Cartoon violence has existed for around 50 years – just take a look at the frying-pan fighting of Tom and Jerry, the boulder-bashing of Roadrunner and the fierce battling of Pokemon.
So when do crazy cartoon capers become violence?
It’s a fear that prompted one mum to complain after she saw a CBBC cartoon showing a toast soldier beheading a boiled egg.
The episode of the Ooglies, called Toast Soldiers 1, also shows another bit of toast throwing a grape grenade and a toast soldier exploding and being covered in red jam.
The 35-year-old mum from south London, reported the show to Ofcom saying that The Ooglies showed “extreme violence”.
The 1-minute clip of the Bafta-winning stop-motion show was first shown in April 2012 and is still available on the iPlayer. “Kids could think extreme violence like beheading is normal,” she complained.
However, it seems the BBC sees it differently (more like toast and egg) and has no plans currently to remove the clip from the iPlayer, according to The Sun newspaper.
“OOglies is a popular slapstick comedy series that depicts all sorts of food getting into scrapes with each other,” a spokesperson for the BBC said.
“This clip involving a boiled egg and toast is no different and we would be surprised if our audiences read anything more into it.”
Experts are divided on the subject of whether cartoon violence can have an effect on children’s behaviour.
A study in 2009 on girls aged 9 and 10 found that those who watched aggressive and violent kids’ TV shows (such as Scooby Doo apparently), had higher levels of aggression themselves.
However, the study was contradicted a year later by other researchers who appeared to find that children did not mimic TV or cartoon violence.
What do you think?