How Can a Good Kids’ Show Be Made?
By: Dustyn C.; staff writer
Many cartoons today are vastly improving from the years of around 2008-09 (Well, according to fan response and ratings, anyway). Starting from Adventure Time and Regular Show, and continuing on from Gravity Falls and Wander Over Yonder, cartoons are really starting to get freaking awesome! However, Nickelodeon isn’t doing so good. Shows like Sanjay and Craig and Breadwinners have been getting bad reviews for their lazy writing and toilet humor. Even Spongebob and The Fairly OddParents are parallel shows from what they used to be years ago, which brings us to this question. What can Nickelodeon do to improve? In order to improve, we need to look at the main question, “How can a good kids’ show be made?”
- Don’t dumb down shows.
Kids aren’t dumb. Kids are just easy to amuse, which makes kids’ shows easy to write. With the array of new shows coming out on Cartoon Network and Disney XD, we live in an age where shows could be clever, witty, and smart and still have the hilarity and amusement of a regular kids’ show. Kids could watch almost anything you throw at them as long as it’s intriguing and easy to understand.
- Avoid keeping up with the modern age.
The best cartoons don’t reference what was popular at the time they aired. Over The Garden Wall, another great modern kids’ show, sets a great example of this, as a majority of the show is set in a vintage autumn atmosphere. The show’s setting allows it to stand the test of time and remain treasured. If you reference or imply trends of this generation like selfies and Photoshop, in the next few years, the show would be considered “dated” and lack value.
- Be creative.
Above all, creativity is key. You need fresh ideas to keep people from avoiding your show. No one wants to watch something they’ve already seen. Even using cliches and/or stereotypes could be used creatively as long as you execute those particular subjects correctly. Examples of using creativity to your advantage is the Ice King from Adventure Time. You could identify him as the villain who kidnaps princesses or the loner guy whose only friends are penguins. However, he never seemed cliched, in my opinion, because his dialogue and personality outside of being a villain is funny and interesting. In addition, there’s his backstory about him being a human before the Land of Ooo came to be. This not only makes him a great villain, but a great, fleshed out character, too. Using creativity could lead to great things in a kids’ show, and it shows!
As shown from these guidelines, great kids’ shows could be made. No need for simplification or modernization to lure kids into your show. All you need is creativity and wit!