A Look Back on Rocket Power


The 90s had various cartoons that had a timeless feel in their environments, characters, and the lessons they taught to their audience. This here is not one of those cartoons. The premise involved four youngsters, Otto Rocket, his sister Reggie, and their friends Twister and Sam sharing in the fun of extreme sports.

The problem with the show is that it tried too hard in pandering to youngsters using all sorts of extreme sports and lingo in order to be cool and with it. In doing so the characters are rather one-dimensional. Otto is the generic jock of the group, Reggie is the token girl, Twister is the idiot, and Squid is the smart one. It wasn’t all that bad however as some of the secondary characters (particularly the adults) are memorable. There’s Ray’s best friend Tito who conveys lessons to the kids in various hilariously confusing haikus and his philosophical outlook on life. Conroy Blanc and the Stimpletons were fun characters in their relationships with the main characters. But the focus of the episodes are primarily on various sports stunts the way it involves the kids and given that the kids aren’t very interesting, the story can be difficult to get behind, the relationships between the characters are hard to get invested in, and the jokes fall flat. Sometimes the characters could be downright unlikable. An example of this was Otto who would often ignore authority figures and overestimate himself putting himself and sometimes his friends in danger. He also could never bear settling for second in anything. The hardest part about this is that even though he would learn his lesson in one episode it would never come back into play.

Another problem with this show is that it tended to emphasize random words with flashy video effects. This seemed rather pointless and could sometimes be annoying.

This certainly isn’t among the worst upon Nick. Even though it’s largely a product of the times some of the cheesiness of the 90s can be occasionally funny and some of the stunts and tricks the characters pull off can look cool. But the show just lacks uniqueness and heart like most Nicktoons that were coming around that time. Shows like Hey Arnold, Classic SpongeBob, etc. had a sense of timelessness that could talk to kids from any era, about almost anything, and any audience. This doesn’t have that same timelessness. Unless you watched the show growing up it doesn’t have much in the way of entertainment outside of nostalgia.