Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

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What happened to kids cartoons?

When we were between the ages five and ten, there were a variety of cartoons that we all loved to watch. Just the mere mention of cartoons like Wild Kratts or Max and Ruby are enough to send shivers of nostalgia down any high schooler’s spine. In recent years, however, kids cartoons have become lazy, repetitive, and lacking in purpose.

If we look back at an older cartoon like Arthur, a kids show featuring a personified aardvark and his family, it is easy to see just how different kids cartoons used to be. The show didn’t pretend that kids were ignorant of the world’s problems; rather, it portrayed many mature topics that some parents would even find controversial in current times. Some of these topics include Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and even an episode where a school fire was used as an allegory for the 9/11 attacks.

So why did kids like these types of cartoons? It was because these mature topics made everything more relatable and realistic. Just because kids might not have to deal with the same problems that adults do doesn’t mean that they aren’t capable of understanding them. The plot used conflict in a way that children can understand, while also being complex enough to create a compelling story. Children learned important life lessons such as how to work as a team and how to feel empathy for others. 

All of these topics are some of the things that made our favorite kid’s cartoons great, but if we look at some newer kids shows, these elements are rarely included.

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One newer show that proves to be mediocre compared to older ones is the 2016 release of The Powerpuff Girls. In this cartoon, three girls are created in a lab by a professor and are given superpowers which they use to protect their city by fighting crime. 

Looking back at the original version of the show created in the early 2000s, the show was actually fantastic. There was great humor, good villains, and even blood and broken teeth that you would never see in a kids cartoon today.

Compare that to the more modern version of The Powerpuff Girls and you will be quickly disappointed. The show’s villains have become pushovers, and the characters spend most of their time dealing with trivial matters that are completely pathetic. For example, in one episode, the three girls have to deal with getting a sunburn. Compare this to the epic battles that they used to have in the earlier version of the show, and it’s easy to see where the show fell off.

There is some hope for newer kids cartoons, however. Bluey, for instance, is a newer cartoon that has gotten a lot of attention and includes many mature topics that even adults can sometimes appreciate. 

Although the standard for kids cartoons is currently in a dire state, cartoons like Bluey just might bring back some of the qualities that our favorite cartoons once had. Nevertheless, it looks like children today are going to have to continue to deal with the painful, irritating, and repetitive nature of modern day kids cartoons.

About the Contributor
William Sweeney
William Sweeney, News Editor
William Sweeney is a junior at Liberty High School and one of the news editors for the Patriot Press. He enjoys spending time with family, playing chess, and playing video games.