Cartoons like “Tom & Jerry”​, “Masha the Bear”

All of us can see the infatuation of young kids watching cartoons, and the fun they have watching them, many times repeating old episodes they would have already watched. I always wonder what makes these cartoons and cartoon characters so dear to them?

I should admit, even when we grow older it is simply fun to watch these cartoons, especially when you watch it with your young children or grandchildren. It is interesting to observe there facial expressions, the intensity with which they watch these cartoons.

The fascination of watching these cartoons probably does not go away until they are about 8 years old? It is all fun, chase & catches games, etc. Generally, Cartoons are stories built around the central characters, and mostly funny by depicting the scientifically impossible Acts. Changes in shapes, sizes, motion, velocity, colours, velocity & speed, etc.

Let me take an example of Tom chasing Jerry and hitting a tree hard, and Tom gets wrapped around the tree, falls to the ground as a 2-dimensional piece of clothing, shrugs off, and is back to its original form, and continues chasing Jerry. Children applaud!

Once they grow old enough and just about starting to study the fundamentals of science, motion, forces, etc.,. Is it a good idea to the use very same cartoons they so much enjoyed watching growing up, and use them, annotate them, modify them to make the children understand that while all that is fun, it does not comply to the fundamental laws of motion, forces, matter, shapes, and sizes, etc.? My premise is that the Instructional design methodology here is to use something where children already have an affinity to and enjoy watching (we know it is not easy to hold the attention of children for too long).

Use the same cartoon episodes to show them what is fun, but in reality not possible, and hence lead them to understand some basics of ideas in science? Or may the minds of the children clearly distinguishes between the two, they develop an infatuation with cartoons only for fun, while they already know at the back of their minds that some of the scenes that play out are not possible in real life. Compartmentalized thinking! We, as adult learners do it too, when we watch fictional movies, action, and adventure movies, we may enjoy it get hooked to it, even while we know it is unreal. Does the human mind automatically distinguish amusement and real-world thinking? Are there cognitive theories to prove this?

All mind games.

I have always wondered why the studios who are making these cartoons do not use them as learning material to disprove some of the happenings are unreal.

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About the author

D Sudhanva is the founder and CEO at Excelsoft Technologies, a globally renowned eLearning Solutions Company. With a focus on transforming education across the world, Sudhanva has steered Excelsoft to be a thought leader in Education Technology with robust products delivering innovative solutions.

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