Through the years, cartoon productions have usually included moralistic and teaching angles. There is often a message embedded within the stories which children pick up on, often subconsciously.
Garbed in colour, characterization and comic overtones, these messages can be educational, moral, social and even entrepreneurial in nature.
If there ever was a fun way of learning how to succeed in business, it is by watching cartoons.
Name of Cartoon: Arthur (1996)
Format: Television program
Arthur Read is an anthropomorphized aardvark who is very studious, a tad nerdy and loves to read. Most of the settings in this cartoon series are in Arthur’s school.
In one of the episodes, Arthur’s friend, Fern shows her penchant for writing poetry. Another one of his friends, Muffy, sees the poetry and thinks they should make greeting cards with Fern’s poetry to then sell.
The cartoon highlights that if a bunch of 8 year-old kids can realise business ideas from skills and qualities that they are passionate about (e.g. Fern’s poetry), surely as adults, we could follow suit.
Business Lesson: Develop a business that is based on something that you genuinely care for , that you are passionate about.
Name of Cartoons: Aladdin (1992), Pinocchio (1940), Peter Pan (1953)
Format: Animated feature films (Walt Disney)
Apart from being fictional characters, what else do Aladdin, Pinocchio and Peter Pan have in common?
They all have their own ‘consultants’!
Aladdin has Genie, Pinocchio has Jiminy Cricket and Peter Pan has Tinkerbell.
Genie does more than grant wishes to Aladdin, with his candid humour he guides Aladdin to wish the right thing.
Jiminy Cricket becomes the guardian angel to Pinocchio, cheering him when he does the right thing and chiding Pinocchio when he lies.
Similarly, Peter Pan calls Tinkerbell whenever he needs advise to take decisions or is in trouble.
One way of interpreting the presence of these supporting characters could be that they represent our inner sense of judgement, danger and risk; our intuition can indicate to us whether we are doing the right thing, just like Genie, Jiminy and Tinkerbell do.
Another lesson could be the importance of having great mentors. Almost every successful entrepreneur can recall important mentors who attributed immensely towards his or her success.
Warren Buffet has often stated that the investment principles he learnt from his mentor Benjamin Graham were instrumental in his success as an investor.
Richard Branson has repeatedly stated that the stimulating challenges his parents set him as a child were key in the formation of his approach toward business in later life.
Steve Jobs has stated that Robert Friedland ‘turned him to a different level of consciousness’ and essentially ‘brought him out of his shell’.
If these great entrepreneurs and visionaries very much valued being mentored, should we not too?
Business Lessons: (i) Consult your inner ‘genie’, i.e. your intuition when it comes to making important decisions, (ii) Realize the importance of good mentors who can help propel your business career.
Name of Cartoons: Looney Tunes (1930-1969), Tom and Jerry (1940-2005)
Format: Animated short films
Time and time again, Tweety Bird, Roadrunner and Jerry Mouse have been successful in saving themselves from their ‘hunters’ Sylvester, Wile E Coyote and Tom.
You could watch cartoon after cartoon seeing how these three characters find themselves at the brink of being eaten up or killed!
In every situation they are seen to think of new and innovative solutions in order to outsmart their adversaries and escape from them unscathed.
While we marvel at their antics, should we, as entrepreneurs not also learn to constantly seek new and innovative ways of solving our business challenges?
Business Lesson: Value creativity and innovation. There are always ways to innovate and adapt our businesses to overcome the challenges we face as entrepreneurs.
Name of Cartoons: Tweety (1942 – ) & Sylvester (1945 – ), Road Runner & Wiley Coyote (1949 – ), The Tom and Jerry Show (1975 – )
Format: Television Programs
Flipping the coin over, we also ought to hand it to the ‘hunters’, Sylvester, Wile E Coyote and Tom too.
In each episode, they are seen to never give up on chasing their prey and never cease to dream of gobbling Tweety Bird, Roadrunner and Jerry up!
In fact, the more they fall victim to the tricks and antics of their prey, the more they feel goaded to catch them.
Quite rightly, these three have gathered their own share of love because of the non -stop entertainment they provide as well as their sheer will to never give up.
Business Lesson: Never Give Up!
Format: Television Program
Whether it is giving a monkey a shower, to ploughing a farm, to concocting chemical compositions, to fighting a mummy, to building a rocket – is there anything that these two little boys, Phineas and Ferb cannot do?
Their can-do attitude is as commendable as it is inspiring.
If two little boys can keep themselves busy through their ideas, maybe some of their inventive zest could rub on to us too when we watch their cartoon shows!
Business Lesson: Having a can-do attitude pays: big time!
Dr Manroop Takhar is the founder of Qudos Animations, a leading animation studio that excels in producing animations for businesses. You can contact him on (+44) 020 8891 2077 or email him: firstname.lastname@example.org, or circle him on Google Plus.
Image Credit: www.9story.com, http://static2.wikia.nocookie.net/, http://3.bp.blogspot.com/, www.dan-dare.org, www.fanpop.com