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Many cartoons contain situations in them that contain blood, hitting, guns, pushing, name calling, and more serious stuff such as chopping off of heads which is considered as violence. Violence has been seen in cartoons more and more as time as increased. These cartoons are marketed towards older people, but there are some which include violence that is directed towards very young children such as Tom and Jerry.

Types of Violence

Many think of violence as just gory, but it can also be comic violence or slapstick violence such as in Tom and Jerry and the coyote and road runner. Some may have a harder time seeing this as violence since it is not as obvious as heads being chopped off. However, The ones that are marketed towards older people occur in primetime and are seen by some children. These cartoons marketed for older viewers usually contain more realistic violence that is usually intense such as fighting, use of weapons, cutting off heads which is usually defined as being gory. Often these shows include language which is inappropriate for younger children.

Non-comedy oriented cartoons such as superhero, action-adventure, or fantasy and science fiction will typically have violence that is not gory but simply involve characters getting injured or killed in the course of adventures. While their inclusion in moderation is generally considered acceptable in live action shows or movies suitable for all audiences (live action films based on superheroes for example), their inclusion in animated shows and films has generated controversy.

Examples

Many of the cartoons are shown during primetime and usually depict violent acts happening and are usually very gruesome and usually show guts such as in the television show The Simpsons. In the show there is a show that Bart and Lisa Simpson watch called “The Itchy and Scratchy Show.” In an episode of the Simpsons title “Bart gets an F,” Scratchy is shown chasing after Itchy with a rapier. Itchy then turns the table and hacks off his head and he does not even end there. Next he gets even more violent and blows his head into pieces with dynamite. ([1]). Other violent shows include “Family Guy,” which frequently shows one of the main characters Peter fighting a chicken, then they always forget what they were fighting over after minutes of scrapping. Another example of a violent cartoon is “South Park.” The famous scene in every episode is that Kenny, a small in size and shy character on the show, dies in every episode. The ways that he dies vary in every episode and some are more brutal than others, and the famous line after he died is usually something along the lines of ‘“Oh my god, they killed Kenny. You bastards!”

Internet Cartoons

It is quite easy for parents to prevent their children from watching violent cartoons on the Television since many have the capabilities of blocking certain channels or they can only watch TV when they are around. However, there is now something that is harder to be blocked which is internet cartoons. Yes there is ways to block sites online, but this is blocking video online, not images or words. One such show is called “Happy Tree Friends,” and it contains a lot of violence. Even this show is not marketed for young children, it seems to be easy for them to see it. It starts with scenes of cute cuddly bears then they create terror all in which contains no dialogue ([2]). Parents today work and not all have the time to monitor what their children are doing on the internet or television.

Effects

If children are exposed to this violence at an early age they can be diversely affected. Studies conducted over the past thirty years have supported the fact that exposure to violence at an early age effects the behavior of these children who were exposed to it ([3]). One study was able to show the effects to be greater than the dangers of getting cancer after being exposed to asbestos ([4]). The health risk caused our society to make changes, so maybe something will be changed to lessen the effects ([5]). However, many consider it to be not as bad as some consider it based on two factors which are the child’s interpretation of the actions, and how the parents help interpret the actions ([6]). As long as a child can comprehend the difference of the fact that there is a difference between it occurring on TV and how it transfers to real life, then the children seeing the programs should not make a difference ([7]).

Solutions

Three initiatives have been put in place to combat violence in cartoons ([8]). The first is The Children's Television Act which requires broadcasters to air shows which are educational and provide information for the children ([9]). The second initiative is the V-chip legislation that gives parents the opportunity to block out violent shows from their television ([10]). The third legislation against violent cartoons is “The National Cable Television Association’s TV Parental Guidelines”, which is a system that rates the Television shows based on their contents ([11]).  

In action-adventure oriented cartoons, the most consistent avenue of addressing violence is the use of a form of fantasy violence in which no one is injured or killed onscreen. In science fiction cartoons, for example, enemy forces are typically said to be robots so that they may be destroyed in bulk by the heroes without concern over killing living beings. In cases where vehicles are known to be piloted by living beings, tanks, aircraft, and other war vehicles that are destroyed in combat always allow time for the pilot to escape or bail out. Realistic firearms are often replaced with futuristic beam weapons which still seldom hit anyone. Swords and other bladed weapons may be prohibited from being used as offensive weapons but may be used defensively or be depicted as magical weapons. Direct violence is frequently limited to hand to hand combat where directly kicking or punching another character may or may not be allowed. The majority of action adventure cartoons over the past decades have used these methods of depicting dynamic action scenes although their use has been heavily criticized as "sanitized violence". Cartoons based on the Voltron, Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Masters of the Universe franchises (especially the versions produced during the 1980s) are notable examples using variations on fantasy violence.

References

  1. "Simpsons Crazy". http://www.simpsoncrazy.com/itchy-scratchy. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
  2. Ellison, Katherine (2008-1-1). Read, Reason, Write 8th ed.. New York, New York: McGraw Hill. pp. 471–477.
  3. Ellison, Katherine (2008-1-1). Read, Reason, Write 8th ed.. New York, New York: McGraw Hill. pp. 471–477.
  4. Ellison, Katherine (2008-1-1). Read, Reason, Write 8th ed.. New York, New York: McGraw Hill. pp. 471–477.
  5. Ellison, Katherine (2008-1-1). Read, Reason, Write 8th ed.. New York, New York: McGraw Hill. pp. 471–477.
  6. Peters, Kristen; Fran Blumberg (2002-03-01). "Cartoon Violence: Is it as Detrimental to Preschoolers as we Think?" (PDF). Early Childhood Education Journal 29 (3): 143–149.
  7. Peters, Kristen; Fran Blumberg (2002-03-01). "Cartoon Violence: Is it as Detrimental to Preschoolers as we Think?" (PDF). Early Childhood Education Journal 29 (3): 143–149.
  8. Peters, Kristen; Fran Blumberg (2002-03-01). "Cartoon Violence: Is it as Detrimental to Preschoolers as we Think?" (PDF). Early Childhood Education Journal 29 (3): 143–149.
  9. Peters, Kristen; Fran Blumberg (2002-03-01). "Cartoon Violence: Is it as Detrimental to Preschoolers as we Think?" (PDF). Early Childhood Education Journal 29 (3): 143–149.
  10. Peters, Kristen; Fran Blumberg (2002-03-01). "Cartoon Violence: Is it as Detrimental to Preschoolers as we Think?" (PDF). Early Childhood Education Journal 29 (3): 143–149.
  11. Peters, Kristen; Fran Blumberg (2002-03-01). "Cartoon Violence: Is it as Detrimental to Preschoolers as we Think?" (PDF). Early Childhood Education Journal 29 (3): 143–149.
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