Cartoons and cereal. No matter your age, there was a time when you started your day with cartoons and breakfast. This is especially true for the weekends. Some of you might even come from the era of Saturday morning cartoons. Cartoons are a part of our youth and culture.
Cartoons clearly reflect the era in which they were made. Starting from the drawing and animation style, down to the topics which are discussed. Pre the 1990’s, cartoons were focused on children and included bits so that adults could also enjoy. Besides the war on drugs they did not tackle heavy social topics and were mostly about humour and adventure. If you take a look now, you see many old stereotypical portrayals of different cultures.
Portrayals which would now bring about public outrage.
But such portrayals were the way one saw the world pre-internet and during the cold war. Even though the cartoons did explicitly discuss what was going on in that time, it was clearly visible by representation. Besides representation you could take one look at the animation and art style and see the hard work that went into the creation of the cartoon, which was synonymous with the hard labour of that era.
There is a time for play and there is a time for work, early cartoons also adhered to this. Where one batch of cartoons were clearly focused on learning, others were clearly focused on fun. But looking at the current new era of kids cartoons they are clearly primarily focused on learning. Synonymous with the current age where everything is about speed, we expect the same for the development of our kids. It also seems as if the stories are far less focused on fun and enjoyment, one might argue that there is also a clear link to how we currently work.
Just take a moment to think on it.
In a climate where the balance between work and life is skewed, you could say the balance between serious and fun is also lost. We have strived to make learning fun, just as we strive towards the ideal of making work fun. But where older cartoons have a far more narrow portrayal of the world and society, the current information age has changed portrayals towards a more realistic diverse picture of the world. On the flip side while representation is more diverse, the picture gears more towards an ideal view of the world.
As cartoons change over the era’s they can show a part of our history and ways of thinking that we are ashamed of. Some argue to have edits done or to make certain episode/cartoons difficult to find all together. Just as we preserve our written history, I think we should preserve our animated history as well. So that we may learn from it, and that one day in the future a maverick such as myself will take a look and see the different growth of mankind.
All while thinking on the bowl of cereal he ate while watching his morning cartoons.