For my project on Violence and Aggression in the media, I watched 5 cartoon shows aimed at children. I watched “Scooby Doo”, “Wile E Coyote”, “Tom and Jerry”, “Yosemite Sam”, and “Foghorn Leghorn”. There were many types of aggression and violence that was picked up on, only after looking specifically for it. “Children’s television programs actually contain higher levels of violence (69%) than other types of programs (57%). In an average hour, children’s programs contain more than twice as many violent incidents than other types of programs.” (Wilson, 2002).
There was verbal aggression in “Scooby Doo” with the character calling the ghost a “Big Freak” and many times in “Yosemite Sam” calling Bugs Bunny a “Varmint” and saying “I’ll blast the varmint wide open”. It’s not uncommon to find verbal aggression because children find name calling funny. Every one of the cartoons had some type of physical aggression. In “Scooby Doo” they hit the ghost in the face with apples, the ghost hit Shaggy in the head with a mallet, and the ghost also was chasing the gang with a hedge clipper. In “Wile E Coyote”, there was tons of physical aggression. Wile E was blown up numerous times with a bomb, smashed with a rock, and fell off a cliff. In “Tom and Jerry” there was not any verbal aggression, due to the characters not having any dialogue, but Tom tried to cook a goldfish alive on the stove, in the fireplace, and in the toaster. Jerry slammed Tom’s head into the oven and hit him with a bat, frying pan, and iron. At the end of the show, Tom grabbed a pistol off of the wall to shoot Jerry. In “Foghorn Leghorn”, Foghorn was hit in the head with a pumpkin and with a bone. He hit the dog with a boxing glove and a pumpkin in the face and spanked him with a board. Little Henry chicken hawk also choked Foghorn Leghorn with a rope. In “Yosemite Sam”, he constantly had pistols shooting at Bugs Bunny. He also used physical aggression with his pistols to rob the train. In reality, all of these acts would be dangerous and should not be attempted or found as something funny.
Most of these cartoons displayed instrumental aggression. In “Scooby Doo” the goal of the aggression was to capture the ghost. In “Tom and Jerry”, the goal of Tom was to catch Jerry and the goldfish and to goal of Jerry was to escape being caught. In “Wile E Coyote”, the goal of the coyote was to catch Bugs Bunny to eat him. In “Yosemite Sam” and