In my previous post, I noted that I grew up getting my ideas about marriage from The Flintstones.

Hint: This was not a good thing.

However, cartoons have evolved almost beyond recognition since I sat cross-legged in front of the TV every lunchtime, more or less surgically attached to “The Uncle Bobby Show.”

That makes animation an outlier, since pretty much every other entertainment genre – especially movies and music – has been in arrested development since the late 1980s.

Of course, both classical and computer animation have advanced artistically, thanks to advances in technology.

But story quality has become more sophisticated, too.

Characters – and, dare I say it, messages – are often more realistic yet more idealistic at the same time.

That is:

Some post-modern cartoon characters are even pretty good role models.

(At least, better than Wilma and Betty scheming to get their husbands to buy them mink coats, or Fred and Barney trying to keep track of the fibs they’ve told their wives.)