Rugrats and Gender Roles

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Cartoon Essays

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Spongebob Squarepants has defined Nickelodeon for the past decade and a half, but it isn’t the face of the network for me.  I am old enough to have watched the pilot of Spongebob when it first aired and I am old enough to remember the Nicktoons as an established brand before it aired.  There wouldn’t be a Spongebob Squarepants successful enough to run almost 20 years and release two theatrical movies without a little show called Rugrats laying the groundwork for Spongebob back in the ’90s.  Rugrats is my favorite Nicktoon, which is saying something because the competition it ran with on Nickelodeon was already incredibly strong.  Heck, I would argue that Rugrats at its peak is one of the best cartoons that has ever aired on television.  Yes, up there with The Simpsons, Animaniacs, Batman: The Animated Series, or whatever other classic you can think of.  It brimmed with…

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