Some people say that cartoons are merely for kids. I feel really sorry for them, because they miss so much. Not only are they fun to watch and have the most breathtaking sceneries to please our eyes, but they also always contain lots of great wisdom. Honestly, I don’t remember watching a single cartoon, that wouldn’t have at least one interesting thought to ponder about. Somehow they have more deep messages than the majority of movies. I guess people producing cartoons do it on purpose, so that children will learn good values for the rest of their lives.
Lately I’ve watched quite a lot of interesting cartoons, that perfectly show our reality, our problems and sins. Maybe metaphorically and hyperbolically but still, they show what we have now. And they also show different ways of solving those problems, becoming better, understanding what’s the true meaning and significance of life. I’ve collected a list of cartoons that definitely need to be seen, and not just by children, but by adults as well, because in contrast to kids, we can understand these films in a deeper and more meaningful way and notice all those hidden messages. And maybe by watching them as grownups and considering them not just as simply cartoons, but as a unique way of learning sth important, we can start taking at least small steps to change ourselves, our lives and our world in general. So let’s start.
1. Soul (2020). Starting from probably the most popular one. This cartoon just broke the internet, I don’t think I remember anything else becoming so famous so quickly. I just hope that all those people who saw this understood something about their lives. This is about finding your “spark“, your life goal, destiny or meaning, call it however you want. It shows how simple everything is in reality, and that living itself is already a “meaning” , as you get to wake up every day, see things, experience things, talk, listen etc. I think this one is great to watch for those who feel depressed and uncertain about their future, as it will definitely light up your mood and you’ll see your problems from a whole different perspective and maybe find the light at the end of a dark tunnel.
2. Luca (2021). This one was a really cute story, about two sea “monsters” becoming normal boys and trying really hard to fulfill their dream. It’s about true friendship, accepting yourself and believing in your powers. It demonstrates a great way of overcoming your fears and anxieties, like Luca and his friend did by simply naming those fears Bruno, and telling him to shut up. “Silencio Bruno!“, that’s how they’d say trying to ignore the fears in them, and that’s a really good method of getting rid of your fears which prevent you from living your life to the fullest.
3. The Mitchells vs the Machines (2020). The beginning of the cartoon seems a little strange, and I even wanted to turn it off, but I’m so glad that I didn’t. So believe me, if you decide to watch this, give it a chance. It brings up quite a few different topics at once. First it’s the issue with families. It shows that families don’t have to be perfect, straight out of those internet images, that you can have your ups and downs, and be weird in your own way. Sometimes you can not understand each other, but that’s okay as long as you make every effort to change and accept one another. It’s also about accepting yourself, your interests and again even your family. It’s hard when you’re the white crow and when you constantly compare yourself with others. But with some support it’s possible to find yourself in this world. And of course it’s about all these modern smart technologies, that have taken our lives, both literally and metaphorically. These technologies were primarily made to make our lives easier and help us become smarter, better, to learn and develop, but we use it in the wrong way, transferring our lives into these small gadgets, letting them take control and make us isolated, each in our own little cell.
4. The Lorax (2012). Another cartoon perfectly describing our lives nowadays, all our governments, those big organizations that allegedly “take care” for us, and we fools believe in that, while in reality all they care about is their wealth and profits. It’s about us damaging our Earth, destroying our nature, cutting trees in order to create something “good and special“. It shows us that we need to appreciate the nature, make the right choices and stand up to protect our rights, our future. Even if the majority says otherwise, we need to learn to think for ourselves and not be brainwashed, like nowadays, when we blindly accept everything that is said as an ultimate truth without even questioning it.
5. Raya and the Last Dragon (2021). Such a sweet story. This cartoon represents the greediness of people and how we ourselves create our own problems, because we don’t want to share, we want all for ourselves and we don’t want to think about our Earth, a place we live in. Also it’s about trust issues, which I think the majority of people suffer from now (including me). It teaches you to trust everything, yourself, the life and most importantly other people. We grow up with the wrong mentality not to trust anyone, that’s why we see everyone as enemies, everything as a threat and it makes our lives really complicated. The first step we need to take is to learn to trust this world and its inhabitants. And care for one another, because we’re all one big, a little messed up family.
6. WALL-E (2008). I’m pretty sure almost everyone knows this cartoon but I just couldn’t not include it in my list. Because first of all, Wall-e is incredibly cute. And second of all, it’s just like what we have now. Pollution and garbage everywhere. People getting so lazy because the smart technologies do everything for us. Especially the younger generation, who don’t really know how to play, how to have fun, run, jump and goof around. I saw this cartoon this or last year and was really shocked. Because when recently produced cartoons show us the reality, it’s understandable as they see what’s already going on. But this one was released 13 years ago, when these technologies weren’t even that developed but somehow it manages to accurately describe what’s happening right now. And it’s quite shocking.
7. Coco (2017). Coco was really interesting to watch because I got to find more about the Mexican culture, their traditions and holidays. This cartoon teaches to be true to yourself, pursue your dreams and goals, even if everyone is against that. You need to be stubborn and brave to do what your soul actually wants to do. And also it’s about family and remembering those who are no longer with us. It shows the Afterworld in a different and quite fun way, and perhaps teaches us not to be afraid of death, as it’s a goodbye from one side, but a warm greeting from the other.
There are so many more amazing cartoons that I really loved watching and learned quite a lot from them. But this post would get too long if I write about every single one of them, so here’s just a short list of other great cartoons to watch in your spare time. Enjoy!
- Onward (2019)
- Smallfoot (2018)
- Abominable (2019)
- Home (2015)
- Planet 51 (2009)
- Ferdinand (2017)
- Kung Fu Panda (all three parts)