A network for the ages

BVH students reminisce over Cartoon Network

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Lauralai Gilbert

The 30th anniversary for Cartoon Network has arrived, while many characters pop out of their shows to unite. Bugs bunny watches as Gumball celebrates and Tom chases Jerry.

Cartoon Network (CN), a cable television network founded by Ted Turner in 1992, has been an integral part of many children’s childhoods. The network features several cartoons such as The Amazing World of Gumball, Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry and many other iconic shows. Rumors surrounding the shutdown of CN recently started circulating the internet, causing confusion and turmoil. Amidst the chaos on Oct. 14, the official CN Twitter account tweeted “Y’all we’re not dead, we’re just turning 30,” effectively dispelling all rumors about their shutdown, confirming that they are still alive and well.

The rumors surrounding the shutdown of CN reached and affected students at Bonita Vista High (BVH), however some CN viewers were neutral to the situation and would not be heavily affected if the network were to actually shut down. For example, junior Noah Kircher mentions that he was not sure whether the rumors were true or not..

“I was like, ‘that’s crazy,’ [because] something that I had been watching all my life was about to finally be shutting down,” Kircher said. “[If the rumors were true,] the kids that are growing up now won’t be able to experience what I got to experience when watching it.”

Although many students feel neutral towards the rumors, much of the content present on CN changes periodically. Shows come and go on the network, being replaced by other ones. Once the shows are discontinued, the audience are unable to view those shows on the television and must resort to other means of watching the show.

“I feel like the network itself, I don’t care about. I feel like the shows are really what’s more important, you need to save the shows on whatever streaming services they have,” junior Isaiah Benitez said. “If the network [did] shut down, it wouldn’t really affect me. What would affect me is if all the shows got deleted and if they stopped making shows.”

One cartoon in particular, The Amazing World of Gumball, has had a lasting impact on many students due to a multitude of reasons. The show contains many original jokes, clever and unique plots and was considered to be ahead of its time. For instance, the show utilized different techniques of animation such as integrating two dimensional (2D) animation with three dimensional (3D), real-life environments. Many believe the show is still holding up even a decade after its release.

“The [cartoon] that’s stayed with me the most is The Amazing World of Gumball, because it was a really comedically dense show,” Benitez said. “It never talked down to its audience, but it always included jokes that anyone could understand and it really holds up, even in teenage years.”

Younger generations who still watch the channel would be heavily affected by the shutdown. Junior Logan Martinez reciprocates the feelings that many children would feel if CN were to cease streaming.

“I think they would be even more upset because it’s a different thing when you’re a little kid and you’re always watching these shows. You’re spending time on the channel, then all of a sudden, it’s gone and you don’t know any alternative,” Martinez said. “Being a little kid, they might not know any way to fix it. So I think they would probably be impacted even worse.”

Without the cartoons and lessons the network provides to viewers, children would have been left with a lack of entertainment and knowledge. The majority of the shows on CN were “CN exclusive”, meaning that they were not shown on other channels—making the cartoons unique. Although the shows mostly serve to entertain children, they deliver valuable lessons.

“Because I watched a lot of the shows, it taught some good lessons like friendship and being nice to everyone [along with] good morals,” Kircher said.

CN has been an integral part of BVH students’ childhoods, especially because the CN shows provided entertainment and lessons. In a poll of 941 students conducted by the Crusader, 428 (45.4%) of the students strongly agreed that CN was a big part of their childhood.

“I grew up watching all the shows. That’s where I stole all my jokes. I would talk with friends about Cartoon Network, and I would ostracize people that didn’t [watch] Cartoon Network,” Benitez said. “I remember crying when my favorite shows were canceled. I remember jumping for joy when specials would come out.”

With CN being especially prominent in the early 2000s, lots of children around the world were exposed to the cartoons growing up. A lot of old viewers are now teenagers or even adults and the shows have stuck with them even into later years. In some cases, CN has even contributed to shaping the identity of some people.”

With CN being especially prominent in the early 2000s, lots of children around the world were exposed to the cartoons growing up. A lot of old viewers are now teenagers or even adults, and the shows have stuck with them even into later years. In some cases, CN has even contributed to shaping the identity of some people, such as Benitez.

“Without Cartoon Network, I wouldn’t be as funny, I wouldn’t understand as much stuff as I do because Cartoon Network did educate you in some ways, especially socially and just in trivia,” Benitez said. “It was a huge part of my childhood, a huge part of my entertainment and in my upbringing. If it wasn’t there, I genuinely would just be a less fun person.”