When Are You Too Old for Cartoons?

When Are You Too Old for Cartoons?

When are you too old for cartoon movies and TV shows? Is there an age limit where you can’t enjoy animation anymore? Or can both adults and children alike appreciate the art of cartoons?

Last week, when I was scrolling Disney Plus and the Lion King popped up. The original one with James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Jeremy Irons as Scar, and Matthew Broderick as the adult Simba. I sat and watched the entire movie. But while I was watching, my brain kept wondering if I was too old to enjoy cartoons or if cartoons were for everyone.

The Lion King

Do you remember the original Lion King that debuted in 1994? When it debuted, it was the greatest full-length animated Disney feature of all time. It even won the Academy Awards for original Score and original Song for Elton John’s hit Can You Feel The Love Tonight.

The Story

The Lion King takes place in Pride Rock, a serene jungle paradise on the African plain. In Pride Rock, every animal lives as part of a harmonious ecosystem ruled by King Mufasa. When King Mufasa and Sarabi welcome their son Simba to the family, the young heir’s Uncle Scar plots to overthrow his brother and take his kingdom by force.

A Conspiracy

Forming a conspiracy with a pack of wild hyenas, Scar plans to lure Simba and Mufasa into a valley where the hyenas stir up a herd of wildebeests. The wildebeests end up trampling Mufasa and leave him clinging to his life on the edge of a cliff. Scar seizes the opportunity to send his brother hurling to his death and send Simba into Exile.

With the king gone, Scar, and the hyenas ascend to power. They soon reduced pride Rock to a desolate wasteland as its newest rulers ravage the landscape.

Hakuna Matada

Fleeing to a faraway land, Simba befriends Pumbaa and Timon, a warthog and meerkat who live carefree lives feasting on grubs and insects. But as time passes, a chance encounter reunites Simba with his childhood destiny. Can Simba return to Pride Rock and reclaim his rightful position as king, or will he succumb to the temptations of a simple life, free from conflict and responsibility? If you don’t know the answer, go watch the movie and find out.

My Connection to The Lion King

The Lion King was the first movie that my two-year-old daughter sat still enough to watch. In fact, we still have the videotape… yes, I said videotape. Although she almost wore it out, playing it repeatedly. We even bought the soundtrack (cassette tape) which we listened to for a ten-hour car ride (fun times). I can still sing Hakuna Matata by heart. While I have watched the new Lion King (2019) my heart still loves the first one more.

If you shy away from animated films as childlike, I would well advise you to make an exception for The Lion King. It’s simply an extraordinary epic, with interesting characters, glorious music and top-notch animation.

Are Cartoons for Everyone?

Cartoons are a popular way to pass the time. Whether you are young or old, you can watch cartoons for fun or spend time with your family. It’s also a great way to relax and let your mind wander. With a wide range of cartoons available, you can easily find a cartoon to watch. In this section, we will explore the age ranges of cartoons.

Cartoons for Toddlers

Cartoons can be educational. Many cartoons have lessons that teach kids about social issues, history, and geography. They can also teach moral lessons. Although, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement in 2016 that stated that toddlers should not watch cartoons until they are 18-24 months old. And then for up to one hour or less a day.

Here are some educational cartoons for toddlers:

  • Dinosaur Train
  • Daniel Tigers Neighborhood
  • Wild Kratts
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Ask the Storybots

Cartoons for Children

Watching cartoons with positive messages can boost your child’s brain development. However, you should be careful not to let your child watch cartoons for extended periods of time and choose cartoons with simple storylines.

Here are some educational cartoons for kids:

  • Arthur
  • Rhyme Time Town
  • Phineas and Ferb
  • Atomic Betty
  • Ducktales
  • The Magic School Bus

Cartoons for Adults

Disney and Pixar have further helped to establish the stereotype of these films as only for little kids. However, the age limit on cartoons should not prevent an adult from watching a cartoon alone. Some movies like Aladdin (1982 with Robin Williams – hilarious) have animation for the kids and humor for adults.

There are plenty of Adult only cartoons on the networks and streaming services. While some adults feel that watching cartoons is childish, and silly, research shows that adults can benefit from watching them. They help us exercise our imagination and allow us to relax and unwind.

Here are some cartoons for adults:

  • The Flintstones
  • The Jetsons
  • Rick & Morty
  • The Simpsons
  • South Park
  • Harley Quinn
  • Family Guy
  • Bob’s Burgers
  • Robot Chicken
  • King of the Hill

Final Thoughts

The answer to the question “When are you too old for cartoons?” appears to be never. Do you watch cartoons? Let me know if the comments.

 

Until next time

Frankie

 

Feature image by Janos Perian from Pixabay.

Why Are We Addicted to Crime Shows and Criminals?

Why Are We Addicted to Crime Shows and Criminals?

Does crime pay in Hollywood? Do you ever cheer for the villain when you are watching a television series or a movie? Why do we do that? Is it the way Hollywood writes characters or something else? Are the characters good people doing bad things or bad people?

Crime Sells

Crime sells in Hollywood, especially when they represent criminals as self-confident, exciting, daring, and extremely intelligent. When they portray the bad guy/girl as a glamorous risk-taker or possibly “cool” as they commit crimes.

Sometimes we look at characters sympathetically as if they can justify their choices. For instance, committing a crime to save a loved one. Maybe they even have some justification or redeeming worthiness that makes their choices valid.

Jax Teller (Sons of Anarchy) shows a lot of remorse and internal conflict when he kills Agent Kohn in the first season, but by the final season he kills people left and right with no regret, but yet we are still on his side to the very end of the series.

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Crime Shows

Shows and movies about crime and criminals fascinate us. Crime stories are full of things we can’t do in actual life, but we can immerse ourselves in a character’s life and do something dangerous, without leaving the comfort of our couch.

We would never cook meth, but watching Walter White and Jesse Pinkman struggle through one chaotic situation after another is pure entertainment. Watching Jimmy McGill transform to Saul Goodman on Better Call Saul is spell-binding.

Top Ten Crime Shows

Stacker documents the top ten crime shows as:

  1. Breaking Bad
  2. The Wire
  3. The Sopranos
  4. Sherlock
  5. True Detective
  6. Fargo
  7. Peaky Blinders
  8. Narcos
  9. Twin Peaks
  10. Better Call Saul

Other notable shows on this list include the Boys and Justified. CSI, NCIS, and the Law & Order franchises have ruled the network airwaves for years.

Top Ten TV Villains

According to Screen Rant, these TV shows feature the villain as the principal character:

  1. Elliot Anderson (Mr. Robot)
  2. Nucky Thompson (Boardwalk Empire)
  3. Norman Bates (Bates Motel)
  4. Tommy Shelby (Peaky Binders)
  5. Tony Soprano (The Sopranos)
  6. Dexter (Dexter)
  7. Red Reddington (The Blacklist)
  8. Hannibal (Hannibal)
  9. Vic Mackey (The Shield)
  10. Walter White (Breaking Bad)

Would these shows be better if they wrote them from another perspective? I think not!

Heists and Thieves

Thieves are always gripping to watch. They form complex plans that never work out the way they want so they have to think fast and adjust to situations on the fly.

Movies like the Italian Job or the Ocean movies show crooks as ordinary everyday people other than when they are robbing places. Hollywood even romanticized Bonnie and Clyde, the machine gun bank robbers. The Good Girls show three ordinary moms, who rob a grocery store to feed their kids not knowing the snowball effect that one moment would have on their lives.

Top Ten Heist Movies

According to Vulture, these are the top ten Heist movies:

  1. The Killing (1956)
  2. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
  3. Riffi (1955)
  4. Ocean’s 11 (2001)
  5. Inception (2010)
  6. Out of Sight (1998)
  7. Jackie Brown (1997)
  8. The Sting (1973)
  9. Three Kings (1999)
  10. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Other great movies on their list of 25 include Dog Day Afternoon, A Fish Called Wanda, and the Italian Job.

Top Ten Thieves on TV

SBS reports that these are the top ten thieves on TV:

  1. Salavatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero (Sopranos)
  2. Earl Hickey (My Name is Earl)
  3. Rosa “Miss Rosa” Cisneros (Orange is the New Black)
  4. Fernando Sucre (Prison Break)
  5. Snake Jailbird (Simpsons)
  6. Neal Caffrey (White Collar)
  7. Remington Steele (Remington Steele)
  8. Parker (Leverage)
  9. James “Jimmy Lishman” (Shameless)
  10. Doug Judy (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

What do you think are they criminals or victims of circumstance?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

Mobsters

Hollywood has glamorized the mystery of fictional criminals from the cold reality of actual criminals. Real-life mobsters like Al Capone are not tenderhearted figures they are cruel, savage, cheating, and possibly murderous.

On the Sopranos every week someone got whacked. They laundered money and performed countless other unspeakable crimes. Yet, we saw the protagonist Tony Soprano as a son, father, and husband who goes to a psychiatrist. Is Tony written this way to connect to the audience?

Top Ten Crime Family TV Shows

IMBD lists the following as the top ten crime family TV shows:

  1. Peaky Binders
  2. Boardwalk Empire
  3. The Sopranos
  4. Godfather of Harlem
  5. Gangs of London
  6. ZeroZeroZero
  7. Capo Dei Capi
  8. Gomorra: La Serie
  9. Love/Hate
  10. McMafia

Coming in at number 11 is Animal Kingdom, one of my favorites. This family crime drama enthralls me.

Top Ten Mobsters on Screen

Gunaxin reports that these are the top ten mobsters in TV and movies:

  1. Vito Corleone (The Godfather)
  2. Anthony “Tony” Soprano (The Sopranos)
  3. Michael Corleone (The Godfather)
  4. Francis “Frank” Costello (The Departed)
  5. Tony Montana (Scarface)
  6. Keyser Suzo (The Usual Suspects)
  7. Marsellus Wallace (Pulp Fiction)
  8. Don Logan (Sexy Beast)
  9. Sonny LaSpecchio (A Bronx Tale)
  10. Wong Hoi (The Killer)

Other notables on this list include Vincenzo “Vincent” Coccotti (True Romance), Jabba the Hutt (Star Wars), and Fat Tony (The Simpsons).

Serial Killers and Murderers

Murder is another thing that obsesses us to keep watching. Perhaps because we have boring regular lives so people who ignore the law without getting caught attract us.

Even those characters that get caught are interesting. Orange Is the New Black, Oz and Wentworth show us interesting characters to binge-watch.

During the second season of Dexter when he has a problem killing we actually worry that he won’t be able to start again. How did the writers make us care about him?

Top Ten TV Shows About Serial Killers

Ranker reports the top ten TV shows about serial killers as:

  1. Dexter
  2. Mindhunter
  3. Hannibal
  4. The Fall
  5. True Detective
  6. Prodigal Son
  7. Criminal Minds
  8. Killing Eve
  9. You
  10. The Following

The thought that people could so vagrantly ignore the law in our society is engaging to watch.

Top Ten Fictional Serial Killers

According to Ranker, the greatest fictional serial killers are:

  1. Hannibal Lecter (Hannibal)
  2. Dexter Morgan (Dexter)
  3. Patrick Bateman (American Psycho)
  4. Pennywise (It)
  5. Jigsaw (Saw)
  6. Buffalo Bill (Silence of the Lambs)
  7. John Doe (Seven)
  8. Ghostface (Scream)
  9. Sweeney Todd (Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
  10. Mickey Knox (Natural Born Killers)

Other notable killers on this list are Skylar (Heroes), Red John (The Mentalist), Mallory Knox (Natural Born Killers), and Joe Caroll (The Following).

Final Thoughts

There are so many great TV shows and movies that allow us to experience another world with no threat to our own. What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments.

 

Until next time

Frankie

 

Feature image by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash.

TV Characters I Used to Hate

TV Characters I Used to Hate

Have you ever started off hating a character then grew to love them? You know those TV characters we hated because they seemed too annoying or awful to grow an attachment to, but end up being scene-stealers.

Television characters have the greatest growth since we spend more time with them than a two-hour movie or a single novel. Even when characters change for the worse, sometimes they embrace their true nature. Remember that a villain is the hero in their story.

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TV Characters I Used To Hate

​The following is a list of ten characters I used to hate but ended up loving:

(Please note: possible spoilers for Gray’s Anatomy, Sons of Anarchy, The 100, Justified, Lost, Game of Thrones, Suits, Yellowstone, Glee and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.)

1. Alex Karev (Gray’s Anatomy)

​Alex started as a tactless, overconfident, impulsive womanizer. His selfish decisions made him hard to like. He was a lone wolf left out of the trusted circle who called him ‘evil spawn’.

Alex made a lot of wrong choices, but after we learn more about his back story, we can understand that most of his personality is a defence mechanism. Once he worked for Arizona in pediatrics, he showed his vulnerable side. He eventually became Meredith’s person when Christina left the show, but he always kept his blunt honesty.

“Maybe I’m a pig, maybe I’m an ass, and maybe I’m a vermin like everybody says. But I tell them the truth. It’s the only thing that I’ve got going for me.”

2. Alexander ‘Tig’ Trager (Sons of Anarchy)

As Clay’s right hand, Tig was prone to violence and hard to like. Especially after he accidentally killed Opie’s wife, Donna. Turning in his sergeant-at-arms flash when Clay assaults Gemma showed he had limits. Eventually Tig proved he was loyal and sensitive, particularly in his love of dogs. His relationship with Venus also showed a softer side.

“You know why I like teaming up with you, Hap? Because when we do, I’m the normal one.”

3. Bellamy Blake (The 100)

Jaha’s enemies manipulated Bellamy into killing a guard to get on the drop ship to protect his sister. Loving his newfound freedom, his motto of ‘whatever the hell we want’ put him in opposition to Clark in the struggle for leadership of the group. Although he made a lot of mistakes, he became a trusted ally and would do whatever it took to protect those he loved.

“Who we are and who we have to be to survive are two different things.”

4. Boyd Crowder (Justified)

Originally scheduled to die in the pilot, Boyd is one of my favorite characters. He was a small-time con artist who liked to blow things up. He had a calm, articulate, charming way of speaking. Although Boyd tried his best to go straight, he eventually returned to his outlaw roots, with Ava at his side. It is in Boyd’s interactions with Marshal Raylan Givens, where we see they are two sides of the same coin that could easily flip them from lawman to outlaw.

“I’ve been accused of being a lot of things. Inarticulate ain’t one of them.”

5. James ‘Sawyer’ Ford (Lost)

After the plane crash, Sawyer looked out for himself hoarding supplies and leveraging them. An abrasive con man, he wouldn’t do anything unless it was to his benefit. His honesty was refreshing. Plus, he jumped out of a helicopter to give Kate and the others a better chance to survive. He also had some of the best lines on Lost.

“Why am I getting the evening news from a six year old?”

6. Jamie Lannister (Game of Thrones)

Jamie started off as a villain, throwing Bran Stark off a roof to protect his secret love affair. After he lost his hand, it humbled him. We saw a softer side of Jamie, especially with his affection for Brienne of Tarth who he helps to protect the Stark girls. He even turned his back on Cersei to fight for the North. (Although he abandons his hero arc to return to die with Cersei.)

“People have been swinging at me for years, but they always seem to miss.”

7. Louis Litt (Suits)

Louis started off as a neurotic mess with an inferiority complex. He always felt left out and less valued than Harvey by Jessica. Although what Louis wanted most was Harvey’s approval and friendship. He wears his heart on his sleeve and lashes out when his emotions get bruised. His love of mud, cats, fine arts and other eccentricities bring humor to his character. In the end, you couldn’t ask for a more trusted loyal friend than Louis.

“So I treat my body like a temple. Does that make me uncool? I don’t think so.”

8. Rip Wheeler (Yellowstone)

Rip starts off as a bully, especially with the other ranch hands. A man of few words, he has no qualms about killing anyone or telling them what he thinks. His relationship with Beth Dutton and his backstory provide an insight into his behaviour, making him more likable. He is loyal to John Dutton and the Yellowstone ranch and will do whatever it takes to defend them. When he received the letter from John, you can see how touched and vulnerable he really is.

“I’d rather kill a thousand men than shoot another horse.”

9. Santana Lopez (Glee)

Santana was a cheerleader who joined the glee club to spy for Sue Sylvester, the cheerleading coach. As an antagonistic force, she was cruel to the other glee club members. She was witty, smart, and called things like she saw them. She eventually stood up to Sue in defence of Finn and admitted to actually liking the glee club.

“Everything about you screams virgin. You’re about as sexy as a Cabbage Patch Kid. It’s exhausting to look at you.”

10. Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

They brought Spike onto the show to be the villain in season two. After Cordelia left to join Angel, they brought Spike back to the show to fulfill her role in creating conflict in the group. It’s not until Spike regains his soul that you see his character change. The King of one liners, Spikes provide levity to any situation.

“If every vampire who said he was at the crucifixion was actually there, it would have been like Woodstock.”

Honorable Mention

There are lots of other characters to include on this list: Nathan Scott (One Tree Hill), Seth Cohen (The O.C.), Theodore ‘T-Bag’ Bagwell (Prison Break), Gregory House (House), Chloe O’Brien (24), Daryl Dixon (Walking Dead), Red (Orange Is the New Black), Doug Stamper (House of Cards), Saul Goodman (Breaking Bad/ Better Call Saul), Mellie Grant (Scandal), Paris Geller (Gilmour Girls), Lemon Breeland (Hart of Dixie), Pete Campbell (Mad Men), Rumpelstiltskin (Once Upon a Time), and Blair Waldorf (Gossip Girl). I am sure I could name over a hundred TV characters on this list.

Streaming Availability

If you haven’t watched any of these shows, you can watch Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, Gilmore Girls, Gray’s Anatomy, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Prison Break, Scandal, Sons of Anarchy, Suits, The 100, and The Walking Dead at Netflix Canada.

Amazon Prime Video has 24, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Glee, House, Mad Men, Lost, and Yellowstone. You can watch Justified at FX Now Canada, Game of Thrones on Crave and Once Upon a Time on Disney+. Unfortunately Gossip Girl, Hart of Dixie, One Tree Hill, and The O.C. are not available to stream in Canada right now.

Final Thoughts

As a writer, I like to analyze characters and their motivations to find out what makes them tick. What TV characters did you hate then grew to love? Let me know in the comments.

 

Until next time

Frankie

 

Feature image by Patricio González from Pixabay.