Chinese netizens criticize classic cartoon TV series over archeology episode
Published: Jul 21, 2021 06:34 PM
New Big-Head Son and Small-Head Father Photo: Sina Weibo

New Big-Head Son and Small-Head Father Photo: Sina Weibo

New Big-Head Son and Small-Head Father
, the latest iteration of the popular Chinese cartoon series that started in 1995, came under fire on Tuesday from netizens in China, who accused the show of misleading children by giving them an oversimplified idea about archeology. 

The main criticism was first raised by an archeology lover on Sina Weibo Tuesday who shared his review of episode 53 of the new series, in which he listed the various parts of the episode he found inappropriate, in particular the scene in which the father buries some "relics" in the ground to fulfill his son's dreams of going on an excavation.

The story revolves around the son's sudden interest in archeology, which was sparked by a visit to a museum. Hearing his dad say that most of the relics on display were discovered underground by experts, the boy suddenly becomes inspired to find some treasures himself. To further encourage his son's passion, the dad smashes a plate at home, buries the pieces in their garden and later claims they are authentic relics. 

Besides the archeology fan, many netizens also pointed out issues that made them uncomfortable.

"It is so simplified, I mean the archeological discovering process, but it is not like that. Before a dig, there is strict measuring, planning on paper and arranging teams… digging like that seen in the cartoon equals grave robbing to me," Yu, an archeology student, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Some other online users said that while they felt these critics were being a bit too dramatic, they still think it is important that kids' entertainment provide the right information as it can have a huge impact on children's development. 

"Cartoons are children's favorite entertainment. On the good side, they do things such as develop children's positive feelings, teach them to recognize right and wrong and cultivate good behavior. But, if they depict some sensitive or wrong information, this can have a negative impact on them since they will imitate the content in the cartoon," Ji Xiao, an early educational expert, in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

"To be honest, as someone totally outside of the field, I can't spot anything wrong about the episode. But, as a parent, I do sometimes find content in cartoons too 'adult.' Such things need to be changed because my children start asking me embarrassing questions," Zhu, mother to a 7-year-old boy, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Later on Tuesday, the Sichuan Provincial Cultural Relics and Archeology Research Institute forwarded the original post on Sina Weibo, adding "The father and son must be taught more about archeology."