There’s a new trend in cartoons this generation, and it kind of freaks me out.
I say attempted because half the time I can barely get my toddler to interact with me while she’s watching TV, let alone the TV itself.
Dora does it. Handy Manny does it. Even Mickey Mouse has come on board with animated interactivity.
But I personally find it unnerving.
Dora, like any normal toddler, never shuts up. Jabber, jabber jabber. But then all of a sudden, she’ll turn, look piercingly through the screen straight at us, and say, “Do YOU see the forest??”
Then she stares blankly in long seconds of awkward silence and, making it even worse, blinks.
Of course, even though the Forest is lighting up and then getting pointed to by an arrow to make SURE that you can help Dora with her mission, Ali just stares blankly in awkward silence back at Dora.
It’s weird. It’s not at all like the manic slapstick cartoons we had as kids, and so I decided that Ali needed to experience a REAL cartoon.
So I Netflixed Looney Toons.
It was a collection of Daffy Duck shorts, circa 1976, and we snuggled up on the couch to experience cartoons done right.
And I sat there, completely shocked, unable to do anything but blink.
In the first ten minutes of the cartoon, Daffy…
- Tried to sell used cars by throwing in a six pack of beer,
- Had a whole collection of scary looking monsters in a bar acting drunk and drinking various alcoholic drinks while Daffy entertained them by singing a song about Monsters pulling out entrails and eating human’s remains,
- Smoked a Cigarette,
- Smoked a Cigar,
- Drank Wine and a Cocktail,
- Used the word “Stupid” in a very angry manner,
- and sang a song about greediness and deception, and how he could totally get away with it because the dead guy (that made him promise to be good) would never know, and did indeed get away with it in the end, which was the “happy” ending.
When my shock at what us kids were being taught by our classic and “innocent” cartoons passed, I amused myself by imagining Dora, Cigarette hanging from her toddler lips while she gulped down a bottle of wine, stumbling around drunk and calling Boots the Monkey stupid (while he smoked a cigar and drank a cocktail) and then talking about pulling out little children’s entrails and eating their remains.
And all of a sudden, today’s cartoons didn’t seem so bad after all.
Dora, I pledge my eternal devotion to your awkward silences.