Wednesday, September 06, 2017

When Cartoons Become a Reeducation Camp

Even Boris and Natasha were funny and rather lovable.

Recently I was subjected to children's cartoons in a waiting room. Although I was able to get a surprising amount of work done, it was impossible to miss the overall action. 

What struck me was the total lack of humor. Every cartoon had a message hammered through via repetitious songs that would have made a North Korean principal blush. There was no wit.

I began to recall the cartoons of my childhood. Were they so preachy?

  • Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd? Nope.
  • The Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote? Nah.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle: Never.
  • Foghorn Leghorn? I say, I say, not at all.
  • Yogi Bear? Are you kidding?

True, some of the older cartoons would occasionally have a message, especially during the Second World War, but for the most part they were designed to entertain.* 

I understand Sponge Bob sticks to entertainment nowadays but where did these heavy-handed indoctrination cartoons come from?

[*I was not a child during the Second World War but for much of the Fifties you could still see cartoons from that period.]


Daniel Richwine said...

I'm unashamed to be an adult fan of funny cartoons, and though some are indeed preachy some modern ones are still quite funny. Teen Titans Go! and Phineas and Ferb are two I watch even without kids in the room, as is the movie The Emperors New Groove from a few years back. The Early Spongebob episodes were funny, but as time passed they got a bit preachy themselves as they ran out of new ideas.

Of course no one will rival Chuck Jones and Tex Avery in terms of hilarity, but still they make me laugh.

Michael Wade said...


Thanks for bringing me up to speed on those cartoons.

I still have fond memories of Classics Comics and Turok, Son of Stone.


Bob Watkins said...

Nothing will ever top the Warner Brothers cartoons. Sheer genius, just like the talking Wile E. Coyote, although I never understood why they decided to let him talk in a few cartoons when he was opposite Bugs Bunny!

Michael Wade said...


The Warner Brothers cartoons were the gold standard.