Guilty Pleasure: Clive Aslet on Cartoon Network

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The Independent Online

The Cartoon Network is a sort of Trojan Horse because it's the last thing I would have allowed into our household but it came in the cable package we got for the History Channel.

I wish I could say that our children are like those children in Narnia, wearing Fair Isle sweaters and brogues, but they're nearly always tuned into the Cartoon Network and the fact is, it's compulsive.

To begin with, I was horrified, but I find that the more I watch these cartoons, the more I think they're very cleverly made. A lot of them have strong characterisation and the dialogue is very sharp. They're visually sophisticated and, rather like The Simpsons, they're obviously made by very clever people.

There's a good one called The Cramp Twins. It's about twins who have been diametrically opposed from birth. One is all for saving the planet and doing his homework on time, and the other one is a little devil whose one pleasure in life is tormenting his brother. It's fantastic.

Another good one is Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. It's about where children's imaginary friends go when the children grow up - they all go to this foster home where they wait until they're claimed by another child. It's very clever.

There is a degree of shame about cartoons once you're an adult. There is zero cultural value in them so it's a difficult thing to admit to. But there's no overlap between cartoons and Country Life, and I suppose that's why I enjoy them.

Clive Aslet is editor of Country Life

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