The CARTOON Crusaders

Mommy did you know the Chennai Express guy actually talks like Oggy said my little one enthusiastically. Puzzled I was I sat down with him to watch who this Oggy was.

‘Oggy and the cockroaches’ a popular cartoon oggyshow is the story of a cat called Oggy and 3 foul cockroaches that keep running all along the sewage lines and toilet seats constantly messing up with Oggy their lone target of all pranks. I was amused on seeing Oggy spoofing and mimicking our evergreen hero Sharukh khan. If only Sharukh ever watched this program where a filthy cat that always ends up ditching its head in the commode mimics him I swear Sharukh will jump into a bowl of water.

In India the general perception is that cartoons are meant only for children but many foreign animated movies cater to adults too as animated movies are widely watched by one and all in those countries.

When these foreign cartoons are telecast on Indian screens most people are not even aware about this fact and don’t bother to check on the content of the program their children would be watching. Whoever thought it was okay for kids to watch cartoons think again.

Most cartoon programs show violence and destructive behavior as fun. These shows are no less than any action movie. It has stunts, a wily villain a macho hero and even a glamorous animal faced female cartoon that sways its voluptuous human like female body clad in the pinkest of pink racy dresses with heavily swollen lips batting its long lashes to seduce the romeo like rat or cat who drools after her.

One cartoon my kids are savvy about and over which I have no control is Doremon my kids will do anything to watch this show. Doremon can invariably stop any amount of shrilling cries at once it can cure nausea stricken children and help them gulp down their portion of food without any trouble. Doremon is a good bargain material if you want to buy your peace. In short Doremon is like a nanny to the kids.

Doreamon is a good natured robotic cat that keeps supplying its insane robotic gadgets to save the ever lazy trickster and flirty master Nobita who is a bundle of lies and crocodile tears always trying to trick his mother and is on the run for some pranks. He is the most loved character among kids.

The wild imagination of gadgets and the shrewd wit is really hilarious and makes you cry in laughter occasionally making you fall out of your seat but it shows parents in poor light as if they are objects of mockery. This program glorifies Nobita who consistently tells lies, never works hard and looks for shortcuts, flirts and disrespects parents and teachers this might set a bad precedent in kids. I hope kids don’t take it at face value. Oh! Nobita how much I hate you….

This is one program you have to watch like in a David Dhawan movie where no logic prevails it is complete entertainment at the cost of the parents. Apart from the lies and parent tricking this program is genuinely entertaining.

One other cartoon on Pogo is Chota Bheem a Bheem09break-through animation work in the world of Indian cartoons. Chota Bheem the Indian super boy has downplayed all the other macho-mans and has emerged a big hit among Indian kids. He has been the flavor for many years now although it started off decently well over time it has denigrated like any other never ending saas-bahu serials.

Chota Bheem is the story of a small boy called Bheem who is the sole savior of an always helpless king rescuing the whole village of Dholakpur with a troop of half-naked kids who keep challenging each other for a fight or a race. The hero Bheem always wins as he is mighty and can bash anyone to teach them a lesson. Yes ‘teach them a lesson’ this phrase is extensively used throughout the show.

The incredibly poor class of English with a regional accented narration and misleading connections of mythological characters is sure to confuse the kids about the real epic. We were once watching a puppet show of Krishnaleela and when Poothana the raakshashi appeared a nearby kid asked if it was a sea monster.

Also most thugs, thieves, mischief makers and all bad greedy characters are shown as Bramins. I wonder why personal vendetta had to take refuge under creativity to defame and ridicule a caste in particular. Why this poisoning in a kids program?

Another poor quality cartoon mixing up mythological characters is ‘Roll No.21’, in this show Krishna and Kamsa are directly derived from our epic Mahabharatha and placed as contemporary characters who keep going back to their original forms once in a while. Kamsa or Kanishk sir is the Principal and Krishna or Kris is a student in some school that is always up to a mischief. The animation quality is pathetically low and denigrates our potential. Are Indians really so incapable of producing something original and creative for our kids? This program is of zero value in terms of morals, teaching or information. It only shows evil everywhere with no focus on imparting any education.

Most cartoon programs are either borrowed from religious epics or it is always crisis stricken on the Tom and Jerry lines. The dearth of innovative and original ideas has sadly led to dilution of our religious epics. Time and again same stuff is churned and reproduced spilling many copied versions.

In spite of a wide variety of satellite channels our screens are still infested with cheap quality copied adulterated entertainment which is also overpoweringly marketing its cartoon characters and making money through their toys, t-shirts, bags, pencil boxes

Some good programs like FAQ, M.A.D, Art Attack are really educative some cartoons like Oswald, Noddy, Agent X, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (toodles) are a better choice for younger kids they are edutainment emphasizing on good values and mannerisms.

Most of the material shown today is either vengeance, violence and a lot of adult stuff not appropriate for kids to watch. Some programs are also found to cause short term attention and learning problems in kids.

As a kid I remember watching ‘Alice and the wonderland’ we really explored along with Alice. But it was simple entertainment with a lot of wild imagination that we watched and never took home anything.

Cartoons are here to stay as long as the cartoon crusaders keep them alive.

Cartoon shows are every child’s delight it is just that you need to be a little cautious about what your child is watching.

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