Great Cartoons Are excellent Toys
There's a sense in which some imagination might be lost with television, sure. I'm prepared to buy that argument - or otherwise part of it. However, there's another side compared to that argument that supporters with this theory may not be seeing, and that is the concept of toys deriving from said tv shows.
A great cartoon doesn't just entertain us to make us laugh, but it can actually enhance our creativity when developed the right way. For instance, if we're referring to a cartoon when the main character gets himself into all sorts of crazy situations, the kid playing with the toy can still certainly use their imagination to pretend their toy in similar binds. Furthermore that make use of their imagination, nevertheless it takes problem-solving skills to obtain the character OUT of the messes. Add into an antagonist or two, and we're good.
If there is good writing on the program - especially when humor can be used - there is a sense where the adventure is never finished, and that can spill over into toy play. In case there are lessons taught inside the show, then just maybe our children are absorbing these lessons, are associating the characters using the themes, and will play with their cartoon toys likewise. It's just up to us as parents and guardians to buy our children's activities and teach them good play habits.
Cartoons could possibly be abused and made to behave as pacifiers, but we must remember that entertainment is entertainment and possesses been a great source of imagination and creativity for as long as man has been on the planet. It's what we use it, how we limit the intake, and how we expand on it that is the key.