Cartoon Network: Then Vs Now

“Childhood without cartoon is like a bird without wings.”

Cartoon Network made the childhood of every 90’s kid.

Tom and Jerry, Oswald, Dexter, Bob the Builder, Power puff Girls, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Power Rangers S.P.D., Mr. Bean, and Scooby-Doo. These comprised the typical TV start-up pack for 90s children. Every day in the summer vacation started with Cartoon Network, Disney, and ended with Hungama TV. Our generation, though reprimanded every time we switched on the television, enjoyed every bit of what we could watch. The quality of those shows was such that each and every child was drawn to them and the natural comedy and humor brought a positive outlook towards life.

Also, children used to be able to get an education in the animation history through watching Cartoon Network, with programs. Such as Toonheads and The Popeye Show including information about the making of these classics.

However, after 2007, the content of cartoons saw a downfall. For the most part, cartoons, which at least made sense earlier, now lost its USP. That fake accent, those forced punches, the fake laugh took away the inherent sense of authenticity of cartoons. Shows like Shinchan perpetuated an odd sense of behaviour that could be seen by many as unacceptable. While other serials such as Perman or Ninja Hattori had repetitive content. Even Indian TV series like Chhota Bheem and Motu-Patlu churned out poor quality of content.

During the 90’s time, there were less animated movies and shows were made and Animators were people who were difficult to find. The one has to be an avid computer programmer to be an animator in those days. So, earlier the cartoons were made by top intellectual classes and people who had passion for the animation. Naturally, the outcomes were great shows like Tom and Jerry, Oswald, Dexter, Bob the Builder, Power puff Girls, The Looney Tunes Show and the list goes on.

Also, many of these cartoons were backed up by print material like cartoon comics. All the superhero series which kept the younger generation involved so that they can know about a show even before the original air date. And can brag about it in school.

These days animation has morphed into a professional courses and all sorts of people are going there to get a proper job. Not because of their dreams or of their innate art of storytelling.

But as we all know, each and every coin has two sides.

Another reason for the change in the genres of shows is that, Cartoon Network wants the kids today to adapt to the ever-changing 21st century society. If we realise, most of the cartoons today show what is happening right now and the current situation that we are in. For example, technology, social media etc.

If we look in the past, most of the shows did portray some important life lessons but it doesn’t really portray what is happening to the world right now. However, today’s cartoon shows the world’s reality to children in a more child-friendly way. In this way, children in the coming generations will be comfortable with learning about our current affairs and social situations.

But then also, exposure to poor content on TV can affect a child’s character. Most portrayals on TV cartoons today show three kinds of characters. Let’s take the example of Doraemon. Nobita is the victim character, while Gian is the bully and Suneo is the instigator. This portrayal tends to display to children company that which is mostly unproductive. Further, they even tend to edge out parental figures, which might encourage children to distance themselves from them.

The subtle negativity underlying such portrayals may actually lead children into isolation and cause them to become detached from reality. Another pressing issue is that of violence, even if it is portrayed in a more sanitized fashion. Even a show like Chhota Bheem shows Bheem beating up bad people by jumping, punching and beating them and them fainting at most. This tends to make a kid think that it’s okay to fight like that because the other person won’t feel a thing.

Today, children who were earlier dragged from the playgrounds to come to home are being begged to return to those empty spaces and start playing. Television is an important and very pervasive mode in a kid’s life. Which is why it is essential to be much more mindful of content. Destructive content must be de prioritized while constructive content be emphasized. To ensure that the kids of this generation too have exposure to good television content.

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