Cartoons are often toted as “childish”, and something that only people under the age of seven should participate in. Anyone who watches Spongebob past the age of 13 has to have something wrong with them, because “that’s for little kids”. But what’s usually ignored is that these types of shows are the least problematic on television. These are the shows that let a male character wear a dress and not say something degrading about it, or make the dialogue turn into one of those tired, “But those are for girls!” tropes. These are the shows that don’t have a female character forced into “one of the guys” just because she prefers a more masculine hobby or career than someone else in the room.
#tb to when Chuckie and Phil just wanted to wear dresses and live their lives
Remember when Spongebob and Patrick became parents to a baby scallop and Spongebob ended up doing all of the work? Simultaneously demonstrating the fulfilling aspects of parenting (how cute was it when the scallop learned to fly?) and putting the fear of diapers in you.
Kim Possible. Every girl wanted to be her, every guy wanted to date her. This show was perfect– a sidekick who didn’t know how to kick, and a girl who did every action-movie move known to man and still made it to cheerleading practice the next day. She did the coolest things ever, like refract a deadly beam of energy using her compact mirror. You see that punch she’s aiming? Yeah, it’s at the glass ceiling for television shows.
Oh, Jimmy. Jimmy Neutron was the rare kind of show that taught you that the sky wasn’t the limit. That everyone who ever said that was lying, because there was no limit. An eleven year old flew into outer space and shattered the limits with so much force that it was the first Nickelodeon film to be nominated for the first Academy Award for best animated feature. With two people of color as lead characters, and outspoken female leads who were actually taken seriously (and half the time even saved the day), Jimmy Neutron is probably one of the least problematic series to hit the ‘00s.
This is just the surface of unproblematic cartoons. This list goes on and on, and becomes even longer if you include unproblematic regular television, too. Not to say that all regular TV is trash, but c’mon, what’s wrong with a little mindless Spongebob watching every now and then?