So I have this love of old cartoons, like this VHS that I always borrowed from my aunt and uncle growing up called the 50 Greatest Cartoons. Everything else that I watched growing up I no longer like, like Flintstones, Jetsons, Disney cartoons that they spun off the movies and a bunch of smaller, unknown shows, but these cartoons I can’t get enough of. These cartoons are old, low(ish) quality, sometimes both racist and sexist but they are just awesome! I’m talking cartoons like Looney Tunes, Popeye, Felix the Cat, Noveltoons (which are the best in story and style), Little Lulu, Casper and Three Stooges (not the best) are now on a DVD for me, thanks to my boyfriends parents.
Some of these are just fun to look at and analysis the times in which they were created, like comparing societal views on women and minorities. For example, there are so many cartoons from Warner Brothers that portray African Americans in a stereotypically negative light. They was such a controversy with these cartoons a couple of years ago when they were bringing out the Looney Tunes collections. People were wanting to either a) not publish them because of the offensive racial content therefore hiding the shame of them or b) publish them because of the offensive racial content as a way to show how African Americans were portrayed by Hollywood.
Cartoons were and still are a powerful media tool. During World War II, how many cartoons characters advertised for war bonds or beat the propaganda drum? You can tell looking at different cartoons from different decades how cartoons have changed. Even comparing the newer cartoons I watched when I was younger with the cartoons targeting my nephews today is a huge difference. What I remember about the 90s cartoons is that it was about being yourself and having fun with friends. These days that message hasn’t changed but the way they present it has. In the 90s, it was the unpopular kids as the protagonists while today the popular kids are the ones being the protagonist, getting there way without the work ethic and their parents money.
Judging by how people have changed over the years, cartoons may not have played a big role in society but the influence is there.