty years too soon.

Hollywood rather vomit out reboots then craft new original stories, and to an extent we have to take responsibility for that. Nostalgia is beautiful, but can also be toxic if allowed to run a muck. I’m not saying that The Splat is inherently bad. I grew up on these cartoons and like many millennials they hold a special place in my heart. I’m saying it is about moderation. Don’t let companies take advantage of you and regurgitate old ideas. Go binge watch Hey Arnold, but also watch Adventure Time and Regular Show. Remember that old doesn’t always equate to good and new isn’t synonymous with bad.

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