Although most people consider Japanese anime to be another form of a cartoon, however, there are a lot of differences between the two. While cartoons are just two-dimensional illustrated visual arts, anime is just a short form of the word "animation." Anime represents all forms of animations ranging from hand-drawn animations and computer animations. You can easily sight their differences when you consider how they appear visually.
American cartoons are not as real as Japanese amine; at least Japanese animations are usually produced to give a perfect representation of whatever they are portraying. For instance, the facial expressions of Japanese anime are unique because they look more real than cartoons.
American cartoons are usually watched by children, usually by children between the ages of 3 to 15, since they usually have comical contents, whereas Japanese animations are watched by everybody since their contents revolve around things like human emotions and other life issues.