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The Hidden Agendas Behind Our Favorite Old-School Cartoons

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What's This?

Even though the process of cultural socialization is lifelong, we’re more impressionable at a younger age. And a whole lot of us spent the better part of our childhood enjoying cartoons. The pleasure with which we saw them at the time restricted us from interpreting their subtle underlying messages which may have helped shape our personalities.

Cartoons were a great source of entertainment. But there are a lot of facts about them which seem clearer now. This list could clarify a few things or it might just spoil your childhood memories. Read at your own risk.

1. The Rise of Feminism with Powerpuff Girls

Powerpuff-girls-pictures Have you ever wondered why “sugar and spice and everything nice” was combined to form only a half of the world’s human species, namely females? That is probably the biggest feminist comment which totally sidelines the attempt of the males to seize power. Lauren Faust, who has worked on Powerpuff girls, expressed her intention to project women as something different from their stereotyped versions of the wife or the girlfriend. She also wanted to bring forth cartoons which girls can watch and take inspiration from. After all, have you noticed that Mojo Jojo, a representative of the male society, is always defeated by girl power? It is just another feminist attempt to internalize girl power in children from a tender age.

2. Theory of Imagination in Pokemon

PokemonIf you’ve followed Pokemon closely, you would have noticed that Ash gets hit by lightning initially, thanks to Pikachu. It is a theory, that after getting struck, the entire story takes place in Ash’s head. Pikachu himself could be a pet animal who enabled him to think in this direction. The fact that Ash never changes his clothes also indicates a pause in real time from when Ash’s imagination takes over and creates a world of Pokemons with superpowers.

3. Saving the World With Captain Planet

captain planet

This cannot to be considered a hidden agenda, the makers of Captain Planet were pretty obvious about their plans. The whole concept of creating the show was to spread awareness about the global environmental issues. The main characters with their rings can fight evil, which indirectly was a huge call for us to do the same thing in our daily lives. The messages that were given at the end of every episode indicate their direct approach towards dealing with the issue of transforming the younger generation to create a more aware one. The generation who watched and followed his show were sensitized to the issue at a young age and were taught to make an effort to save Mother Earth.

4. The Political Angle to Tom & Jerry

tom and jerryTom chasing Jerry throughout the house and beyond it has entertained us for a really long time. But if we look at what it could suggest, it definitely portrays a chase where the weaker is being pursued by the stronger, just for a sort of sadistic pleasure in the chase. This has been compared to the Nazi supremacy, who were chasing the Jews without a rational cause and not considering the effect on them. Apparently, Jerry’s constant successes were to praise those Jews who managed to escape the Nazi rule.

5. Donald Duck Promoted Capitalism

donald duck

By observing the cartoon closely, we can observe that Donald Duck has promoted the idea of money over man. A very frustrated character in general, Donald Duck portrays a person who is typically interested in promoting his own interest and anything apart from that is beyond him. Disturbed by the regular surroundings, Donald Duck puts his faith in the only thing which he knows will benefit him: Money.

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