Cartoon Violence In the cartoon, All Dogs Go to Heaven, the main character, a dog, dies. When he arrives in heaven, he receives a watch that allows him to return to earth. After viewing this scene, Matthew, a five-year old boy, asked his mother when his dog would get her watch. Matthew's dog passed away over a year ago, but because Matthew, as well as other children, is unable to separate real life from fiction; he believed that his dog would receive a watch and return to him. Many types of violence are viewed in cartoons and because they are centered on the interest of children, children are at great risk of mimicking the actions and attitudes the characters portray.
'Children spend more time learning about life through media than in any other manner. The average child spends approximately twenty-eight hours a week watching television, which is twice as much time as they spend in school' (Baby Bag Online). In analyzing the cartoons, 'Tom and Jerry,' 'The Lion King,' 'Gargoyles,' and 'Pokemon,' concerned people will see that the types of violence range from emotional abuse such as name calling, yelling, and put downs, to physical abuse such as bullying, pushing, punching, and kicking which is more violence than kids need to witness. Many different cartoons influence young minds towards violence, and with this in mind, we will give a detailed look at our findings. Our first example, 'The Tom and Jerry Show,' moves so quickly that a person does not have time to really think about what they have just seen. The characters, Tom and Jerry, are in constant search from what will hurt the other the most.
For example, Jerry, the mouse, throws a brick at Tom, the cat. Following this is Tom hitting Jerry with a huge rubber mallet. In one scene amidst the slapping and tripping of one another, Jerry takes a pair of scissors to Tom and before you know it, both the characters are bald and laughing about what they have just done. Viewing these scenes through the eyes of a child gives the idea that it is all right and even humorous to hurt one another. If a child has a dispute with someone, the proper way to handle it is to talk it out, not inflict pain and retaliate his or her anger with more violence. Next is 'The Lion King, ' a Disney cartoon, which shows intense graphic fighting between Simba and his uncle Scar.
The plot of this cartoon is to stop Scar from taking over the kingdom. Simba returns from running away after the death of his father, King Mufasa, to learn that his uncle has taken control of the kingdom. In his effort to take the control back, Scar reveals that he is the one who killed King Mufasa, not Simba. Outraged in anger Simba puts Scar into exile. However, Scar does not want to leave, but instead fights Simba for the thrown. It seems this cartoon leads a child to think that if he / she wants something, then he / she needs to involve fighting and violence.
'The Lion King' also shows Scars enemies, the hyenas, attacking him because he betrays them. When children watch this cartoon, they may mimic what they see. Children should learn to be verbal instead of physical when resolving their problems. 'Forty-six percent of all television violence takes place in children's cartoons. Children's programs are least likely to depict the long-term consequences of violence (five percent) and they portray violence in a humorous fashion sixty-seven percent of the time' (Baby Bag Online). 'Gargoyles' appear to be a non-violent and an appropriate cartoon for children when the cartoon first starts by telling the audience the setting.
For example, this cartoon takes place in Manhattan, New York where the Gargoyles turn into stone because a spell cast upon them for 1, 000 years. After the 1, 000 years elapse, the Gargoyles find out their race is almost extinct. This cartoon is extremely violent for young children to watch because the fighting between the Gargoyles and the human race shows a great deal of cruelty and inhuman behavior. The violent scene shows laser fighting and throwing one another into concrete walls and explosions. This cartoon is extremely inappropriate for children that are still at an age when they have trouble defining right from wrong. The cause of the battle focuses on difference in thought and culture.
The cartoon 'Gargoyles's hows children that different cultures and races cannot live together in peace. Finally, one of the most popular cartoons for young viewers is 'Pokemon.' Its popularity has children flocking to stores to collect the Pokemon cards and games. While observing an episode of 'Pokemon', it is easy to see the main structure of the series, the capture and training of Pokemon strictly for the purpose of battle. Moving passed the name calling, stealing, and putting others in danger for one character's personal gain, we come to the battle scene. Pokemon fights one-on-one until there is a victor and a victim. This could compare to the gladiators in a Roman Coliseum where the end of the battle precedes by total submission of one opponent.
The other characters in the cartoon are the crowd at the battle, coaxing the fighters to continue. At the end of the battle, the victor of the match must continue to fight his next opponent and the victim returns back to his Pokemon ball with no concern for his wounds. The irony of the cartoon is at the end when the narrator proudly states how we have learned about honesty, bravery, and trust. What about the other lesson we have learned from this cartoon? A person's values are based on the ability to over power others with physical strength. 'Longitudinal studies tracking viewing habits and behavior patterns of a single individual found that eight-year-old boys, who viewed the most violent programs growing up, were most likely to engage in aggressive and delinquent behavior by age eighteen and serious criminal behavior by age thirty' (CQ Researcher). It is critical to our society to understand what effects cartoon viewing has on our own children.
In order to stop the rate of violence in our society, we must acknowledge every cartoons influence on young minds towards violence, cause of desensitization, and leave children unable to consider alternatives to violence.