The aim of this research is to observe the use of signs in each character in cartoon “Spongebob SquarePants”. The research is focused on analyzing traits and behaviors of each character in this cartoon which represented signs. This paper describes meanings behind characters in cartoon “Spongebob SquarePants”. In this cartoon, there are seven main characters which have special traits. The behaviors and traits are a sign which represent something hidden. This research was made based on two research question which are representation of seven deadly sins in every character in cartoon “Spongebob SquarePants” and how cartoon “Spongebob SquarePants” influence cultures and kids in Indonesia. Introduction
Television programs for kids cannot be separated from animation film/ cartoon. Cartoon is the most programs which showed rather than other programs for kids. According to YPMA on Januari 2008, there are 41 titles of animations/ cartoons from 61 kids programs which appeared on local television. Many kinds of animation films showed in local television were about adventure, friendship, games, imaginations, and kung fu. Animation in Indonesia is still far when compared with overseas animation industry. Furthermore, lots of animation import that circulated in our country. But not all are suitable to be consumed for children. Cultural differences are still a major problem. Cultures that exist in foreign countries do not fully comply with the existing culture in Indonesia.
Director of the Directorate General of Cultural Values Traditions of Art and Film, I Gusti Nyoman Widja SH expressed concern over the television shows that do not reflect the nation's cultural values. Current form of globalization carries positive charge spread information but fast-moving currents of globalization can have a negative influence on the local values in society.
B. Guntarto of Critical Media for Children (Kidia) stated that a lot of cartoons that showed on television station in Indonesia are actually not suitable for consumption of primary school age children, especially pre-school. A total of 84% shows cartoon which most showed are not suitable for consumption of school age children. One of cartoons which showed in local television which reputed as carried bad influence for kids is “SpongeBob SquarePants”. This cartoon was reputed will bring bad influence to Indonesian cultures. There are issues that every character in “SpongeBob” represented the seven deadly sins. It is believed will bring bad influence for kids who watched. Subconsciously, kids will imitate what they learn in cartoon including enjoyed the programs which hidden dangerous meaning itself. “SpongeBob SquarePants” is an American animated television series, created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg. Much of the series centers on the exploits and adventures of the title characters and his various friends in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The series popularity has prompted the release of amedia franchise, contributing to its position as Nickelodeon's highest rated show, the most distributed property of MTV Networks, and among Nicktoons' most watched shows. As of 2011, SpongeBob SquarePants is the only Nicktoon from the 1990s that has not ended yet. The show is listed 15th in IGN's top 100 animated series list. It is also known for being one of Nickelodeon's longest running TV shows. The pilot episode of SpongeBob SquarePants first aired episodes in the United States on Nickelodeon on May 1, 1999, following the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. The first episodes were called "Help Wanted", "Reef Blower", and "Tea at the Treedome". The "official" series premiere followed on July 17, 1999, with the second episode, "Bubblestand/Ripped Pants." The show reached enormous popularity by 2000 during the second season, and has remained popular since. A feature film of the series was released in theaters on November 19, 2004. The series celebrated its tenth...