Illustration by Muhammad Faizan
Illustration by Muhammad Faizan

As a kid, one of the greatest desires is to sit in front of the TV and watch your favourite cartoons all day long — fighting the bad guys, saving the world, finding treasure, doing silly things and what not! But has it ever occurred to you that your favourite cartoon character or the series has been giving you lessons of life?

The messages in these cartoons are actually to teach you small, but important things about life. However, if you haven’t learnt anything yet, today you will come to know a lot of such lessons that many cartoon characters have been giving to us. From Tom and Jerry to Timon and Pumba, from the Powderpuff girls to Mr Bean, we have so much to learn from every cartoon character or the series. So let us explore what these cartoons have to teach us!

Tom and Jerry

The Tom and Jerry cartoon series has been running for ages; since its inception, it has never failed to make every generation laugh and be surprised by the clever tricks that both Tom and Jerry play on each other. Their friendship is one of a kind, although they fight and keep taking revenge on each other, they can’t live without each other as well.

Tom, the notorious as well as charming cat always failed to get hold of Jerry. While Jerry, the smart mouse who, despite being so small, always won or got away from trouble easily. So what we learn here is that there is no point getting intimidated by stronger rivals. Just be innovative and survival will be easy. The Tom and Jerry series teaches us that even your most hated enemy in life can also be your friend.

Courage, the cowardly dog

Courage is the titular main protagonist of the series Courage, the Cowardly Dog. He is a pink beagle, found by Muriel Bagge, after he escaped from the Pets of Tomorrow vet clinic in the town of Nowhere, Kansas.

Courage is anxious, frightened by almost anything, but despite his nature, when it comes to his owners’ safety and survival, he stops at nothing and does anything to save them; this makes him the bravest and morally-aligned character throughout the series.

We learn that no matter what, and how scared you are from anything, you must face your fears and overcome them. Especially, when your loved ones are in danger, you must put aside all your fears and help and stand by them.

Scooby Doo

Never judge a book by its cover, it sits perfectly on Scooby Doo cartoon — one of the most popular cartoon series in history. The series teaches serious lessons of life through its characters Scooby Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Velma and Daphne, who solve mysteries involving supposedly supernatural creatures through a series of antics and missteps.

We learn that instead of whining and complaining, one should solve the problems. The series also forces its audience not to believe in things the way they are seen. The reality could be different and the good people in our life could be someone who is actually out to get us. However, it could also be the opposite; the ones we think are evil could turn out to be innocent. Throughout the series, we are taught that the deeds of humans could be scarier than those of ghosts and spirits.

Pink panther

He is tall and thin, quiet but very confident. He says nothing, stays silent, because he likes it that way, but when it comes to his life, he knows how to manage things.

Although he failed numerous times, it never dulled his confidence and he kept trying again. We learn that you need not to be an extrovert to be confident and there is nothing wrong in being introvert and quiet. Just know what you are doing, and be steadfast to that.

Mickey mouse

Mickey is the oldest production of Walt Disney. It has lived throughout the ages and is still the favourite of most children. Mickey always has a positive approach to life, including different scenarios. Irrespective of the situation, Mickey tends to focus on the positive side.

This cute mouse always smiles, even smiles at his mistakes and remains calm. He teaches us to don’t shy away from the smile and laugh at our own mistakes because humour is the greatest remedy in difficult situations.

Winnie the Pooh

Pooh is an adorable honey-loving bear, he teaches us love and patience. His friendship with his fellow animals is full of care and respect. He takes life simple and easy, and teaches us that superficial things don’t make one happy, it is the things that are present in our life which need our attention and an eye to appreciate their beauty and their importance in our life.

He also teaches us to smile in order to feel good, because this goodness will make others smile too!

The Little Mermaid

Ariel and Prince Eric are the major characters in this cartoon series, the major lesson we get from the series is sacrifice, which came from Ariel. Ariel sacrificed her voice in exchange for her legs, even when her voice was the only way for the Prince to know she was the person he was in search of!

Ariel gave up her voice in pursuit of love. Love means sacrifice, oftentimes, you get something better than what you had sacrificed.

Mr Bean

Who doesn’t love this amiable, simple yet gullible character? Mr Bean is a lonely soul, but he is always happy. He has only one best friend — his Teddy (a non-living creature, yet very lively to him).

Mr Bean’s character taught us that you don’t need company to be happy. Happiness is inside you. Be happy and content with yourself and find happiness in little things around you.

Sponge Bob SquarePants

The yellow-coloured sponge in his short pants is well-known for his adventures, along with his friends in an underwater city. SpongeBob taught us how to see the good in everything.

SpongeBob teaches us that one grows old by age but not by their thoughts, so one should always follow his heart’s desire without considering the world around. SpongeBob followed what he wanted to do and loved his profession as a fry cook even though his profession was not well appreciated.

The PowerPuff Girls

The sugar, spice and everything nice girls won millions of hearts with their powers, literally! The B3 girls — Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup — were supergirls who used to save their city and protect people from the evil forces.

The PowerPuff Girls not only showed us how to face all problems with courage, but also showed us how to work in unison and shatter the gender stereotype even further.

Bob the builder

“Can we fix it? Yes, we can!” This is the motto of this famous cartoon series. Just like the song, the series is full of positivity and energy. Bob, along with his partner Wendy and his very much lively construction vehicles, fixes everything broken.

The lessons we get from Bob is that we should always stay strong and focussed, and should mend broken objects and relationships in life. So remember Bob and his motto whenever any obstacles or hardships come in your life, just face and fix it!

The Flintstones

Though very old, most of you would not have any idea of this cartoon series. The Flintstones addressed modern-day concerns in a Stone Age style.

Fred Flintstone was the main character and head of the Flintstone house. He was short-tempered, yet a loving husband and father. Wilma was intelligent and a loyal wife, who loved to spend money. With Fred, Wilma and other characters, this series taught us family values, and showed us how to tackle daily life issues happily.

Timon and Pumba

“Hakuna Matata!” means ‘no worries’ is a song from the animated movie, The Lion King, the famous blockbuster of its time. Timon and Pumba is a duo of meerkat and warthog, who danced on the song to the young cub Simba, telling him he must take life joyfully and never fret for something he doesn’t know about.

The phrase gives positive energy and encourages one to leave all the worries behind and live without any rules, worry less and live a little more every day.

Popeye, the sailor man

Popeye is another classic cartoon character, who carried a tin of spinach with him. So, if he faced any danger or sensed threat to his relationship with Olive, he opened the can of spinach and ate it. In a matter of seconds, he used to gather enormous strength to deal with everything.

The lesson that we get from Popeye is that we must take care of ourselves by eating healthy. The cartoon had really induced the habit of eating greens as a child to many kids. So kids, do not underestimate the power you get by eating vegetables.

Who would have guessed that our beloved cartoons were teaching us such valuable life lessons? Take some time out and learn from these cartoons about how to live your life being brave as Courage, and smart as Jerry, or as positive as SpongeBob!

Published in Dawn, Young World, July 3rd, 2021

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