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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone else noticed that all the cartoons that are aimed at school age children involve the main characters going to school, activities surrounding school, school peer-related issues (at school!) etc etc etc??? Okay, NO SURPRISE there of course. BUT -----

Have any of you noticed the strange tendency that these cartoons have regarding the way that they totally degrade the public school system? It's the most bizarre phenomenon, but I swear EVERY show I have sat and watched with DD has involved some sort of veiled jab at system corruption, and often it's not veiled at all but rather a very detailed nod at a conspiracy theory!!!!!
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For instance, today I was watching Danny Phantom and the teacher announced that the kids were going to watch a music video with subliminal messages in order to help them cram for their standardized tests. He said emphatically that this was because "you otherwise have no hope of passing and your test scores directly affect the amount of money I make!!!!" and something about how important his income was . . .
I've also seen MANY references to school system corruption on The Fairly Odd Parents, although I can't remember specifics.

I generally like the writing of these shows, BTW. They are well-written, (meaning me and DP find them to be humorous and enjoyable when we are desiring to watch something mindless - we occassionally enjoy cartoons) but I'm trying to figure out what's behind this phenom, not to mention what our kids are deriving from it. What is up with this, any ideas?
 

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I haven't seen any of those shows, so I don't really have any ideas of why they would do this. However, you might want to try watching some of the shows on PBS for school aged children. Your kids can watch Fetch! with an animated dog and real children in reality tv style (learning science, math, having fun), Word Girl- a new show, also animated, where they learn new big words, Maya and Miguel- cultural diversity, animated. There are others as well.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SunRayeMomi View Post
Has anyone else noticed that all the cartoons that are aimed at school age children involve the main characters going to school, activities surrounding school, school peer-related issues (at school!) etc etc etc??? Okay, NO SURPRISE there of course. BUT -----

Have any of you noticed the strange tendency that these cartoons have regarding the way that they totally degrade the public school system? It's the most bizarre phenomenon, but I swear EVERY show I have sat and watched with DD has involved some sort of veiled jab at system corruption, and often it's not veiled at all but rather a very detailed nod at a conspiracy theory!!!!!
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I hadn't noticed, but from your description (snipped) I gather it means...finally, they're getting realistic!
 

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Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
I hadn't noticed, but from your description (snipped) I gather it means...finally, they're getting realistic!
 

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We only watch PBS....and I think it has the opposite problem. It worships public school! LOL! We are homeschoolers, so dd can't relate all that much. But I think I remember them having a dig at homeschoolers expense....maybe it was on Wordgirl?

Nevertheless, I am still very happy with PBS cartoons for school-aged kids. Lots of diversity, and good examples on the whole.
 

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Originally Posted by julieshayna View Post
Maya and Miguel- cultural diversity, animated.
I don't get how Maya and Miguel promotes cultural diversity. It focuses on one culture only, and in a very shallow way at that. They're just normal public school kids who happen to speak Spanglish.

I think that "Buster" show with the rabbit from Arthur who travels around with his pilot dad shows much greater and more informative diversity. I've learned a ton from that show, and I'm an adult.
 

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Maybe you need to change the shows that you allow your child to watch. My 5 yr old can't change channels yet so I put it on what I want her to watch. She sometimes will complain that a show seems like it's for "preschoolers or babies" but ends up watching it anyway. I don't like her watching what her older brothers are watching. They are old enough to watch it and laugh it off and forget about it a few minutes later but she tends to see things and talks about it and emulates it for days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm still thinking about the little responses I did get here, but I did want to make sure you all understand that I wasn't asking for anyone to suggest I "change what I allow my child to watch", I was asking for thoughts on the shows themselves (particularly what was mentioned). I really expected this forum to give me insight, I usually get that here. It's actually my silly DP that watches these shows, and if anyone has any interesting insights about the questions that I asked, that would be nice. Otherwise, I really don't need anyone opining about whatI should let her watch. Maybe it wasn't clear from my OP, but I was talking about the fact that I was previewing the shows.
 

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I'll hazard a guess.
Art is one of those subjects that seems to have fallen off the public school scene. I'd be inclined to think that the artists creating these cartoons are a bit upset at the failure public schools are becoming when it comes to exposing our kids to more than math and reading - and they're not even doing a good job at those subjects!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
I hadn't noticed, but from your description (snipped) I gather it means... finally, they're getting realistic!
Yeah, very realistic and descriptive about the corruption of government-run systems. It's not just allusive to the way kids possibly see school - as boring, strict or whatever. I guess I don't care anymore, thought I would share what I saw on these shows but it must not be very interesting to anyone else
 

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Subversion is best when it's unexpected. I was pleased when the extraordinarily subversive TV series Smallville premiered a few years ago. In a few years it got boring, but it made me shriek with laughter largely because of its subversive nature, and I realized how effective the subversion was when I heard it'd been picked up by the cable channel ABC Family, when I considered it so subversive of what are commonly taken as "family values".

The interesting thing is that it may not be my generation but the next that succeeds in subverting the media. My late friend David Lindelof's son Damon co-created the extremely subversive current serial, Lost.

Robert
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SunRayeMomi View Post
Yeah, very realistic and descriptive about the corruption of government-run systems. It's not just allusive to the way kids possibly see school - as boring, strict or whatever.
These shows aren't written just for kids though. Lots of little things thrown in there for the adults watching, which I guess is why my sister who has no kids knows who Squidward is.
I am really turned off by the attitude that no kids should be watching these shows though. I understand you are watching them yourself & that's fine, I didn't see any judgment in your posts, but my DS has seen some of these shows (even though at home we don't have tv reception) and I don't get what the big deal is about them. I don't think I could stomach my DS watching a bunch of humorless shows that glorify school, I'd much rather him see the conspiracy theory stuff if I only had a choice between the two (fortunately there are many more choices available).

As for why they do the conspiracy theory stuff, I think Lily Grace has a good point about the artists creating these shows and I also think the writers are probably pretty intelligent people who are more likely to question their own school experiences. I sometimes feel a bit like a victim of a conspiracy when I reflect on my schooling! I'm not sure how it all started. I'm thinking that maybe Calvin & Hobbes and the Simpsons sort of began the trend in a way (though I'm sure there were others before them but maybe not so much in the mainstream). But really I don't know. I do think it's interesting though!
 

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I don't think that this is a new phenomenon at all. The creators of cartoons have been making political statements and making fun of things as long as cartoons have been around. We watch all sorts of stuff in our house as long as it isn't violent or pornographic which means that all that is left is cartoons and learning channels.


We bought some of the old Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, and Woody Woodpecker cartoons on DVD. It is a riot because the box has a warning that they may not be appropriate for younger audiences. I grew up on that stuff so I have to scratch my head on that one. Think about the Charlie Brown cartoons. The teacher was always in the background and was characterized as that person that you could never understand. I think that the artists of the world have always made fun of mainstream subversion.

I definitely see the poke at schools in a lot of cartoons these days. The entire basis of Jimmy Nuetron is one big jab at schools IMO. The gifted kid is in the same grade as his peers. He knows more than the teacher. The other kids never have a chance in the science fairs or anything like that because Jimmy always wins no matter what so the other kids don't even try.
 

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I am wondering if you might have gotten (or still get) a better response (or at least a response more in line with what you were hoping for) in a different forum. Maybe Books and Media or Pre-Teen and Teen? I see that the character Danny Phantom himself is supposed to be 14. I get the feeling that most elementary-age kids and their parents are not watching these particular cartoons. I myself had never heard of it before.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by library lady View Post
I don't think that this is a new phenomenon at all. The creators of cartoons have been making political statements and making fun of things as long as cartoons have been around.
That's true. We do enjoy those old cartoons, they can be very funny. I don't think political statements in cartoons is a new phenomenon but it does seem interesting that so many of the newer cartoons are using this school conspiracy theme. I don't remember cartoons like that when I was growing up. It could be I just wasn't watching the right ones!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by library lady View Post
I don't think that this is a new phenomenon at all. The creators of cartoons have been making political statements and making fun of things as long as cartoons have been around. We watch all sorts of stuff in our house as long as it isn't violent or pornographic which means that all that is left is cartoons and learning channels.


We bought some of the old Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, and Woody Woodpecker cartoons on DVD. It is a riot because the box has a warning that they may not be appropriate for younger audiences. I grew up on that stuff so I have to scratch my head on that one.
You totally hit the head in this one, thanks! I too remember watching Bugs Bunny with my dad and us all laughing our heads off to it, so you're right - this is not new at all


Quote:
Adele_Mommy said:
I am wondering if you might have gotten (or still get) a better response (or at least a response more in line with what you were hoping for) in a different forum. Maybe Books and Media or Pre-Teen and Teen? I see that the character Danny Phantom himself is supposed to be 14. I get the feeling that most elementary-age kids and their parents are not watching these particular cartoons. I myself had never heard of it before.
I considered putting it in those forums too, you're probably right about the responses
: And thank you for pointing out that Danny Phantom is probably part of a different target audience - this is a good point to consider. I unfortunately know of many elementary-aged children that are allowed to watch him, probably because they have older siblings that do KWIM?
 
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