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10 Lessons About Mental Health From Bojack Horseman And Steven Universe

It isn't always about living happily ever after...

Cartoon Network/Netflix

An end of an era for some of animation's biggest titles of the last few years, it's amazing to think about how two shows - so different in their style, storytelling and target demographic - have somehow become sources of mental and emotional guidance for their audiences with honest and heartfelt lessons by and for people struggling with issues of mental health.

Bojack Horseman was a dark horse (pun intended) of adult cartoon programming, starting with seemingly low-stakes jabs at Hollywood with silly animal puns mixed in, but near the end of its first season hitting deeply uncomfortable yet real and enormously mature themes with lessons not often taught by other adult cartoons.

Steven Universe was much the same in its low stakes beginnings, with your run of the mill kids show with an episodic adventure format that never got too dark until the origins and pasts of its nonhuman characters started coming to light, and it began tackling issues of emotional and mental health while also pioneering a lot of LGBTQ+ representation in kids programming.

Both shows have left an impact, and lessons for people to remember, some of which will be included in this list. Warning for some fairly heavy content pertaining to mental health as portrayed by animated TV shows.

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Contributor
Contributor

Writer, artist, animator, video editor. Indie comics creator, looking to bring LGBTQ+ characters and Filipino culture into mainstream Western media. @MotzieD on Twitter. Originally from Quezon City, The Philippines. Currently based in Ontario, Canada. Independent writer/artist with multiple comics, a novel, etc. Works listed over at motziedapul.wixsite.com/work