Since Disney is highly known for its animation, I'm gonna use this fanpage to talk about cartoons in general and whether they are real or not.
To begin, let's start off at the beginning. More specifically, our childhoods. There is a large chance that the first thing that 99.99% of us saw on TV was a cartoon. And chances are that we eventually had that inevitable character or characters that we loved and thus, watched practically all the time. In a sense we grew up with those characters and they in turn grew up with us. There's even those characters that we see as role models, such as the cartoon superheroes we watch on TV such as Batman, Superman, Spiderman; we watch them doing heroic things on TV and most of us are inspired by their actions and wanted to be better in our lives; basically the same way we look at a real life hero like a policeman or a fireman.
Also, for those of us who say that cartoon characters are not real, we sure do spend a lot of time talking about them like they were real people. On sites like YouTube, we look at scenes from animated movies and TV shows and we talk about the characters, what they go through, their personalities, what we like about them, what we don't like about them, we either feel sorry for them when something bad happens to them or hate them immensely for being rotten to the core, we either think they're funny or boring as hell; we do all these things and talk about them just as 'real people' would talk about a 'real' person in a discussion.
And then there's theme park characters based on our favorite cartoons. Take this for example: when you go to the Disney Parks, and you see Mickey Mouse in front of you, is the first that comes into your mind is that it's a person in a costume? No. You only know that it's Mickey Mouse. When you see a face character like Cinderella or Snow White, or Ariel or Jasmine, do you think of them as actors? No. You think of them as Cinderella, Snow white, Ariel, and Jasmine.
And when you go to attractions like Turtle Talk with Crush, do worry about the fact that it's just a controlled character behind a screen being spoken to by someone else? No. To you, it's Crush talking to you like a real person.
And when you watch movies like "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" or "Space Jam," or watch scenes in TV where characters interact with real people, do think about the fact that it's done by computers? No. You enjoy the fact that Bugs Bunny is interacting with Michael Jordan, you enjoy watching the Smurfs walk around in New York City, you just enjoy it.
And not to mention the impact that the stories that the characters are in leave on us. Such with "The Lion King" where Simba's journey teaches us to come face our responsibilities. Or where Sofia the First's episode teaches us a different lesson. Their stories leave an impact on us in pretty much the same way that a real life story like Rudy or Martin Luther King would.
So in conclusion, are cartoons real or not? Well, to a logical person, I guess cartoon would not be considered real. However, to guys like me and many others who have continues to watch cartoons throughout our lives, whether they be from Disney, MGM, Fox, anime and so on, in our heart of hearts, there is a part of us who believe they are in fact real. Sure, they may need voice actors and sound effects, but when we watch them on TV, we don't think about that....much, we just think about the character that is right in front of us. We talk about them, we love them, we hate them, and sometimes, we just respect them, like any real person. And quite frankly, that is what makes them real. And in the years that come and the advancement of technology, we actually see cartoon characters walking around on the street. Ever heard of holographic technology? Well, if that technology is improved, then it may only be a matter of time before we see a Mickey Mouse to-scale in the Magic Kingdom, or the actual Bugs Bunny in a Six Flags park. Anything is possible and optimism is a very important thing to have. So while from a logical standpoint, one would say cartoons are not real, from a spiritual and emotional standpoint, they are real. They are real to those of us who grew up with them and those us who even after all these years, have kept that child in us alive.