Kids Next Door and the Philosophies of Childhood Pt. 4

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(This is part 4 of a mini-series/long essay I’m doing on Codename Kids Next Door. You can find the 3rd part here.)

In case you’re just tuning in, I’ve been writing about how a goofy cartoon show about kid spies has some pretty profound things to say about life, and this time I’ll be talking about how it, in its own unique way, reminds me of a lesson I so easily forget: the importance of keeping others in my life, as expressed by the two following virtues. Continue reading

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Kids Next Door and the Philosophies of Childhood Pt.2

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There are plenty of things a kid could value. Getting a puppy for Christmas. Scoring the winning run in Kickball. Hanging out with friends after school. Formative experiences like those are treasured because they expose kids to the thrill and beauty of life, showing them what it means to live. Kids Next Door evokes that same sentiment, encapsulating the important feelings and lessons we first learn as children into core values that must be held on to as we grow.  Breaking them down, we see that these virtues guide the actions of KND’s main characters.
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Either You’re In or You’re Old: Kids Next Door and the Philosophies of Childhood Pt.1

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I’ve had an epiphany: childhood is important, like really important!…Ok, so maybe it’s not that deep of an epiphany, probably pretty obvious in retrospect…Regardless, the thought occurred to me while re-watching Codename: Kids Next Door, a gem from my own childhood, making me think about the concept in general.

We’ve all had childhoods, that foundational time when we were young, inexperienced, and naïve, eager to experience the world around us in unique ways. Like it or not, our childhood experiences forged us into who we are today. My childhood may not have been the best, but I’m still thankful for it and all the fun times I had during it. I’m especially grateful for the cartoons I got to watch, like Kids Next Door, providing me joy through humor when I needed it most.

KND does a fantastic job of portraying the merits and virtues of childhood (and in a much more entertaining way than a long, preachy blog post, mind you). Ironically, it’s only when I’m verging on adulthood that I begin to realize the show’s deeper value, teaching me some profound things about what it means to be a kid as well as an adult. Gear up and prep for debriefing, agent. For the good of our missions, it’s time we discuss Codename: Kids Next Door.
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It’s the White Whale, Charlie Brown!

A daydreaming introvert, I sometimes catch myself thinking about how strange and esoteric human connection seems to be sometimes (at least to me), like ancient arcane rituals that our mortal minds cannot comprehend. What makes connections happen? What exactly do they feel like? How do they function? What makes them last? I’m overthinking things, I know, but, I can’t help it! We live in a scary, fascinating world filled with unique people that I doubt can ever be fully understood, and yet we’re practically expected to—somehow—know and get along with each other.

I’m not sure if I can ever fully grasp the concept, but there are two beautiful movies, The Peanuts Movie and The Boy and The Beast, that explore why it’s worth accepting anyways. One is a playful, nostalgic tribute to the comics and animated specials preceding it, while the other is a Miyazaki-esque fairy tale filled with gorgeous animation and introspective themes. Together they show how easily one can connect to others and why it’s important to do so in the first place. Continue reading