I got this idea while stumbling upon my 9 year old watching her favorite show (her words) a clearly gothic themed cartoon. It took me by surprise, but I guess I have more of an influence on her than I thought. Over the years there has been a growing number of gothic cartoon characters. As a society today we even have the innate ability to use Photoshop to upload photos of characters that are not Goth turned into Goths onto photo bucket. Does this mean that the gothic culture is invading upon the mainstream? Or does it mean that Goths grew up and are using what they know to entertain their kids? These are in no particular order of greatness just a list of what is out there teaching today’s and yesterday’s youth about the darker subcultures.
One more thing, I’m not adding the South Park Goth Kids to this list because really it isn’t a show for children and I intended this to be a list of kid’s shows.
Scooby Doo has been around forever and is not a gothic themed cartoon. There has however been long time running guest characters called the Hex Girls. The Hex Girls are a gothic band and are featured on 4 different episodes of Scooby Doo starting in 1998. The band is comprised of Luna, Dusk and Thorn being the lead singer. There appearance points a out a few stereotypes #1 in one episode Thorn’s “real name” is revealed, this is indicative of the stereotype that all Goths give themselves a ridiculous “Dark” name. #2 they have fangs. Not all Goths are vampire lovers! GEEZ! #3 they are proclaimed Wiccans, which goes nicely along with the “Goths are into the occult” stereotype, because most kids don’t understand. When they hear “wiccan” they hear “witch.”
I could put anything done by Tim Burton on this list Nightmare before Christmas, the Corpse Bride ect. But this is my earliest cartoon example. If you never saw it, no it’s nothing like the movie. The title isn’t even the same. The entire premise, ages, locations and pretty much everything else were changed for this cartoon. Although it was considered to be a cartoon watch-able by kids and adults alike it kept the humor pretty safe. The best part about this was Lydia Deetz. She was the epitome of a stereotypical Goth girl, crafty, creative, pale, and dark. Being 9 and watching this show, she was my ultimate role model as I’m sure she was for hundreds of other little girls.
The Adams Family
A wonderful example of a well functioning gothic family! What’s not to love? There were 2 cartoon series featuring the Adam’s family but I wanted to focus on the one I watched growing up. The New Adam’s family which first aired in 1992 stars all of our favorite Adams family characters and I remember it holding up well to the overall feel of the series. They prove to be a loving if weird family who functions most like other families but for creepy happenings.
This is my daughter’s favorite show, even though it has been cancelled since 2008. It’s still in re-runs though. I imagine that this is her version of Lydia Deets, her first off the wall unusual character that she can relate to. The show surrounds the main character aptly named Creepie. She was abandoned and left to live with bugs. It sounds more depressing than it actually is, although literally being raised by bugs is about as grotesque as you can get. But the show’s main plot surrounds her trying to keep her worlds apart, her normal school life and her creepy home life. It’s cute, and I can see why she likes it so much.
Not a gothtoon I’m aware. I loved Avatar the last airbender, we watched it as a family every week and everyone was incredibly exited when it came on. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried during the last episode when Mai betrayed Azula to save Zuko. The reason why it is on this list is because of Mai. She doesn’t really dress like it nor is she ever referred to as one, but trust me she is. It’s all about Mai’s attitude and outlook on life here, everything she says embodies that kind of stereotypical dialogue of a Goth, and she does it well.
Since it’s the most recent example I feel like I have to mention it. I don’t really like this show to be honest, in preparation for this I sat down and watched several episodes desperately trying to like it but it didn’t work. To me it seems like many of the episodes themes are trying to lean towards the gothic, but the art direction and style is very emo. I suppose they are trying to blend the 2 but overall it doesn’t work for me (and I’m not being a snob here, I swear!) But to each his own, since this show has been around in Canada since 2006 and has made it to Cartoon Network it must have a good fan base. I may give it another chance if I have the time.
Ok so there are so many other examples I could not possibly talk about them all here unless my part 2 has sub-parts, which would just be really confusing. There were also several shows where a character turned Goth for a week and then returned to normal or only just had a Goth guest star etc. So instead of talking about them I’ve collected these pictures, maybe you can pick them out!
Another thing I noticed while putting this together is that Goth chicks are all the rage, where have all the Goth guys gone? Maybe a Gothic boy isn’t as marketable as a goth female? Or maybe we’re saving them for live action drama?