Animation = Controversy

By:Dez Wortham

stewie( Stewie Griffin, Family Guy, Episode: unknown)

Would adult animated shows be so great if they weren’t animated? When I think of cartoons targeting an older audience I think of: Family Guy, The Boondocks, American Dad, South Park and many others. In these shows many of these characters are kids or young adults that take part in reckless behavior. To viewers, we find these behaviors comical but would Stewie Griffin still be funny and your favorite if his voice actually fit the character or if he wasn’t animated? Would Huey Freeman words of wisdom be so powerful if he wasn’t a twelve year old African American Cartoon? The list of animated characters whose personas or roles which do not fit their stereotypical roles could go on for quite some time. I am really curious if it would make a difference to the viewers. What if the role of Stewie Griffin was played by a grown little person acting as the baby in the family would that work? Does the animation and perceived innocence of these characters make it okay to make such comments?

Would Society have a problem if the content covered on these animated television shows were covered in a different way? For example, would society have a problem if someone on T.V. besides a twelve year old animated character talked about how he felt the birth of Jesus is an inaccurate story? Would there be a problem if Will Smith for example said such a thing on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?  I think a critical part of animated TV is to be controversial. The real question is, is the controversial approach successful? I came across an article that talks about how animated comedies can change your opinion. These shows never talk about just normal topics they bring up the topics that people avoid and conversation and present them in a way that’s mind boggling. I’m interested to see how the political controversy will be implemented into these shows with a new President and new bans that are happening.

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3 Responses to Animation = Controversy

  1. mediaphiles says:

    We talked about this exact hypothetical during my Sitcom class last semester(shout out to Mary Dalton)! I believe that adding animation to any show that touches on sensitive topic will, most certainly, influence a different reaction from people. Animation is usually associated as lighthearted or comical, but adding sensitive issues is an entirely different sub genre referred to as postmodernism. Postmodernism includes shows such as Family Guy or the Simpsons. Elements of postmodernism usually consists of a lot of pop culture references and the need to make fun of them. This is how shows as bold as Family Guy often get away with these references because it is overshadowed by its comical manner. Family Guy thrives off of controversy and that is one of the many reasons of why it is so beloved, but is also the subject of hate.

    -Shelby Halliman

  2. mediaphiles says:

    Would adult animated shows be so great if they weren’t animated? This is a question I have never really thought about. but after thinking, if Family Guy was not animated what would it be like. . . I tried thinking of Stewie as a human talking baby just be crazy, confused, smart Stewie and it just does not seem if it would be funny, probably more disturbing. I would love to experience seeing the animated shows you mentioned not animated to see if there would be a different pleasure for the show.

    – John Armstrong

  3. marymdalton says:

    Thanks, Shelby! I love the animated sitcoms…and my all-time fav is King of the Hill!!!

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