Should I have been watching this when I was younger?
When I was young there was nothing more I’d like to do than watch cartoons. Which kid doesn’t? They’re funny, magical, and extremely entertaining. They have great animations, bright vivid colours, (some also known to cause epilepsy) and stories that are just enjoyable to watch.
What was better than having a bowl of cereal at 6 o’ clock in the evening? Watching cartoons after school? We had all the great stuff, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Disney Channel. It was great. Most have us have moved on to adult cartoons, such as Family Guy, South Park or Simpsons. But cartoons are still present in our lives. Even grown adults watch cartoons with their children.
There are some things that only cartoons can get away with, and cartoon violence can often be pretty hilarious. I know we all loved Tom and Jerry. However, revisiting some of those cartoons just made me realise, some of the hidden innuendos and adult humour that I previously never understood when I was a kid.
It is actually quite surprising. I mean here are TV shows aimed at kids yet they have adult humour incorporated. I can’t help but ask myself, should I have really watched this stuff as a kid? How come my parents never caught on to it? Even though understanding these hidden jokes makes me appreciate these cartoons all the more, and in fact at times even makes it more enjoyable, I can’t comprehend as to how my younger self didn’t catch on to it.
Take this picture for example. I’m sure we all remember Power Puff Girls, and I’m certain many of you even remember this very episode.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be, in fact adult humour in cartoons is nothing new, and Pixar uses them all the time and even admits to it. Think of it this way, you have something for kids, but that doesn’t mean the grown ups shouldn’t enjoy it either. After all the adult humour in these cartoons is probably the only thing that keeps adults accompanying their children to theatres from pulling their hair out.
In my opinion it’s completely fine for these adult jokes to be in there, adults catch on to it and the kids just move on. Most of these jokes are implemented in ways that only adults can get them and are often very subtle, and “not in your face” kind of jokes. However, there are some which are quite blunt in their approach.
My parents never really paid attention to these cartoons because to them they were something meant for children. However, I remember the first time I watched Family Guy with my dad. Even though cartoons are meant for children, and most of the adult humour passes over the child’s head, one should still be vigilant about what their child is watching, because you have your subtle jokes and then the not so subtle ones.
As a responsible adult at least make sure you child isn’t educating himself with filth. And then we think “where did he learn that? Where did I go wrong?”
Revisiting these cartoons and understanding all of it makes each and every episode feel new to me again. At the same time it fills me with nostalgic feelings, but also makes me realise the steps I need to take when I have my own Rugrats (see what I just did there?) running around the place.
Are you vigilant when children around you are watching cartoons?