You cannot kill an animation character, because he’s eternal and immortal. But growing up enforce the person to let that carefree part of his personality, so also these characters fade in our memory to the point of being forget.
From ancient times we have testimony of our past from classical arts and the remains of what has been.
Skeletons and bones, death and art makes all these characters real, like they had a life. Photography instead of paintings also concurs to make it look more real.