Are there hidden themes in some of the cartoons aired on television? I wonder …
“I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.” (Psalm 101:3)
I remember curling up on the coach when I was younger, watching cartoons like Punky Brewster, Tom and Jerry, My Little Pony, Care Bears, and Paw-Paw Bears. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Those were wholesome cartoons, they might have had a little cat-and-rat fight here and there, but they carried positive themes. They taught teamwork, perseverance, sharing, and forgiveness. Parents could feel comfortable knowing their children were watching innocent, exemplary cartoons.
Now, not so much.
Most of today’s cartoons have no real theme or plot. They are filled with random events and no real lesson. Just the names of some of these cartoons are a dead giveaway to the irrelevant content they carry. Take for example, The Regular Show. Most of the characters are self-centered and are only seeking personal pleasure. They go to extreme measures to get what they want, how they want it. Repeatedly watching such behavior will cause kids to think being selfish is okay.
Then there’s, Uncle Grandpa. Yes, you read that right. I didn’t misspell anything. In this cartoon, there’s a talking pizza slice, fanny pack, and dinosaur, but none of them make any sense. Whichever way you choose to look at it, if your uncle is your grandfather, something is very wrong. An uncle who’s a grandpa to the same child, has to be the result of incest. Though the name may not be literal, it’s certainly inappropriate.
SpongeBob SquarePants, is another controversial cartoon. It is said to have homosexual undertones. Patrick and SpongeBob, two of the main characters, are best friends who occasionally hold hands, hug, and have sleepovers. This may sound harmless, but some of their actions and words are definitely questionable.
Many of these cartoons do not only infer selfishness, homosexuality, and incest, but they carry satanic themes as well. The cartoon, Billy and Mandy, has a main character who’s a grim reaper, and, Teen Titans, has a Gothic character. There are many harmless cartoons, but even more that are problematic.
What do you think? Do some of these cartoons have underlying or subliminal messages? A subliminal message is a signal or message designed to pass below the normal limits of perception. And are these messages strong enough to alter children’s behavior?