It’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.