cartoons are not all for kids

Paige Collins, Staff Writer

Cartoons have the reputation of being only for kids but can also be equally enjoyed by adults for their artistry.

Disney+ and Cartoon Network air shows such as” Amphibia”, “Owl House” and “Gravity Falls”  which are geared towards an adult audience utilizing complex plots with multiple storylines. “Gravity Falls”, is set up as an episodic mystery that unfolds throughout each show, as the town the show is set in has constant mysteries and oddities, appealing to adults for its overarching story.

The characters in these animated stories appeal to adults for their development, arcs and aging on screen. Characters such as Sasha from shows such as “Amphibia” have faced  development since the start of the show, who at  the beginning of the show was manipulative, but by the end of the show’s run, she grew into an understanding person who treated others with kindness. In older cartoons such as “Tom and Jerry”, airing for nearly 20 years, the characters do not change or evolve. . 

Cartoons aimed at mature audiences have backgrounds that are packed with secrets and detail related to the story,  while cartoons aimed at younger audiences have backgrounds only relevant to the particular episode. In “The Owl House”, the creators  often display the settings with colors that match the mood of the scene. In the episode “O Titan where art thou” showcasing the showdown between the main character, Luz, and her parental figure, Eda, the background and lighting are  deliberately dark with hues of blue displaying the melancholic mood of the showoff.

Cartoons showcase mature themes as well and can even involve fatalities and intense near death moments for the characters that are only appropriate for adults. “Amphibia” showcased this in its final episode when the main character, Anne, dies on screen.

Horror elements are also often utilized that can terrify even adult audiences. Violence is present such as blood or when a person’s body is  warped in an uncanny way  “Gravity Falls” displays body horror in an episode with a shapeshifter as it turns into a warped version of the main characters, Dipper and Mabel.

Animated shows offer a sense of nostalgia for adults, reminding them of times when they, too, enjoyed the happiness of watching cartoons as a child in their pjs every saturday morning.

On a rare occasion, a cartoon is created that appeals to both children and adults alike.  “Toy Story 3” explored how Andy, a character that the audience has grown to love and watch grow up on screen from age six to adulthood.

Cartoons are fun to watch for any person, regardless of age, but the involvement that newer cartoons show towards the story and characters should be recognized as cartoons aimed at a mature audience.