David, the Gnome

David the GnomeIt’s another cartoon morning! In response to my Kimba the White Lion article, Mack asked if I had heard of a show called David, the Gnome. I had not, so I looked it up. It turns out to be a series from the mid-1980s produced in Spain, based upon a Dutch children’s book, The Secret Book of Gnomes.

The episode embedded below is from Episode 6: “The Wedding.” There are a few things that stand out. The colors are vibrant, and I really like that because I still work with a 5-year-old’s visual palette. And to be honest, I like that the animation is not Japanese; it’s nice to see more traditional work. Here it is with Christopher Plummer as the narrator and Tom Bosley as David:

What most strikes me about this and Kimba is the in and out group politics. For kids’ shows, I don’t especially care about this. It is an important aspect of learning to be a civilized person. But I do care that we don’t ever move past this. The most popular films are simple good vs. evil allegories. What’s more, pretty much all TV shows are morality plays. But this doesn’t have anything to do with my life. My life is all about moral ambiguity.

Kids’ shows are fine—for kids. As adults, we can do better. And David, the Gnome would tell us that.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “David, the Gnome

  1. [quote]The most popular films are simple good vs. evil allegories.[/quote]

    Or stories of vengeance. Or both. The movies or shows that tend to appeal to the most people also tend to be the type I most dislike. The stories I like best are the kind that ask [i]me[/i] questions; that make me wonder and inquire and want more. I love the movies or shows that ask big questions, that prompt me to probe deeply into myself or the mysteries of life or the universe.

    I don’t require this kind of story in the cartoons I watch, but i bring it up because it raises a point about our society: that it is hyper-competitive, vengeful and violent. It is perfectly acceptable for movies or TV shows to depict violence, death, war, etc., but god forbid showing a tit! That gets an R-rating, and never appears on TV. And sex? That’s reserved for porn and X-rated movies. I think it says a lot about our culture when sex and the human body are so feared, but violence is so readily accepted, if not glorified.

    On another note, there are many reasons I love cartoons, but mostly it’s because they remind me of childhood. I’ve been thinking about writing about my favorite cartoons for a future blog post and I’m wondering, are you much of a cartoon fan? I notice that you’ve written about cartoons a few times, but that doesn’t mean you still watch them as an adult. If you are a fan of cartoons, what are/were some of your favorites?

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