Cartoon, the word has no relation to an automobile, rather we may associate the word to a colourful, vibrant parallel universe. Animators and cartoon ideators ( is that a thing?) have so much creative freedom since they can produce a series without any limits and realistic boundaries. At the same time, they are responsible for putting up content that keeps restless, short attention spanned children, entertained.
Some cartoons are so bizarre, pulling us away from reality into a world where anything is possible. Chicken puff replaced by Power puff girls. (There might be a couple or more really bad jokes ahead, bear with me.) 3 girls with no fingers, that attracted no attention in the program. The girls were portrayed as super heroes, who’d do anything and everything to save the imaginary city from evil monsters. Also telling shy and scared kids that they can fight too, courtesy of the character, Bubbles. How can we forget, “nasamajh doggie” aka Courage the Cowardly Dog. Courage the cowardly dog is especially dear to me since it starred my hair as Muriels’s wig.
If I’ve done anything during childhood, it is watching umpteen amounts of cartoon. I was a big fan of tiny tv’s Noddy, Pingu and the rest of the brigade. How can I forget Shaun the sheep, and not a lot of people saw this one but there was one called ‘Boo‘. Having said that, there were some that boiled my blood, on the top of that list was Kipper. I mean, just add some colour to his life. Or maybe he was a dead dog in cartoon heaven?
I wish when I was a kid, there had been online streaming or a Netflix where I could watch cartoons. There were so many of these series to keep up with, so many important twists and turns to know about and so many murder mysteries to be solved by the mystery machine owning team.
When you’re around 6 years old you already have a hectic schedule, a busy life. Meet with friends, be gross, irritate the mother, spill drinks on your clothes and annoy adults with your banter. It was hard to fit in a tv watching hour within this tight schedule. But I managed since I am such a multi-tasker. #efficiency
The world of cartoons or animated creatures seems to be a place where anything can be true. While cartoons were colourful creatures doing dumb stuff, some cartoons were smarter than you and I. ( Dexter, anyone?) I was faced with an inferiority complex whenever I saw Dexter. The guy was so smart, and his days so productive. I am sure he inspired a lot of kids to take interest in science and piss their parents off with their experiment’s dirtying the house. Plus one to Dexter.
Tom & Jerry sent across the message that it’s okay to look different from the other, it’s okay to vary in size and shape. No matter how badly an eraser wants to rub the pencil off, pencils and erasers can co-exist. (Unless you chewed and massacred the eraser at the end of your pencil.)
Flintstones let children know that the world wasn’t blessed with advancement since the beginning of time. These things were discovered, invented and created. So cartoons are important beings and they should continue to exist. But creatures like Ninja Hatori, Chota Bheem, Oggy and the Cockroaches are seriously threatening their existence.
Since kids are so curious and inquisitive, I think someone learned animation to escape from the experience of being bombarded with their questions. How many times did your parents let you watch more cartoon just to make you forget your unreasonable demand, or to avoid answering an awkward question? Also, kids love attractive packaging, so there was the idea: stories told by colourful creatures with a carton or two of magical realism.
Additionally, cartoons have genres too, so kids have plenty to choose from to quench their curiosity. While some cartoons pull them away from reality, putting more made up things in their minds, some cartoons mean pure business. Swat Cats, anyone? No, okay.
Mr. Bean, the animated series, for instance, tells us the struggles of a socially awkward guy, staying alone in London, while Noddy sort of sent the message that kids can drive and have a crush on living teddy bears. Which may not be an ideal situation.
Cartoons are colourful, vibrant personalities living in rainbow cities where dogs can talk and blue Octopuses can conveniently walk around. Add to that a flower that walks and talks, a butterfly that is such a great entrepreneur. I’ve seen and loved all this like a lot of you. Obviously, back then I was a dumber version of myself and couldn’t really rationalise or think why something is happening the way it is. Now if you did question their practicality as a kid, good for you. I am impressed.
I don’t regret my decisions and choices of the shows I saw, they were brilliantly made, the animations were perfect and the stories had just the right amount of a concrete story-line, funny music and bizarre situations to keep me engaged.
On the down side, at some level I always wanted to be a cartoon. Not in an ‘I want to be an astronaut when I grow up’ kind of way, of course. I wanted to be inside my tv screen and in that fictional world that convinced me that the adventures they are going on and experiencing are better than what I am doing. You have to agree, working as a full-time kid can take it’s toll on you. I was the one sitting on the couch while these people inside the tv screen were doing so many interesting things. During such stressful times, a glass of bournvita calmed me down.
Even now, I enjoy certain animated series. Because in animation nothing can go really wrong, even if it does, become an animator and make a series of your own fixing what didn’t go down well with you.
Cartoons have a purpose. They’ve shaped our minds and made us believe in a lot of things and at some point even motivated little kids to just do it. (Not promoting Nike, I swear!) They are the purest form of entertainment a kid can experience and I am glad that Charles-Émile Reynaud made this possible. He was the first person to create an animated project back in 1877. (Just googled it.)
If you’re at a point where you’re completely over them, it’s okay. I still stream Scooby Doo on YouTube sometimes which is better than watching re-runs of Friends for the 100th time.
Long live, looney toons and toony lunes, both!