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My, how cartoons have changed

July 21, 2011 - Jodelle Greiner
I read Kylie’s blog on what she lets her kids watch and it got me thinking about the cartoons on TV these days, which led me to comparing them to the cartoons I watched as a kid.

The cartoons now solve all the plot problems with some big physical battle, either between superhero types or magic creatures commanded by the leads. I remember when cartoons were about young sleuths and sophisticated stoneagers and animated animals. Scooby and the gang solved mysteries. “The Archies” and “Josie and the Pussycats” played in bands. Fred Flintstone yelled a lot, but never hit anyone. And I got my first taste of opera thanks to Bugs and Elmer, who for all his threats to “kill the wabbit” never put a hole in the bunny’s hide.

Okay, Wile E. Coyote got pounded into the ground, but the Roadrunner was just an innocent (or not-so-innocent) bystander in that. He never actually hurt the coyote, he just let him fall off a million cliffs.

Whatever happened to cartoons where the characters tried to figure out what was happening by using their brains instead of their super-enhanced fists? The Scooby Doo gang solved a mystery every episode and Velma would explain the mistakes made by the villian, who always said, “And I’d have gotten away with it, too, if not for you meddling kids!” (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

Pardon my stroll down memory lane, but I’m nostalgic for cartoons that actually had plotlines and stories, made you guess what was going to happen next, and had a human touch.

This new breed of cartoons doesn’t appeal to me, but lots of kids watch lots of modern-day cartoons, What are they teaching our children?

Google “cartoon violence” and see the plethora of hits that scroll down the screen. You can read about all the tests that have been run and the studies that have been conducted, Click on any one you want, but the jist will be the same: “There is no uncertainty that cartoon violence effects children in some way,” said Wikipedia.

I’m not saying that children should never watch TV. But we should never do anything, even a good thing, to excess. There’s only 24 hours in a day and if your kid is spending four to eight of it in front of the tube, where does that leave your family?

I know it’s easier to let the kids watch TV than try to think up some family activity, but what do you want them remembering in 20 or 30 years? The shows they watched or the time they spent with you?

It doesn’t have to be a big thing. Set up a game night, take regular walks, scrapbook or build model cars — just do something together as a family and make some memories.


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