Are little kids less interested in cartoons about adult human characters?

Tacartoon

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It seems to me that kids only like cartoons starring kid/teenage characters or adult characters who are anthropomorphic (like SpongeBob or Regular Show)...but not human adult characters, at least not without a combination of anthropomorphic characters. Sure, there is The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Bob's Burgers, but I'm talking more about kid cartoons, and TBH they're only likely to watch adult cartoons for the swearing and juvenile humor rather than the stories. Is there a single kids cartoon that primarily stars adult characters? Most of them probably take place in a family with at least one son/daughter. There's Uncle Grandpa, but that has anthropomorphic main characters and the occasional kids that play with him. The only time I can imagine them being interested in adult human cartoons is if the adults are manchidren who play with kids on occasion. Not many of those I know of...
 

Red Arrow

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I have also noticed that modern cartoons have less focus on adults than in the past. There used to be Samurai Jack, Megas XLR, Johnny Bravo, Tintin, Spirou, George of the Jungle, Tarzan, Batman, Superman, many other superheroes...

I don't think children are actually less interested in adults. I do think that creators and/or TV executives nowadays assume this to be the case.
 

SweetShop209

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I actually made a thread like this back in August. To give a specific example, Francisco Angones, one of the creators of DuckTales 2017, mentioned how some episodes were harder to get greenlit when they had more focus on the adults. He mentioned something about the higher ups.


 

Dantheman

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I don't think children are actually less interested in adults. I do think that creators and/or TV executives nowadays assume this to be the case.

That kind of reminds me of one of the initial ptich ideas for Batman Beyond: A Pokemon-esque show where some kids compete to be Batman.

Boy, kids' TV execs really have a big problem assuming kids don't wan't to watch a show with adult characters in it, do they? They've always had this way of thinking with superhero cartoons, goiing back to Superfriends, when they'd include Wendy and Marvin and Wonder Dog, or the Wonder Twins, or Firestorm and Cyborg.

Can't make a Spider-Man cartoon where Peter Parker or Miles Morales isn't a teenager in high school. Can't have that, no sir. That isn't relatable to young viewers.
 

Dr.Pepper

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I think unless the characters are superheroes or anthropomorphic animals, kids are going to care less. Kids typically don’t want to see their parents or teachers as main characters.
 

Red Arrow

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I think unless the characters are superheroes or anthropomorphic animals, kids are going to care less.
Or adventurers or journalists or royalty or firemen or detectives or Johnny Bravo => all of which are adults :D

The problem with heroes being boring parents is not that they are parents, but rather that it's very hard to keep the focus of the show on just the adult. You will always end up with a cartoon like The Secret Saturdays. (which is a really good cartoon, but the focus is on the entire family)
 

Darklordavaitor

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I'm not sure if that's always been the case. Besides super hero cartoons and Johnny Bravo, which were previously mentioned, The Flintstones is one of the most popular cartoons ever made, and its primary focus is on adults. Sure, there's Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, but they don't appear for about half the series.

I do remember enjoying all three as a kid, and didn't need them to feature younger characters to appeal to me. Although sure, plenty did (the aforementioned Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, Supergirl, Lil Suzy), but I tended to prefer the leading adult characters anyway.
 

Dudley

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I remember reading that it’s mandatory for cartoons on Nick to have the main characters be kids (if the characters are human).
It makes sense for the channel who’s key gimmick is being for kids to have that rule though.


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Dr.Pepper

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I'm not sure if that's always been the case. Besides super hero cartoons and Johnny Bravo, which were previously mentioned, The Flintstones is one of the most popular cartoons ever made, and its primary focus is on adults. Sure, there's Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, but they don't appear for about half the series.
To be fair, The Flintstones was originally aimed towards adults.
 

Darklordavaitor

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To be fair, The Flintstones was originally aimed towards adults.
Not so much squarely for adults, but fair- it was an all-ages show, and its early episodes were a little more adult. Not exactly Family Guy by any stretch, but it's not hard to see parents enjoy the show with their kids, and possibly on their own.

But over time, the franchise clearly became marketed for kids. There's been occasional bids to nostalgics, particularly with its run on MeTV. But it's been primarily aimed for- and enjoyed- by kids since the end of its primetime run.
 

Kirben

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I don't think children are actually less interested in adults. I do think that creators and/or TV executives nowadays assume this to be the case.
Yes, this is the real problem, it seems like all the reboots in particular have to make the characters younger these days.
This is one aspect I really miss from cartoon series from the 90s, when there were still adult characters frequently used in cartoon series.
 
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