I believe in the power of animation.
Yes, animation—clay animation (“claymation”), digital animation, cutout animation, or the unsurpassed paper-and-pencil animation that brought the classic Disney movies to life. Anything not filmed live actors! Tie together animations and cartoons together, and you’ve got a life-changing influence just waiting to be unleashed.
Animation isn’t just for kids anymore; all sorts of adult animated shows have become popular, such as The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park. Such shows have created the automatic link between some people’s definition of animation—as comedy. Lounging around and watching similar shows, the viewers don’t realize that a powerful force is actually influencing them. Sensitive topics and issues, such as war, religion, and sexuality can be addressed on such shows in comical ways that allow for people to form their own opinions. In fact, even Vatican City’s newspaper applauds The Simpsons’ addressing of religion (while scolding the excess of violence and language). Perhaps not extremely powerful, the addresses still exist, making animation a bridge in our society. Viewers can also empathize if characters are experiencing life issues that they themselves have gone through. All the other wacky, crazy plot points give us a chance to laugh, relax, and unwind. Laughter is considered the best medicine.
Of course, animation is especially influential in the lives of children. Thinking back to my childhood days, the vast majority was spent staring at the television enjoying animation, animation, and just a bit more animation. At best, I can recall only three or four shows I ever watched as a kid that didn’t involve some type of animation. Three or four out of all the other shows I watched as a kid? Animation is the obvious winner for my TV time. Those shows not involving animation were often considered “baby-ish” and “stupid” by the time we reached age five—how are Barney and Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood thought of as “cool” once you hit five? We avoided those shows like the plague, least the names be somehow attached to us. Animation was popular, animation was cool.
Reflecting on the animated shows I watched, nearly all left me with lessons that have impacted me even until today. I learned my ABCs, how to count, new vocabulary, how to be a good friend, different cultures, the basics of foreign languages, how to use deductive reasoning, how to dream, how to be a team player, how to be self confident, and how to rock out to almost any Disney song instantaneously. Kids today still learn the same things that we did ten, or even more, years ago. They may get little Spanish explorers with boot-clad primate friends, singing giant monsters, and the eight hundredth season of Pokémon, but we had our own heroes. The tag team of canines—Scooby Doo and Blue—helped me hone my detective skills by being able to identify who committed the crime before the villain is ever unmasked and how to figure out what the day’s “fun activity” would be based on a set of paw print marked clues. The original Pokémon, Yu-gi-oh! and Digimon taught us to strive to be the very best (“that no one ever was!”) and that teamwork was always important to succeed. Creativity was bursting out of every show to spread to us, and each Disney movie had a heart-felt life lesson for us to learn.
Call them cartoons; call them childish. But wouldn’t you like to go back to those cartoon-living childhood days? Maybe that’s why animation is so popular even into our adult years—it taught us much of what we know today and brings back happier memories.
Is animation a mighty, powerful, inspiring tool? This I believe.
Paper written for English based off of the format of the "This I Believe" essays. Find examples online, or listen to NPR's weekly readings of similar essays.
(P.S. If there is anyone online who spots any mistakes, would you point them out? This is due tomorrow and I don't usually find my own mistakes very easily.)
That's what I need to do.
I need to learn to grow the heck up.
I always try to be mature, but I can't be.
I'm only fifteen, for gods sake. Most freshman are older than me. And I'm sick and tired of people reminding me.
And I'm sick of these stupid expectations people have of me.
Just bug off. I can do what I want. So what if I don't have the perfect 4.0 like you wanted? I know I'll probably need it. But this is too difficult for me, I'm not perfect like you were.
And my procrastination. It needs to STOP STOP STOP.
Like right now. What the HELL am I doing?
Not like it matters anyway, I'm not going to show this to anyone who actually thinks of me like this.
I'm so stressed right now. And I know you guys here always help. You always do. And Tegaki, too. I seriously freaking love you all.
But your words, as much as I cherish them, don't mean anything to the people I'm hiding this from.
I'm a goddamned coward, is what I am. I have no balls. Ok, so I'm a chick, why would I have balls. But really, I have no real belief in myself.
And the little that I do have gets crushed every time she yells at me. Or someone gives me that little comment that erodes away at my self confidence.
Don't go thinking I'm like, emo or something. I'm not planning on killing myself. I'm just getting real sick of standards, of myself. I want to change. But I can't. I don't know how.
But at the same time, I'm still a little kid! Don't expect me to be some adult! I'm not the same age as you! I'm fifteen! I have the right to act immature.
Really, I act the way I do to make you laugh. I don't care so much if it's at me more than with me. Maybe I do, just a little. But it's better than sitting there quietly judging me.
I can't be perfect. No matter how much I tend to abhor her, Hannah Montana is correct. Nobody's perfect.
I can't stick up for myself either. When we were talking about religion and children today in class, you got mad. You got mad because you said that if you don't believe in God, there's no reason to go and tell anyone.
Not saying I'm atheist or anything, but really? REALLY? Why not? We have freedom of expression in this country of ours. I don't totally agree with your views, so I won't disrespect them, though. However, I just lost some respect for you.
I really can't stick up for myself. In drivers' ed, we were sitting, watching that video and powerpoint about drunk driving and the instructor asked if anyone knew someone who had been killed by a drunk driver.
I couldn't breathe. If I had opened my mouth, I would have started sobbing. And who wants to be know as the girl who started crying in the middle of class?
So I nodded my head. He didn't notice.
"Oh, nobody? There's at least one or two people a class who do."
NO NO NO. I DO.
I never even met her.
When I tried to mention later how I wish he'd paid more attention, you were insensitive. Maybe it wasn't on purpose, but I was too afraid to tell you that I'm weak. That I wanted to cry.
So what if I never met my aunt? She was still a part of my family. I saw what those families went through, and I don't want to have to think that that's what MY family went through.
You just shrugged it off. That was a bit cold, even for you.
And that's enough now. I have almost five papers to write for tomorrow, and a test to study for.
I really want to get sick. So badly. Anything to miss tomorrow's hell.
P.S. There's no way this is going in my main world... It's too angsty. Not "Sunshine"y at all. Though this is no fanfiction or real writing, I really needed to write this.
Maybe I want sympathy. I don't know.
It makes me a horrible person. I know.
Originally written and posted of fanfiction.net under the name of Mew-Sahara (which happens to be my name on that site).
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