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Life Lessons from Saturday Morning Cartoons

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to read Paul Asay’s entertaining and enlightening discussion of the lessons we learned from Saturday morning cartoon shows like “Scooby-Doo” (be careful of strangers) and “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids” (television can teach moral lessons). I especially like this discussion of the lessons from Road Runner:

Wile E. Coyote was the show’s primary professor, and he taught his young students dozens of pragmatic lessons: Don’t horse around near dizzying precipices. Don’t strap yourself to large explosive rockets. Don’t paint false train tunnels onto the faces of cliffs. But, through his boundless trust in (and inexhaustible account with) the Acme Corporation, Mr. Coyote also offered an important, if little heeded, message: You can’t catch happiness through the accumulation of “stuff,” no matter how much of it you buy. Sure, sometimes it’ll seem tantalizingly close…but it’ll always speed away again with a “beep-beep” and tongue waggle.

  • daddydave

    That was a good, funny article, and brought up shows I hadn’t thought of in years. It does make me worry about the life lessons taught by some of today’s cartoons.
    As he said about Scooby-Doo, “They always knew the ghost would wind up being a guy in a rubber mask.” That is a great lesson in itself: don’t be afraid to face your fears, because they may not be as scary as you think. Unfortunately the Scooby Doo franchise eventually abandoned this convention (around 1982 according to Wikipedia) and started making the ghosts real.
    (No offense to any real ghosts.)
    And the real lesson from Wile E. Coyote was “Don’t put all your trust in a single vendor. Comparison shop before you buy.”

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