The Conservative Crusade Against Cartoon Characters

11/22/2006 09:28 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

If you're visiting with family over Thanksgiving, and you see children being entertained by a popular animated movie, be sure to remember that, in all likelihood, conservatives believe the cartoons are part of some nefarious liberal plot.

CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, for example, railed against the animated film Happy Feet this week, calling it "propaganda" and an "animated version of An Inconvenient Truth." Discussing the movie with Bob Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television, Beck went on quite a tirade:

"Call me crazy, but, yes, you can. And if you're going to include those themes, the least you could do is tell me, a parent. Tell me about it first, OK, so I know I'm walking into propaganda. But with Happy Feet, no, they just couldn't. They couldn't shoehorn that into the marketing. That'd be too tough. I wonder if it's because they knew that people, you know, wouldn't go see it or not as many. They may not pull in $42 million if people thought they'd be watching an animated version of An Inconvenient Truth."

Similarly, Fox News' Neil Cavuto whined incessantly about the movie this week, calling Happy Feet "offensive," "big-time objectionable," and "far left" political propaganda.

Of course, it's not just this movie. From Tinky Winky to Shrek, Shark Tale to SpongeBob, conservatives seem to have an unhealthy fixation on the alleged dangers lurking in animation.

Note to the right: they're just cartoons. It's probably time for a priority check.