Life Lessons With Looney Tunes

How Cartoons Impacted Students’ Childhoods

Many students associate the best parts of their childhoods with some of their favorite cartoons. The shows that they watched when they were younger have left a lasting impact on their lives.“[Watching cartoons makes me feel] pure happiness and a little bit of sadness,” Kevon Manning-Mitchell (11) said. “I wish I could go back to those times of being a kid and watching them.”

Many students associate the best parts of their childhoods with some of their favorite cartoons. The shows that they watched when they were younger have left a lasting impact on their lives.“[Watching cartoons makes me feel] pure happiness and a little bit of sadness,” Kevon Manning-Mitchell (11) said. “I wish I could go back to those times of being a kid and watching them.”

The majority of students had the privilege of being able to watch cartoons when they were younger. Although they are older now, many look back on that time in their lives with happiness because of what they watched on TV.

Kendall Koethe (11) reflects on how cartoons impacted her upbringing.

“A big part of my childhood was watching TV with my brothers,” Koethe said. “They would turn on Cartoon Network and we would just sit there and just laugh and talk and it brought us closer together.”

Before the age of streaming services, students had to rely on cartoon channels such as Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon in order to watch cartoons. This meant that people had to make sure they were available at a certain time if they wanted to watch a new episode of their favorite cartoon. English teacher and coach Brittany Bailey remembers this time in her childhood.

“It kind of became a part of your schedule,” Bailey said. “Like, you knew at this time you had to be ready to watch this [cartoon]. Getting to experience that and catch a different episode every week was great.”

One reason that students like Matthew Williams (11) set aside time to watch cartoons was to enjoy the wacky and untroubled nature of the cartoon’s characters.

“They’re just carefree,” Williams said. “Like they just have fun, and it’s something different everytime. It’s just unpredictable.”

Others have fun imagining what it would be like if the quirky ideas in cartoons were a reality.

“I think [‘Pokémon’] is really fun because I watch it with my boyfriend and we always talk about which people would have which pokemon and I think that’s really fun,” Koethe said.

Another aspect of cartoons that students like Kevon Manning-Mitchell (11) enjoy, is how immersive some of the plots can be.

“‘Adventure Time’ just started off as some wacky show,” Manning-Mitchell said. “Then it just grew into a big plot about the Land of Ooo and us getting into a deeper backstory about Finn and Jake.”

Although cartoons are mainly made for entertainment, there are lessons to be learned from them, especially since children are so impressionable. Some of the lessons are fairly simple.

“‘The Amazing World of Gumball’ taught me how to tie my shoe,” Williams said.

While other cartoons are teaching kids to use their time wisely.

“[I learned] not to be a procrastinator from ‘Regular Show” because that was a big thing for them,” Manning-Mitchell said. “By procrastinating, they got into a lot of bad situations.”

Another cartoon that has taught people a few different lessons is “The Powerpuff Girls.” One of those lessons is the importance of kindness.

“They’re just doing everything for the good of it,” Koethe said. “My favorite is Bubbles, the blue one, because she’s so nice and she’s so sweet, and she just loves everyone and I aspire to be like that.”

However, others got something different out of watching “The Powerpuff Girls.”

“The biggest [lesson]I learned is that the villain is not always the villain,” Bailey said. “In ‘The Powerpuff Girls,’ Mojo Jojo is not the villain. He was the professor’s first son… and he even helped make the powerpuff girls. He was traumatized and it’s all because his dad abandoned him. And then the sisters that he helped create had the audacity to just beat him up everytime they saw him. They’re the villains.”

When people look back on the cartoons from their childhooods and the lessons they learned from them, they tend to feel a sense of nostalgia. But some argue that newer cartoons do notbring about that same feeling of happiness.

“Most of the shows that are out right now are kind of aggressive,” Koethe said. “Nowadays there are a lot more hateful things that come out in TV shows and cartoons.”

This change in the light-hearted nature of cartoons has caused some parents to prevent their kids from watching certain shows, but some feel this reaction is a bit over the top.

“The rude nature of cartoons that [parents] understand, kids don’t understand that,” Bailey said. “I get that they’re trying to protect their kids from that kind of stuff… but the kids don’t know what it means. I feel like the parents are kind of overkill not letting their kids watch ‘Spongebob.’”

Cartoons were a very big part of a lot of peoples’ upbringing. They often associate the best parts of their childhoods with their favorite kid’s shows, and many miss that time in their lives.

“[Watching cartoons makes me feel] pure happiness and a little bit of sadness,” Manning-Mitchell said. “I wish I could go back to those times of being a kid and watching them.”