oday parents are talking about Maya the Bee. Cartoons are lovely, aren’t they? I have quite a lot of nostalgia for the cartoons of the 80s and 90s and I truly hope that my children will look back when they are my age and think, ‘Wow, Paw Patrol was awesome’.
It’s not really, but nor were The Racoons or Babar. I also have a huge love of Disney and this is the root of my feelings today over the news that Netflix has pulled an episode of Maya the Bee because someone drew a penis on a log.
Some have branded the artist a pervert:
A perverted cartoonist drew a penis on the wall in an episode of the children’s cartoon “Maya the Bee.” pic.twitter.com/4oRW8Y0yKc— karen ricks (@karenricks) September 23, 2017
There is a part of me that can see the outrage justified, as very young children watch this innocent cartoon. Now I'm foul-mouthed; I swear like I’m watching the rugby most days but never in front of my kids. I imagine at some point they will be exposed to swear words, adult images and will turn out as messed up as me but that day is yet to come. I’d like them to have a little period of innocence where the only thing to do with a penis is spray wee wee all up the bathroom wall.
However, the production company have quite rightly said it was simply just a ‘bad joke’.
Maya the Bee: Children's show producer calls penis drawing 'a very bad joke' https://t.co/3UrK8Uz8Jg— The Liberator ENT (@LiberatorENT) September 22, 2017
The reason why I think they are right in saying this is because artists and cartoonists, in particular, have been slipping adult humour into cartoons since the beginning, none more celebrated than Disney. We all know the very recent ‘foot size’ jokes in Frozen which sailed beautifully over my kids' heads. The eagle-eyed adults among us have been spotting these little Easter eggs for some time now and there has been no outcry, no wailing – ‘Think of the children, think of the little children!’.
That’s because they haven’t been tainted by adulthood. They are still innocent. We shouldn’t be worried that they will get the joke, because they won’t. It’s a little nod to the Mammas and Daddas out there that have to sit through hours and hours of the same inane cartoons and animated films. It breaks up the boredom and will give the little ones a good laugh when they are all grown up.