Catholic Inklings

Musings and sharings on my devotion to an ancient religion.

Cartoons and You | Bigger on the Inside

Cartoons are awesome!!!

I’m routinely told by other adults, “I don’t watch cartoons anymore.”  Their loss, I say!  Cartoons are some of my favorite entertainment, and I love kids’ cartoons.  In fact, when the kids wander off and I still have them on, I get a pleading look and a semi-desperate question from my husband, “Do we have to keep watching this? The kids are in bed…”

When newcomers to the Doctor’s TARDIS first board the time-and-space travel machine, most of them say a variation of, “It’s bigger on the inside!” From without, it looks like a normal British police call box, but on the inside it’s infinite in size. This is not unique to the TARDIS—nothing transcends time and space like stories! Books, TV shows, movies, video games, comic books, music—they all contain way more than what appears at face value. This blog will glance into the deeper world of various media; particularly those consumed by kids. It’s not my place to tell parents what their kids should or shouldn’t watch or listen to, but I will tease out themes (be they useful or harmful), trends and faith images for your consideration. —Jen

When newcomers to the Doctor’s TARDIS first board the time-and-space travel machine, most of them say a variation of, “It’s bigger on the inside!” From without, it looks like a normal British police call box, but on the inside it’s infinite in size. This is not unique to the TARDIS—nothing transcends time and space like stories! Books, TV shows, movies, video games, comic books, music—they all contain way more than what appears at face value. This blog will glance into the deeper world of various media; particularly those consumed by kids. It’s not my place to tell parents what their kids should or shouldn’t watch or listen to, but I will tease out themes (be they useful or harmful), trends and faith images for your consideration. —Jen

The first cartoons were made for adults.  Naturally, they had appeal for all ages, but the jokes, references and subject matter were pretty grown up.  Even now, cartoon movies consistently add jokes “for parents” that are just plain messed up. My eldest son recently warned me that there were some very inappropriate things in the Disney movie, Cars (apparently, he thinks his mom is as virginal and innocent as the BVM). He was shocked at what he now understood.

Besides the fact that cartoons are some of the best stuff on TV, I’m at a particular advantage for liking them. Many parents, trusting that “it’s a kids’ show” will let their children watch cartoons without giving any thought to their message or content. Time and time again, I have been surprised, disappointed and, at times, horrified by some of the stuff marketed directly to children.

An Opportunity For Discussion

My kids aren’t very young—they’re 15 and 12—so we aren’t watching pre-k shows. The shows that are directed at their ages (and younger kids, too) include themes and issues that older kids are likely dealing with in school and social settings, like dating, relationships, attraction to others, parties, moral dilemmas, and problem solving. Except that some of the ways that these themes are presented are not what I want modeled for my children (especially since one is getting to an age when dating is an actual possibility), I’m always glad for the opportunity to have a chat about what they are seeing, what we believe, how they feel about it and how they might deal with it if they find themselves in this situation.

[Read blog on pbgrace.com]


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Sci-fi, Superheroes and Cartoons...These things, more than any other, occupy my mind and my keyboard as I ponder them through the lens of my Catholic faith.

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