Progressive Analysis: Cartoons


A couple of weeks ago, over some Chinese/Hibachi dinner, my family and I were having an intense debate regarding the content of today’s cartoons/animated series’. Xavier and I think they are dumb AND stupid, and the girls think they are “funny AND entertaining”. Although, what constitute as entertaining now a days is probably the reason why the shows are dumb AND stupid.

So, by no means is this an actual progressive analysis of animated series’, but rather a content descriptive examination(not really) of how cartoons/animated series’ substance has deteriorated over the years, through a look at Xavier and I’s favorites and my daughters’ preferences, cause, apparently they can’t have a favorite, cause they are ALL that, “funny AND entertaining”. RIGHT. (FYI: these are cartoons that are not superhero themed, that’s another post). I think the twenty year gap is a decent time lapse to evaluate things from πŸ™‚

Janis’s Favorite:

1. Inspector Gadget: Need I say more? There was action, awesome technology(the Magicbook, now known as the iPhone/iPad), a faceless bad guy, a grouchy cat, comic relief, a smart dog, and a heroine(Penny).

Close Runner-Up: Duck Tales, Darkwing Duck, Tale Spin, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers, and Captain Planet. What you know about Uncle Scrooge, Baloo, and the planeteers? I was environmentally conscious way before it got hip, plus Baloo had a favorite bar.

Xavier’s Favorite:

1. TIE: Looney Toon Adventures/Tiny Toon Adventures and the Simpsons: Self explanatory: Classic entertainment. Bart and Homer, Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote, and The Roadrunner.

Close Runner-Up: Animaniacs: Pinky and the Brain. The End.

Jaelan and Xavi’s Favorite(s):

1. Total Drama Island: No explanations needed. A cartoon version of Survivor, but with airheaded teenagers.

2. Spongebob Squarepants: It is the most pointless time frame in television history. Jaelan said that aside from the annoying laugh, it is very entertaining and FUNNY.

3. Chowder(Discontinued): The only decent choice here. Who doesn’t love a cartoon based on food and ingredients?

4. The Amazing World of Gumball: It’s about a stupid cat, named Gumball, and his misadventures. Literally, the cat is of very,very limited intelligence. Dumb AND Stupid.

5. Dexter’s Laboratory: It’s about science and the science of being stupid.

PS: I am considering banning some of these from my household, which is why, Billy and MandyΒ , did not make the list. It was banned long ago.

(Pokemon is not included because these are non-superhero related cartoons, and Pikachu is clearly a “superhero”).

Aspen’s Favorite:

1. Bubble Guppies: The only one with a sensible choice. It has catchy tunes and is educational.

There you go. While my analysis is very limited, I’m sure you agree with me when I say that cartoons of today are pretty mediocre at best compared to the selections that were available in the 1980s and 1990s.

Enjoy this video of 1980s/1990s cartoon intros:

9 thoughts on “Progressive Analysis: Cartoons

  1. I LOVED Duck Tales! I actually got my 5-year-old to watch them with me (they’re on YouTube) and he has the song memorized and sings it with me sometimes, haha. We had great cartoons in the 80s and even 90s, especially compared to what’s on TV now… so sad.

  2. We are subject to lots of Disney and Nick Jr. and I HATE these cartoons that teach manners and stuff. Just be funny. Be Tiny Toons or Animainacs or even PowerPuff Girls. Fortunately Addy will watch PPG and Looney Toons so that’s where we get our balance. Otherwise I’m complaining about Kai Lan’s fairness and the utter ridiculousness of the lack of physics in the world the Bubble Guppies live in.

    • Janis Gabriel says:

      I am utterly shocked that you did not mention anything about the Simpsons. And how dare you not like the Bubble Guppies!? It is my saving grace on a lot of days, so just because of that, it is loved. And I agree about Disney and Nick, Jr. and the lack of physics in Guppy land. You are too smart.

  3. Paris says:

    I guess every generation will prefer what they had, but I don’t think a lot of these cartoons are that bad. I would say that the ones that encourage early adult-like behavior (i.e. Total Drama Island, etc.) are the ones I don’t like.

    Aside from that, I think that there’s just a new type of humor making its way around & I think this is what differentiates whether or not people are “into the times”. For example, it wouldn’t surprise me if you didn’t like or understand “Regular Show” or “Adventure Time”, two shows that both Jonathan & I think are absolutely hilarious. I think since a lot of these new cartoons could be geared towards both children & adults, it becomes harder to assess what’s harmful or harmless about the show.
    There are some themes both in Regular Show and Adventure Time that I question, but I think that overall they’re harmless; Jonathan’s niece & nephew both watch these shows.

    Also, what about anime!? That could be another post in itself.

    • Janis Gabriel says:

      I think one should be able to distinguish a kid’s cartoon from an adult cartoon, lol. And Anime is a post of it’s own, lol.

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