finding nemo
A study has found that characters in children's cartoons are twice as likely to be killed off than actors in movies aimed at adults. In 'Finding Nemo,' Nemo’s mother is eaten by a barracuda just four minutes into the movie
It's something long-suffering Tom and his tormentor Jerry must have known for a long time.

Children's cartoons are apparently more violent than films aimed at adults, and filled with 'murder and mayhem' according to research.

Animated characters are more than twice as likely to be killed off than actors in movies aimed at a grown up audience, the study claims.

In fact, cartoons released between 1937 and 2013 were described as 'rife with death and destruction'.

The authors of the research concluded: 'Rather than being innocuous and gentler alternatives to typical horror or drama films, children's animated films are, in fact, hotbeds of murder and mayhem.'

Death and violence on screen can be particularly traumatic for young children, they said, and the impact can be intense and long-lasting.

Because of this many parents will not let their children see the 'gore and carnage' in some films aimed at adult audiences.

So the study, published in the Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal, assessed the amount of violence young children might be exposed to when watching films targeted at their age group.

It examined the length of time it takes for key characters to die in the 45 top-grossing children's cartoons, between Snow White in 1937 and last year's hit Frozen.

They also looked at whether the first on-screen death was a murder or involved a main character's parent.

The study found that two-thirds of the cartoons depicted the death of an important character, compared with half of the adult films.

Grisly deaths in cartoons were common, with shootings in Bambi, Peter Pan, and Pocahontas, stabbings in Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid, and animal attacks in A Bug's Life, The Croods, How To Train Your Dragon, Finding Nemo, and Tarzan.

Notable early screen deaths included Nemo's mother being eaten by a barracuda just four minutes and three seconds into Finding Nemo, and Tarzan's parents being killed by a leopard four minutes and eight seconds into Tarzan.

After taking account of total running time, children's main cartoon characters were two and a half times as likely to die as their counterparts in films for adults, and almost three times as likely to be murdered.

Parents of main characters were more than five times as likely to die in children's cartoons as they were in films targeted at adults.

Researchers Dr Ian Colman and Dr James Kirkbride, from the University of Ottawa in Canada and University College London, also found no evidence to suggest that the level of violence has changed in children's films since Snow White.

Almost 80 years ago, Snow White's stepmother, the evil queen, was struck by lightning, forced off a cliff, and crushed by a boulder while being chased by seven vengeful dwarves.