In the past, animated films and shows were, um… rather boozy. A review of every G-rated movie created from the 30s up to 2000 said 47% showed alcohol consumption, and in that same period about 9% percent of all cartoons did as well. That’s a LOT of drinking in kids’ media.
But times have been changing for a while. Nowadays, it’s very rare that you’ll see any alcohol references in children’s animation. BUT!
When they weren’t allowed to show alcohol, writers and animators have cleverly tried to cheat the filters by simply replacing it with something else, so they could still show comical drunkenness, bar scenes, or savage hangovers.
Let’s see if you can guess which “kid-friendly” substitutes these cartoons used. Even if you completely strike out on all 9, it’s pretty interesting!
Instead of Alcohol?
1) The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
2) Adventure Time (2014)
3) Phineas and Ferb (2008)
4) The Legend of Korra (2014)
5) All Hail King Julien (2016)
6) Chip N’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers (1989)
7) SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004)
8) Transformers (1985)
9) My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (2018)
This honestly isn’t to cast judgement on films or cartoons that show alcohol consumption. We all may have varying opinions on that, but we can probably ALL agree that cartoons aren’t always the best teachers.
Apparently, it’s okay to animate someone comically misusing
alcohol I mean eh-hem… something not-alcoholic that seems very much like alcohol. Characters can “binge” and “drown their sorrows” and “self-medicate,” so long as it’s milk or ice cream or such, right? Hmmmm.
Talk to your kids early about responsible drinking, okay? Earlier than you probably think you’ll need to. The world is already teaching them more than you know.
Thanks to Responsibiliy.org for sponsoring this post. Working with them has opened my eyes much wider to the importance of parents consciously working to stay engaged with their kids, and not just about school or Pokémon or the latest Pixar movie, but especially to have meaningful conversations about often overlooked topics like responsible drinking. As well as all the obvious bigger life stuff they’ll need to have a good head on their shoulders about. Like wearing socks and sandals. Ugh.