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Location: Muscat, Oman/ Bangalore, India

Round Peg....in a square hole. That describes me! All my life I have never quite fit in ... now I have just given up trying to live up to the expectations of the square hole or trying to find a round one!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Tom, Jerry and their ilk.

I am appalled by what I see on Cartoon Network.

And even more appalled that a leading school in Muscat, as a treat, allows their kindergarteners to watch "Tom and Jerry, mostly. Also other cartoons like Cinderella''.

I spoke with the Vice-Principal of the school today and he laughed at my concern saying even he watches Tom and Jerry.

That's precisely the point. He is an adult, he can absorb the antics of Tom and Jerry. Can a 3 year old? And in any case it's a silly argument - toddlers do not need to watch what the Vice-Principal watches.

The entire Tom and Jerry show revolves around who bashes up whom. Cinderella is about a wicked step mother.

How do you explain to a three year old that it's funny when Jerry bashes up Tom but its absolutely not ok to beat, push or frighten a friend? How do you explain wicked step-mothers to kids that age?

I think cartoons these days have just too much violence. I am generalizing here, but Cartoon Network is full of odd, turbo-powered characters some of which are not even pleasant to look at. Very often the characters are mean, menacing even frenzied.

At home, we stick to videos, the brat does not know Cartoon Network exists. He mostly watches stuff like the lovable Pooh, Bob the Builder, Richard Scarry, Noddy..

The characters in these shows are gentle and kind, they say their please and thank-yous, the story-line is simple, action not too fast paced, no character throws anything at body and nobody gets hurt. And if anybody does get hurt the rest hurry to show compassion.

Muscati, in his blog (a great read folks, check it out) had deplored ''Warner Bros. has created angular, slightly menacing-looking versions of the classic Looney Tunes characters for its new series.''

Menacing-looking cartoons for little kids? Just does not make sense.

There I go being the Round Peg again. ..

An Aside

Lars the Polar Bear - A Wonderful Discovery.

We accidentally discovered Lars the Polar Bear when the husband picked up a DVD on a whim.

This utterly charming DVD consists of 13 episodes about adventures of a little polar bear Lars and his friend Lena the Artic Hare and Pieps the Snow Goose.

Created by Hans de Beer, this character is sure to be a favourite with your preschooler. There are plenty of books and 2 DVDs' available. I have not seen the books either in Muscat or Bangalore so I guess the only recourse is Amazon or piling on to relatives!

DVD available in Muscat at Carrefour and Toys'RUs.

Cartoon Network India

The Cartoon Network referred to is what I see in Muscat. The India programming is different - better. It has some good shows like Postman Pat, The Little Red Tractor... The POGO channel is good too.

What's more, these shows are available in 2 languages - the original English and dubbed in Hindi. I must say though, that the Hindi version sounds a bit contrived. Mercifully, our Cable operator switched back to English after killing us for a few days with the Hindi feed.

5 Comments:

Blogger muscati said...

Come on kids have been watching Tom and Jerry for like 60 years now. My brother used to watch the same tape of Tom and Jerry cartoons every single day when he was 3 or 4. He turned up alright.

Don't worry, so long as you supervise what your kid watches and you make sure you explain to him that cartoon world is different than real life, he'll be fine.

I still like Tom & Jerry, but only the vintage early stuff. I don't like the ones they made in the 60's.

7:35 AM, May 20, 2005  
Blogger muscati said...

BTW, I think there's a mistake in the link that you put for the updated loony tunes.

Here's the correct link:

http://muscati.blogspot.com/2005/02/say-it-aint-so.html

7:36 AM, May 20, 2005  
Blogger AkaRound Peg said...

At age 3, the axiom ‘what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander’ rules!

Its hard for kids to understand and for me to explain why something that is ok in a situation is so wrong in another. Kids that age cannot exercise discretion.

We do not use force or threatening language to correct ‘unacceptable’ behavior, we try to lead by example and reasoning. When the same behavior is seen on TV and what is more the characters get away with it, I do not have a handle when the brat copies that same behavior. The argument - I don’t care what he did but you must not do it – seems high-handed.

That said, it would be a truism to say all those that watch Tom or Jerry (or similar) end up being dysfunctional, aggressive persons. Not at all. I am not against Tom and Jerry.

But the cartoons of today are very noisy, very fast paced and this affects children.


Sadly, even Pooh (Cowboy Pooh available at the video outlet in Zakher Mall) has succumbed this malaise.


And when there is a choice, why not take it?

5:20 AM, May 21, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh lordy, please don't take our tom & Jerry away, what we can't even sing "baa baa black sheep" in school these days, give us something to remember our childhood.

I do however agree that there are a whole load of daft cartoons, ie Power Rangers etc, and some other strange looking characters on the telly these days.

By the way, I find it quite unusual that you call your child a 'brat' seems a bit sad from someone who comes across with good principles yet does that??

5:17 AM, June 03, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an observation and sorry to change the subject, which is the correct saying?

What's good for the goose....

What's sauce for the goose.....

5:19 AM, June 03, 2005  

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