Cartoons had a humble enough beginning. Mickey Mouse was a cartoon with basically no purpose but entertainment. However, it was well made, and did not contain anything even close to being controversial. This was followed by an entire barrage of cartoons, taking a stab at becoming popular. However, in none of these cartoons was anything that would be deemed as inappropriate for children to watch. This, however, changed when the Cartoon "The Simpsons" came out. This cartoon, aimed at the Adult audience, was a huge success, and is still one of the most popular cartoons. This was followed by a couple of other Adult cartoons, most of which are still played today.
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As I said, these cartoons were aimed at an adult audience, including minor foul language and crude humor. However, as America’s morals and expectations from the Hollywood idiots became less and less, the cartoons started to divide into two other genres: The good, well made cartoons, and the cheap, disgusting, weird cartoons. Cartoons like Road Runner, Scooby Doo, the Flinstones, and the Jetsons were well made, and even threw in a moral once in a while. Then recently, cartoons like courage the cowardly dog, Bevis and Butthead, and Rocco’s Modern Life (as much as I liked that cartoon, I have to include it) have hit rock bottom when it comes to showing any type of morals or taste. For instance, you could not pick any ten second clip of Bevis and Butthead where they were not making some kind of crude and tasteless joke.
I feel, personally, that cartoons just follow what the consumer wants. If kids want adult jokes and cheap animation, they get it, because it sells. And in the increasingly single parent households, the parents are too busy to monitor everything their children are watching. They expect that Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network are clean networks, designed around kids, so they won’t have questionable material. They couldn’t be wrong. I’m sure there are a lot of parents that allow their children to watch cartoons that, if they knew what they were about, would be on the "do not watch" list.
Cartoons mirror reality in that more and more cartoons are disgusting wastes of time. Americans in general have more time on their hands, and are therefore able to spend more time on things that are not worth it. I am not trying to say that all cartoons are bad. As a matter of fact, there are still some cartoons that present underlying values and principles for kids to learn, and are actually quite entertaining. But it only takes a couple to ruin the whole bunch. I feel that if the kids weren’t so attracted to the fact that they were getting away with something, they probably wouldn’t watch it anyways. It is the producer’s fault for wanting more money so bad they are willing to gamble with children’s minds.
The cartoons have slowly but surely followed reality, with a sick twist. They have blown certain things out of proportion, and left the kids like me who grew up with Doug and Rugrats with nothing but trash. For the future, I see more meaningless cartoons (more Japanese animation possibly?) and a further degrade in quality and liability. Take cover! There going to hit hard on our kids!
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