Cartoons are not just for kids — and that’s a good thing. Some people think that animated shows like Spongebob Squarepants and The Simpsons have no value to adults, but they’ve never been more wrong.
There’s a lot of things adults can learn from certain cartoon series. And in the case of the raunchy Netflix toon Big Mouth, it’s clear that dirty jokes and 2D characters can help us better understand ourselves.
‘Big Mouth’ Captures A Universal Experience
If you haven’t heard of Big Mouth before, it’s simple: The show is about kids undergoing puberty. In particular, the series features a bunch of children in the seventh grade living in New York City.
This is what makes it appealing: Everyone has or will go through puberty whether they like it or not. And the show takes pride in illustrating all these shameful, hilarious experiences we’re all familiar with.
We’ve all had to deal with acne problems. You’ve probably wondered what was happening to your voice — or why you were undergoing all these physical and hormonal changes. And then there’s sexuality.
Puberty is when people start to understand the concept of sexual attraction. Kids suddenly stop playing with toy cars and think about their crushes. They think of dates and holding hands with someone.
It’s Creative and Effective
The magic of Big Mouth is that it knows how to utilize the animation medium. Rather than depicting kids in a realistic world, the show opts to personify things like hormones, which shape their very being.
These hormone monsters are like the angels and devils in other shows that give good or bad advice. But here, the entities are all focused on how the characters become sexually attracted to people — or objects.
And sure, it’s fun to see the characters feel the shame of thinking dirty thoughts at the wrong place and time. But Big Mouth also tells the viewers that these are perfectly normal thoughts as well.
That’s what sets it apart from other animated shows. It does not only depict sexuality to create jokes or comedic situations. Instead, it shows that sexuality is indeed a complex matter that makes us human.
A Learning Experience for All
Big Mouth proves that animated shows aren’t always just for kids. And unlike other series like Family Guy and The Simpsons, this one puts the children into the spotlight rather than just as supporting acts.
As the characters go through personal dilemmas, we get to recall our childhood memories. Some of us want to forget about those years, but we cannot deny that is shaped who we are today.
We didn’t know who we were years ago — and the same goes for the kids in Big Mouth. This is their time to learn about their bodies, sexuality, and identity. The show teaches us to embrace change because it is inevitable.
Big Mouth only has two seasons. But that was enough for the cast and crew to deliver such an awkward yet brilliant and enlightening show. If there’s a cartoon series deserving of more seasons, it’s this one.