As Andy Serkis, an English actor and film director said, “My livelihood depends on the art of animators.” (Serkis, n.d.) I have found human life cannot be separated from art which brings beauty in life. Animation started over 35,000 years ago to demonstrate motion and it remains relevant until now. According to Oxford Dictionaries, “Animation is the technique of photographing successive drawings or positions of puppets or models to create an illusion of movement when the film is shown as a sequence.” (Oxford Dictionaries, n.d.) In today’s world, animated cartoons are driving to the next wave due to the rapid development of technology.
Initially, drawings on cave walls had called animation but now technology enhances the techniques of movement in telling a story in animated cartoons. Animated cartoons are vastly popular among society especially among children as it becomes one of the most viewed programmes by children. Cartoon channels nowadays are available on television and the Internet due to high demand. Each of animated cartoons presenting various types of storylines, characters, cultures, languages and social values to give impressions to audiences. Kayla Bois and Brad Bushman from Michigan University stated in their research, “2 to 5 years old children watch cartoon 32 hours per week while 6 to 11 years old children watch cartoon 28 hours per week.” (Bois ; Bushman, n.d) As animated cartoons are becoming an inevitable part of children’s daily life, it might be influencing them.
In spite of animated cartoons spread the positivity, there are also negative impacts of such shows on children that we cannot deny it. Moreover, children have a strong memory to remember everything they have experienced even from exposing to television programmes. Children have the ability to memorize any type of images and it might appear in their behaviours and speeches. At an innocent age, they are unable to differentiate between positive and negative. Generally, children are influenced by animated cartoons which do carry disturbing humour and violent actions and messages. The ultimate objective of this paper is to argue that there are negative impacts of animated cartoons on children which include violence, health problems and role models.
Jim Rutenberg in his article on The New York Times reported, “The success of the “Pokémon” cartoon show jumpstarted the genre 2 years ago and then others upped the ante in violence.” (Rutenberg, 2001) This shows the public’s tolerance for violent actions in cartoons as long as the storyline can fulfil their interest. Violence in cartoons is becoming one of the negative impacts of animated cartoons on children. Without conscious this situation threatening the children’s minds. For example, Tom and Jerry is a comedic cartoon but it also promotes violence in its storyline where we can see Tom and Jerry fight and chase each other most of the time to pay off their revenge towards each other. This cartoon teaches the children to have no mercy on others where gunshots and explosives followed by loud sound become usual scenes. The children may feel it’s a mean world outside.
Besides that, children will become aggressive and destructive in their behaviour. When children watch superhero cartoons it helps children to find solutions and encourage them to deal with real situations in life. However, superheroes cartoons encourage children to express brave parts of themselves. Children may become hyperactive and start breaking things around them to imitate the actions in superhero cartoons which familiar with blood spluttering or chopping or destruction scenes. They also may break into fights and play roughly especially boys. This proves that children who exposed to violence in animated cartoons are becoming unsympathetic towards victims and feel no sorry towards others. It’s clear enough that violence is one of the negative impacts of animated cartoons on children.
Next, health problems are becoming one of the negative impacts of animated cartoons on children. Children will be addicted to watching cartoons once it becomes their daily routine. This situation will affect their physical and mental development. Asha Das in her article entitled “Negative Impact Of Cartoons On Kids” stated, “There are many studies prove that addiction to cartoons seriously affects even the imagination power of children. They will be driven away from the real world and real life experiences.” (Asha Das, 2015) Children will lose benefits of playing outdoors as watching cartoons make them spend most of the time indoors. In long term, they might gain weight and face internal health problem.
Then, watching animated cartoons can cause seizures. Mari Yamaguchi in her article on Ap News reported, “More than 600 viewers of the hit cartoon “Pokemon” suffered epilepsy-like seizures about 20 minutes into Tuesday night’s show and were rushed to the hospital, TV Tokyo reported today.” (Mari Yamaguchi, 1997) According to this news, I believe some animation technique can give bad effects to the viewers especially the children. Flickering lights on the television screen could give children a headache as it dazzling their vision. If this happens for so many times they might be damaging their vision. With no doubt, health problems are one of the negative impacts of animated cartoons on children.
At this point, role models become the negative impacts of animated cartoons. In cartoons, there are many characters have been created. Children tend to look up for idols in order to be like them. Without considering good and bad in cartoon characters they might be dreaming to follow character with violence act. Mary Claire Akinyi Kidenda stated in her previous research that, “Children are excellent imitators but poor evaluators.” (Kidenda, 2010) For example, a character like Superman with supernatural powers where he can fly, jump from the top of the skyscraper and beat his enemy whom five times bigger than him, impressed children, especially boys who cannot differentiate between reality and fiction at the young age.
In addition, children also might choose a role model that have gender issues that promotes transgender which can affect children’s’ personality development. Andrew Wheeler from Comic Alliance reported, “The United States of America was expected to meet its sad end this past weekend when The Hub network debuted its new animated children’s series SheZow. The Australian/Canadian cartoon, which already debuted in other, less delicate countries without causing social disorder, is about a boy with a superhero secret identity. The shocking twist that almost brought America to its knees is that his superhero secret identity is female.” (Wheeler, 2013) This style of animation can make children confuse about their personalities and it will manipulate children’s minds about being transgender is not a mistake. From this discussion, we cannot deny that role models can be negative impacts of animated cartoons on children.
Finally, it seems various parties need to play the role to protect our children’s generation. Parents should be concerned about three main negative impacts of animated cartoons on children. We can avoid the negative impacts with control children’s schedule and make sure them under our supervisions. However, make sure our actions make them feel safe and secure and they do not feel unreliable by us.
Asha Das. (2015, March 24). Negative Impact Of Cartoons On Kids. Retrieved from https://www.boldsky.com/pregnancy-parenting/kids/2015/negative-impact-of-cartoons-on-kids-066856.html
Wheeler, A. (2013, June 23). Introducing ‘SheZow,’ The ‘Transgender’ Superhero Cartoon That Will Destroy America And/Or Entertain Some Children. Retrieved from
Rutenberg, J. (2001, January 28). Violence Finds a Niche in Children’s Cartoons. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/28/us/violence-finds-a-niche-in-children-s-cartoons.html
Kidenda, M. C. A. (2010, May 27). An Investigation of the Impact of Animated Cartoons on Children in Nairobi. Retrieved from http://erepository.uonbi.ac.ke/handle/11295/15960
Mari Yamaguchi. (1997, December 17). Japanese Cartoon Triggers Seizures. Retrieved from https://www.apnews.com/090536366db2d7af8192feb72b377bdc
Khaled Habib, Tarek Soliman. (2015). Cartoons’ Effect in Changing Children Mental Response and Behavior. Open Journal of Social Sciences, Vol.3, No.9. DOI : 10.4236/jss.2015.39033
Oxford Dictionaries. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/animation