The changing era of cartoons

Before you read any further, just try this small exercise: Sit on your couch, relax, switch on the television and tune in to Cartoon Network. As a child, it was probably one of your favourite channels. See how long you can watch it for. Maybe a few minutes, not more than that. Ask yourself “Why?” Is it because you no longer have the child in you? Is it because you think you are too old to watch cartoons? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you are wrong! The real answer to this is that cartoon network or other cartoon channels no longer portray the innocence they once did.

          There was a period of time, probably more than a decade ago when we would run home only to catch the latest adventure of Scooby-Doo and his friends. It had a similar story line in all of its episodes, yet, we watched it eagerly. A few reasons behind this were that it encouraged us to be bold and innovative, and at the same time it gave us important knowledge of simple scientific matters. Then there was Popeye who gained his strength solely from spinach. This cartoon was probably loved more by parents because it made a huge impact on their child’s eating habits. While Heidi and Little Lulu taught us to enjoy simple, little things of life, Captain Planet taught us to protect our environment. The Flinstones gave us an idea of civilization in the pre-historic times and how man strived in the Stone Age. Of course our unforgettable heroes like Batman and Spiderman enlightened us on how the good always win over the evil. We picked up most of our English language skills from the cartoons we saw. In short, we learnt most of our primary education in History, Geography, Science, Mathematics and English through cartoons itself which meant schools had to put in lesser effort to make their students understand basic studies. Parents too relied on cartoons to inculcate the best of the habits, values and morals in their children.

However, with changing times, the cartoon world has undergone a lot of change too. You no longer get to see innocent figures, instead there are much more mature and modern figures in the form of Cartoon Network’s Ben 10 and then there is Disney channel’s Doraemon and others similar to them. Ben 10 is about a boy who is in possession of a watch that allows him to turn into alien creatures and fight off his enemies. Doraemon is a cat-like robot, who helps Nobita, a lazy school going boy, to overcome his problems which are generally trivial. Nobita wants quick easy ways and Doraemon creates  gadgets to help him do so. Then of course there is the most controversial cartoon Shinchan, a young boy who uses the most inappropriate language and portrays unruly behavior. Cartoons like these are highlighting on the negative aspects of an individual and thus those watching them are picking up similar negative points. Introduction to supernatural beings and alien like creatures is depriving children of their innocence and from understanding the reality of life. In other words, today’s cartoons lack the ability to shape and mould young minds thus increasing the importance of parental supervision on children.

The original Tom and Jerry, that was able to charm its audiences for a very long time has been upgraded and improvised to fit into the modern times of new technology. It is not able to captivate its audience anymore. Probably Disney’s Mickey and Minnie mouse, Goofy and the rest still set their magic on screen but their popularity too has reduced in recent times and these shows do not occupy prime time slots anymore. Though the new age cartoons are able to attract children, they lack that child-like innocence that we were once fortunate to enjoy. A few of them have even taken up watching daily soaps and serials which narrows down their outlook towards life and reduces their creativity. It’s a pity that today’s children will not be able to rely on cartoons for knowledge. Of course they enjoy the benefit of living in the new age of internet and mobile phones where information is just a click away. Yet they will never realize the joy of watching some of the best cartoons and of living in a world where watching colourful, lively cartoons seemed to be one of the most important activities. 


well..i m a friendly outspoken person!

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