Cat, Dog, Mouse...and Sponge: how cartoons have changed - JuniperCivic.com
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Originally published in the June 2012 Juniper Berry Magazine

Cat, Dog, Mouse...and Sponge: how cartoons have changed

Hello again my friends, it is good to have you reading my column again. This time I will talk about something that you may think about, cartoons. We all watch them, we all laugh at them, but we never stop to think about them and understand the writer's motives. I can tell you that comedy in cartoons has changed over time. Older cartoons were just for laughs, now cartoons have story lines, morals, character descriptions, settings, and more realistic comedy. Tom and Jerry was a childhood favorite of many, but why? Slapstick, the comedy of violence with no consequences. These days cartoons and children's shows have become more intricate, more diverse, and they have deeper story lines. For example we all know and love good ole' Spongebob Squarepants. What is so different about a sponge named Bob versus a cat who constantly chases a sneaky mouse? Spongebob Squarepants shows some real world morals, and teaches lessons about friendship, trust, hard work, honesty, and (like my previous article) responsibility.

Spongebob is also always incredibly happy!

Another big change is in even younger children's shows. These shows have changed from just cute fuzzy creatures telling you what letters sound like, to whole stories and themes like Dora the Explorer and Science Kids. There are more detailed people, specific problems that are resolved by thought and teamwork. I myself was a fan of Sesame Street, and especially Cookie Monster. But then the characters talked in short phrases and repetitive songs, not full sentences like current shows. My baby cousin can speak 50+ words and is learning more words every week. He watches shows like Bubble Guppies and other adventure cartoons where the characters are faced with difficult problems and they use teamwork and thinking to help them win and learn. Years ago, kids were learning 2 or 3 letters an episode, he is learning words and thought processes. My baby cousin can also work an ipad and all the buttons on his parents' phones. With the great technology and computer games we have these days, kids are learning so much more and the tv shows they watch help them learn even faster. But even I have to admit, that sometimes on a Saturday afternoon, it's great to kick back and watch a funny episode of Sylvester and Tweety or the Road Runner going after the really dumb coyote with an Acme anvil. One thing has not changed, the good guy always wins in the end!

June 2012 Juniper Berry Magazine

June 2012 Table of Contents