Why, Animaniacs? Why?

December 27, 2012

Why the “Katie Ka-Boom” segment? What the fuck?

I watched this show 20 years ago, though rather on and off. Why? Because every now and then, some of the segments just bugged me. Really, I think the only ones I consistently liked were the Yakko, Wakko, and Dot ones, and maybe Slappy and Skippy, Goodfeathers, and Rita and Runt. The rest is either frustrating, like Mindy and Buttons. Stupid, like Chicken Boo. And, of course, just wildly offensive like Katie Ka-Boom.

There was a marathon of it on the Hub on Christmas Eve, and I like their Christmas specials. And seems the show is coming on that channel regularly in January. First thought was, yay, I like that show, get to see an old show of mine again! Then I remembered the love-hate relationship with it, that so many segments of the show I prefer to change the channel from.

Particularly Katie Ka-Boom, the teenage girl who explodes in hulk-like fury at the slightest unhappiness, something of which her parents and little brother live in constant fear. Every segment has something frustrate her, usually her family doing something stupid or a guy being a minute late for a date, and then she screams and turns into some kind of fire-breathing monster or some shit, and afterward she reverts to normal and is even friendly, and to close out the segment her parents make some disgusting comment about teenagers.

There’s a certain sadness in seeing blatant anti-teen sentiment in cartoons meant for an audience that has yet to reach their teen years (“fingerprints” joke notwithstanding). Spongebob Squarepants is about as bad when Mr. Krabs’s daughter Pearl is in an episode, behaving like every teen girl stereotype the show’s writers could come up with.

Why are children being told that in a few years they are going to grow into an age group during which they’ll be horrible and their parents will hate them? Or is this being done hoping the kids will behave differently once they reach their teens? Except their behavior doesn’t actually matter, since all anyone will care about then is their age, and every single action they make will be derided as “stupid teenager”. They can’t win, and their elders just want to make fun of them for it. What the fuck?

2 thoughts on “Why, Animaniacs? Why?”

  1. There is such widespread contempt for “teenagers” in cartoons it’s disgusting. There’s a new cartoon on Disney XD right now called ‘Gravity Falls’ which many animation enthusiasts I know had been bugging me to check out, so I did. Never again, I tell you. The very first episode I saw was centered around a group of teenage friends who come across an abandoned convenience store out in the woods and they decide to explore it. Well as it turned out the abandoned store was haunted by its former owners who were an elderly couple that, surprise, hated teenagers. Seriously, these old farts were ageists of the year. When they were alive they hated teenagers so much that they banned them from their store (a sadly relatable tale to the real world) and then, get this, what killed them is that they dropped dead upon hearing the sound of rap music that some teenagers were playing outside their store. So they died and turned into equally ageist asshole ghosts who trapped this group of teenagers, who had just happened to come across the abandoned store in the woods years following the geezers’ deaths, in the store and tortured them for committing the horrible crime of, gasp, being teenagers! And you know how everything got resolved? Well as it turned out the main character of the show was lying about being thirteen to appear cool and was actually only twelve years old. Then, low and behold, those asshole ageist ghosts perked right up and let him and his friends go! Sure is strange the difference a year makes, huh? Yeah, thank god he wasn’t a teenager or they would’ve been fucked, cause being a teenager is an unforgivable crime, don’t ya know? *rolls eyes*
    It goes without saying that I will never be watching that show again (much to the dismay of my friends who try and insist that I just need to “give it another chance”). No, no more chances. Any show that can endorse such contempt for such a large portion of its audience (Disney XD’s target demographic is boys ages 6-14, after all) is no show worth my time.
    It’s also sad that shit like this teaches contempt to younger viewers who are younger than 13, as if as soon as they are teenagers they will inevitably turn into spoiled assholes. It lies to them, saying “this is how teenagers are supposed to act and this is what you’re going to turn into.” What kind of a horrible thing to tell them is that?! Their personalities won’t be the things that change, it’s other people’s perceptions of them that will.

  2. Oh, and did I mention that it was the ageist asshole ghosts for which the show was pleading sympathy for? And that the show actually tried to make their ageism out to sound reasonable? And why? Because dem dern teenagers were playin’ deir rap music too loudly hurr durr!

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