Cartoon network, Nickelodeon and Disney: A case study on Gen-z childhood media 

By: Ahmad Tahir and Khadija Zahra 

For every 2004 kid turning 18 this year and fellow Gen-z kids(Hello batch of 2024) this article is a means for you to relive your childhood. From Courage the Cowardly Dog to the barbie movie franchise, that completely took over the cartoon network every sunday, each of these media holds a special place in our hearts. However, if you’re now suddenly flooded with memories of your childhood and reminded of adulthood along with the crushing load of responsibilities it entails, fret not, you are not alone.

The above meme is an accurate representation of our feelings for the Barbie movie franchise. From the cottagecore aesthetic to the attempted CGI along with the original storytelling, it is no wonder that these movies were a quintessential part of our childhood and continue to remain equally popular today. The movies centre around strong, intelligent female characters whose ability to make decisions is not reliant on men. Something which certain modern franchises can learn from *cough* D.C movies *cough*.

Ah yes! How could we forget the absolute essence of our childhood, Tom and Jerry which follows the never ending saga of Tom trying his best to murder Jerry for reasons unbeknownst to us (it seems our childhood was way darker than we anticipated). This show fuelled discourse that could rival modern Twitter spaces, over which of the two was the superior character and for the sake of peace we shall remain neutral over this debate.

If the above image fails to bring up any memories of our favourite trio of artificially created triplets or their evil arch nemesis, Mojo Jojo fear not, for maybe Chemical X is likely to initiate memories of this show. Whilst some elements of the show cease to depict reality (why are kindergartners fighting villains for the city), the show brings reality to fruition by highlighting the absolute uselessness of politicians (all shade thrown to the Mayor). The show remains to be a masterpiece at showcasing a dystopia that might as well ressemble the one we live in today.

Lion King’s one of those iconic Disney movies, which almost everyone has watched once. Whether it be the circle of life, Hakuna Matata or the betrayal scene, this movie was packed with a storyline that kept us glued to the television screen. However, the live action remake, just like all other live action remakes (Avatar with the race-bending) took a lot away from the movie, leaving us with unemotional and impassive animals uttering dispassionate dialogue. 

Now before the fans of each franchise start attacking us for putting these names together, relax. We’re not here to discuss which is better. Dragon Ball Z and Naruto were probably in everyone’s childhood. Some people (like us) may have even watched the shows without realising that they’re anime. However, there’s a lot more to both of the shows than the over the top things like plot twists, dialogue, incredible antagonists and surreal fights. The constant clash of good and evil in Naruto, always keeps the viewer in a dilemma. Whilst in Dragon Ball Z even though usually it’s a lighter take, the issues involve more extraterrestrial beings; from wish-granting dragons to namkeians and were-monkeys, anything is possible. One thing that fans of both series agree on is that the prevailing series: Boruto and Dragon Ball Super cannot compete with their predecessors.

If you’ve made this far into the article, we hope you’re not (read: we hope you are) suffering from an existential crisis and trying to reflect upon the time that has creeped by. Now, it’s time to use your analytical skills, if you can figure out which writer wrote about which topic, then milos on us. 

Goodluck and Godspeed 

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