If you’re like me, you probably watch cartoons with your kids. There are some atrocious ones (Syd the Science Kid) and some decent ones (Kipper). I think the main difference between cartoons then and now is that the cartoons I watched were mostly about adults — Space Ghost, Bugs, Fred Flintstone.
My kids watch cartoons about kids — Olivia, Blue, Super Why. There’s probably some developmental reasoning behind it, but you just don’t want to grow up to be a Backyardigan the way I wanted to grow up to be Foghorn Leghorn — now there was a chicken with class.
My old-fashioned cartoons may have been less “educational” but they instilled values in me nevertheless. If you watched as much TV as I did, it will stick with you. And when I’m trying to maintain a cool exterior in a tough situation I can still hear Bugs’ nonchalant indifference in my head, “Gee, ain’t I a stinker.”
More life lessons from classic cartoons after the jump.
Bugs Bunny is cool 1 of 10Never at a loss for a witty comeback, caring less than anyone else, chomping on a carrot like Brad Pitt polishing off a sandwich in Ocean's 11, who's cooler than Bugs Bunny? Nobody. Bugs was saying "meh" before "meh" was a thing.
Photo Credit: NateRay.com
Elmer Fudd is not cool 2 of 10What a loser — gun-toting, incompetent, short, bald, and slow to boot. The message of Elmer Fudd is: Don't be like Elmer Fudd. We wead you loud and clear, Fudd.
Photo Credit: literaryfictions.com
Pepe Le Pew is a sexual predator 3 of 10If it walks like a skunk and smells like a skunk, and talks like a French man, AVOID. Smash it with a giant hammer, if necessary.
Photo Credit: free-extras.com
You can be smart like Velma 4 of 10As a fledgeling detective, I worshiped Velma. It was clear that being the smart one was a trade-off. Wear bulky orange sweaters and always be overlooked for Daphne? Sure. Sign me up!
Photo Credit: solearabiantree.net
Kind of literal but, uh, eat your spinach 5 of 10There's just something about Popeye. He made canned spinach seem so appetizing the way he squeezed the can open and slid the spinach into his mouth. It got me to eat spinach, that's for sure.
Photo Credit: comicbookresources.com
Fat Albert was my first black friend 6 of 10My town wasn't super multicultural when I was little, but I always felt like I knew a really diverse group of people. Perhaps this says more about my relationship with TV than anything else, but I kind of feel like Fat Albert was in my class and we were buddies.
Photo Credit: Babble
Daffy Duck is hilarious 7 of 10Sarcastic, jealous, delightfully meta and a total jerk. Oh Daffy, you had me at de-thpicable.
Photo Credit: free-extras.com
You’ve got to hand it to Pink, that cat has style 8 of 10The irresistible music, those stylized opening credits — watching The Pink Panther is a lesson in art appreciation at any age.
Photo Credit: tvtropes.org
Yogi Bear is a conservationist who loves lunch 9 of 10Yogi Bear was all about raising awareness for two issues that are close to my heart: 1. Conservation of national parks and 2. lunch. I can't think of a more formative character.
Photo Credit: skatingbuffalo.blogspot.com
Charlie Brown is every man 10 of 10He's bald, he wears shorts and a weird shirt all the time — but that's where the similarities between Charlie Brown and Caillou end. Charlie Brown understands irony, is self-deprecating, and displays world-weary wisdom. Caillou willfully misunderstands everything, is self-absorbed, and has no clue. I weep for today's children.
Photo Credit: solidprinciples.com
What are your kids learning from the cartoons they watch?