Type: Review
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“SpongeBob SquarePants” – American animated series, the production of “Nickelodeon channel”, released in July 17, 1999 and became one of the most popular animated television programs. This is the first animated show among Nickelodeon TV series which outperformed the “Rugrats”, at the moment it includes eight full seasons.

Cartoon action takes place in the Pacific Ocean, in a small fictional town called Bikini Bottom. The protagonists are the representatives of marine fauna. Underwater theme was prompted by the creator of the series – Stephen Hillenburg. Before becoming a cartoonist he was a teacher and studied marine biology at the Institute of Oceanography in California.

The first three episodes were: “Assistant Wanted”, “Underwater vacuum cleaner” and “Tea Party under the dome”, they were included in the first season and were shown in the test mode after the show “Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards” in May 1, 1999. The official premiere took place in July 17, 1999, with two series of the second episode: “Bubbles” and “Torn pants”.

But real popularity has come to SpongeBob after the start of the second season, and has remained at a high level ever since. In 2007, the “Time” magazine called this TV series one of the best ever made.

The main hero of the show is SpongeBob SquarePants. He lives in a pineapple-house, along with a snail named Gary, who looks more like a house cat. SpongeBob’s birthday is on July 14, 1986. Next door, under a rock, dwells his best friend — retarded but funny starfish named Patrick Star. Another neighbor of Sponge Bob is Squidward Tentacles – the octopus, who is trying to play the clarinet and lives in the house that looks like an Easter Island statue. He hates both his neighbors for their constant jokes and intrusive amusement facilities which violate his peace of mind.

SpongeBob works as a cook in a diner called the Krusty Krab, managed by the old cheapskate Mister Eugene Krabs, who is obsessed with money. Another important character of the series is a research scientist squirrel – Sandy Cheeks from Texas. Because of the inability to breathe underwater she is forced to wear a diving suit. The main villain of the series has traditionally been the microscopic Sheldon Plankton, who is trying to steal the secret formula of Krabby Patty from Krusty Krabs, but usually fails.

Since the start of cartoon show “SpongeBob SquarePants” (qtd. In nick.com), SpongeBob character has become very popular among children and adolescents. The popularity of the character is common, according to Nickelodeon, among children between two and eleven years, adolescents and students of colleges. Salon.com notes that perfect innocence of SpongeBob makes it so appealing. The character draws fans due to its bright living and tolerance.

Animated series, despite its fun atmosphere and attractive characters, can also have a negative impact on the child’s mind.

According to recent research, the “Sponge Bob” (Moorehead, 1) cartoon has a negative impact on children and their health. After 9 minutes of watching the cartoon children start to have problems with attention and learning. Problems were reported in a study in which 60 children were divided into three groups. Some were watching “SpongeBob”, some watched “Snow White” (Rice,4), and others painted. After nine minutes, the kids did a test of mental functions on the basis of which it was concluded that those who watched “SpongeBob” have done the task worse than others.

However, the most interesting is that even the experts who conducted the poll, asked to refer to the results with caution. The expert in child development at Children’s Hospital in Seattle Dimitri Christakis explained that this is due to the small number of participants. However, he said that parents should be aware that such programs are not suitable for young children.

It is important what children are watching and not just how long they are watching TV, said the expert of Education and rehabilitation Milan Radovanovic, he explained to the parents that a lot depends on what points in the cartoons are harmful for children’s mind. The light effects and aggressive scenes may affect the child’s development. What we perceive as negative, in cartoons looks different, it is important for parents to talk to their children about cartoons. Thus, they can be a good source of learning.

This cartoon is fast paced and thus affects the behavior of the child, as well as violating a child’s ability to focus on any object. The MedDaily resource has conducted more than a dozen different tests, which showed that if a four year old watched at least five minutes of the popular animated movie, he immediately began to solve various tasks much more slowly than children who were engaged in drawing and watched less saturated cartoons. They concentrate a lot worse than other children.

According to experts, the reason lies in the fact that children want to behave erratically, like cartoon characters. I would also like to note that illogical and extremely fast video series bring children into a state of high excitement.

Psychologists advise parents to choose cartoons and programs for their children more carefully, because soon it could badly affect their psyche. It is better to give a child the opportunity to play a variety of board games. “SpongeBob” has already yielded to criticism from evangelicals, on the questionable humor.

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