Last week, my friends and I were reminiscing on the shows of our childhood. We jumped from television network to television network, from Disney Channel to Cartoon Network to Nickelodeon.
Do you remember shows like “Looney Tunes” and “Courage the Cowardly Dog?” What about “The Powerpuff Girls,” or more recently, “Spongebob Squarepants?” Looking back at some of the episodes of these shows, I began to ponder the appropriateness of some of the themes for young children.
For example, Courage featured a lot of material that would have been more appropriate for teenagers. There is one episode in particular that portrays a character trapped in an abusive relationship. I’m not sure that domestic violence is a topic suitable for the intended audience, not too mention the “creepy, scary” themes of other episodes like the one about Muriel’s possession.
The original version of “Looney Tunes” that we all grew to love was not so pure either. Bugs Bunny, and a few other characters, would casually smoke cigars or cigarettes like nothing was wrong. There is also the issue of violence. Countless episodes feature guns and other weapons, but could it have been that things like that conveyed the wrong messages to children.
Another show that may have conveyed an inappropriate message is “Spongebob Squarepants.” This show is undeniably a favorite among children. With that being said, what is to be said about the episode where Patrick and Spongebob are parents? Spongebob was the “mom,” while Patrick was the “dad.” Traditionally, a mom is a woman and a dad is a man. What did that episode lead the kids of this world to believe?
I am older and wiser, so I am no longer blinded by the cartoon veil that covers mature content.