Yes cartoons come in three varieties these days it seems.
You have the obvious, that stuff on tv the kids are watching.
Then there is the stuff released in theatres, the feature stuff often dominated by Disney.
What a lot don't get to see though, is the stuff a few of us know as anime (calling it cartoons will annoy the easily annoyed anime fan though, the same way calling any military vehicle a tank might annoy us military crowd types).
Now tv type cartoons today seem bent on lowest possible quality in the drawing there of.
Cow and chicken might be funny if you merely listen to it, but the state of the image is lame in the extreme.
The more mainstream Simpsons is drawn better, but it's nothing compared to the cartoon art I grew up with.
I find some cartoons make the magic leap from atypical to truely funny occasionally though. Sponge Bob is actually funny.
The feature film stuff has awesome sound tracks in it in most cases.
If you are a dad, and can sit through the opening of Lion King dry eyed, then you are not as emotionally attached to your son as I am to mine.
The material being produced today, is in a lot of cases being made with a two layered humour approach. The kids hear all the jokes, but honestly, some of it is for the adults sitting their with the kids.
I rarely go to see a feature animation kids film reluctantly. I am increasingly suspecting they are not actually just being made as kids films lately. Finding Nemo was definitely just a good funny film any age group should be able to enjoy.
Anime though is only just gaining exposure outside of Japan and small niche fan circles. If your tv is on during a saturday morning, odds are you will see at least one of two "anime" shows.
But anime is not just Yugi Oh or Sailormoon or Pokemon. Actually the kids variety stuff is ther merest tip of the iceberg.
Although one reason anime doesn't make it to the mainstream circuit is content. In Japan they don't have trouble with what we north american prudes would call adult content. Considering what they allow on the set in real life video though it makes me scratch my head why.
In anime people DIE, and occasionally violently.
In anime girls actually have underwear on (although they might make that more apparent than necessary :)).
In anime girls have been known to remove their clothes (but you don't get to see anything in the mainstream offerings).
But additionally, in anime you also often get something neat, plot and continuity.
If you have never watched Bubblegum Crisis for instance, you have missed a great cyber punk science fiction series.
Anime is often as funny as most cartoons, but they do it with PEOPLE, not people shaped cute animals.
Given a choice, I would have to say I prefer feature films and anime. I would not miss the north american offerings much.
Shows like Simpson's why funny in some cases, seem to champion idiot parents and happy to be under achiever kids.
I LIKE that my life bothers them,
Why should I be the only one bothered by it eh.