Rocko’s Modern Life

As a kid growing up in the nineties I was able to enjoy some pretty sweet cartoon shows. One of them was “Rocko’s modern life”. I had seen a few episodes on Netflix a while ago and didn’t realize how jazzy and good the music was, and I caught some motifs and themes I definitely wouldn’t have/was not aware of as a kid. I thought it would be interesting to use “Rocko’s Modern Life” as my research topic for this exercise to see if I could find any information about it from a cultural standpoint.

Similar to Courtney’s issue with the MLA database I received pretty much no information that contributed to my search. Instead of links or articles connected with Rocko I found articles such as “Like Penelope, Always Employed’: Reading, Life-Writing, and the Early ModernFemale Self in Katherine Austen’s Book M” or “Reading Dickens Writing London.” Not very helpful to say the least.

After checking out the MLA database I thought I might have better chances checking out databases that dealt primarily with humanities and Worldcat. Worldcat has pretty much everything so I decided that would be my first spot to check. On Worldcat I found links to every episode of “Rocko’s Modern Life” which, if I had intended to continue on with my research, I could watch at least one season of to examine how the show could be used as a scope that grants insight into the cultural identity of America, or the world in the nineties. This is the information I was really hoping to find in my research, an article that viewed the themes, motifs etc. in the show through a cultural studies perspective. Along with shows Worldcat had a few articles describing the show on a basic level, characters, story line etc. The only catch with Worldcat is you have to find a school that holds the material. If it isn’t in our library then you place an order to have it sent here for you viewing.

Hoping to find something a bit more in depth I searched through a few of the other humanities resources like the humanities link on the general Ebscohost website and America: History and LIfe. The only article I found related to social commentary was “Signifying Same-Sex Desire in Television Cartoons.” The abstract for this article is “Abstract: The author analyzes animated television programs from the 1950s Ruff and Reddy to the present for codes suggesting same-sex desire, identity, and relationships.” Not really what I was looking for but it does fall under the criteria of social critique.

All in all my “Rocko’s Modern Life” search was pretty fruitless. Being that it is a cartoon show and these are academic databases I’m not completely surprised. At least I know when I don’t have Netflix I’ve got another place to get stuff from.



  1. That is a tough topic. MLA will have little to none. Academic Search Complete would be good for academic sources, but as you found, there may be close to nothing. Trying something like ProQuest gets more popular sources, where more could show up.

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