Do you remember cartoons? Wanna help with some research?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Saurocon, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Saurocon

    Saurocon Uncle Samhain

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Posts:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Likes:
    +0
    By way of introduction, I am a graduate instructor at Utah State University, and I am working on a short, somewhat general research project exploring the messages we get from cartoons and how they function in culture. As a fellow fan of 80’s cartoons (especially TFs :} ), I was hoping to get some of your impressions/recollections/opinions on the subject for use in my research.

    The idea for this project came as a reaction to “The Smurfette Principle” by Katha Pollitt, available here. This short article didn’t stem from much research at all, but posits some interesting ideas which I would like to test through research. Though Pollitt focuses on gender issues, I would like to look more closely at how ANY message communicated through cartoons to children gets across, and what kids do with those messages.

    With that in mind, I’d like to ask everybody’s general ideas of how cartoons affected them as kids. I’m not looking necessarily for a questionnaire sort of response—I just want to know what people remember, but some questions that might get the ball rolling are:

    + What, if anything, did you learn from cartoons you watched as a kid?
    + How did cartoon shows affect your play—not just with toys or whether you bought toys because of the show, but did you play other games differently because of ideas (of any sort) portrayed in cartoons?
    +What about the cartoons caught and held your interest? What made them memorable?
    + Did cartoons affect you differently than other media? If so, how?

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to respond :}

    Edit: one more thing that comes to mind--how willing were you as a kid to watch a show marketed toward the opposite sex, and why or why not?
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  2. Triple Melter

    Triple Melter come on fhqwhgads

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Posts:
    984
    Trophy Points:
    111
    Likes:
    +0
    Most cartoons tried to show you could be a braniac, genius, tech whiz or whatever and that was still "cool." Most teams or groups had a brains of the bunch.

    i.e. donatello
     
  3. MisterFanwank

    MisterFanwank Toy Industry Analyst

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Posts:
    4,234
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    177
    Likes:
    +44
    I can remember cartoons, but Do You Remember Love?

    1. I learned that the Wheel of Morality is arbitrary and often ludicrous.

    2. I got the toys that were interesting, clever and cool, regardless of what was on TV. I made up my own stories in my head, only keeping the personalities of characters from the shows.

    3. The bright colors.

    4. They made me wake up early.
     
  4. DaggersRage

    DaggersRage Autistic bastard.

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Posts:
    3,606
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +0
    On a slightly darker note. I remember watching an episode of the early 90's X-men cartoon, I was eager and glad to watch this, as this show was basically the forbidden fruit (actually a lot of Saturday morning cartoons were) at my home.

    Seeing this episode of X-men, there was a mob that had a cornered this mutant who really didn't do anything, had no powers, but looked more like the wolfman. He was cornered and pleading against the mob that he didn't do anything wrong, he just looked different. At the time, I knew intolerance was bad, but being young and naive at the time didn't weight much on it. After seeing that scene it made me think about how serious the subject is.

    2. I never really got any toys when growing up, just one video game or clothes.

    3. I liked the characters, action and adventures they had. Cartoon characters did so much more stuff than what those live action "grown up" shows had. A lot of times they would go into space, yeehaw!

    4. Video games honestly effected me more, they challenged me directly, either it be reactions and some times even morally.
     
  5. MisterFanwank

    MisterFanwank Toy Industry Analyst

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Posts:
    4,234
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    177
    Likes:
    +44
    ^ I remember that scene, too. The guy was saying he was just hairy. That's stayed with me, too. I think about it every time I see an X-Men show.
     
  6. Dran0n

    Dran0n Junk male

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Posts:
    13,314
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    217
    Location:
    Cygnus X-1 (ya bish)
    Likes:
    +16
    Fellow Utahn! Let's see if I can help...

    1. There we a select amount of cartoons that actually educated me, but I think I learned more moral values...
    2. Maybe I jacked some quotes, plots, fighting moves, etc. from cartoons during imaginative play.
    3. I enjoyed the art style and humor and characters as a child. Still do.
    4. Maybe slightly. I don't feel much of a difference between a movie and a cartoon, but certainly a difference between music and books.
     
  7. MisterFanwank

    MisterFanwank Toy Industry Analyst

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Posts:
    4,234
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    177
    Likes:
    +44
    I am now dispositioned to like cartoons with bright colors and cartoony action over a more serious drama like the stuff that is from that boring ass Shakespeare dude.
     
  8. Big Dawg

    Big Dawg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Posts:
    1,639
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    142
    Likes:
    +12
    well, the original transformers movie introduced me to the concept of death (I was only 6 and Prime wouldn't be resurrected for at least 3-4 months on tv lol).
     
  9. Radioactive Ravage

    Radioactive Ravage Ancient

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Posts:
    3,754
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +0
    Cartoons essentially shaped who I am- as an aspiring cartoonist myself, I hope to emulate the lessons I learned in the past. Cartoons are a powerful learning tool, and my favorite cartoons were always those with a continuous storyline, in which good was not always victorious. These were the most memorable asnd enjoyable because they were gentle lessons about the realities of life- good and evil, victory and loss, and a never-ending story. No cartoon really depicted the harshness of real life, but that's why anime is such a great jumping point for a kid growing out of his cartoon stage, as it can present more mature stories and themes.

    Vibrancy was another thing that stuck out to me, obviously. Variety in characters (their dress and personality) was another thing that affected me deeply, and I enjoyed characters that were goofy but could also have a serious side- surprisingly, there were a lot of these, which is nice to hear. Mythos was important to me, too. If a show gradually deepened its mythology and awarded the viewer for catching on to its subtleties... I probably ate it up.

    My playtime reflected this, with my stories becoming vast and full of characters and a gradual mythos expanding. This caused me to find friends that shared the same interests- fantasy, science-fiction, and the like, and allowed me to become the person I am today.

    I learned so much from cartoons- my sense of humor (which seems to be a staple of the generation), the ability to see people very fairly and evenly (female-centric episodes, while less interesting, did really help with this), the limits of imagination, lessons to remember as I grew up- about fairness, sharing, obtaining happiness and finding the goodness in life... cartoons certainly did a number on me. But it allowed me to see the world in such vivicy that I wouldn't take away one minute of the time I spent watching them.
     
  10. Brainchild

    Brainchild Dark Flame Master

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Posts:
    5,554
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +1
    1. Cartoons introduced morality and sociable behavior to me in an entertaining manner.
    2. I don't recall cartoons affecting me physically. I wasn't a very playful child to begin with.
    3. Probably the flashy presentation.
    4. As a child, I'd say cartoons were just about as entertaining as any other form of media, be it video games, movies, or comic books. As I progressed through my childhood, however, my interests in those other forms of media shifted, while my interest in cartoons remains resolute. At this point, I see them as a more vital portion to my entertainment than most other forms of media.
     
  11. Ecchokat

    Ecchokat Ponyologiest for Hire!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Posts:
    3,447
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +4
    Ebay:
    + What, if anything, did you learn from cartoons you watched as a kid?
    Morel values, Using my imagenation,
    + How did cartoon shows affect your play—not just with toys or whether you bought toys because of the show, but did you play other games differently because of ideas (of any sort) portrayed in cartoons?
    Cartoons did factor a little in play but I tended to make my own worlds and such. The charaters just gave me a spring bored for idea's to my own storyies,
    +What about the cartoons caught and held your interest? What made them memorable?Story lines in the cartoon is what kept me coming back. Strong female charaters too most females in different series just crys or get kid napped every 5 mins.I cant stand such weak female charaters.

    + Did cartoons affect you differently than other media? If so, how? Not really I knew it was tv and I knew when it was a video game. While watching or play i was in that world when I stopped it was easy to come back to earth so to speak. It did help with developing my personality a little I can say I am a forever kid even as a adult.
     
  12. B'Bantor

    B'Bantor Bug Drone

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Posts:
    2,406
    Trophy Points:
    172
    Location:
    USA
    Likes:
    +46
    Much like Radioactive Ravage cartoons are responsible for who I am today. I live in a world of cartoons and color. I hold characters of television and toy in high regard. I learned almost everything I know from The Simpsons, the early episodes. Cartoons affected my play in a strong way as I was never really into video games but I always loved to draw and paint. I also always loved having toys of my favorite characters and still do. The cartoon that really caught my interest was The Simpsons. When the show first aired in 1987 I, like bart was 10 years old. Like Bart, I rode a skateboard, was a petty vandal and had a spiked haircut. To say they held my interest would be an understatement as 15 years later I started getting tattoos of my favorite characters. (Yes, I have a tattoo of Ralph Wiggum picking his nose)
    Cartoons affected me differently than other media as I create my own media and much of it is cartoon.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Saurocon

    Saurocon Uncle Samhain

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Posts:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Likes:
    +0
    Great responses! Keep 'em comin'!

    I edited the original post with a new question that came to mind as I've pondered the issue--how willing were you as a child to watch a cartoon marketed toward the opposite sex, and why or why not?

    A few responses surprised me with wanting strong female characters. What did you consider a strong female character--could you list some examples or criteria?

    Thanks again to everyone responding to this post!
     
  14. B'Bantor

    B'Bantor Bug Drone

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Posts:
    2,406
    Trophy Points:
    172
    Location:
    USA
    Likes:
    +46
    I liked cartoons that could be enjoyed by all children such as The Littles or The Shirt Tails, but a straight up girls cartoon such as Jem I paid no attention to.
     
  15. MisterFanwank

    MisterFanwank Toy Industry Analyst

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Posts:
    4,234
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    177
    Likes:
    +44
    Strong female characters tended to have bigger boobs and had more screen time. Example: April O'Neil.
     
  16. Noideaforaname

    Noideaforaname Pico, let's go up to Zuma

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Posts:
    8,323
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    247
    Likes:
    +517
    As an artist myself, I found cartoons especially inspiring since I could at least attempt to imitate them. Plus, there's a lot more variety with cartoons. Batman and Looney Tunes aren't even remotely similar to each other, which is great.
    I don't recall learning anything important from cartoons (though they undoubtedly strengthened certain interests of mine), but I recall picking up odd little quirks sometimes. Like eating certain foods certain ways.

    I didn't have any stipulations about "girl shows," but few (if any) interested me. Granted I was a fan of Ghostbusters, Godzilla, MiB, and basically anything Fil Barlow had a hand in, not exactly "girl show" material.
    I'd love for a female character to be not "a tomboy girl in pink with something to prove." We got sooo many of those.
     
  17. Radioactive Ravage

    Radioactive Ravage Ancient

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Posts:
    3,754
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +0
    Girl shows were a minority back in the day- at least, I felt so. The cartoons I can remember being "girly" were Powerpuff Girls, Sailor Moon, Winx Club, Tenchi Muyo... that's really it, though. I mean, I watched a good deal of the Powerpuff Girls simply because it was a well-written show. I watched a little bit of Sailor Moon, though it was inherently feminine and the superficial teenage drama did not really appeal to me. Essentially, I watched everything at least once, because I was open to any cartoon. However, I didn't stick with most of them.
     
  18. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Posts:
    5,997
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    267
    Likes:
    +104
    + What, if anything, did you learn from cartoons you watched as a kid?

    As I grew up in the 80's I learned that every conflict is black and white with one defined hero and a defined villain. The Hero will always find a way to win and there is absolutely NO consequences of this conflict, that is, no one gets hurt. While this is quit contrary to the real world, it really was the case in many of the cartoons that were on.

    I think that this would hold true until BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES came out and it really changed the whole idea of what a Cartoon could become.


    + How did cartoon shows affect your play—not just with toys or whether you bought toys because of the show, but did you play other games differently because of ideas (of any sort) portrayed in cartoons?

    I was VERY by the book. I was incapable of deviated from the script of the Cartoon as I felt it to be the true representation of the Character. If Wheeljack was a Scientist and Optimus was a leader, it would ring true in how I played with my toys.

    +What about the cartoons caught and held your interest? What made them memorable?

    Cartoons have the luxury of being able to create fantastic world that the live action world could never be apart of. It still rings true to this day. Movies like Avatar and Transformers are really Live action actors in cartoon worlds.


    + Did cartoons affect you differently than other media? If so, how?

    See above. I liked Comics and Video games for the same reason. I'm a very visual person, so while I enjoy book, I like to see it rather than try to visualize what is happening.


    Thanks in advance for taking the time to respond :}

    Edit: one more thing that comes to mind--how willing were you as a kid to watch a show marketed toward the opposite sex, and why or why not?

    I remember watching Jem and She-Ra, but only because it was the only thing on TV, Most kids don't realize that Cartoons where only on at selective times of the day...
     
  19. moreprimeland

    moreprimeland Optimus told me to do it! Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Posts:
    24,021
    News Credits:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    352
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Likes:
    +987
    I learned not to buy anything from the ACME Co. :D 

    I always liked the superhero type shows, Superman/Justice League, Batman and of course Transformers..from those you learn early that there are good vs evil themes throughout life. I always identified with the good guys, it required more strength to have ethics and morals than not... :thumb 

    For just laughs there was Bugs, Daffy, Roadrunner and the gang....you knew that Bugs was a trickster and not a good idea to be like that IRL. My dad always had us watch all the "classic" cartoons, he was a kid at heart, so I saw Yogi Bear, Foghorn Leghorn, Wile E. Coyote were his faves and we liked them too.. looking back so many of those cartoons would be violent by today's standards, but they were funny. I remember thinking that Tom and Jerry was an awful cartoon series for me, I didn't want the cat hurt all the time, dang mouse! Never was a Disney fan really, Mickey and the gang seemed too juvenile to me.

    Toys??? I had more robots than dolls, that's for sure. :) 

    As for the male/female thing, that didn't really occur to me, I enjoyed the shows because they were cartoons, entertainment, not a social message, if there were women in the series, great, if not, no biggie to me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  20. Backpack

    Backpack G1 forever.

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Posts:
    3,159
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +43
    I can't say I learned any safety or morality lessons from the cartoons I watched as a kid. For the most part it was either common sense or something I had already been told. But there was a general kind of up standing'ness that I took away from these shows. As I in a way looked up to these heroic characters. By way of example I believe I became a better person.

    The language used also effected me. Some of the better shows would make use of words in the dialog that I had never heard before. So I'd be forced to look up it's meaning. That has always stuck with me, that they made shows that didn't talk down to us.

    What was it that I loved about cartoons?
    It was pure magic. It still amazes me that through a series of drawings, painted backgrounds, voice actors, sound effects, and music.... a whole living world can be created. It is literally limitless to what can be created. Animation is by far my favorite of mankinds inventions.

    I have no problem watching cartoons/animation that was produced for girls. As long as it is a quality show. For me though it is mostly a matter of how good the animation is. First and for most I just love animation, and will watch anything that has had real work put into it.

    As to this Smurfette principle..... most of cartoons were created with boys in mind as it's target audiance. Girl characters are not generaly popular with young boys. But, there is always going to be a cross gender audiance, so a single female character is added to give girls someone to identify with. And, in some cases possibly as eye candy for older boys starting to find girls interesting. It's no different than like Sailor Moon for example. Where nearly the entire cast is female with a few token male charcters. The whole concept is reaching to far to pull out something that just isn't there. It's akin to saying Pool is a racist game because the cue-ball is white and hits the colored balls around the table. The people who see these things are actively extrapolating only what they need to confirm their bias.

    Is there gender inequality in the world. Why yes there is. But it cuts both ways. Women and girls have crossed that inequality line much further than men have though. As an example look at how women and men dress. Women can wear anything male of female oreinted. But, send a boy out in a dress and see what happens. A girl shows her emotions and she gets simpathy, a boy cries and he get picked on and or beat up.
     

Share This Page