Cub has never been much of a TV watcher. That is, in his early years. All he watched was Baby Einstein, for a little while, after which he went off to play or turn the house upside down or whatever his toddler heart told him to do.
Then he discovered the joy that was CBeebies. All those ever-cheerful and fluffy characters, always singing or dancing or resolving little conflicts – he absolutely loved them!! It was also a bonus that he learned to identify numbers and learnt about cooking – all without any advertisements. I was pleased too, after all the trash on TV nowadays, it was a relief to find wholesome entertainment for kids. Sweet, innocent Cub watching lovely, colorful, informative television. Aaah, bliss!!
And then the powers that be decided to can the channel, forcing Cub to seek other (not necessarily greener) pastures. It was then that I realized the kinds of cartoons on show nowadays. The highlights of my childhood TV watching were Tom & Jerry, superheroes and good ol’ Walt Disney. Even though various animals crashed through animal-shaped holes and flattened monsters boing-ed back to their original forms, there was something simple and innocent about them.
However, today’s cartoons are anything but simple. Here were strange-looking creatures – cowardly dogs named ‘Courage’, a cat competing with cockroaches for God-knows-what and more. In our day, cats looked like cats and dogs looked like dogs. The same cannot be said about the misshapen blobs in all the newer cartoons. Some cartoons are so complicated with lots of supporting characters and sub plots that could confuse the average adult. There’s a lot of toilet humor floating around too, which to my horror, is what makes Cub roar with laughter. ROFL.
Well, I guess it’s just another side to the whole ‘times are a-changing’ phenomenon. When every single thing is changing, why should cartoons be left behind? There are several views that today’s cartoons promote violence and bad language. Some of the Indian cartoons are comparatively better, but many appear quite repetitive. Considering the very impressionable age group watching these shows, I wish the makers of these cartoons took a little more trouble into creating their characters and plots. I mean seriously, what do they actually see in an ill-mannered cat (that looks like a clown) and his co-habiting cockroaches?? The advertisements are a wholly different story that deserve another post altogether.
Since it isn’t really possible to crib directly to the channel guys, the best we can do is regulating TV viewing from home. Easier said than done, but I’ve found that limiting it right from the start is the best way to go. It gets tougher as kids get older, but we’ve got to start somewhere. Meanwhile, let’s hope that cartoon makers realize the charm of a good cat and mouse chase!!!
Fabida Abdulla is a former software engineer turned stay at home Mother Lion to her four year old son, whom she calls ‘The Cub’. She blogs about her crazy life at Shocks and Shoes.