Yea, I also draw a difference between personified robots and 'drones'.
I don't know if the human mind sees a difference between implied and explicit violence. Reservoir dogs has that scene where the guy cuts the other guys ear off with his knife. Yea?
Wrong, it has a scene where a man is strapped to a chair, then an off scene scream, then a man holding a bloody thing in his hand.
That's why I think people have the whole violence in films wrong. Sure you can have gorefests, let's leave those to one side as they are pretty much the pornography for sadists, but consider 'normal' on screen violence.
From what I've seen the violence is from the intent, rather than the effect. I guarantee that if you showed the first scene of saving private Ryan cut for a pg film (removing red blood and other minor bits) that no one other than the censors can film geeks would notice the difference. Whereas watching a man slap his wife around is a lot less 'violent', there no blood and no one dies, but it's a heck of a lot more 'traumatic' than watching 50 nameless soldiers being shot.
For me it's the same in children's cartoons, adults wrap themselves up in a bubble that says 'oh this is ok because everyone gets up and runs away afterwards, or theres no blood, it's not real violence.'
Whereas the kid sees people knocking 2 kinds of crap out of each other with utterly no consequences. For me this is actually more damaging than showing at least some of the effects of that violence. Kids get the impression that they can beat the crap out if someone and it's ok, nothing happens, but it's not true in the real world, but we constantly show them things on their favoutite shows that says it is the case.
I don't think boys cartoons should be different, far from it, I just think that adults delude themselves that there is some magical divide in a child's mind between cartoon violence and real violence. Having a young child is teaching me that, she's only 2, but she copies tv, and she watched tom and jerry and then tried to hit me with a plastic hammer. Coincidence, possibly.