Cartoon shows are a big part of our young ones' lives. There's just no denying it and no stopping it. The appeal of colorful worlds and characters, exciting voices and intriguing sounds, cannot be trumped by real-life shows and other forms of entertainment on the screen. This is why we have to be vigilant in filtering the cartoons our kids are watching. Just because a show is cartoons and animation, doesn't mean it's fit to be watched by children, no thanks to Trey Parker and Matt Stone (creators of South Park). Here are 10 cartoon characters with positive attitudes that could influence our kids in a good way.
This PBS show was created by Marc Brown who's an illustrator and the author of the children's book Arthur's Nose. About 40 years ago, Arthur's origin was just a bedtime story Brown told his son, then went on to storm all kinds of media including apps, movies, and of course, television, where it was watched by millions of children.
Arthur is an aardvark that displays healthy social skills and problem-solving skills that can be acquired and practiced by the viewing fans. The show targets young children, from ages 3 to 9, and is a good show to leave our kids with while we finish some chores.
9 Craig of the Creek
Matt Burnett and Ben Levin were writers for Steven Universe. Together they created a show of their own called Craig of the Creek. It's one of the relatively new shows on this list with just a little over 50 episodes shown on Cartoon Network. One can easily fall in love with Craig Williams, the title character, with his magnetic voice alone.
Craig's a 9-year old boy who lives with his parents and two siblings. He spends his afternoon time at the creek with his best friends J.P. and Kelsey. This show teaches the value of friendship, creativity, and imagination, which Craig possesses in spades and displays on every show.
8 Doc McStuffins
When toys get sick and need someone to fix and take care of them, Doc McStuffins is there at their side. The little doctor girl is a kind-hearted toy doctor that takes care of boo-boos and always gives her patients good advice instead of a prescription. Think Toy Story meets Dr. Gregory House, intriguing, right!?
This show was created by Chris Nee and was shown by Disney Junior. Dottie McStuffins is the lead in this show and everyone calls her Doc. The show starts with a toy getting a "problem" and Doc's nurse (Nurse Hallie) taking out "The Big Book of Boo Boo." The show ends with Doc curing the toy, explaining the "sickness" and giving out golden advice that's always applicable to the kids watching.
7 Dora the Explorer
There is one way to measure the success of a cartoon show, find out if it has released a movie version. Lots of cartoons have done this but they can't say that they've had a real live-action film version of their show. Dora the Explorer can say that.
This children's show is reminiscent of Blue's Clues in that it urges the kids watching to engage and shout out the tool or item that Dora needs to do her exploring. Together with her trusty sidekick, Boots the monkey, they go on adventures, explore and learn new things all the time.
6 Lisa Simpson
Trey Parker and Matt Stone are unlike all the other creators in this article, they created a very successful cartoon show that's not fit for children. The Simpsons is similar to South Park, and the subject matter of the show does not always resonate with the kids. It's an animated satire of America's current events and pop culture phenomena.
But there's a shining star in all those bad characters for your kids, like Homer and Bart, and her name is Lisa Simpson. The intelligent, musically inclined girl, who just wants to be a perfect student. She is definitely a good influence for our kids, we just wonder how we're going to filter all the other stuff out when they watch.
5 Phineas and Ferb
Perry is a popular pet in the show called Phineas and Ferb. This pet platypus is actually a secret agent tasked with stopping the bad guys (mainly Dr. Doofenshmirtz). Being a pet to Phineas and Ferb is just a cover. The brothers have very different personalities but they work (and play) really well together.
They are young Einsteins and always have one big project every episode. Big sister Candace always tries to thwart them (by telling Mom) but always unsuccessfully. The show teaches love between siblings, creativity, inventiveness, having fun with friends and just finding meaningful and interesting things to do every summer!
4 Sofia the First
Sofia the First sounds and looks like it's just a princess fairy tale movie turned into little tidbits of stories put into episodes, but it isn't. At the beginning of the story, Sofia is just a simple village girl with a clever mind and a huge heart.
Her world is turned upside down when she finds out that she is actually of royal blood. She now lives in a castle with her new family and every episode they learn from each other, them mostly from her. The show teaches kids humility, fairness, and respect, and overall, just being a good kid.
3 Spongebob Squarepants
There is a lot of feedback about this show not being fit for children, but it's not all bad. In fact, there are more things in here that children can learn than most of the cartoon shows out there that they say are good for kids.
For one, Spongebob Squarepants has a very positive way of looking at life that it's just contagious. Imagine we channel the inner Spongebob in us as adults, we'd certainly get a lot of things done! Spongebob is a hard worker and this teaches our kids to be diligent and not give up easily. Most of all, he's just a cheerful, glass-is-half-full kind of character that's always a good influence on children.
2 We Bare Bears
Once upon a time, there were three bears: the premise of this show may sound familiar, but it's the opposite of what we are thinking. Three bear brothers with no clothing (unlike that other cartoon bear wearing just a shirt) living in the real world and jumping through obstacle after obstacle of real life, real-people problems. Their friends are equally colorful characters, like Chloe the Korean kid genius and Charlie the slender Sasquatch. This show can be seen on Cartoon Network and was created by Daniel Chong and now has at least 140 episodes. It teaches children to value family, especially their siblings.
1 Winnie the Pooh
Everyone knows who Winnie the Pooh is. This ultra-popular cartoon character may be the laziest character in the animated world, after Garfield of course, but he makes it up with his genuine concern for the friends around him. He may love honey very much, but he loves his friends more. Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, and the rest of the gang have never been let down by Pooh. The adorable bear was created by A.A. Milne and was introduced to the world as a book as early as 1926. The show teaches kids responsibility, helping friends out, and just being such a gentle Pooh!