A year ago, the well-known children’s show Avatar: The Last Airbender experienced a spike in popularity after it came to Netflix in the United States. Grownups love other modern cartoons as well – Steven Universe, The Owl House, and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power are just a few examples of animated shows that are popular with people of all ages. But what is it that draws us to them despite not being part of the target audience?
1. Modern cartoons offer an escape
Thanks in great part to social media, we are now more aware than ever of all the terrible things happening in the world every day. Many of us are struggling in our own personal lives as well, thus the temptation to spiral into negativity is everywhere. Therefore it doesn’t come as a surprise that many of us are tempted to take a break from the ever-present hardships of real-life and enjoy a cute cartoon about a group of friends saving the world, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sometimes a little light-hearted positivity is precisely what we need to cheer up a bit!
2. They feature great visuals
2D animation has evolved significantly over the years – and a lot of work goes into creating an animated TV show. And if you happen to be a visual artist like me, you are likely aware of the influence cartoons have had over the art community in recent years. Despite the ever-increasing popularity of 3D animation, 2D animation is often just as good – if not better! You can find many gorgeous visuals in modern cartoons that you may have not noticed in the cartoons you used to watch as a child.
3. Ultimately, Modern Cartoons speak to us
When it comes to cartoons, it’s not enough to just make a show that will entertain small children for a while anymore. Modern Western animation has become surprisingly complex and often deals with deeper themes that grownups can resonate with better than children – themes like war, abuse, redemption, death, and spirituality and being a few examples. While shows aimed at older audiences often use such themes for shock value, cartoons tend to handle these topics that are of interest to us in a more delicate manner – something that draws many of us to them.