How to Analyze a Cartoon

A cartoon is a piece of visual art that is drawn, frequently animated, in an unrealistic or semi-realistic style. It’s not only used for humorous purposes but can be employed as an effective political statement and vehicle for social commentary. The term “cartoon” is also used to describe any work of art that uses simple objects or symbols to stand for larger concepts or ideas. The use of symbolism and wit in cartoons is often used to provoke a response from the audience, which is why it is so effective when used as a tool for social comment.

Identifying the symbols in a cartoon is an excellent starting point to understand the cartoon’s meaning. It’s important to note that sometimes a cartoonist will exaggerate the physical characteristics of certain people or things in order to make their point more clearly. Using the cartoon analysis tool, try to identify which characteristics are overdone and what the cartoonist was trying to accomplish by exaggerating them.

Another way to analyze a cartoon is by looking at the composition. A cartoon typically has a squarish image above a typed or handwritten caption. The font and size of the caption should be readable in order to ensure that you’re able to read what it’s saying. Similarly, the background of a cartoon can be analyzed to determine its purpose and context. Traditionally, editorial cartoons provide the most incisive commentary on social and political issues. Animated cartoons generally cater to younger audiences and feature the adventures of anthropomorphized animals, superheroes, and child protagonists. zeichentrick

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