I went down Reminiscence Lane today and looked up Disney’s Recess TV shows on YouTube.
Disney really knows how to incorporate adult life and meanings into a little kid’s show. As the Recess Wiki page (yes, made by fans) says,
Recess portrays the lives of six fourth graders as they go about their daily lives in a highly clichéd school environment. The students of Third Street School have set up a microcosm of traditional human society complete with its own government, class system, and set of unwritten laws. They are ruled by a monarch, King Bob, who has various enforcers to make sure his decrees are carried out. The little society has a long list of rigid values and social norms that imposes a high expectation of conformity upon all the students.
One episode, titled “The Economics of Recess,” features the rags-to-riches and selfish tendencies of a monopoly. The playground uses a brand of stickers as a medium of exchange, and soon it dominates everything, even costing 2 stickers to drink from the water fountain. One kid, who starts out with no stickers, negotiates and exploits the kindergarteners’ use of labor to earn himself stickers, soon building a great empire of which he is the sole proprietor.
Another episode features the hearsay of theology. One girl sees another character (known as “Swinger Girl”) swing over the top of the swing. She misses seeing Swinger Girl leave right afterwards and is convinced Swinger Girl swung “to the other side,” and rallies up the entire playground to believe in the miracle.
Adult topics, eh?
This is why I love re-watching the cartoons I used to watch. With a greater mind for complex comprehensions, it’s fun to spot these topics in what used to be thought empty children’s shows.