Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Cartoon Patterns

Too much serious stuff happening recently. I've decided to take a break and note down something that's been running through my mind since before the attacks.

I've noticed how English cartoons from the 80's and 90's always seemed to follow certain patterns i.e they all contain recurring constants. I've tried to identify these trends below, just to get it off my chest.

1. The tech geek – the group that the cartoon is about almost always has at least one brain/geek/tech guy who keeps inventing stuff or solving complex problems or puzzles. Eg: Donatello in TMNT, Brainy Smurf in Smurfs, Gadget in Rescue Rangers.

2. The animal/pet that keeps following the main group. Eg: Uni in D&D, alien pet in ThunderCats, puppy in Smurfs.

3. The clear group leader. Eg: Hank in D&D, Mako in Tigersharks, Lion-O in Thundercats, Leo in TMNT, Optimus Prime in Transformers, Chip in Rescue Rangers, Papa Smurf in Smurfs.

4. The wizard/wise man. Eg: Dungeon Master in D&D, Zummi in Gummi Bears, Walro in Tigersharks, Splinter in TMNT, Jaga in ThunderCats, Gaia in Captain Planet.

5. The disproportionate male-female ratio. Eg: Smurfs (108 males : 3 females), Transformers (20+ : 3), Gummi bears (4 : 2), Denver (5 : 2), TMNT (5+ : 1), D&D (5 : 3), ThunderCats (5 : 2), Captain Planet (4 : 3), Tigersharks (7+ : 2), Rescue Rangers (4 : 1). The only exception is Care Bears (15+ : 17+).

6. The kid in the group of adults/teens. Eg: Cubbi in Gummi Bears, Bobby in D&D, Casey in Denver, WilyKat & WilyKit in ThunderCats, Bronc & Angel in Tigersharks, Spike in Transformers.

7. The rude, proud or grouchy group member. Eg: Raphael in TMNT, Eric in D&D, Grouchy Smurf in Smurfs, Mario in Denver, Gruffi in Gummi Bears.

8. There are a lot of cartoons with little people. Eg: Smurfs, The Littles, Gummi Bears, Rescue Rangers, Care Bears.

9. There has to be an episode with a certain theme. Eg: episodes in space, travelling back in time, underwater, underground, etc.

10. A lot of the cartoon characters live in trees, underwater or underground. Eg: Gummi Bears, Smurfs, TMNT, Tigersharks.


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