The Great Cartoon Blowup Activity

1.) In this activity we will start with a small cartoon and we will "blow it up" to almost life-size.

This is called creating similar figures.

Caution: This takes a big piece of paper!

2.) Click here to see some of the finished products from prior "blowups".

3.) To begin, select and print a cartoon from these titles:

Fred Flinstone | Wilma Flinstone | Barney Rubble | Betty Rubble | Bambam | Pebbles | Dino | Gazoo

4.) Draw a grid of squares in the rectangle on top of your small cartoon. Be sure to use the size of squares that the page indicates.
draw a small grid on me
Copyright Hanna Barbera

5.) Now figure out how large a piece of paper your "blowup" will require.

Example: The "small" Betty in step four is 5 squares wide and 10 squares tall.

This means that at a ratio of similitude of 1 cm / 9 cm, each 1 cm wide block will now become a 9 cm wide block.

Thus the paper will have to be
5 x 9 = 45 cm wide and
10 x 9 = 90 cm tall


6.) Draw this enlarged grid on your large paper. Use a yardstick or other long straightedge. Be sure to keep all of your squares the same size

7.) Now here the fun starts. Begin by labeling the grids with letters across the columns and numbers at the front of the rows.
the numbers and letters should be very small

the actual Betty big grid will be a lot bigger than this even!

8.) At this point, you are ready to DRAW. Remember, you do NOT have to be an artist to produce an impressive enlargement.

All you do is draw EXACTLY what you see in each small cell into its corresponding large cell.

For example, in cell b1 of the "Betty" enlargement we see the tips of her bows and a tiny bit of her hair.

just draw exactly what you see in each small square

So these get drawn in on the big grid.

it is easy to draw small pieces of a picture

9.) If you take your time, and are very careful, you will produce an extremely impressive enlargement.

What you have used is called a RATIO OF SIMILITUDE. This ratio controls how large the new picture will become.

A 2 to 5 ratio will produce a smaller enlargement than a 2 to 7, because for every two units on the original you are generating only 5 units of enlargement instead of 7.

Betty's ratio of 1 to 9 produces a figure that has linear measure that is nine times bigger.

BIG Betty's overall AREA however will be 81 TIMES LARGER than small Betty's. This is because area is found by taking length times width.

The length is 9 times longer and the width is 9 times longer.

Thus the area is
9 x 9=81 times larger than the original Betty.


Her overall VOLUME will be 9x9x9 or 729 TIMES LARGER! This means that Big Betty will weigh 729 times more than small Betty.


WOW! See if you can make her! She is impressive.

10) Click HERE to go to our
Cartoon Blowup Treasure Activity.

Answer some questions about our cartoons and find the password to a very sweet treasure.


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