Most of us grew up watching cartoons. Of course, your favourites were highly dependent on which era you grew up in. In the 80’s, there was the classic Jetsons or ThunderCats. For the 90’s kids we were addicted to Pokemon or Sailor Moon. We all found our timeless classics and reminisce on them with our oldest friends. However, why don’t we watch them again in adult-life?
The cynic in you is probably saying that it’s childish, that it’s beneath us, we have better things to do with our time. You’re forgetting something – cartoons (or as some are known, anime) are excitingly brilliant now, as entertainment and motivators, as they were 20-50 years ago! I have an established professional career and numerous hobbies, but I still often watch some of my favorite cartoons.
Motivation and Justice
Do you remember that sense of justice from watching cartoons as a youngster – a feeling of triumph of good over evil? Unless you’re an officer of the law or possibly working in pest control (really, what’s more cunning than a mosquito in bed at night), that feeling is something we aren’t afforded much in adult life. Cartoons simplify their stories with a relateable protagonist and antagonist – and we watch them achieve nigh improbable things. In fact, they’re a great motivator as adultnow,If superman can save the world countless times, why can’t you finish your gym workout, or receive that promotion you’re eyeing? Find whatever works for you! Personally, I figure that if Mr. Freeze can turn things into icicles on the spot, I should endeavour to have icecream every morning before breakfast. That’s only fair.
Re-living your inner kiddiness
Adult life becomes super serious very quickly. It’s not easy to reconnect with your inner child – but watching a favourite episode of say, The Simpsons, is a great shortcut. Some might say that the Simpsons isn’t really a cartoon given its content, but anything we weren’t supposed to understand usually went over our heads anyway, right? In either case, regardless of the show, you can sing the tunes you remember. Belt some of the best lines so that your neighbours can hear you and join in. Go on, sing the Sailor Moon theme song – I know you want to.
My personal favourites are Pokemon and Avatar, the Last Airbender. “I want to be the very best, that no-one ever was.” – I think this every day when I wake up. Of course, I also daydream about turning into a super-saiyan and moving faster than the eye can see, but that’s just between you and me.
Cartoons let us dream in ways that exceed the limits of our humanity, and reminds us to be playful!
Reconnect with your kids
I don’t have kids yet – but plan to. One of the things I’m looking forward to is introducing my kids to the shows I used to love – so I get to watch them again! Ingenius, right? It also helps me instill values in the kids that I learned from the shows. For example, to always treat animals with care (Pokemon) or to protect your friends with giant robots (Full Metal Panic).
Of course, not all shows are rewatchable. I tried to revisit Hercules (the legendary journeys) recently – and discovered that Kevin Sorbo’s performance isn’t as timeless as I thought it was.
Chicken Run – on the other hand – recently confirmed to my partner that chickens can fly. Brilliant.
What do you think, did I remind you of your childhood favourites?