Thursday, October 14, 2010

Anthropomorphic animals in children's programs freak me out!

When I was growing up, I didn't think much about anthropomorphic animals in kids cartoons. These kind of programs provided learning opportunities or entertainment or just a time to unwind after school.

But now as an adult, I am freaked out by the implications presented by these programs. Granted, it probably is just me delving too deeply in mostly innocent programs catering to kids from around 6-12 years old. But then just as Star Trek and some other sci-fi shows mainly presents a utopian view of future humanity without showing the wars, famines and massacres that surely featured in the precursor to this utopia; these childrens programs don't show what happened beforehand to create a world where monkeys, pigs, dogs and cats are driving cars, working, cooking, reading newspapers and running infrastructure.

Where the hell are the humans?! Did genetic splicing and uplifting go too far? Maybe the humans wanted some intelligent yet subservient animals that they could rely on for chores and other sorts of tasks. Then, did the uplifted animals just get tired of subservience and mankind's crap in general? Did they band together, rise up and kill all of their former masters? Or perhaps, because of these programs are targeted at children, the humans which have been fortunately spared are not shown, maybe they are used as slave labour or for some other nefarious purposes which our various future animalian overlords have.

There is one program in particular which perplexes me.

It is Arthur, now this was one of the favourites of my childhood. I watched it almost religiously during my childhood. But nowadays,it just doesn't provide the same entertainment and in fact, provides some strange questions.

What disturbs me most in this screwed up Arthur fictional world is that these uplifted animals did not learn from their prior idiotic human masters and decided to keep ethnic and religious divisions. It is mentioned several times that Maxine (a monkey) and her family are Jewish and that Brains (a bear)and their family are black or assumedly so as they celebrate Kwanzaa. I personally don't see the need for these animals to perpetuate race and religion. I mean, I get the purpose, the writers of Arthur want to promote multiculturalism and tolerance, and that's something good to teach kids. But I don't see why inherently human concepts would serve any purpose for these animals, but hey that's just me.

Also Buster, a rabbit eating meat by the kilo and Arthur, an aardvark eating everything else but ants, is seriously fucked up. Also in Arthur, the Dogs own smaller less intelligent (like the ones we're used) pet dogs, this seriously freaks me out, it's like the makers of the show want to subtly imprint a message of slavery. But then again, the pet dogs are pampered and fed well, so perhaps not.

Anyway I just felt the need to share this thought, I know I rant about some really irrelevant things and that sometimes I might make more out something than I should do. However, it's been on my mind ever since my last viewing of Arthur.

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