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How Children’s Cartoons Are Politicized Research Paper

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Updated: Oct 18th, 2019


With examples like Mulan 1998 vs. Tom & Jerry, cartoons have created considerable political controversies worldwide. Globalization and technological advancements have impacted on the children’s lives and entertainment (Cantor & Wilson, 2003). Cartoons have been specifically used occasionally for children’s entertainment. Evidently, this has been noted to occur within all social environments.

These include homes, schools, and within entertainment joints (Scibelli, 2010). The application of cartoons for amusements is particularly common amongst the children. There is increased cartoon consumption by children. It is notable that not much attention has been focused on certain implications and impacts (Kirsh, 2006). The question of how the children’s cartoons have become politicized within the present society has specifically not been adequately addressed.

Cartoon programs utilizing violent human characters have specifically been applied widely in the present society (Valkenburg, 2004). Observably, the effects have been widely debated on with different personalities (Gentile, 2003). Contrary to the widely-held view that children’s cartoons are made thoughtlessly and without direction, it is arguable that cartoons are constructed to spread violence. These cartoons represent altered egos, which dictate and imbed violence.

In the Mulan vs. Tom & Jerry 1998, the Huns, guided by pitiless Shan Yu raided the Han of China. This forced the Chinese emperor to command enhanced mobilization. Each family was given an enlistment notice demanding at least a man from each family to join the Chinese army.

It is notable that the issue of politicizing the children’s cartoons has dominated many debates. Through observation of wild human characters as cartoons, the children experience considerable impacts within themselves (Warner, 2004). Observably, most children have grown to be more violent because of this common exposure.

In addition, there has been a generally increased instances of deviant behaviors associated with amplified viewing or consumption of diverse detrimental cartoon programmes. Animated cartoon games involving the application of violent techniques and behaviors have particularly contributed to this notable impact significantly.

This is because in viewing such programs, the children feel agitated to engage in similar behaviors or undertakings (Cantor & Wilson, 2003). Consequently, it is notable that the children take the most cartoon characters depicted to have superior capabilities as their role models. This effect has been widely notable within the present society, increasing the negative impacts and detrimental social impacts within the children’s lives.

In the US, there have been immense debates regarding the application of children cartoons. Imperatively, it can be noted that such debates and public arguments have lead to the emergence of legal intervention (Cohen, 1997). As a result, it can be observed that there are particular cartoon programs that have not been given the opportunity for media airing or public viewing.

The banning of certain cartoon types from the media fraternity within most nations may be due to many factors. However, for the case of most children cartoons, the banning has always been due to their implications on the children’s life. Some have been said to cause violent behaviors amongst the children. There are others with detrimental political implications. In addition, others have been prone to manipulation as well as indirect usage by different interest groups (DeHart, Sroufe & Cooper, 2004).

The impacts of the various types of cartoons on children’s lives require a keen attention and analysis within the present society. Observably, limited research has been conducted within this area. Perhaps, the fact that not so many people provide audience for the cartoon session might be a contributory factor to this eminent pattern. With the increasing globalization and social networking, the children have gained an increased access to these cartoon programs.

Regulating the available cartoon programs within the social media has particularly become difficult due to the effects of modern technology (Nathanson & Cantor, 2000). The reality still remains that most children are exposed to various content within the cartoon programs and are influenced in different ways due to this exposure.

An investigation into these impacts is therefore necessary. Various sentiments concerning the availability, content as well as the notable or probable influences from the children cartoons have been cited. Different institutions, individuals and government agencies have diverse views and concerns about these children cartoon programs.

For instance, there are those groups that potentially encourage the application and availability of the children cartoons. On the other hand, certain individuals or agencies have totally negated the application of these cartoons. Moreover, they have indicated that these cartoons are potentially dangerous, considering their present easy accessibility by children within the society and media (Warner, 2004).

The animate children cartoons have been used by various interest groups to propagate their intrinsic values. This has been specifically about their desires on issues regarding public governance and concerns (Cohen, 1997).

The media has also used the children cartoons to imply or convey comic political messages that normally streamline the general political arena within a country. It is notable that these have always been conveyed in disguise of the children cartoons. The influence of comedic cartoons on the children lives has particularly been of keen interest to many investigators.

The cartoons that are always presented in game forms usually increase the children’s vulnerability to engagement in conflicts and violent acts within the society. Continuous exposure to such comedic cartoons by the children, thus, enhances their probability of getting involved in conflicts with the general societal norms (Nathanson & Cantor, 2000).

Literature review

In 2009, New York Post safeguarded its political cartoon, depicting a police gunning down a chimpanzee. The situation created a massive political controversy when scrutinized critically. MSNBC, which made vivid reports on the paper, argued that the cartoons made a political thrill. Agreeably, the children cartoons have been largely politicized. Apart from this, the cartoons have considerable negative influences on the lives of children.

This assumption is premised on the notable observations within the present globalized community (Olfman, 2006). Most recent investigations within the U.S. have indicated that certain children’s television shows might be detrimental for the young children’s mentality. These studies that have majored on the concern of cartoon and children widely indicate the negative e influences of cartoons on the lives and welfare of the children.

Apart from the violent side of the impacts, other notable impacts of child-cartoon watching have been noted (Kelly, 1999). For instance, some investigations have indicated that the children are not likely to concentrate or focus appropriately. This trend has particularly been observed after the children have engaged in watching most fast-paced programming cartoon material.

Investigators from the Virginia University illustrated the effects of a 60 4-year olds a 9-minute hunk of an “animated kitchen sponge” cartoon (Hamilton, 2000). After this incidence, these investigators consequently examined the young children’s memory as well as their critical thinking skills.

A comparison of these scores to some other children who had been engaged in a slow-paced educative cartoon program was consequently done. This remarkable investigation revealed critical insights into the potential effects of child cartoon viewing. According to this investigation, the pre-school age children who were involved in the watching of the fast-paced cartoon programs performed worse (Kirsh, 2006).

This was specifically observed following the administration of the critical thinking test. Notably, the two other teams who were not engaged in active cartoon program viewing performed better that the watchers of the fast-paced secular cartoon material. Notably, various types of cartoons exist just within the U.S. These different child cartoon types and programmes utilize diverse mechanisms to ensure their target audiences are adequately captured.

For instance, the secret to behind cartoon types such as “Animaniacs” can be noted (Olfman, 2006). The programme has a great appeal for the children with the passion for animated slapstick. Contents within the cartoon programme such as the notable instances of fingering a human being’s anus might not resonate ethically and morally appropriate for the kids.

The engagement of various regulatory authorities in the banning of diverse cartoon programs within the American media has been widely noted. For instance, it is clear that certain specific incidents within the “Pokemen” episodes have not been licensed to appear in the general public media. This is because such episodes have remained considerably seizure-inducing.

Others have also been attributed with excessive violence and with sentiments that appear to be largely racist in nature (Kirsh, 2006). However, it is notable that such regulatory measures have not been particularly intensive. Therefore, they cannot help to prevent the detrimental impacts of the children’s exposure to cartoon material. The exposure of certain pornographic material within the children cartoon programmes has remained a questionable incidence.

This is because in certain cartoon programmes such as the America’s “carpet munching”, the homosexuality theme has widely been espoused (Valkenburg, 2004). This makes analysts to worry and investigate the potential impacts of such media on the general lifestyle of a growing young child.

The impacts of these children cartoons on education have been noted. Most investigators have discovered and indicated that the brain remains overtaxed and tired. This is due to the extreme stimulation the bran encounters from these fast-paced cartoon programs.

Consequently, this effect has been noted to result into poor student performance, resulting into very low grades (Kirsh, 2006). However, whatever such investigations and results signify and mean for the children within long term basis may still not be exactly known and articulated.

Indicatively, most other investigations in the past have discovered an association between intensive television viewing together with the challenges related to the children’s concentration to detail. This has also been noted to grossly interfere with the children’s duration of paying attention or concentration (Kelly, 1999). Instead, it has been noted that under such circumstances, the children develop more or increased rates of aggressiveness and are increasingly more motivated to engage or take part in more violent activities.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the parents should strive to regulate and limit their children’s overall time of exposure to media (Garralda & Raynaud, 2010). As indicated, the limit should be pushed by these parents to approximately one or two hours programming on a daily basis.

The children with a notable age below a definite two years must not be allowed to access or watch the cartoon programs. There have been critical reiterations from the AAP that although many definite implications and effects of children cartoons might not be readily available and noticed, there is evident of long term challenges.

According to Christakis as well as other potential investigators, when the younger children’s brains that are still under development get bombarded with excessive stimulation, notable impacts are recorded. For instance, the effects can lead to the interference with the younger children’s capacity to learn how to properly and appropriately focus and concentrate on significant issues. Apart from this, the children might also develop to be chaotic and engage in violence due to distorted state of peaceful mind.

The most vital message that people have to consider is that the content to be viewed by the children really matters. According to my personal experiences, I must concur with the sentiments eminent in the observations that have been drawn by these investigators. Indeed, children cartoon programs such as the comedic ones have severe implications on the children.

The use of these cartoons by most interest groups to propagate diverse views within the society has also been notable. This is particularly during the political times or periods within specific nations (Cantor & Wilson, 2003). These effects have been notably pronounced due to many reasons. For instance, the children have developed an increased interest for cartoons over many years.

Consequently, this trend has notably become an elementary activity to certain people and families. This has potentially increased the level and rate of exposures of the children to such detrimental programs. Ideally, the children start viewing cartoons from a considerably tender age. This has been observed to start at six months after birth then extend, with a notable peak of addiction to cartoons at a tender age of two or three years.

For example, in some cartoons, most children are viewing excess television as well as the cartoon programs that are increasingly becoming violent and to a greater extent addictive.

The cartoon promotion or advertisement has potentially gained influence within the United States (Nathanson & Cantor, 2000). Accordingly, the subliminal information and impacts have also considerably grown. Most materials and information conveyed within children cartoons have been considered and viewed not to be fit for the children’s tender ages.

The risks associated with physical challenges such as mental, psychological, emotional as well as eye injuries might develop from the excessive levels of exposure of the children to cartoon materials. An empirical investigation based on the adolescent violence in 2000 conducted by American Surgeon General David Satcher has very critical observations on the issue regarding children and the effects of cartoon watching.

Amongst one of the vital factors that the study elicited was the impacts of frequently viewed entertainment or child cartoon programmes that integrated violence within. The potential dangerous effects of this practice have notably developed into an important public health concern. This is particularly eminent within the American society.

Due to the notable detrimental influences, the American Psychological Association, (APA) approved a resolution in February of 1985 (Kirsh, 2006). Basically, this resolution was meant to enlighten the potential broadcasters as well as the general public about the dangers that cartoons and violence within the overall media imparts on the children. Generally, there are three basic impacts that have been noted or identified by the psychological investigations that are experienced by the children’s exposure to violent cartoons.

Notably, a child may become more insensitive to the pain as well as anguish that the counterparts might face in the daily life circumstances. Ideally, it is also indicated that the younger children who indulge in viewing of the violent cartoon programs never dread engaging in violence. Either, it is also notable that these categories of younger children are never bothered or worried by the act of violence and conflict in overall (Nathanson & Cantor, 2000).

Moreover, the constant practice makes the children to be more likely to develop a considerable level of aggressiveness. They also depict a tendency or character of using detrimental or dangerous actions geared towards their counter parts. In concurrence to this vital observation, an individual notices that the continued exposure to such media content plays a significant role in reverting the children’s psychological mannerisms.

Perhaps, a closer examination of the human mind would reveal appropriate underlying factors that are more likely to increase the vulnerability of the younger children emanating from the exposure to violent comedic cartoons (Olfman, 2006). For instance, it is notable that upon birth, the human being develops the competency for stimulation, familiarity as well as training.

Consequently, due to these observations, the human mind and mental capacity seems to be extremely impressionable. Thus, the general development of the human brain remains as a transformative and flexible combination of nature as well as nurture.

Therefore, all stakeholders have to recognize the significance of choosing an appropriate and healthy environment to all the children. The implication in this observation is very critical and must be considered in order to enhance child welfare within the larger global society. Generally, cartoons that embody violence remain unhealthy particularly for child consumption (Kelly, 1999).

This is because getting interactive with an environment increases the growth of an effective brain as well as competencies. The general observation from these implications is that extensive levels of childhood association with electronic material may minimize the social interactions. Additionally, it is indicative that this might also obstruct the growth of a child’s brain social systems.

Although there have been numerous investigations as well as studies regarding the implications of cartoon exposure to children, there are still notable gaps. Observably, the inability of these investigations to correlate the level of psychological and temporal influences of these exposures to children is not well illustrated.

The impacts of politicizing the children cartoons have also not been effectively addressed in most of the previous investigations (Gentile, 2003). The need to conduct more inclusive and empirical studies on these outlined issues remains largely eminent.

This is particularly with the consideration of various dynamics and influence s that have presently emerged with the increasing rate of globalization as well as technological advancements. The involvement of all stakeholders within such studies and investigations has not been given adequate consideration and priority within the past cases.

However, presently, it is increasingly becoming evident that multiple stakeholder engagement must be given consideration in order to effectively curb the problem. This is because the challenge is a collective issue that affects a majority of individuals and population. Present studies have identified the importance of basic factor analysis in relation to the studies focusing on the impacts of cartoons on the children within any society.


Evidently, American politics have been demonstrated by controversial cartoons. Just before Obama became president of US, dubious political cartoons underrated his political quest. For Example, African American cartoonists installed negative dictions against Obama through animated images.

This indicates how these cartoons represent their altered egos, which through such cartoons are dictated and imbed violence. Generally, it is observable that cartoon programs have diverse impacts on the lives of children globally. While most cartoonist and media sources have focused on the advertisement of cartoon materials, there has been limited attention given on their implications. There have been recent complaints registered concerning the effects of these materials on the children (DeHart, Sroufe & Cooper, 2004).

Observably, there seems to be inadequate research as well as investigation based on these implications. Therefore, the need for inclusive studies is eminently appropriate within the present contexts. The disparities between the past studies and present research already noted are important and must be incorporated if effective results and solutions are necessary.

With examples of various politicized cartoons, parents and the general society have started to wonder on the way in which popular cartoon programs have mental as well as social implications and effects on their children (Garralda & Raynaud, 2010).

While no previous studies particularly regarding the impacts of cartoons and other associated programs on children have occurred, different investigations in the past period have elaborated the effects of television. This is particularly in consideration to the mental health as well as the eyes of young children.

The political issues regarding the application and consumption of the cartoon programmes by the children also remains as an important consideration in conducting various research on the topic (Stangor, 2011). Violence has particularly been associated with the children who seldom watch the cartoon programmes.

Such children develop and grow up to be stubborn to the community, a situation that most investigative studies in the past have not adequately addressed. Other notable impacts that have been recorded include seizures, child risks as well as safety concerns. Following the dearth of adequate information and knowledge regarding the consumption of the cartoon material amongst the children, it is critical to observe that there is a need for more advanced and inclusive studies in the subject.


Conclusively, Mulan vs. Tom & Jerry 2008 and others indicate various political controversies depicted by cartoons. Contrary to the widely-held observation that children’s cartoons are made thoughtlessly and without direction, it is arguable that cartoons are constructed to spread violence.

Presently within most children cartoons, one is able to identify the various cartoon characters perform different actions. Notably, there is a lot of jumping, diving ad well as falling. This occurs within various heights. It is notable that most parents are never worried with this situation.

They mostly seem to care about pornographic cartoon material but often avoid or assume the violent implications. However, the present question remains whether these kind of cartoon material are really appropriate for watching by the children.

This defines the objective of the present investigations around the issue or concerns of cartoons and the children welfare. Comedic cartoon programs have particularly been associated with the detrimental impacts to most children viewers. The continued application and penetration of these materials within learning institutions as basic entertainment mechanisms has also elicited significant reactions.

Children have particularly got injuries as a result of trying to imitate what they observe within most cartoon programmes. Psychological implications from the cartoon programmes have potentially influenced the behavior of most children.


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