VISUAL LITERACY/ANALYSIS: The Study of Cartoons
When studying cartoons a person should look at;
a. The Characters
- Are the characters figures in their own rights or do they represent stereotypes?
- Are they depicted normally or as caricatures (ridiculous exaggeration) of themselves?
Well-known personalities are often caricatured with exaggerated facial features.
- Note facial expressions, body language and relationships between characters.
b. Background and Setting
- Where and when is the scene taking place?
- Is the cartoon based on fact or fiction?
c. Language and Punctuation
- Diction - does it make use of slang, jargon and/or colloquialism?
- Structure - does it use single words, phrases or sentences?
- How does the punctuation affect the mood and the tone?
- These are expressed pictorially by the clever use of lines, facial expressions and symbols.
- Is the intention of the cartoon to educate, inform, entertain or satirise?
- Has the cartoonist achieved his or her objective?
- How has he or she achieved this objective?
All answers should be substantiated with close reference to the text in question.
- The language in the bubble will be direct speech.
- Your commentary on the cartoon will be written in indirect, narrated or reported speech.
The Animated Cartoon
Animated cartoons appeal to all ages although they are ostensibly aimed at children.
- Adults often enjoy them for their subtle humour and deeper meanings e.g. The 'Shrek' movie.
These are the aspects that are usually discussed.
- Animated cartoons may also be analysed using film study techniques.