OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Cartoons Aren't For Kids

Cartoons Aren't For Kids

I am an adult and I enjoy cartoons, judge me all you want but you should too.

All these years we've been told cartoons were for children and as adults we should no longer enjoy animated television. Well, I'm here to call bullshit. I'm not talking about the Adult Swim or Fox variety either. I'm talking about the colorful so-called kids animation that we sit our kids in front of for hours on end.

Growing up, Saturday mornings from 8am to about noon were reserved for cartoons. You grabbed your favorite bowl of cereal plopped down on the couch and laughed at jokes you probably didn't understand. Yes, kids have NO idea what they're laughing at outside of the physical comedy bits and hacky jokes. Let's face it, cartoons are written by adults, if cartoons were meant for kids, then kids would write them. That's just not how things work, animators, writers, producer's and creators are all adults.

So that means a lot of these kid shows have adult themes and references children just won't be able to understand. So if kids wouldn't understand an 80's reference in an episode of Teen Titans Go! then who would? Exactly, you would you buttoned downed, I'm too good to watch cartoons, adult.

It doesn't stop at jokes either; today's animated television tackles such things as politics, philosophy, current events, and a laundry list of things that kids simply cannot understand.

There are tons of message boards ran by adults who discuss cartoons on a level that children would never could dream of. Still don't believe cartoons aren't for kids? Okay go on YouTube and search "dirty secrets in cartoons" and prepare to be slightly horrified or pleasantly surprised.

Cartoons also prepare children for menial tasks and adulthood. You ever wonder why certain characters have oddly specific jobs or tasks they do almost every episode. Things chock filled with repetition, but presented with so much flash and flair kids often buy into admiring otherwise boring jobs that we adults loathe. Sure Spongebob is beloved but he also flips burgers for a freaking living. Sure characters like Mr. Krab's are presented as a crusty old greedy skinflint, but he represents an adult’s vision of capitalism. He's wealthy, a business owner for many years, and rather die with all his riches than give any of his employees a proper living wage. While Squidward represents the unfulfilled dreams of a 30 something stuck in a dead end job, Spongebob represents the bright-eyed youthful view of a young man not knowing any better. I mean who is that god damn happy making burgers for a living at a fast food restaurant?! These nuances are lost on an impressionable youth but are more recognizable for adults.

So do yourselves a favor, watch some cartoons, if not for me, for the children...who don't understand them.

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