if you ever want to figure out the thesis of an animated show, you can almost just look at how they handle the crowd scenes and figure it out
tuck tucker, a long-time writer on spongebob, gave a talk once where he said something along the lines of, “people think this is a very optimistic show, but really it’s about how horrible people are. have you seen the citizens of bikini bottom?”
and i think about that a lot because like, in phineas and ferb the general psychological state of danville is blissful ignorance—they’re completely passive and willing to go along with anything but not ready to do anything about it. (so: the show believes most people are like that by nature, but they want us to focus on the characters who are the OPPOSITE of passive). in spongebob, even the main characters can be kind of awful to each other, and they’re constantly facing hostile mobs ready to tear them limb from limb for basically anything. in regular show, the crowds are bland, generic humans, and the characters we’re supposed to pay attention to are freaks in some way (talking gumball machines, i mean, really). codename: kids next door obviously treats most of the adults as villainous idiots, but even the kids (even the ones in the knd) are prone to sheeplike mob mentalities, so it’s clear we’re not always supposed to root for them (something the narrative eventually moves explicitly towards).
it’s just super fascinating to see how each show views people collectively, and making the masses behave a certain way is really telling about the show’s point-of-view. sometimes they seem antithetical to the show’s more explicit message, and that adds a whole different dimension to how we read the show. (if all people are probably like this, what makes our heroes different? or the same?)
THIS IS TOO MUCH
"SpongeBob SquarePants - Chocolate with Nuts"
Chocolate Guy, Nickelodeon
when people way younger than you worry about how “old” they’re turning this year
OK BUT WHERE DID HIS FACE GO WHY IS THERE NO FACE IN BETWEEN HIS FINGERS
His neck isn’t even coming out of his shirt
They did want it to mean that but CN has since edited out a bunch of the non-cursing from season 1 apparently. If you watch the version CN put on Netflix (and I guess it must be on DVD too?), now they say “heck” and “stuff” so that parents can’t argue about it either way.I completely agree with what you mean. But are you sure they replace “heck” and “stuff”? I thought that they wanted to say “h” and “s” and for it to mean “hell” and “shit”.