How ‘Bluey’ and More Are Saving Our Kids

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The image features three animated cartoon scenes: on the left, a large orange bear with a big nose; in the center, a cartoon family of blue and tan dogs standing together; on the right, a tan bear in a red shirt putting his head into a honey pot.

Credit: Inside the Magic

If there’s one phrase that seems to be repeated by Disney fans on a loop, it’s “they just don’t make them like they used to.” While many might be referring to the studio’s recent quality of new films, cartoons have also changed a great deal. At least we have Bluey, right?

A group of animated cartoons is shown in a living room. Most of them have surprised or excited expressions and are looking towards the right side. One character in the front seems to be running toward the right side of the image. The room has a door and a window.
Credit: Nickelodeon

Snide comments aside, there has undoubtedly been a creative shift in the world of children’s programming since many of us were that age. Many designs consist of big heads, big eyes, and shrimpy bodies, and many shows rely on fast pacing, loud volume, and obnoxious antics. That might work for certain audiences, but overstimulation can be a massive problem for younger viewers (and their parents).

Related: Disney Channel Goes Viral With ‘Lizzie McGuire’ Reboot

The “iPad generation” might be a derogatory term directed at Gen Alpha, but a consistent stream of media stimulation can’t possibly be good for anyone of any age. An article from Today shared some of the more vocal criticism of how a generation swimming in digital media struggles to cope with life outside their screens. However, it might be more about what they consume than overstimulation alone.

The report said,

“As a result of staring at screens, Gen Alpha’s “iPad kids” have developed unwanted, unhealthy and downright strange behavior, say Gen Z critics (born between the late 1990s and 2010)…” 

Strange behavior might be putting it lightly, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some animated series and kids’ programs out there fighting the good fight.

Bluey and Friends to the Rescue

Bluey meets Jean Luc in Camping
Credit: Ludo Studios

At the risk of sounding like an old fogey, kids these days are undeniably spoiled when it comes to their selection of programming. However, just because it’s on Nickelodeon or even Disney+ doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for them. That said, some parents have made a fascinating discovery in their observation of certain animated series.

Related: Live-Action ‘Little Mermaid’ Receives Cartoon Treatment for Disney Junior

Let’s address the elephant, or rather the dog, in the room. No discussion about quality cartoons would be complete without mentioning BlueyThe Australian series that has taken the world by storm has done so with high honors, and fans have been playing Keepy Uppy and dancing to musical statues ever since. However, she’s not working alone, as a post from @yourtango shares how slower-paced shows might actually be more beneficial to young viewers than parents might realize.

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Is the solution to the screen time problem simply giving your toddlers an appreciation for the 90s classics? #parenting #momsoftiktok #screentime #kidstv #millennialmom @Mamas and Messes

♬ original sound – YourTango

The idea that many modern kids shows are “designed to be addictive” should send a chill down any parent’s spine. As pointed out in the video above, an appreciation for ’90s kids’ classics might be just what the doctor ordered. On their official post @mammasandmesses shared the following observations.

“As I started introducing some of my childhood shows to my toddler I noticed he enjoyed them, but didn’t *need* them. We’d watch an episode or two and when it was time to turn it off he didn’t fight me or get upset, he just went back to playing!”

“Possibly the biggest thing I noticed was a change in his sleep! He was sleeping longer and better!”

“A lot of 90’s childhood shows have lower stimulation than today’s shows & movies. I also love the messages and creative exploration a lot of 90’s shows teach children. Don’t get me wrong, we still watch some Bluey, Ms Rachel, and Disney movies, but this little change has shown us positive outcomes in his sleep and behavior.”

While it might sound biased to say that the retro programming was simply better than a majority of entertainment today, the reactions speak for themselves. Speaking as someone who grew up with such beloved classics as Bear and the Big Blue House, Rollie Pollie Ollie, and The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, as well as being a proud Bluey buff, the flow and pace of the programming listed is noticeable even to an adult audience.

Related: Classic Mickey Mouse Replaced by New Version

Excessive media stimulation might be having an effect on the current generation, but a little moderation and parental guidance can definitely go a long way. The content many parents grew up on might not be on Bluey’s level of fandom, but its clear to see where Joe Brumm got his inspiration.

What shows have you shown your kids? Tell Inside the Magic in the comments below!

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