Noah's Ark and Cartoon Caricatures

We want to teach our children Bible stories in Sunday School and have them grow up to be strong believers, don't we? Sure, so we make images of Bible stories that are colorful and attractive and talk down to them. That happens quite a bit in Western churches, but there are some serious problems involved.

Cute cartoon images of Noah's Ark do not aid in children's education or that of anyone else. In fact, those images are damaging to the truth.
Cartoon Noah's Ark, modified, original image credit Pixabay / sferrario1968
One problem is talking down to kids with over-simplified versions of the events described in the Bible — they're not stupid, but can get the idea that Bible stories are not narratives, but fictional stories. Then we have the unbiblical, or even anti-biblical, graphic illustrations of Noah's Ark that have almost nothing to do with the Bible's description. Some artists may mean well, but most illustrations fail. In addition, making cartoons is a long-established method of ridicule and misrepresentation — and we know how anti-creationists are fond of misrepresenting Genesis, God, creationists, and so on!

There are decent versions of the Ark that have been done in fine art form, but some are dreadful. I reckon that the artists didn't pay any mind to the text. Nowadays, there are full-size versions of the Ark. (The Ark Encounter is not the first, but it seems to have received the most publicity and hatred.) It's bad enough to misrepresent our opponents, but far worse to misrepresent ourselves to our children and to adults. Seriously, why should anyone with the brain God gave a gazelle take the Genesis Flood seriously after seeing such cartoon drawings? At least the secular 1771 Encyclopedia Britannica was reasonably accurate. Can we do no less?
A cartoon is a drawing in an unrealistic style, usually for satire, caricature or humour, and/or to appeal to children. ‘Cartoonification’ (aka ‘cartoonization’) is a recent colloquialism for the process of making something that’s real look ‘cartoonish’. I.e. drawing it in a (usually ridiculously) oversimplified, child-friendly or ‘delightful’ manner. Unfortunately, this has happened with Noah’s Ark, marker of one of the key events in biblical history. Most depictions of it have become thoroughly cartoonized!

Today’s common version of the Ark portrays it as a ridiculously-shaped small houseboat. It is mostly only able to carry a handful of the more well-known animals, with giraffes’ heads poking out of windows, and elephants’ trunks hanging down the side. This rather pathetic-looking, definitely non-ocean-going boat is featured on children’s books, celebration cards, novelty ornaments, and more. It has been made into children’s toys and, most disappointingly, put onto Sunday school walls.
To read the rest, click on "The cartoonification of Noah’s Ark — How such ‘delightful depictions’ downplay the Deluge—and Christianity".