We see cartoons all the time, finding ourselves overloaded with images and videos of them daily. It is hard to escape, especially in a world full of:
- Animations & Films
- Websites & Apps
- Disney and Pixar
Let’s unpack this for a moment and try to define what the word ‘cartoon’ actually means. The Collins Dictionary has several definitions ranging from; ‘humorous or satirical drawings to sketches and sequence drawings in newspapers, magazines, and comic strips’ (Collins, 2022). Yet, another definition describes a cartoon as ‘a film in which all characters and scenes are drawn’ (Collins, 2022). Aside from this very generalised definition, it seems to mean that a cartoon can take a form, whether still or with movement.
Over the years, several industries have popularised cartoons and have jumped on board with the idea of utilising cartoons to capture and illustrate their messages to audiences. Often targeting specific groups of people, varying in gender, age groups, and cultural backgrounds. Thus, the effect of ‘nostalgia, simplicity of life, feelings of comfort’ (Cote, 2021) and a form of escape from our worries can often be reasons why many industries choose to use cartoons. As a tool, it is very effective and lasting.
Whether it is by watching, seeing or drawing, we all take part in the consumption of cartoons in some form or another. Growing up, watching cartoons are an ‘important event, especially in the early stages of our lives and highly influential in our cognitive and behavioural development’ (Meng et al, 2020). Cartoons help reconnect us in a way we never imagined, connecting us to various emotions and meanings with their portrayal. So much so, the United Nations, since 2006, has been promoting the importance of cartoons in forming public opinion and helping promote peace and understanding (United Nations, 2006).
So, next time you see a cartoon, take a moment to admire it – think about what it means and see what world your imagination can conjure up.