[ Image Description: An arrangement of twenty-five, small cartoon screencaps, each depicting different couples with one male and one female partner engaged in a kiss. All depicted kisses are from different television shows and movies aimed toward a young audience, except the last four, which are all from Avatar: The Last Airbender. The shows and movies from which the screencaps were taken are: Disney’s Snow White (depicting Snow White and her prince), Disney’s Aladdin (depicting Aladdin and Jasmine), Disney’s Sleeping Beauty (depicting Aurora and Prince Philip), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (depicting Belle and the Beast in human form), Disney’s Tarzan (depicting Tarzan and Jane), Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame (depicting Phoebus and Esmerelda), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (depicting Ariel and Prince Eric), Disney’s The Lion King (depicting Nala and Simba), Disney’s Hercules (depicting Hercules and Megara), Disney’s Lady and the Tramp (depicting Lady and the Tramp), Disney’s Pocahontas (depicting Pocahontas and John Smith), Disney’s Mulan II (depicting Mulan and Shang), Sailor Moon (depicting Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask), Hey Arnold (depicting Arnold and Helga), The Amazing Spider-Man (depicting Black Cat and Spider-Man), Dragonball Z (depicting Android #18 and Krillin), Avatar: The Last Airbender (depicting Sokka kissing Suki, Aang kissing Katara, Sokka kissing Princess Yue, and Zuko kissing Mai in four separate screencaps) ]
This post is for anyone who has ever said that sexuality/romance “doesn’t belong in a children’s cartoon”. I want you to look long and hard at this collection of images. They are all actual screencaps of cartoons aimed at children. Now that you have processed these images, I want you to realise one thing: these are all expressions of sexuality and romance. And you’re quite content for your children to take in these images and ideas. Here’s a little spoiler for you: these kisses are more sexual than two people simply maybe having feelings for each other. Yet, if they happen to be two girls or two boys, they’re automatically more dirty and inappropriate than highly intimate open-mouthed kisses.
Protip: before you complain that children are too young for sexuality, remember that sexuality is everywhere in children’s entertainment. Then do us all a favour and shut the fuck up.
yes yes and yes also yyeeeaaahh Sokka getit
And, hell, at the very least The Lion King and Avatar had implied sex! (Can You Feel The Love Tonight? and Sokka getting caught pantsless in the tent by Zuko, respectively.) In Aladdin, the heroine used the Jafar’s lust against him. In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the villain was so consumed by lust for Esmerelda that he decides if he can’t have her, she should burn in hell!
But somehow these are all more okay for children than Marceline and PB maybe possibly having dated at some point in a completely subtextual way? BULLSHIT, Adventure Time fandom. Bullshit.
I’ve been trying to avoid all the drama currently circling around Adventure Time’s fandom but can I just say that I think it is actually extremely more inappropriate to show children something as disturbing as a song where a priest sings about his lust for a woman and promptly blames her for it and decide that he will send her to burn in the flames of hell than simply just acknowledging a romantic relationship between two people of the same sex, let alone showing them kissing just like any other heterosexual couple in cartoons.
Also in retrospect the Disney version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame was slightly more disturbing than the book in some ways and that is really saying something.
reblogging myself but
HOND was one of the three Disney movies I wasn’t allowed to watch until I was a teenager. (the others were Nightmare Before Christmas and Hercules. Hercules, even then, only because we watched it at school.)
I’d like to point out the fact that not only does this issue conflict with the amount of sex and romance in children’s cartoons to begin with, but it also seems to be founded on the idea that children are unaware of it and therefore vulnerable to it. Whatever someone’s own personal decisions concerning what their children watch are….the fact remains that even things not innately sexual in nature can be sexualized, and that children don’t find it too difficult to pick up on it. (I mean, shit, as a kid….the thing I was most disturbed by in a sexual manner was Hexxus in FernGully…..eeeehhh….)
People don’t give kids enough credit. At all. You think your child watches any disney princess movie with a kissing scene and doesn’t understand what the context of that action is? The disney scenes are actually probably worse than the tv show ones, because they have no real plot relevance. They become the culmination, the end-shot. “So-and-so admit their love, and now they kiss to prove it. THE END.” whereas in the cartoons, there is usually substantial and serious relational buildup where the audience is made extensively invested in the characters and their well-beings. As a kid, I turned away from Disney kisses, because they made me uncomfortable. I didn’t turn away from the kissing in my cartoon shows (though I was a kid for only 3 out of the 8 situations listed here). Furthermore, in these tv shows, the kisses aren’t a be-all end-all AND NOW THEY’RE IN LOVE FOREVER AND EVER sort of thing. Most of them are the result of complex relational and emotional situations, many of which don’t end in AND NOW THEY ARE TOGETHER. So which is better? TV shows which create more realistic relationship situations and include kissing more realistically, or Disney movies where the majority of the time, the kiss is representative of a CONSUMATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP?
In the face of that question, how the heck does the issue of a close relationship or POTENTIAL relationship between two characters who don’t even kiss take precedence as something that is too adult for a child audience?