This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Children's cartoon tackles cults

Children's cartoon tackles cults - Comments

SheerReason's Avatar Comment 1 by SheerReason

As soon as I started the video, I knew exactly which episode this was. "Come along. You Belong. To the Fizz of Coocacola!" :) I watched it growing up. It's a shame there aren't more similar messages in children's cartoons.

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 12:54:38 UTC | #888165

Lapithes's Avatar Comment 2 by Lapithes

I remember a Duck Tales episode explaining the effects of monetary inflation. Yes, it's sad when children's television is better than most. Why is it that people care about children's education but not their own?

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 13:25:59 UTC | #888182

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 3 by InYourFaceNewYorker

It's actually surprising that they were able to make this episode. I would have expected the religious right to accuse them of trashing religion. :)

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 17:05:35 UTC | #888261

MilitantApatheist's Avatar Comment 4 by MilitantApatheist

Rocco's modern life is a good one as well, and it is actually more entertaining for adults than children.

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 23:43:26 UTC | #888422

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 5 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Did Rocko's Modern Life tackle cults? I don't recall that.

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 23:56:09 UTC | #888426

MilitantApatheist's Avatar Comment 6 by MilitantApatheist

Yes, the episode Schnit-heads ( Heffer falls into a sausage-worshiping cult.) The series also wonderfully satirizes things like superstition, authority, and the bigotry against homosexuals, which was very uncommon in America in the early 90's.

Comment 5 by InYourFaceNewYorker :

Did Rocko's Modern Life tackle cults? I don't recall that.

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 00:15:00 UTC | #888435

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 7 by InYourFaceNewYorker

I love that show but it's been years since I've seen much of it. When did they tackle homosexuality?

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 00:23:47 UTC | #888437

MilitantApatheist's Avatar Comment 8 by MilitantApatheist

Closet Clown, although the ending might confuse children into thinking that it is acceptable to bash gays (people who like rainbows). You have to take the ending in the context of the episode to get the satire. The whole episode is about Mr. Bighead's desire to be a clown, but he is afraid of "coming out" because it is strange. Here's a link to the episode on Youtube if you have 12 min http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IN9d7aeaO4.

Comment 7 by InYourFaceNewYorker :

I love that show but it's been years since I've seen much of it. When did they tackle homosexuality?

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 00:34:17 UTC | #888439

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 9 by Steven Mading

I thought I didn't recognize this episode from my childhood.... until I heard the theme song in the "ad" and I immediately remembered it. There's something about music that brings memories right up to the surface quickly.

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 09:37:54 UTC | #888517

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 10 by InYourFaceNewYorker

This is an episode of Disney's Recess that (unwittingly, I'm afraid), tackles religion and critical thinking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fz4VzhMPuY&feature=related

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 09:38:07 UTC | #888518

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 11 by Jos Gibbons

Unwittingly? They used phrases like "Brother Mikey".

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 10:57:28 UTC | #888541

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 12 by SaganTheCat

cartoons? how dare those rationalists infringe on religions most powerful medium?!

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 13:38:23 UTC | #888590

SheerReason's Avatar Comment 13 by SheerReason

Speaking of cartoons. The Xtians actually have production companies producing animated propaganda against other major or influential cults. Namely, there's a company called "Jeremiah Films" which produced an animated version of some of the beliefs of Mormons from the Mormon Bible. This was actually pretty amusing. You can watch some of it on Youtube: Cartoon of Mormon Bible Stories

I know there are people like The Thinking Atheist making short cartoons of classic Biblical epics and Xtian Beliefs, but it would be nice if there were a similar production company taking on the myths, theology and culture of the Abrahamic cults.

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 15:47:03 UTC | #888633

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 14 by InYourFaceNewYorker

Comment 11 by Jos Gibbons :

Unwittingly? They used phrases like "Brother Mikey".

I say "unwittingly" because I think had they known that it could be read that way they would have been too scared to do it. I could be wrong, though.

Tue, 08 Nov 2011 16:10:04 UTC | #888642

υβ' Vlaanderen's Avatar Comment 15 by υβ' Vlaanderen

Do any of you remember "Moral Orel," a claymation show on Cartoon Network that got cancelled a few years ago? It was obviously more oriented to young adults than children, but might have been the starkest (not to mention funniest) parody of Christianity and religion in general that's appeared on television in quite a while.

Wed, 09 Nov 2011 04:37:19 UTC | #888834

Zeuglodon's Avatar Comment 16 by Zeuglodon

I know this isn't exactly kiddies' prime time TV, but didn't Family Guy and The Simpsons parody cults in a couple of episodes? Anyone seen those?

On the other hand, I wonder if it is possible to de-convert members of a cult, or if it's ever been successfully done as part of a psychological study. The studies I've read about all seem focused on how they get converted and stay converted in the first place. I think such psychological insights into de-converting could be applied by someone who's worried about a close friend, for example.

Wed, 09 Nov 2011 16:44:36 UTC | #888999

υβ' Vlaanderen's Avatar Comment 17 by υβ' Vlaanderen

On the other hand, I wonder if it is possible to de-convert members of a cult

I think "King of the Hill" did an episode in one of the earlier seasons where two of the women got suckered in to a cult and were subsequently rescued by the promise of delicious grilled steak.

Thu, 10 Nov 2011 03:35:25 UTC | #889146

thread_of_fire's Avatar Comment 18 by thread_of_fire

Hey thanks for the links everyone. I'd like to mention Spongebob Squarepants.

Two episodes come to mind: 1) Club Spongebob. Examines the appeal to authority in the context of a cult-like club. Also exhibits a 'miracle' in which food falls from the sky, and the magic conch is praised.

http://spongebob.wikia.com/wiki/Club_SpongeBob

2)Bubble Buddy. Spongebob makes a bubble which resembles the form of a person and tells everyone it is 'bubble buddy' as though this were a real person, not a bubble.. At a restaurant, the spongebob speaks for bubble buddy, specifying his eating preferences (which are seemingly random) such as his lactose intolerance. Later at the beach, bubble buddy is left in charge of watching over someone who is buried up to his neck in sand, and as the tide comes in , threatening to drown the buried person, bubble buddy does nothing (aproximating the problem of evil I think) and the person does drown. At the end of the episode, the big finish is that people are angry and want to destroy bubble buddy. Upon attempting to do so, bubble buddy springs to life, defends itself, accuses everyone of acting weird, and enigmatically leaves. The ending is a clear non-sequiter, which I think parallels belief in something without evidence etc.

http://spongebob.wikia.com/wiki/Bubble_Buddy

Fri, 11 Nov 2011 04:42:40 UTC | #889358

halucigenia's Avatar Comment 19 by halucigenia

Fraggle Rock: Convincing John

Talk about moral tales in kids shows ;)

Nuff said.

Sat, 12 Nov 2011 21:27:16 UTC | #889714

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 20 by Carl Sai Baba

Comment 2 by uuaschbaer :

I remember a Duck Tales episode explaining the effects of monetary inflation. Yes, it's sad when children's television is better than most. Why is it that people care about children's education but not their own?

Weird. I remembered that being one of the comic books. Are you talking about the one with the bottle caps?

Sun, 13 Nov 2011 07:06:46 UTC | #889747

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 21 by Jos Gibbons

Plenty of comics were adapted to cartoons. Carl Sai Baba, while you're thinking of this one, uuaschbaer actually meant this one, in which Huey, Dewey and Louie misuse an invention of Gyro's he himself didn't fully understand and, before they know it, Duckburg is buried in duplicates of a silver dollar. The von Mises foundation loved it.

Sun, 13 Nov 2011 08:07:04 UTC | #889750

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 22 by Carl Sai Baba

Thanks, Jos. I have just watched 2.5 hours of DuckTales.

Sun, 13 Nov 2011 20:12:48 UTC | #889871

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 23 by Jos Gibbons

That's what, 7 episodes? What were the other ones?

Sun, 13 Nov 2011 20:32:04 UTC | #889876

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 24 by Carl Sai Baba

On top of the bottlecap and silver dollar ones, episodes 1-5 (the gold fever set).

Sun, 13 Nov 2011 21:14:58 UTC | #889885