The Meaning Behin Characters in Cartoon “Spongebob Squarepants”

This research was made based on two research question which are representation of seven deadly sins in every character in cartoon “Spongebob SquarePants” and how cartoon “Spongebob SquarePants” influence cultures and kids in Indonesia. Introduction Television programs for kids cannot be separated from animation film/ cartoon. Cartoon is the most programs which showed rather than other programs for kids. According to YPMA on Januari 2008, there are 41 titles of animations/ cartoons from 61 kids programs which appeared on local television.

Many kinds of animation films showed in local television were about adventure, friendship, games, imaginations, and kung fu. Animation in Indonesia is still far when compared with overseas animation industry. Furthermore, lots of animation import that circulated in our country. But not all are suitable to be consumed for children. Cultural differences are still a major problem. Cultures that exist in foreign countries do not fully comply with the existing culture in Indonesia.

Director of the Directorate General of Cultural Values Traditions of Art and Film, I Gusti Nyoman Widja SH expressed concern over the television shows that do not reflect the nation’s cultural values. Current form of globalization carries positive charge spread information but fast-moving currents of globalization can have a negative influence on the local values in society. B. Guntarto of Critical Media for Children (Kidia) stated that a lot of cartoons that showed on television station in Indonesia are actually not suitable for consumption of primary school age children, especially pre-school.

A total of 84% shows cartoon which most showed are not suitable for consumption of school age children. One of cartoons which showed in local television which reputed as carried bad influence for kids is “SpongeBob SquarePants”. This cartoon was reputed will bring bad influence to Indonesian cultures. There are issues that every character in “SpongeBob” represented the seven deadly sins. It is believed will bring bad influence for kids who watched. Subconsciously, kids will imitate what they learn in cartoon including enjoyed the programs which hidden dangerous meaning itself. SpongeBob SquarePants” is an American animated television series, created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg. Much of the series centers on the exploits and adventures of the title characters and his various friends in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The series popularity has prompted the release of amedia franchise, contributing to its position as Nickelodeon’s highest rated show, the most distributed property of MTV Networks, and among Nicktoons’ most watched shows. As of 2011, SpongeBob SquarePants is the only Nicktoon from the 1990s that has not ended yet.

The show is listed 15th in IGN’s top 100 animated series list. It is also known for being one of Nickelodeon’s longest running TV shows. The pilot episode of SpongeBob SquarePants first aired episodes in the United States on Nickelodeon on May 1, 1999, following the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. The first episodes were called “Help Wanted”, “Reef Blower”, and “Tea at the Treedome”. The “official” series premiere followed on July 17, 1999, with the second episode, “Bubblestand/Ripped Pants. ” The show reached enormous popularity by 2000 during the second season, and has remained popular since.

A feature film of the series was released in theaters on November 19, 2004. The series celebrated its tenth anniversary on July 17, 2009. “SpongeBob SquarePants” was renewed for a ninth season on January 3, 2011. So far the series has aired 320 individual episodes. In cartoon “Spongebob SquarePants”, there are seven main characters. SpongeBob SquarePants is an energetic and optimistic sea sponge (although his appearance more closely resembles a kitchen sponge) who lives in a pineapple under the sea with his pet snail, Gary, who meows like a cat.

Living two houses down from SpongeBob is his best friend, Patrick Star, a dim-witted yet friendly pink sea star who lives under a rock. Even despite his “Mental Setbacks”, Patrick still sees himself as intelligent. SpongeBob’s next-door neighbor and co-worker is Squid ward Tentacles, an arrogant and ill-tempered squid who lives in an Easter Island moai and dislikes his neighbors (especially SpongeBob) for their child-like behavior. He enjoys playing the clarinet and painting self-portraits, but hates his job working at the Krusty Krab. Another close friend of SpongeBob’s is Sandy Cheeks, a squirrel from Texas.

Sandy is an expert at karate and lives in an underwater tree dome. When not inside her tree dome, she wears an astronaut-like suit because she cannot breathe underwater. SpongeBob and Squidward’s employer is former officer cadet for the Bikini Bottom Navy force and war veteran Eugene Krabs, a miserly crab obsessed with money, who is the owner of the Krusty Krab restaurant. Mr. Krabs’ archenemy is Sheldon Plankton, a small green copepod who owns a low-rank fast-food restaurant called the Chum Bucket across the street from the Krusty Krab.

Plankton spends most of his time planning to steal the recipe for Mr. Krabs’s which is popular as Krabby Patty burgers to obtain success. Those characters which have explained above reputed represented seven deadly sins. These cases will be explained in result. Theoretical Background In semiotics, denotation and connotation are terms describing the relationship between the signifier and signified (Chandler, 2002: 140), and an analytic distinction is made between two types of signified: a denotative signified and a connotative signified. Meaning includes both denotation and connotation.

Most signs have at least one normal, “common sense” meaning. This meaning, called the sign’s denotation, is shared among many people and is the most widely used meaning of the sign. But signs also may have many different “subjective” meanings that arise from each individual’s personal experiences. These are called the connotations of the sign. The denotation of a sign represents an agreement among a group of people that they will share that meaning of the sign among themselves. Meanings of this type are said to arise through social convention. A sign may have more than one denotation meaning.

In cases when a person must choose one meaning from a number of options he or she looks to the context of the sign to make the decision. The signifier is the sign that can consist of sound or image. The signified is the concept that explains the signifier. According to Chandler, ‘denotation’ tends to described as the definitional, ‘literal’, ‘obvious’ or ‘commonsense’ meaning of a sign. The term ‘connotation’ is used to refer to the socio-cultural and ‘personal’ associations of the sign (2002:140). One of pioneers of connotative and denotative theories is Roland Barthes.

According to Barthes, the messages of images or characters are constituted in two ways: through denotation, the literal meaning and reference of a sign or connotation, the meanings that are suggested or implied by the sign. Barthes came to the conclusion that connotation produces the illusion of denotation, the illusion of the medium as transparent and of the signifier and the signified as being identical (1974:9). Barthes theories of denotation and connotation are the theory that this paper use to analyze characterization of each character in cartoon “SpongeBob SquarePants” which contained connotative meanings.

Like a word, pictures and symbols are contained connotative and denotative meanings too. It depends from which side a person sees it. Each character in cartoon “SpongBob SquarePants” has connotative and denotative meanings too which this paper would like to explain. This paper is made based on issues that cartoon “SpongeBob SquarePants” are contained the seven deadly sins, which are: 1. Pride (superbia) Pride is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins, and the source of the others.

It is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others, failing to acknowledge the good work of others, and excessive love of self (especially holding self out of proper position toward God). 2. Greed (avaritia) Greed (Latin, avaritia), also known as avarice or covetousness, is like lust and gluttony, a sin of excess. However, greed is applied to a very excessive or rapacious desire and pursuit of wealth, status, and power. Greed is an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one need, especially with espect to material wealth. 3. Lust (luxuria) Lust is usually thought of as excessive thoughts or desires of a sexual nature. In Dante’s Purgatorio, the penitent walks within flames to purge himself of lustful/ sexual thoughts and feelings. In Dante’s Inferno, unforgiving souls of the sin of lust are blown about in restless hurricane-like winds symbolic of their own lack of self control to their lustful passions in earthly life. But, lust in this context is not about sexual desire but about excessive thing. 4. Envy (invidia)

Like greed, Envy (Latin, invidia) may be characterized by an insatiable desire; they differ, however, for two main reasons: * First, greed is largely associated with material goods, whereas envy may apply more generally. * Second, those who commit the sin of envy not only resent that another person has something they perceive themselves as lacking, but also wish the other person to be deprived of it. 5. Gluttony (Gula or gullia) Derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow, gluttony (Latin, gula) is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. . Wrath (ira) Wrath (Latin, ira), also known as “rage”, may be described as inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. Wrath, in its purest form, presents with self-destructiveness, violence, and hate that may provoke feuds that can go on for centuries. Feelings of anger can manifest in different ways, including impatience, revenge, and vigilantism. 7. Sloth (acedia) Sloth is often seen as being considerably less serious than the other sins, more a sin of omission than of commission. Methodology This research used analysis methods to conclude the data.

This paper is collects the data from the internet, which are about characterization of each character on cartoon “SpongeBob SquarePants”. Not only that, read the books about theories and characterization are necessary too. The most important tool for this work is the internet connection and books. After the data are collected, it needs time to study it. In data collection, the writer took the data from watching cartoon “SpongeBob SquarePants” on television, then analyzes and related it with the theories which are used in this paper. Result The cases would be explain in this paper is about characterization.

In cartoon “Spongebob” there are seven main characters which have different traits and attitudes. First, this paper will explain about each character and analyze what is the meaning behind each character. SpongeBob SquarePants is the principal character in the animated television series “SpongeBob SquarePants”, which first aired in July 1999 on Nickelodeon. SpongeBob is an anthropomorphic, yellow, porous, sponge with a face. He has disproportionally thin and short extremities extending from his body (arms and legs), and resembles a kitchen sponge more than a sea sponge.

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