When I think of the best birthday gifts I’ve ever received, one that jumps to the front of my mind is when my grandmother gave me “The Best DVD In the World *At this Moment in Time*” for my 10th birthday.
This sensational DVD lived up to the name as it consisted of 16 episodes of one of the greatest cartoons to ever grace this earth: “Regular Show.” I spent countless hours as a youngin watching Regular Show along with “Adventure Time,” “Spongebob Squarepants” or “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends,” among others.
Almost 11 years and a full-grown beard later, not much has changed.
Even as an adult, most of my favorite TV episodes come from cartoons. Some of these episodes are “Exit 9B” from “Regular Show,” “Graveyard Shift” from “Spongebob” or “Awwwwww, Drumheller” from “Total Drama World Tour.”
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to understand cartoons in a different way that helps me see the beauty in them.
One example is how the writers of “Adventure Time” had Finn, the main character, mature with the audience as they got older by using more emotionally complex plots as the show went on, according to Movie Web.
The cartoons I’ve mentioned may appear to be solely meant for children, but there’s so much more to them. The lore in these shows can be so complex, with characters who undergo elaborate development, all while portraying deeper messages.
The beauty in cartoons is they have simple exteriors meant for a young audience while also having complex inner workings.
While I don’t have it in me to choose one cartoon as my favorite, Spongebob will always be near the top, largely due to it being a prevalent force in my household since before I was born.
At least once a week, my dad and I will quote lines from it, whether it be “When I need a job done, I get someone with a job to do that job” from “Can you Spare a Dime” or “Texas? What’s a Texas?” from “Texas.”
This past summer, the broadcast for the Braves and Red Sox game July 26, mentioned “Spongebob,” and I instantly got a text from my mom that read, “Are you hearing them talk about “Spongebob” at the game?”
As the years have gone by, it’s for these reasons that I’ve clung to cartoons as my go-to type of TV show. Getting to understand shows from my past in new and deeper ways while also having my memories of my family tied to them makes cartoons my ideal genre of television.
Some of my favorite smaller moments at Pepperdine have been other people sparking up a conversation with me after they’ve seen me wearing my “Scooby-Doo” Converse or “Courage the Cowardly Dog” fleece.
I love these moments because they serve as reminders of how big of an impact cartoons have had on so many people. I can’t think of a better interaction than two people — oftentimes, strangers — stopping to chat so they can share what cartoons mean to them.
When you need to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, then come on, grab your friends and travel to very distant lands in the amazing world of cartoons.
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Contact Tony Gleason on Twitter (@tony__gleason) or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org