Spongebob Versus Scooby Doo

 

 

Spongebob versus Scooby Doofrom 2007

The educational value of today‟s cartoons

Back in the seventies, cartoons had one purpose; entertainment. With three

networks, a local station and one public station to choose from, there was not a variety

of „toon „tainment (and Sesame Street and its ilk is not included in this analysis). Most of

the cartoons ran on Saturday mornings. The educational part came from, yes, school,

but also in between the cartoons and the commercials; notably CBS‟s “In the News” and

Schoolhouse Rock (“I'm just a bill. Yes, I'm only a bill. And I'm sitting here on Capitol

Hill. Well, it's a long, long journey to the capital city. ...”).” The Schoolhouse Rock

generation is now today‟s teachers; these ditties have been revived in the classroom and

have caught on.

But, what about Scoob and the gang? Where is the educational value in those

meddling kids? Other than providing a generation of wannabe hippies with the catch

phrase “Zoinks!” and “Jinkies!” Even when solving the mystery, no analytical thinking

skills are enhanced—it‟s always some guy in a mask.

Now Spongebob Squarepants, there‟s some educational programming. On the

surface, it looks like a goofy square yellow guy with a stupid friend, but a teacher could

teach a whole oceanography lesson using this cartoon. Here are some examples of how

Spongebob and friends can illuminate a lesson:

Spongebob, Patrick, and Squidward all belong to the classification of animals

called invertebrates.

Jellyfish have stingers and leave a mark if they sting a person.

Mammals, such as Sandy Cheeks the Squirrel, need to live in a habitat that has

oxygen. Mammals cannot breathe underwater.

Plankton are microscopic creatures.

Sponges reproduce by budding.

Sea animals cannot live out of water.

Starfish have five points and no toes or fingers.

Squid have ten arms called tentacles.

These facts came from a nine- and a ten-year old when asked what they learn

from Spongebob Squarepants. Is it an accident that kids learn so much from this

cartoon, since it was created by a marine biologist? Scooby Doo, on the other hand,

was created by Hanna-Barbera, who gave us such gems as the Jetsons (full of futuristic

inaccuracieshumankind is still waiting to leave the house in a tube) and the Flintstones

(full of prehistoric inaccuraciesdinosaurs did not make good house pets). However, the

kids did state that they learned the value of friendship and teamwork from watching

Scooby Doo. Zoinks! The generation of the seventies is not all lost. 

Hercules Editing and Consulting

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