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The Power of Modern Children's Cartoons

Recent animated shows airing mainly on The Disney Channel and Cartoon Network have established quite a large following among high school and college students. Why is this? Can it be said that recent cartoons initially targeted at children have taken on deeper meanings beyond young entertainment, while teaching some moral values along the way? With shows like Adventure Time, Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, and Over the Garden Wall attracting a more mature audience than probably anticipated, what does this reveal about the nature of these cartoons.

  • The power of previous children's cartoons on viewers of the past could also be an interesting topic, though not the era of the 80's or 90's but maybe during WWII? – smarrie 9 years ago

Children's Cartoons and Why they Matter

With the rise of shows like Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, Steven Universe and Over the Garden Wall, has also come the rise of an interesting following to these shows geared towards a young audience – high school and college students. Does this suggest that these shows go beyond expectations for a standard children’s television series with basic humor and entertainment and some moral values thrown in along the way? And what has attracted such a following.

Fan Art and Fan Fiction galore can be found among the ever growing ‘fandoms’ associated with each respective show, revealing that these series may be having a greater impact than suspected at first glance.

  • I wrote about this topic from a slightly different angle, suggesting that it was because of the growing acceptance of Geek Culture that these shows even exist now. The people who create them are smarter, more imaginative, and more open to new and fresh ways of looking at the world. And they have a huge backlog of material that they love, which they reference all the time in their own shows. Because the people making these shows are younger, more entwined with social media, and because their humor can range across the gap between kids, teens, and adults: older age groups can respect and enjoy these programs just as much as their initial target audiences. – Jonathan Leiter 9 years ago