More than Meets the Eye: Why You Should Watch Children’s Animation
Posted on April 9, 2022
Let’s get straight to the point: you should watch children’s animation. I know that for many, content geared towards kids isn’t totally appealing as they can often feel too thematically simple, too slapstick, and just not enough to keep your interest. Though this can be the case, I would argue that it is not often so. Recently, I’ve been watching an excess of children’s content, and though I’ve always loved some of these shows from a nostalgic perspective, I was surprised to find how vibrant and engaging these stories were to me now. Animation in general is such a versatile medium that opens up possibilities for unique storytelling in an incredibly artistic and engaging way. That being said, a lot of animation for adults doesn’t seem to make much use of this. Though I am opt to enjoy a Family Guy episode here or there, the general world of adult animation tends to feel like a multitude of carbon copies and as an animation lover that can be really disappointing or just plain boring.
Image Credit: popculture.
Enter the world of children’s animation. Frankly, these children’s animated shows are incredible. Firstly, Children’s animation deserves props for the wide array of art styles that make each show unique and so so beautiful. Each show truly has its own voice and vibrancy that makes their respective cartoon worlds so much more compelling. Take for example Eliott From Earth. I was surprised by how much I loved this show. The art style is so beautiful and the inter-galactic theme is taken advantage of in the design of the characters but especially of the world. Though simple, every element is allowed to shine whether it be futuristic cityscapes of serene alien plant life. This tied with the often quick-witted comedic writing made for a super fun watching experience.
Image Credit: Wallpaper Abyss
Though art and design are some of my absolute favourite aspects of kids’ animation, it is only when paired with a good story that it can truly shine. As I mentioned earlier, children’s media tends to have this connotation of not being ‘deep’ enough or focusing on themes that don’t extend beyond childhood. This association is unfortunate, however, as shows like Over the Garden Wall, or Avatar the Last Airbender (among a multitude of others) can get swept under the rug for your next TV show binge (though to be completely honest, I feel as though most of the world has woken up to Avatars genius- thankfully). Some of these shows have incredibly emotional storylines and dig deep into significant and relatable themes. I mean everyone already knows that there will never be a better-written redemption arc than Zuko’s and who would have thought Dantes Inferno for kids would be so good. So no, you probably won’t find anything gritty and raw like a Breaking Bad for kids, but that doesn’t mean these stories can’t reach just as deep emotionally.
Image Credit: Vox
Though this has been a sort of love letter to children’s animation, I do think there is a lot of growth and change that can (and should) happen within it- (like the demand for comedy and comedy only, I personally think kids are capable of enjoying more than one genre but alas.) Though I prefer it a hundredfold to western adult animation, I do still think kids’ content can feel a little held back, just on the precipice of greatness. Regardless of this, it’s a world worth exploring. The best part, most kids’ shows are only 11 minutes, so it’s a low commitment with a high reward. Promise.