To lend you some background… A couple of days ago I enjoyed the view of an old movie I remember watching in a VHS like a decade ago. It was “Digimon: The Movie“, an animated movie based on the anime series “Digimon“, in which digital creatures exist in a digital world, with which selected (digi-destined) kids can interact. The story is as much irrelevant to you as relevant is the fact that the series is aimed to younger audiences, to kids.
It wouldn’t be relevant if that consisted in the drawing (along with the plot), and it were somehow simple. In a children’s cartoon, the plot can take complex turns; they do, some times. But in a children’s cartoon the drawings can’t be too detailed. The children get bored with such “seriousness”. My question was always “Why?“.
Now I formulated myself another question, related to a main problem: I don’t remember the series to be simplistic. I don’t remember any cartoon being that simplistic. Of course they all were, somehow, but the memory didn’t match reality…
When I was a little kid I remember I only watched the main cartoons-only TV Channels (Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and so on). I did so because real shows bored me. Which kid doesn’t get bored looking at real shows? Only a few, that always need to have some fantasy in them, are watched and enjoyed. But focusing on animated shows, they all tend (or tended, as with time cartoons have changed a lot), to be simplistic. To not be detailed and only care about shapes and plain colors.
Watching it all over again
Not being a kid, you wonder how you liked it; you wonder what kids see in them that makes them like the shows. Most get to the conclusion that children are simplistic as well. I doubted that, and kept questing myself until I got to a hypothesis: Kids are the opposite to simplistic; they like simplistic shows to fulfill them with their own imagination. What they see in those shows that we don’t is the vacuum, the empty space that needs to be filled with expressions of creativity.
Think about it. We call art anything that tries to express something, caring in some way for aesthetics. We love some manifestation of art, when we like “the expression”; the way the artist represented something. We are interested by the artists, their creations, their interiors and how they represent them on the exterior. Cartoons do not aim to show anyone’s interior, but to focus on the children’s interiors, to let them rule the creativity side of the equation.
The lack of detail in the drawings are essential for the kids to create. That you could take further, while talking about the plot: they are simplistic, so the children can make it real, in some way. In some way directly related to them, as little artists.
So basically the vacuum children can see as young as they are, to fill with their one creativity or else… Is gone for some reason by the time we start to grow older… When we reach some maturity level, mentally, the vacuum is gone, or the will to fill it is. Now we only care for already-complete art pieces. We don’t care to create anymore in an automatic way as we used to. And that’s, dear reader, a sufficient reason to do some introspection to see how could you be more creative in life, in an automatic way, as you used to be.