The classic, all-time favorite cartoon of Tom and Jerry isn’t an ideal cartoon for children of age below 8 years. Before I say why I happen to witness a case-study addressing the impact Tom and Jerry have on tender minds.
It so happened that a 6-year old boy was all alone with his baby sister who was of 2 months old. Their mother went to get some groceries. Meanwhile, this boy has seen on the television that Tom puts Jerry into the washing machine and switches it on, but Jerry comes out unharmed.
This boy thought how realistic it was and executed the same on his baby sister. When his mother returned, he asked about the baby girl, the boy replied saying that he was waiting for her to come out of the washing machine. To his mother’s plight, the baby was squashed with blood all over.
So this was basically an introduction to explain the negative impact on such a screenplay. Not just this, there are many scenes that display explicit violence excluding the comedy and fun part of the show. Violence propagated by media has a deleterious impact on a child’s social development.
Not every child will be able to sit and contemplate the pros and cons of a particular action that’s been shown to him/her. Most of them just blindly follow whatever they see.
That is why psychologists counsel the parents not to scream and fight in front of children. For children who have their own analysis and decision making abilities, there won’t be any demerits, but for those who get accustomed to violence and start taking inspiration from them, it could be a possible psychotic symptom.
Children will start imbibing stuff, when their occurrence is justified. In the Tom and Jerry show or movie, for every act Tom or Jerry do, they show there is a reason and they are not wrong. So children take home the message that if you have any reason you can do such violent acts.
Just complaining won’t do any good; we need to have alternative portrayal of comedy and entertainment. For an instance, the conversations between the characters of Tom, Jerry, the dog, their master are hilarious. Their facial expression does the work. There can be limitation in making violent scenes and concentrate on non-violent depiction.
Media and movies are quite influential in today’s society and it’s their due responsibility to deliver constructive messages and not destructive ones. Especially children are most affected because they spend a lot of time watching TV and exploring different channels. It’s that unsatisfying hunger for new things and curiosity that attract them to violent stuff first.
We can restrict kids from the movies because they are A and U certified. What about metaphorical violence over the television.
I am not saying Tom and Jerry should be banned. It’s a classic and I love watching each and every episode. It’s just that, children in certain age groups shouldn’t be advertised with certain graphic content. I just want to make a point that not all children will have an introspecting mind and cannot differentiate between right and wrong.
Now as adults, we enjoy the picturization of the plot. But back then it’s the duty of the parents to teach the children not to imitate the slapstick antics that are being displayed on the show.
Psychological studies have brought violence in relevance to Tom and Jerry because it’s the only watched cartoon worldwide without any exceptions. Many real-life examples of primary school children beating up each other as a mode of play is a result of continuous watching of Tom and Jerry. In the show both Tom and Jerry beat them up in a quite unbelievable manner and yet nobody dies.
I mean yes, it’s funny but how practical it is, I leave it up to you. We can understand it, not children below 8 years. Children tend to lose the essence of reality.
There have been phenomenal comments on this movie series in 2016, from people in the Arab countries, where their governments declared Tom and Jerry to be a widespread cause for spreading violence.
Now we have a lot of other modes for leisure, but a decade ago; TV and video games were the only sources of entertainment. Medically, video games have a chronic effect on kid’s brains and are suggested to be used under proper monitoring. Ironically Tom and Jerry’s edition of the video games has also been released and increased the anxiety and aggression among the kids to another level.
The main trigger in this series is that common household appliances and objects are objectified in a violent mode. Like how a knife, iron box, saucepan, and lawn mowers can be used to blow the other person up. It’s more like implanting sinister plans in the impressionable minds of children.
The take-home message should be that, children pick up values from what they see, their minds are like molds, the impression we create or we seek to create will help in building their personality. Titles such as criminals and terrorists are very wrong to be brought into context, but the thought of becoming one of them starts with gaining pleasure from such violent scenes.
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