Cartoons were originally designed for kids, their own dedicated genre that transports the viewer far from the humdrum of homework into a magical world filled with their favourite characters. Many of you will fondly remember waking up early at the weekend to catch Saturday morning cartoons in your pyjamas before your parents surfaced to spoil the fun. After a long week of school there was nothing better than staying in to catch the latest super hero take down the bad guy in an animated battle.

As our cartoon hungry generation has grown up it seems that cartoons themselves have quickly followed suit. These days animation is no longer just reserved for the kids but is regularly being enjoyed by the masses. In the past few years family and adult cartoons have been catapulted to TV primetime slots, quickly becoming a favourite watch with grownups and children alike. The success of shows such as The Simpsons have marked a change in the cartoon audience, as it now caters for everyone, gross humour for children, satirical jokes and social commentary for adults. The success of The Simpsons has quickly led to more commissions and new series than ever before. Shows such as Futurama, South Park and King of the Hill have all become regular viewing favourites for the whole family.

The reason for cartoons success over the years is their ability to reach everyone. Animation, although mainly reserved for comedy, can cover all genres of TV from action to drama. The form allows viewers to explore sensitive issues whilst remaining detached from real life. Violence, for example, seems less risqu? when presented in cartoon form. Characters can recover from any number of horrific accidents, being run over or being squished by an elevator shafts doesn’t even slow the toons down, let alone cause them any pain. In cartoon land characters are ageless and invincible and plots are endless.

Cartoons are quickly turning into the medium of choice everywhere we look. More and more advertisers are using the genre to promote and sell their products but it’s not only TV that’s getting in on the action. Cartoons are also conquering the silver screen with some of this year’s biggest blockbusters being animated features. More Hollywood actors than ever are lending their voices and star status to the films and new 3D technology is adding an extra element of excitement to the viewing experience.

Cartoons are becoming increasingly popular and it doesn’t look like their success is slowing down anytime soon. With the vast number of channels that are now available on digital TV, Sky+ Box and the internet there are new cartoons popping up all over the place. With dedicated channels to the genre you’ll never be that far from the next Family Guy episode. Everywhere you look it seems that cartoons really are taking over the telly.

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