Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Great (film) Debates vol. 37

Everybody loves toons. They make you laugh, they teach you about life, and you can drop a piano on them without killing them. What else could you ask for in a friend?

Who is your favorite cartoon character?

Panelist: BevfromNYC

Okay, I love the South Park kids. Matt Stone and Trey Parker create some of the most brilliant political and social satire of our time. If you can get passed the filthy language and some issues that are just so beyond the pale (like “Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo”). It is really entertaining and enlightening. And the good news is that they don’t leave any group –liberal, conservative, religious, atheist- untouched. How can you not like “ManBearPig” or the “smug”?

Panelist: T-Rav

If we're talking just any cartoon characters, then it has to be Charlie Brown. I've loved the whole Peanuts gang ever since I was a little kid, including the comic strips, TV shows like A Charlie Brown Christmas, and movies like You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown. I guess I like Charlie Brown in particular because I can relate to him; I was an introvert with a bit of a loner streak (who also really liked baseball), and I felt like I shared in many of his disappointments and failures. And through it all, he remained an optimist. That's kind of inspiring.

Panelist: Tennessee Jed

Uncle Scrooge McDuck. Loved his battles with the Beagle Boys.

Panelist: ScottDS

Hands down, Daffy Duck! I suppose in some weird way, he represents my id: he's greedy, materialistic, combative, manipulative, and completely uncontrollable. He first appeared in a 1937 Porky Pig short titled Porky's Duck Hunt and was voiced by Mel Blanc. The famous Merrie Melodies cartoon Duck Amuck is one of my favorites.

Panelist: AndrewPrice

Hands down, Scooby Doo. Not only is Scooby man's best friend, a truly loyal companion, but he can kind of talk and he solves crime. The relationship between Scooby and Shaggy is one of the greatest friendships in television and film history.

Comments? Thoughts?


K said...

The best cartoon character of all time is that wascally wabbit, Bugs.

He was declared a "reactionary" by the creator of the best version of Bugs, Chuck Jones, much to the dismay of the revolutionary left in the 70s.

In Chuck's version of Bugs, he's always just minding his own business but is quite capable of spectacularly defending himself from the jerks who would interfere in his normal pursuit of happiness. A great role model in an age where crypto - totalitarians hold ever greater power.

Commander Max said...

This is a tough one. The Warner Brothers cartoons has to be the funniest. Google a character and read the quotes.

Daffy Duck; the Egyptian god of frustration.

I don't think I can say any one character had a big influence on me.

I've found a lot of the old cartoons are much more entertaining as an adult, than I ever did as a kid. As a kid so many of the jokes are over your head.

I was watching Darkwing Duck(way back in the early 90's), when I heard him say(to his girlfriend).
"Lets get amorous".
I was on the floor, and a it was a bit of a shock. Is a kid really going to get that(they shouldn't)? Clearly it was aimed at the adults in the audience. It's funny that Disney did it.

Even the latter Disney cartoons get stuff in for the adults.
Kim Possible did it all the time. Even Phineas and Ferb, they put stuff on screen that you had to grow up in the eighties to know the jokes.

Andrew I'll bet you knew a few rocker types with mullets and would say "totally" all of the time.

Tennessee Jed said...

well, Bev is on to something. It is hard to not love Gary "I will never die" Johnson isn't it? Scott, Mel Blanc is a legendary cartoon voice, so thanks for giving him the "shoutout." Andrew - Scooby certainly is great and was a favorite of my kids as well as to all from your generation. Rav - Charlie Brown; no one could truly argue with such a timeless choice. I suppose Uncle Scrooge tapped into my inherent free market instincts. Back in the days, for Geezers like myself, comics were the main media for these guys, and the best, most complete stories went to Scrooge with help from his nephew Donald's toddlers, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

Joel Farnham said...

I have always liked the Tazmanian Devil, but Bugs Bunny always wins out.

I caught an associate who embezzled money from work because I like the Tazmanian Devil. I found a receipt with the Tazmanian Devil on it. I wanted to look at the part. So I went to the computer, imagine my confusion when I found out I had returned the part. It took me about an hour to figure it out. A week later, the girl was walked out of the store by two sheriffs.

I still like Bugs Bunny better. :-)

Patriot said...

For the older cartoons, I always liked the two crows......Heckle and Jeckle. I loved the way they always seemed to come out on top.....all the while giving everyone they came in contact with a load of sarcastic grief.

For the newer ones, the Family Guy series.

Outlaw13 said...

For me, Foghorn Leghorn kills it every single time. He's the "I say, dog...why you do me like you do, do, do?"

The whole Warner's collection from the 40-50's is the standard by which all cartoons should be judged. Everything else pales by comparison. Full disclosure I have an original Chuck Jones drawing of the Road Runner, signed and framed (number 1 of 1) so I'm not objective about this.

Today, South Park has been consistently the funniest (although this season has been pretty weak). My new favorite is Archer which appears on FX.

Tennessee Jed said...

K & Joel - "What's Up Doc?" truly, truly one of the greatest of all tunes. I surprised no luv 4 Roger and Jessica, though. Maybe because that was a 1 film stand.

Max - Daffy was great. He was pepsi to Bugs' coke. He was batman to Bugs' Superman. I do find it interesting nobody has given any luv 2 the Donald. As a kid in the 50's Disney ruled and WB were Avis to Walt's Hertz

Tennessee Jed said...

Patriot - Heckle & Jeckle!!! l.o.l. Welcome to the Geezer club, population you, hawk (pun intended), Joel, and me. Here let me pass you an electronic geritol.

Tennessee Jed said...

Outlaw - I say, like I say, Foghorn Leghorn? I feel long before Hillbilly Bear walked the cartoon land, there was the great Chicken Hawk. Did he share time and space with Baby Huey or is that just my imagination? (apologies to the Temptations :)

Tennessee Jed said...

Oh, and we dare not forget B'rer Rabbit. True Story - I searched high and low for a DVD of "Song of the South." Couldn't get it at any Disney stores back in the 90's. Had my youngest look for it when he was studying at University of Sydney. Nope. The PC police had seemingly eradicated it from the planet. Fortunately, I ran into a woman who did bootlegging, and she made me a copy. Now I will admit, I don't like to do that, but in this case, since Disney had gotten rid of the product, I made a mental exception. Zippity Doo-Dah indeed!

Tennessee Jed said...

I thought it was pretty funny when Senator John McCain got the part of Yosemite Sam in the film "2008 - The Empire Strikes Back." Now, 3 and a half yrs. into it, it doesn't seem nearly as funny.

Tennessee Jed said...

let's give a quick shoutout to Gyro Gearloose while we are at it.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

My favorite recurring... Daffy Duck and Foghorn Leghorn...

My favorite may be Ralph Phillips -- the daydreaming boy in "From A to ZZZ"

New character? Dr. Doofenschmurtz from Phineas and Ferb is pretty fun as is Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants.

Movie: Mr. Incredible

LawHawkRFD said...

I probably need therapy, but my favorite was always Wile E. Coyote. I knew if I watched enough of the cartoons, that irritating road runner would finally get his just desserts. My second choice is much more obscure. It was first a puppet on Stan Freberg's early live TV shows, then later incorporated into the Beany and Cecil cartoons. It was Tearalong, the Dotted Lion.

T-Rav said...

So what I'm taking away from this is that Scott is a rather unpleasant person in real life. ;-)

South Park makes me laugh a lot, but I haven't watched it in a while. I think I kinda stopped after they did the episode where the Crocodile Hunter's ghost appeared, bloody barb and all. That was a bridge too far for me.

Anonymous said...

Well, my hangover from Cinco de Mayo has finally worn off...

In addition to Daffy, I was always a fan of Inspector Gadget, which was appointment viewing for me as a kid and eventually led to my love of Get Smart. Yeah, the plots were predictable and the same thing happened in every episode (his niece Penny and their dog Brain save the day) but I always liked it. I can still hum most of the music from the show, too.

T-Rav - I'm actually quite pleasant in real life. :-) I suppose, instead of "id," I should've said my "subconscious" - I was never good with this psychobabble.

Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk - Stan Freberg? How delicious! My earliest recollection of the great comic was his l.p. album "A Child's Garden of Freberg." I always think of his hilarious version of Elvis' "Heartbreak Hotel," when the echo machine gets stuck :))

Speaking of obscure puppets (no offense meant here Rav,) does anyone else remember Kookla, Fran, & Ollie? Off the top of my head, I can't remember if that was network or local.

Tennessee Jed said...

Floyd - I sure cannot disagree with Mr. Incredible, even if the daughter's voice drives me freaking nuts.

Anonymous said...

Jed -

It was before my time but I'm aware of Kookla, Fran, and Ollie only because of this hilarious game show clip.

Eric P said...

While I haven't watched The Simpsons since the Treehouse of Horror describing a war-torn Springfield as "just like Iraq," Itchy & Scratchy never failed to crack me up.

All-time = Foghorn Leghorn and RIP, Mel Blanc.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: Kukla, Fran and Ollie were syndicated. Those who didn't see the show live got that hideous gray kinescope reproduction. Ollie the Dragon wasn't nearly as funny as Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent.

Freberg was a comic genius. Much of the dialog on the early live versions of Beany and Cecil was ad lib and though he never used foul language or sexual innuendo, the "kiddie" jokes were often really aimed at adults. When my little L.A. suburb banned Tarzan and Jane (not married) and Zane Grey (too many "damns") from the city libraries along with starting the "impeach Earl Warren" movement (I later attended Earl Warren High School), Freberg built a whole series of routines around Beany and Cecil traveling to a strange planet where everything was upside-down. The planet was called Upside Downey. The City of Downey was highly indignant.

Customer surveys taken in the late 50s indicated that more adults than children watched both Kukla, Fran and Ollie and Beany and Cecil.

LawHawkRFD said...

Here's Freberg's take on Christmas (from Green Christmas). He was an early critic of the full-blown commercialization of Christmas: Merry Christmas. I wonder how many of our readers will catch the bit at the very end where the music is punctuated by the sound of a mechanical cash register. Today's computerized cash registers don't make that sound anymore.

AndrewPrice said...

K, That's a great point! Bugs really is the quintessential American -- minding his own business until someone tries to mess with him, then he's extremely good at settling the matter.

Also, based on your Avatar, I kind of guessed that would be your choice! LOL!

tryanmax said...

What a conundrum. I love American animation too much to pick a favorite (Japan can keep it's anime). Even the humblest creation has some redeeming quality. Great picks, all.

I will give a shout-out to some of the Fleischer Studios characters which have been overlooked so far. First, a moment of silence for Fitz the Dog, a.k.a. Bimbo, the only character that I am aware of who was directly killed by the Hays Code. Having a human girlfriend in the form of Betty Boop created implications of bestiality and, as Betty was the more popular character at this time, Bimbo had to go. Unfortunately for Betty, the same Hays Code raised her neckline, dropped her hemline, and curbed her suggestive wink and wiggle, and she didn’t last much longer herself.

Popeye the Sailor, while admittedly not my favorite, was Fleisher Studios’ greatest success, rivaling even Mickey Mouse. Popeye features sometimes enjoyed top billing on theater marquees alongside the features, meaning that at least some folks thought a Popeye cartoon alone was worth the price of admission.

I recently watched the complete Fleischer/Paramount Superman cartoons (17 shorts from 1941-41). Unfortunately, the color is very degraded on these public domain masterpieces, but one can still appreciate the amazing fluidity of motion. I’ve already placed my order for the Warner Bros. remastered version.

At 10 minutes, each short had just enough time to run credits, establish the threat, have Lois rush into peril, and let Clark Kent change into his alter ego (always announcing “This looks like a job for Superman”) and save the day. It would be generous to say they don’t feel a bit rushed, but they do capture the spirit of the early comics, with emphasis on the action and a minimum of dialogue. Fans of more recent Superman and Batman cartoons will also note the unmistakable influence that the Fleisher cartoons continue to have, particularly in the art deco aesthetic that seems integral to both heroes’ worlds.

(Sorry if I've been leaving too many long comments lately. You keep touching on topics dear to me.)

AndrewPrice said...

Max, "Let's get amorous" LOL! That's fantastic! And no, children won't get that. I think the key to a great cartoon is to offer something both the kids and to parents and do it such a way that the kids don't get what you are talking about with the parents. These days, that's kind of rare because most cartoons are all about spreading messages -- especially eco messages.

I did indeed know a few mullet types who kept saying "totally" and "gnarly."

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, It is interesting how much cartoon and politics cross isn't it? Scrooge (at least in the versions I knew) was actually a "good capitalist". He loved making money but he also took care of the people around him while teaching them lessons about self-reliance and other noble traits like honesty.

Scooby is just a great character. They really hit upon a great character there and surrounded him with a group of characters you can't help but love. I think the adventure aspect of it worked too. They were never in any real danger, but they got to solve cool mysteries. That's the same thing which drew kids to Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, only here it's a talking dog with classic virtues.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Congrats!

Of the Looney Tunes bunch, I've always preferred Wiley E. or Foghorn Leghorn, but the Tasmanian Devil is pretty cool too. In fact, they're all pretty neat characters!

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, I know Heckle and Jeckle mainly as shorts attached to the Mighty Mouse show, and I enjoyed those a lot.

Backthrow said...

Has to be Bugs and Daffy, along with the rest of the Looney Tunes crew, in the late 1930s through the 1950s. Runners-up: the 1930s version of Popeye and Betty Boop (and Grampy), the Fleischer Studios' Superman, the 1940s version of Woody Woodpecker (back when he was sort of mean and Daffy/Bugs-like), 1930s Mickey Mouse and the totally-forgotten Flip the Frog from Ub Iwerks Studios in the 30s.

From feature films: Mr. Incredible.

For created-for-TV characters, I'd go with Roger Ramjet. One of the cheapest-looking cartoon shows of all time, but boy was it funny, even moreso than Rocky & Bullwinkle, and I liked that show a lot, too, as well as Beany & Cecil, George of the Jungle/Tom Slick/Super Chicken the early years of The Simpsons and Ren & Stimpy. The original version of JONNY QUEST is still the coolest home-grown action cartoon show.

Anime: Lupin III, Urusei Yatsura, Speed Racer and Alakazam the Great (early theatrical version of The Monkey King legend).

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, That is absolutely the gold standard. Almost every character is deservedly iconic. And Foghorn Leghorn is just great. I laugh at him every single time.

What's funny is that I saw a couple of his episodes when I visited family in Germany and they translated with a German voice-over guy who didn't even try the accent. It was still a good character, but it lost SOOOOooo much without the voice. Yet, the kids still loved him.

I'm a big fan of South Park too, but this season has been really disappointing.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Welcome to the geezer club... and electronic geritol! LOL!

I love Roger Rabbit and Jessica Rabbit is... wow. She's sexier that most real actresses. And whenever some says that, I always think of this line from the film: "Dabblin' in water colors Eddie?"

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, We got our hands on a bootlegged copy of Song of the South as well. I saw it once growing up and then it vanished. So when we finally found a copy, we jumped at it to see what the buzz was all about.

On the one hand, I have to say that anyone who thinks this film is racist is an idiot. Those are the same people who will soon try to ban films like Gone With the Wind and The Toy. Secondly, it really wasn't a very good film in my opinion. If Disney had just left it out there like the rest, it would have been forgotten by now like so many of their other live action films.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, McCain totally reminded me of Yosemite Sam as well. But how in the world did Daffy Duck win that election?

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, I have to say, I'm not sure I could come up with a favorite new character. They are all too human-like now.

Maybe Dug the Dog in Up?

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, What's funny about that is even though you KNEW he would always lose, there was enough unpredictability there that you always watched kind of hoping he would win and thinking he might have a chance. Weird!

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That would be my take away too! LOL!

I like South Park a lot, though they do occasionally cross the line. But I haven't been a fan of the latest season because it seems to have lost its punch.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I liked that one too -- especially Brain. There were a lot of good afternoon cartoons at that time. I particularly liked Tailspin with Don Carnage as the bad guy... what a great name!

tryanmax said...

RE: Song of the South - I have to agree that it is sub-par for Disney, especially considering that the company was at the height of its creative prowess at the time. But the racism simply isn't there. Burying it only suits the "history is racist" meme that the left requires to promote their counterfeit notions of "justice."

The nearest to a reasoned objection to SotS I've heard is that it portrays an amicable relationship between slaves and their owners. The trouble here is, the Remus tales are set in the Reconstruction Era. Even so, it is not historically inaccurate to say such relationships existed, as attested to by Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin which shows various sides of slave life, but ultimately makes its case based on freedom, not humanity.

It is the promotion of "humanity" over the cause of liberty which will eventually lead mankind back into slavery.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, The Simpson's lost me after year 8 or 9, when every show became about showing off celebrities they'd met, proving that Homer was gay, and teaching us about liberal tolerance time and again. Sorry, no sale.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk and Jed, I honestly have never seen "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" in any form. I've heard the name, but I've almost no idea what that is.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Long comments are fine. :)

I am not a fan of Popeye. I just never saw the appeal and he's very anachronistic. I've often wondered how long he would continue to be known in the future?

I'm not a fan of anime either. I don't care much for the drawing style and the stories are too messed up.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

How did you guys make it this far and no one named James Tiberius Kirk as their favorite cartoon character? Y'all are slipping! LOL

Floyd R. Turbo said...

I also liked the 1960s Marvel cartoons... Spiderman, Captain America throws his mighty shield..., etc. Bad animation but for a kid in the middle of his comic book craze it was manna from Heaven in reruns.

Ditto Super Friends and the JLA cartoons of the 1970s (Ted Knight awesomeness to boot).

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, Johnny Quest is fascinating and not just because of the way they messed with it later by trying to take out the violence.

When I first saw JQ, it was the 1980s version, which stunk. I gave it a couple episodes and then never thought about it again. But a couple years ago, Boomerang started showing the originals between two other shows I was watching (Scooby Doo). The first time I watched it, I was hook. It had amazing animation and truly adult stories. It was like early James Bond. Very impressive!

Rocky and Bullwinkle are also a personal favorite. That's the only cartoon series for which I've bought (actual money) the whole set.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree. When they claim it's racist, I was expecting nasty black-face portrayals at the least. Instead, it's just a friendly old black guy telling stories to kids.

The criticism seems to be exactly what you have identified -- racist leftists are upset that the South is shown positively and the black characters aren't shown as struggling under white oppression. Apparently, that's now the only way you're allowed to show blacks from that era. Or maybe it's just racist to show black characters as not being full of hate?

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, The Justice League Cartoons were awesome! I watched those religiously and there weren't even that many.

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

Again, I may have been mistaken with the "id" - I guess the point I was ham-handedly trying to make was that cartoon characters can get away with things people can't (and not just in terms of physics).

I remember Tailspin and Darkwing Duck and Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers. I also have to recognize another staple of my elementary school years: Batman: The Animated Series which, at least until the Nolan films, was considered more legitimate and faithful than the Burton films.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I'm just pulling your leg. I understood your point. LOL!

I only recently started seeing the animated Batman on the Cartoon Network and I was truly impressed.

BevfromNYC said...

Okay, I guess I'm one of those South Park Conservatives...unlike anyone else here. So I guess if I said that one of my truly favorite cartoon characters is Stewie from South Park wouldn't go over to well. He reminds me of what I think was going through my nephew's mind when he was 6months old! Fortunately, now that he is 8, he's lost the secret sinister quality and is a really sweet kid, but I think it's only a really well played ruse in his secret plans for world domination. If it's any consolation, the rest of the show is idiotic and crude.

BevfromNYC said...

And T-Rav - Since I am the only one who has actually met Scott in person, I can vouch for the fact that he is a very pleasant person. And I bet he has never threatened poor defenseless kittens.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I suspect South Park is quite popular around here. My favorite character is Butters. That poor kid!

tryanmax said...

Bev, don't feel bad. I, too, am a South Park conservative and I make no apologies (unless the BRE's demand one). I like Stewie, too. He reminds of the Brain. Moreso when the episode revolves around he and Brian going of on some crazy adventure. Those episodes are generally better than the rest.

Sidenote: I have to say, Pinky and the Brain is the best of Warner's more recent creations.

But while we’re talking animated sitcoms, I’m gonna go off on a couple things. First, I remember in the early days of The Simpsons the great criticism was that Homer was a buffoon whose kids didn't respect him. Since then, Homer has gained a degree of respect from his kids, but has become very effeminate in the process.

And Homer isn't alone. Seth MacFarlane revels in exploiting the effeminate/homosexual tendencies of seemingly ├╝ber-masculine fathers. While to a degree this is just good comedy, as a pattern this creates a discernible subtext: that all men are effete and those who seem the least-so are actually the most-so. Just look at the Family Guy supporting cast: The hyper-heterosexual Quagmire is a dandy while it is often joked that the very manly Joe Swanson is sexually impotent. Cleveland Brown, star of his own spin-off, is arguably the most successful father from Spooner Street. He is routinely henpecked, often cuckolded, and is possessive of a generally "swishy" demeanor. Since animated sitcoms are most popular with the younger, more impressionable demographic, I find these trends somewhat insidious.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Tough choice!
Wile E. Coyote for his tenaciousnous (always entertaining how many ways his plans can go awry).
But also inspiring (I guess) because he never gives up.

I suppose Looney Toons is sort of a copout but it's classic funny and very non-pc in more than a few.

Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z were ones our kids liked. I liked them too. Lots of humor and cool fighting sequences.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Also, can't forget Underdog. Who doesn't like Underdog?

T-Rav: yeah, I could really relate to Charlie Brown as a kid. And Snoopy. :^)

Anonymous said...

Bev -

And I bet he has never threatened poor defenseless kittens.

Can't say that I have, though I'm partial to fat cats myself. :-)

And since we're on the subject, I must be the only person 'round these parts that does not watch South Park. My parents watch it and I think I've seen maybe one episode (involving Star Wars and George Lucas). And I used to watch Family Guy but I more or less stopped once it came back. And while it takes a lot to offend me, I HATE HATE HATE Herbert the pedophile character... he just isn't funny, and the show grinds to a halt whenever he shows up.

AndrewPrice said...

I hate Family Guy. In fact, I hate everything Seth McFarlane has done. I don't think it's funny or clever and it's awash in vile liberalism.

tryanmax said...

Scott, since you enjoy Batman: TAS, if you haven't seen the Fleischer Superman cartoons, you really should. While I was watching, I couldn't get over how much it looks like present-day superhero cartoons. With certain exceptions, the thing could have been animated yesterday.

AndrewPrice said...

Pinky and the Brain, on the other hand is awesome. So it Underdog!

I'm not huge on Yogi, but I did like some of his friends like Hong Kong Fuey and Grape Ape.

I also enjoyed Thundar the Barbarian and He-Man as a kid... didn't quite see it as a gay porn cartoon at the time, like I see it now.

Anonymous said...

tryanmax -

I own the Superman Blu-Ray boxset and I believe all the Fleischer cartoons are included as a bonus (sadly, not in HD). I'll have to watch them one day. :-)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Tryanmax: good point about the recent trends in some serial cartoons.
It's really become a cliche and a pathetic one at that.
Certainly nothing original or creative in those type of cartoons that basically just copied a lot of the modern sitcoms (along with the recycled to death jokes).

Sort of OT but one thing I liked about King Of Queens is that the wife, Carrie, usually got them in some kind of mess more than Doug (the husband).
At the time that was off script for most of the sitcoms that "courageously" always depicted fathers and husbands the same way: idiots, blowhards, narcissists, effimete, etc..

McFarland simply copied that favorite liberal trope onto his cartoons.
There has been a war on men since the '70's and it's become part of leftist dogma.

Not that I'm against strong women, but there can be both strong men and women and they can still be funny (see Frasier).

Unfortunately, I can't think hardly any present day women or girls in cartoons that are ever funny, let alone guys.
Maybe it's me. I just don't see the humor in the way women are depicted in cartoons these days.

T-Rav said...

Bev, who says they're defenseless???

Andrew, South Park can make fun of a lot of things (including religion) and not upset me, but going after people who just died and seem to have been perfectly nice in real life is where I draw the line. That said, the stuff Bev mentioned--"ManBearPig," "smug," and also "ImaginationLand"--is just too funny.

T-Rav said...

Yeah, Family Guy needs to go away as far as I'm concerned. I hate the 15-minute asides which stop being funny about 10 seconds in, I hate that it devolves into Stewie-being-a-closeted-homosexual every other episode, and while I don't mind that it's a liberal show, it's gone from subtle pokes to blatant talking points, which I also hate. And as edgy as MacFarlane apparently imagines himself to be, the "Muhammad" episodes proved that South Park has more guts than he will ever hope to have.

T-Rav said...

Ben, I absolutely loved Charlie Brown and Snoopy as a kid. In fact, I still have a lot of Peanuts memorabilia at home.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Speaking of cartoons, here's a funny (NSFW: Language) take on the Avengers (Good Samuel Jackson impersonation, which is where the bad language comes from).
Too Many Avengers

Eric P said...

Good stuff indeed on that Avengers parody. Nice seeing Captain Caveman and Rom getting some love!

Re. The Simpsons, Andrew, Seasons 2-7 some of the greatest TV at the time (ditto Futurama's inaugural season), and started their nosedive in S8 for sure. The Iraq analogy merely the nail in the coffin for me, Simpsons Movie excepted.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Here's Wile E. Coyote's second appearance, circa 1952 in which he speaks for the first time:
Wile E. vs Bugs

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Eric, I thought so too. I especially liked the part about Black Widow. For those who never collected Marvel comics, Black Widow never stayed with one guy for very long, to put it delicately, lol.

And yeah, nice nod to some of the more obscure cartoon characters. Never liked the super Twins though. However, they are fun to make fun of. :^)

Kristina said...

Love this discussion. For me Looney tunes all the way, esp. Daffy and Wile E. and I might add they were quite the cultural eduma-cation; you got opera (barber of Seville) symphonies, swing, you name it, mixed in with those jokes that appealed to grown ups. Also the Porky Pig in Wackyland / dough for the DoDo (there are 2 versions, said the nerd)- way over my head as a kid but a freakin work of art. Thanks & I bid you Do deeo dododo

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I'm sick of this whole PC idea that fathers need to be shown as bumbling idiots. That's one reason I simply don't tune in to family sit-coms anymore.

Modern cartoons are problematic too because too often they are just painted versions of life action films and they suffer from liberal brainwashing syndrome, being jammed with dozens of liberal messages about all topics.

And you're right, they are rarely funny these days.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ha ha! This is a pretty good Terminator 2 parody with the Coyote and Roadrunner:
Coyote Roadrunner Terminator 2

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I agree. They crossed the line a couple times into cruel or vicious, but I think that's inevitable with a show which dances on the line so much. By and large, their good far outweighs their bad, but lately they've kind of lost their spark.

I like Charlie Brown the person (and a couple of the specials) but I actually don't care for the whole series. It's depressing and the other kids strike me as rather cruel. Even Snoopy can be a jerk. But I absolutely respect the attitude of Mr. Brown.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, the Simpson's Movie has been the lone bright spot in a decade of garbage. I honestly find nothing entertaining in the recent Simpon's episodes on the rare occasion I've seen them. The early ones, however, are absolute classics and I can still quote many of them.

I love Futurama, but I agree that they went downhill dramatically after they got cancelled and then came back. The movies are pretty horrible and the new episodes feel very generic.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I had no idea Wiley E. ever spoke? Wow.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Andrew: admittedly, I haven't watched very many modern cartoons other than South Park sometimes and Archer (which can be funny at times but too much low hanging fruit for my taste).
So if anyone has any suggestions I'm willing to give toons that ain't copies or ideologically driven a shot.

However, the general trend is definitely a turn off to most folks.
Even many liberals don't like being preached at and seem to have a conservative streak as far as message driven cartoons or shows are concerned.

I hear that new Bullymentary ain't doing well at all, lol.
Oh, I'm sorry, is that insensitive of me? :^)

AndrewPrice said...

Kristina, I'm amazed how much culture is included in the old cartoons. It's really amazing. And being a fan of opera, it's funny how often you hear people at the theater say something like, "oh that's Kill the Wabbit" or something like that. LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I've tried most of them and found them all wanting. The problem is they don't even try to make them cartoon-cartoons anymore. They design the characters to look good as dolls and then use them to film a "painted" live action film. And they jam the plots with liberal groupthink ideas and unlikeable whiny liberal characters. There's nothing to like.

I'm not surprised the bully business isn't going to sell, it's all crappola.

tryanmax said...

Who's up for a little unnecessary censorship?

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's... uh... hilarious!

T-Rav said...

Every time I see an ad for Bully, with that little sweet-faced kid in the glasses, I really just want to kick him in the mouth. Is that too dark?

T-Rav said...

Andrew, Wile E. speaks in a couple cartoons, especially the ones where he's with Bugs and other characters. It's just that he's chasing the Road Runner most of the time, so there's no need to.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, No, not too dark. I get the same feeling. Liberals don't see to understand that, the more they accuse me of being something nasty, the more tempted I am to become that.

I honestly either missed (or forgot) that he speaks!

Outlaw13 said...

"Allow me to introduce myself, Wile E Coyote, super genius!"

One of my favorites is when Porky Pig and Silvester end up in a motel that has several mice that are trying to kill Porky and they convince Silvester the motel is haunted. Of course Silvester is the only one who sees this and Porky thinks he's gone crazy. Classic.

The South Park episode where they lambaste Family Guy is one for the true, so funny.

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, Yeah, those are great South Park moments!

It's funny how Wiley E. has evolved over time. He's just a great character!

Kit said...

Donald Duck.

My favorites are "Bellboy Donald" and "Der Fuehrer's Face.

I love how he is constantly trying to hold in his temper and then just loses it completely.

I also love me some Looney Tunes.
Daffy Duck in his Robin Hood cartoon (Zoinks! And away!) and the amazing Duck Amuck.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, That's an excellent Donald Duck episode. I wonder what the Islam version one would look like today?

Kit said...

And Darkwing Duck was my childhood hero.

Kit said...

Here is an acoustic cover of the Darkwing Duck theme.

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

I actually had no idea Wile E. Coyote ever talked! But just once, I would've loved to see him win against the Road Runner.

I promised myself I wouldn't mention it but re: the bullying, as someone who was in therapy at age 9, I sympathize with these kids. What bothers me is, where were all these anti-bullying types 20 years ago?!? Why now?

And no, I never fought back but in retrospect I wish I had. And I never had to deal with the online stuff kids today have to worry about.

Kit said...

I also liked the Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain.

Some Animaniac highlights:
Ballad of Magellan (catch the Evita reference around 0:52?)
Nations of the World (Be honest, you are trying to sing-along even now)

Kit said...


"I actually had no idea Wile E. Coyote ever talked!"

Well, here is the proof: "Operation: Rabbit".
The ending is classic!

Kit said...


Kit said...

On Scooby, I have to admit a slight crush on Velma.

While I am not a huge fan of the newer adaptation's handling of her I do appreciate' its attempt to bring some character development into it.

Also, if you want a good Scooby-Doo cartoon, check out ZOMBIE ISLAND.

It was a feature length animated move aired on Cartoon Network and the monsters were real. It is set in New Orleans and features a pretty good horror/mystery story.

tryanmax said...

Okay, normally I would say Bob's Burgers is generally unfunny. But tonight, they ended the episode with a send up of Reservoir Dogs involving a wet-willie. Of course, "Stuck in the Middle with You" was playing.

Outlaw13 said...

So Kit you're attracted to chubby glasses wearing chicks in sweaters? If you said you had a crush on Linda Cardellni who played her in the live action version I could see it. TO each his or her own.

"And I would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for you meddling kids!"

Kukla, Fran and Ollie hosted the CBS Children's Film Festival which was on Saturday's at noon when I was a kid...right after the classic Fat Albert (HEY! HEY! HEY!)

I want to cast another vote in favor of Jonny Quest as well, it also has one of the best opening theme songs ever.

tryanmax said...

I'm afraid I'm not as familiar with Jonny Quest as I am with The Venture Bros.

And there's nothing wrong with chubby chicks in glasses so long as they're sporting a bob haircut. Just one man's opinion.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

It's not that I'm not anti-bully, because I have a vehement dislike of them.
Bullies are cowards who always pick on physically weaker kids.

What I dislike about the current bully "awareness" campaign (as if anyone isn't aware of bullies) is how many groups are using it for their own agenda, and hiding behind it when they get called out for using bullying tactics themselves.

I really don't like sanctimonious, hypocritical bullies telling us that anytime their favorite identity group is offended it's bullying (rather than trying to stop real bullying).

And you're right, where were they 20, 30, 40 plus years ago?
All of a sudden it's a problem now when it's always been a problem?

Sadly, I don't think bullying will ever be completely eradicated. It's just a fact of life that some numbskulls will bully. In school and out.
But there is things we can do whether we are talking about the victims of bullys or bystanders that can do something to stop it but often won't.

Bullies kicked my butt constantly until I fought back in junior high school.
Something just snapped in me that year.

The good thing that came out of it is that because of it I will definitely get involved when I see a bully beating on someone (or about to).
So I guess you could say it develops character but not in a fun way, lol.

Anonymous said...

USS Ben -

I wasn't accusing you or anybody of being "not anti-bully." :-)

And you're 100% right: bullying will never be eradicated. It's simply a fact of life that some kids will always be assholes!

It actually didn't take me too long to realize this either. Growing up, whenever one of the sitcoms I watched did an episode about a bully, it was always revealed the bully himself was being bullied by someone else (usually a parent). Well... my bullies suffered no such treatment - they were just assholes.

I'm surprised I never snapped... I suppose I was afraid of getting into trouble with my parents but I know in my heart of hearts, had I been sent to the principal's office for fighting back, my dad would've pulled me aside after the fact to congratulate me. :-)

And like you, it did develop character in a way. I never pick on someone weaker than myself.

Kit said...

"So Kit you're attracted to chubby glasses wearing chicks in sweaters?"

Oh, you have not seen some of the more recent versions . . .

"If you said you had a crush on Linda Cardellni who played her in the live action version I could see it."

How do you think it started?

Kit said...

"Well... my bullies suffered no such treatment - they were just assholes."

The Draco Malfoy syndrome.

tryanmax said...

USS Ben, You totally hit the nail on the head. "Anti-bullying" is just a shield for real bullies to hide behind. I would only add one thing to your comment, and that is the movement is just asking for a backlash.

Back in 2006, Rockstar Games released a game called Bully wherein you play...a bully. I don't have anything against Rockstar; I'm a huge GTA III fan. And I don't think video games cause people to act in real life. (Quite the opposite, in fact.) The point is, there is already a cultural element that lionizes bullying and the anti-bullying movement will only encourage that element to become stronger.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Sorry Scott, I didn't think you were. But your comment made me realize I should provide a bit of backstory to my earlier comment lest someone else miss my intent.

"Well... my bullies suffered no such treatment - they were just assholes."

Aye, that was my experience as well. Usually the kids that had problems at home (and I was one) were more introverted and empathetic to the pain of others around them.

Most of the bullies I have encountered were just spoiled brats. And assholes.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I hate to tell you this, but bullying is hardly a childhood pursuit. I've dealt with hundreds of bullies in my career. If you don't learn how to handle them, they will always come after you.

And this will always be part of human nature.

What bothers me about the bullying bit is two things.

First, the BS about what makes bullies. Bullies aren't victims of bullying, they are assholes who abuse whatever power they have. This is the same thing as rapists, internet trolls, dictators, etc. And anybody can be a bully. They always pretend it's the preppy white boy, when the reality is that bullying is much more prevalent among females and minorities. But that's not PC to say.

Secondly, the advice they are giving these kids is awful! The only way to stop a bully is to make it too hard for them to get any satisfaction out of it. That means mocking them or fighting them. But the anti-bully idiots are telling kids to run to the authorities like little chickenshits. That only makes it worse because it proves to the bully that they've found a soft target, AND it teaches kids to rely on "authority" to solve their problems -- horrible lessons that will ruin you for life.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Don't listen to him. There's nothing wrong with chubby chicks with glasses and sweaters. Chicks are great in any size or shape.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, not to mention the compounding problem that bullies are attracted to positions of "authority." How many stories are there about the high school bully who went on to become a cop?

Kit said...


"when the reality is that bullying is much more prevalent among females and minorities."

My mom could give you a lecture on the evilness of female bullies, especially those of the teenage girl variety.

Outlaw13 said...

Velma as depicted in the Scooby Do of the 70's was borderline insufferable, to me anyway...maybe I was projecting. :)

And I was joking, with Kit.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I remember that game and the outrage: "how dare you create a game which encourages children to be nasty to each other." Yet the game imparts the same lessons as almost every other video game and so many movies. What's the difference between the average action hero and a bully? Who fires first, that's about it. And once the bad guy has fired, the good guy is allowed to beat, mock, humiliate and kill anyone labelled bad... just like a bully.

Our culture is messed up when it tells kids "don't be a bully" and then tells them "but emulate everything bullies do and worse because that will make you cool."

Kit said...

A fair number of teenage girls/demons grow out of the demon stage but some don't.

For some people, High School never truly ends.

Kit said...

"And I was joking, with Kit."

I probably figured. But you need a ;) when you are. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, LOL! Yeah, she's pretty insufferable.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, That are many examples. Girl can be particularly brutal to each other, and it's much more personal with them. I've seen many women who set out to destroy another woman physically, emotionally or professionally for virtually no reason whatsoever. It's just part of the human experience. I'm honestly not sure why people do that.

Kit said...

"Velma as depicted in the Scooby Do of the 70's was borderline insufferable, to me anyway...maybe I was projecting. :)"

You probably were. :)

I think it depends on whose writing scooby-Doo.

She was decent in the 60s.

The 70s were a general dark time for both Scooby-Doo.

Remember that infernal hellhound of evil Scrappy-Doo?

But in more recent years Velma has been better handled. It really wasn't until the live-action movie, the "New Adventures of Scooby-Doo", and the animated tv movies (Zombie Island!) that Velma became better written.
In fact, starting in the 2000s they really began to give the other characters a chance to shine.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Humans tend to self-select into fields which speak to their personalities. Moreover, humans are particularly drawn to positions which let them exercise their worst traits. That's why the Boy Scouts have problems with child molesters, because they see that as the best place to give them access to what they want. That's why the worst people go into politics, because the field draws those who want to control others. Etc. Cops draw a lot of bullies because they see this as the one field where they can physically push people around with impunity -- though cops also draw a lot of people who want to help.

Kit said...

"Girl can be particularly brutal to each other, and it's much more personal with them. I've seen many women who set out to destroy another woman physically, emotionally or professionally for virtually no reason whatsoever. It's just part of the human experience. I'm honestly not sure why people do that."

People talk about "male aggression" yet many women have pretty much mastered Machiavelli.

Often without even reading the book!

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Never say that name in my presence... Scrappy-Doo. Those were indeed dark times. Grrrr.

Zombie Island is good, by the way. I do like the last couple films too. They've done a good job of really lifting the production qualities again and getting rid of the PC garbage.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Men and women are equally aggressive, they just go about getting what they want in different ways because they have different strengths and weaknesses.

Kit said...

" That's why the Boy Scouts have problems with child molesters, because they see that as the best place to give them access to what they want."

Same thing with the priesthood, teachers, or youth ministers.

Kit said...

"Kit, Men and women are equally aggressive, they just go about getting what they want in different ways because they have different strengths and weaknesses."


AndrewPrice said...

Kit, True... you go where the action is.

Kit said...

"Kit, Never say that name in my presence... Scrappy-Doo. Those were indeed dark times. Grrrr."

The Jar-jar of Hannah-Barbara.

The 70s and 80s were bad times for animation generally. It's called the "Dark Age of Animation" for a reason.
It got so bad that after THE BLACK CAULDRON bombed (being out-grossed by the Freakin' Care Bares!) Disney considered shutting down their animation department until The Great Mouse Detective, a fine animated movie, did well enough in theaters for them to consider giving it another go and they did and the Animation Renaissance hit Disney.

Backthrow said...

Liberal groups actually helped to turn me against them (and towards conservatism), at an impressionable age, through their (often successful) attempts to pressure TV stations and networks to censor classic theatrical cartoon shorts (due to cartoon violence, ethnic/racial/gender stereotypes, smoking, etc, etc, etc), by either cutting out scenes or withdrawing whole classic cartoons from circulation. Chief among these groups was Boston-based 'ACT: Action For Children's Television' (now thankfully extinct), headed by one Peggy Charren, who would make the media rounds decrying how awful non-P.C. cartoons were, as well as old cereal commercials and other things related to capitalism.

Some brief background info:

When ACT's activism bore fruit, and network Standards & Practices instituted guidelines that neutered cartoons (old and new), causing a downward slide in quality, Charren turned around and claimed her group was against censorship, and the decline wasn't their fault (sound familiar?). How typical.

It later thrilled me to no end to read, in my early 20s, a mini-interview with Charren in a 1981 nostalgia/overview book, SATURDAY MORNING TV, by Gary H. Grossman, in which she stated that her most-hated childrens' show, at the time of the founding of ACT, was SPEED RACER, which happened to be my favorite TV cartoon show in the early 1970s, viewed on local Boston TV. :)

Oh, by the way, here's a little treat for all you Jonny Quest fans-- a pro animator decided to make this, just for fun, in his home workshop:

tryanmax said...

It goes without saying that law enforcement and public service in general attract people who want to help. Otherwise, I doubt such occupations would exist. It just seems that the bully-turned-cop is one of those common occurrences that folks can relate to. Much more visible than the bully-turned-social-worker, which frighteningly enough, is for real.

Anonymous said...

Yet another reason our mom is glad she had boys. :-)

I don't have much more to add to the bullying discussion, but it's all appreciated.

I have no doubt that some kids are bullied and, in turn, take it out on other people, but those kids are weak.

And I've seen first-hand what happens when weak kids, who are afraid of being bullied, simply side with the bully instead of the victim. (The enemy of my friend is my friend.)

Kit said...

I would put the Dark Age beginning around 1964, when Walt Disney died (it's a good round date, though decline was already beginning across the board) and the Renaissance beginning with either Little Mermaid or An American Tail.

Scooby-Doo began around the time of the Dark Age and most of the cartoons (especially Scrappy) were created in the middle of the Dark Age.

Darkwing, Tailspin, and other similar cartoons mentioned above came around in the Renaissance Age, early 90s.

A good way to look at the change in quality from Golden Age (30s-50s), Dark Age (60s-early 80s), and Renaissance Age (late 80s to present) is to look at Disney and the animated quality of the following movies:
Cinderella (1950, Golden Age)
Rescuers (1977, Dark Age)
Beauty and the Beast (1991, Renaissance Age)

tryanmax said...

Kit, you and I are fellow-travellers. I just gave a brief rundown of the animation dark ages to the renaissance yesterday. American feature animation is one of my passions.

tryanmax said...

By yesterday, I of course mean Friday. The days run together.

Kit said...

Oh, and again.

I have to say.


Kit said...


You are right and you got here first.

Personally, I have never seen Black Cauldron (heard only the darkest rumors) but I have seen other films from the period and even if they are okay, Rescuers or Fox & the Hound, the level of quality at least in terms of animation is far below that of Golden Age Disney.

I like animation, too.

Heck, being born in 1989 I grew up on the Animated Renaissance.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, THAT is totally awesome! :) Thanks for the Johnny Quest link!

What turned me against liberalism was the way the Democrats treated Reagan. They lied, smeared and just totally hated this man. That sickened me and taught me never to trust them. Then I started to realize that so much of what liberals say is just obviously false on it's face. It was all downhill from there.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, "The Jar-jar of Hannah-Barbara." -- brilliant my friend!! Brilliant!

Kit said...

What I guess happened was you had these crop of animators who were young enough to have been raised on Disney Golden Age and Looney Tunes and possibly attended CalArts when the Nine Old Men taught there.

You had writers and animators who treated their art seriously.

People such as Bruce Timm, John Lassiter, and Brad Bird.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The difference is this... everyone knows when the cop is a bully because he acts "badge heavy." And the other cops won't put up with it very long.

Social workers, who are indeed little Nazis, hide behind the "I just want to help" line as they get their jollies playing God. And I'll tell you, having dealt with many professionally, it is amazing how much time they spend messing with people who have done little or nothing wrong and how they can completely ignore the true monsters they're supposed to be watching.

You would be shocked how many times social workers have known of kids being raped or tortured at home and just don't do anything... but these same assholes are busy trying to take away someone else's child because they got caught spanking the kid in a WalMart. It's all about soft targets and power hunger.

Kit said...

If I could name two writers who turned me to the right it would be Bill O'Reilly and Charles Krauthammer.

I devoured the former's books when I was around 11.

I started reading the latter big time during the 2008 election cycle, turning this John McCain-supporting centrist into a right-winger who liked Rick Perry for the nomination in 2011.

Outlaw13 said...

Kit, it's the Care Bears not "Bares", that's another movie entirely. :)

I had an idea for The I Don't Care Bears, starring Apathy Bear. I kind of gave up on it.

Kit said...

"Social workers, who are indeed little Nazis,"

"You would be shocked how many times social workers have known of kids being raped or tortured at home and just don't do anything... but these same assholes are busy trying to take away someone else's child because they got caught spanking the kid in a WalMart."

Why do you think even Left-winger Charlie Chaplin gave us this little scene from THE KID?

T-Rav said...

Kit, you started reading O'Reilly at 11? You'd better not be younger than me!

Yeah, Perry wasn't exactly a popular guy on this blog, but he would have been a heck of a lot better than McCain.

tryanmax said...

I'm going to quibble with you a bit, Kit, on the timeline. I would put in another time frame called "The Fall" and it probably ends with The Rescuers having started with Robin Hood. I think the films in that span are none-too-shabby, just unable to compare to the Golden Age toons. There was also a hiccup in the '40s with all the segmented features.

I can totally go along with An American Tale being at least a precursor to the Renaissance. Don Bluth really gave Disney the kick in the pants that they needed.

Finally, I would say we are moving past the Renaissance and into the Digital Age. I just can't consider 3D animation to be in the same class as traditional animation, as wonderful as it can be. Traditional animation is sinking into the background and the stuff after Fantasia 2000 just isn't as well-executed as the stuff in the 90s, The Princess and the Frog being a notable exception.

Kit said...

Apathy Bear. . .

Wait, did you watch that show?

If you didn't this 20 min review should give you an idea. If you did, it should still be quite enjoyable.

NSFW warning!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Bullying is about power, pure and simple. It's about making yourself feel strong by using the power you've got -- be it economic power, emotional power, or simple strength (physical or state-backed) -- to control those who are subject to your power.

And as long as humans have power, some will abuse it. That's one of the many reasons I am a firm believer that government power should be limited to only those cases where it is absolutely vital and the power must be exercised transparently and must be subject to easy appeal.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Yep, yesterday was Friday. LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Outlaw, That was indeed a different movie entirely! LOL!

Kit said...

"I just can't consider 3D animation to be in the same class as traditional animation, as wonderful as it can be. "

I like 3D animation (unless Dreamworks does it). I consider them to be different methods of animation.

You are probably right, this is the Digital Age.

I'm not sure if they are not in the same class. I consider the Toy Story Trilogy to be on of the greatest film sagas in cinema.
Heck, maybe one of the best sagas in Modern times, period.

Jen said...

The mention of all these cartoons sure bring back memories. Actually, I prefer animated stuff over real people--who try to be funny, but aren't. I also like the older cartoons where things are over a kid's head, and you don't realize what went on until you are an adult.

As for the bullying, I was bullied in Junior High by boys, and girls. I never fought back because I was afraid of getting in trouble with the school. My parents taught me not to start a fight, but to finish it. I should have paid attention to what they said instead of the school. I went to the principal, the counselor, teachers, whoever would listen. THE BULLYING DID NOT STOP. We moved at the end of my eighth grade, thus ending the problem. There was only one incidence in high school (it was with a boy), and I stood up to him with my fist cocked. He backed down, and never bothered me after that.

I've gotten so bitter over the years with bullies that I don't put up with B.S. from anyone, and I don't care who you are, what your title is, or anything else. You're on the same playing field as me. Just ask anybody who've had a run in with me. I'm nice, polite, and courteous, but if you cross the line, look out (this is no joke either). Arrogance rubs me the wrong way, and the current administration in the W.H. is just that.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax and Kit, I generally agree with your timeline, though I think the 1970s saw some excellent films still -- Robin Hood, Jungle Book and Rescuers certainly come to mind.

I would date the total collapse of animation as a product of the early 1980s when all the commercialization kicked in. You could literally watch each season get worse as they replaced the classics one by one with thirty minute commercials for toys. Then I would say there was a brief revival in the 1990s, followed by a near-collapse again with only a couple minor exceptions (Pixar).

T-Rav said...

Since this thread is still active:

I just came back from watching The Avengers. Verdict: Three thumbs up. (Don't ask where the third one came from.)

The movie made $200 million over the weekend and it deserved every one of them. The two big things going for it are 1) the action starts right away and never stops; there are no slow parts, and 2) this superhero flick is actually funny. There's none of the stupid angst that a lot of the other comic-book films display **cough cough**Spider-Man**cough cough**

There are one or two nitpicky things--the motivations of a couple characters at critical times are a tad murky, and I thought Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye was a little underused--but the acting and dialogue were all-around great. And one conversation I want to point out in particular, when Captain America is preparing to take off after Thor and his brother Loki:

Black Widow: You don't understand. Those beings are like gods!

Captain America: There's only one God, and I doubt he dresses like that!

Couple that with a whiner senator on TV at the end complaining that the Avengers have wrecked New York while, um, saving it; and he's identified as a Democrat in the caption and has a slight resemblance to Chuck Schumer; so yeah, I would say this is a very safe movie for conservatives to watch.

Kit said...

"I'm going to quibble with you a bit, Kit, on the timeline. I would put in another time frame called "The Fall" and it probably ends with The Rescuers having started with Robin Hood. I think the films in that span are none-too-shabby, just unable to compare to the Golden Age toons."

I can see that. But in terms of American animation as a whole, I think the Dark Age begins with Walt Disney's death and a slow and steady decline of quality in the late 60s and early 70s then hitting free fall until the nadir that was Black Cauldron. Though there were plenty of decent, watchable flicks, there was just something missing compared to the Golden Age.

It starts coming back up with Great Mouse Detective (one of my personal favorites) before bursting into full glory with The Little Mermaid.

"There was also a hiccup in the '40s with all the segmented features."

A major cartoonist strike and a World War can really hurt quality.

"I can totally go along with An American Tale being at least a precursor to the Renaissance. Don Bluth really gave Disney the kick in the pants that they needed."

I would also toss in THE LAND BEFORE TIME. I probably watched that movie a near thousand times.
Here is the Nativity-style opening scene of Littlefoot's birth:

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, I don't take it either. I ran into multiple bullies in my life because my dad was Air Force and whenever you move and become the new kid, all the kids already there want to test you. I learned very quickly that you just had to stand up to them and the problem would be solved. But you're right, each time the school tried to consider both of us the bad guys and didn't really care that I was defending myself. That taught me a valuable lesson about "the authorities" -- they are powerless, unfair and cannot ever be relied upon or trusted. You must solve your own problems.

The other valuable lesson I learned, one that you seem to have learned too, is that nobody is inherently better than anyone else. We all have the same moral claim to equal rights. That's a lesson I think most people never learn and then spend their lives cowering to people with money or titles or authority. That's the wrong way to go through life. Never believe that anyone is better than you.

Kit said...

Black Widow: "You don't understand. Those beings are like gods!"
Captain America: "There's only one God, and I doubt he dresses like that!"

It's surpassing because Joss Whedon is one of the biggest atheists in tv. But it's also not that surprising because Joss Whedon wrote Shepherd Book.

"Couple that with a whiner senator on TV at the end complaining that the Avengers have wrecked New York while, um, saving it; and he's identified as a Democrat in the caption and has a slight resemblance to Chuck Schumer; so yeah, I would say this is a very safe movie for conservatives to watch."



AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Great! I wonder how those things snuck through? Perhaps the liberal censors were all busy trying to come up with a campaign plan for Obama?

In any event, I look forward to seeing it.

Shouldn't you be working on a paper?

Kit said...

"I would date the total collapse of animation as a product of the early 1980s when all the commercialization kicked in. You could literally watch each season get worse as they replaced the classics one by one with thirty minute commercials for toys. Then I would say there was a brief revival in the 1990s, followed by a near-collapse again with only a couple minor exceptions (Pixar)."

The 80s and early 90s were definitely a Golden Age of Toy Commercials.

When it becomes all about selling toys, the quality is hurt.
But if you create great enjoyable characters, like Pixar does, you will create memorable characters that sell toys.

I think that hurt animation in the late-90s as well. How many times did we see annoying sidekicks created SOLELY for the purpose of selling toys?

I think this is why Scrappy-Doo was created.
There is a very good reason the live-action movie made him the villain. A very good reason.

tryanmax said...

"A major cartoonist strike and a World War can really hurt quality."

That's why I only called it a hiccup.

The only other argument I'll offer in support of declaring "the Fall" a time frame is that Walt had worked on several of the posthumous releases and his touch is still apparent. I believe The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is the last release that had Walt's personal involvement, so you can sort of mark his withdrawal from Sword in the Stone until that.

Kit said...

"Verdict: Three thumbs up. (Don't ask where the third one came from.)"

Scarlett Johansson?


tryanmax said...

T-Rav, that is awesome! I've been anxiously awaiting The Avengers and I'm glad to know I won't get sucker-punched by it. Woo-Hoo!

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, When he peed on Daphne and Fred tells him, "Again?! We warned you about this!" I spit out my coke. He was fantastic as a villain because I so wanted to see him end poorly!

And I think you're right, Scrabby was an attempt to commercialize the show. All the lunch boxes and things I remember around that time had his lousy picture on them.

Mathew Lillard, by the way, is a totally underrated actor and his work as Shaggy has been positively brilliant.

They actually had one cartoon (I can't think of the name) where the good guys say some magic words and then their costumes fly onto the various parts of their body. I kid you not that this was intended to show kids how to assemble the toys. You literally see the man standing there like an action figure with his arms out, the various toy parts surrounding him, the blazing light and then watch each piece go into its assigned place. This would happen every episode with all three main characters. It's shockingly obvious what they are doing.

Shawn said...

I was alway partial to "Marvin the Martian" from the early Loony Toons cartoons. "Foghorn Leghorn" would make a close second.

For the more serious cartoons, I always enjoyed "Space Ghost" and "Johnny Quest".

Currently my favorite is the "Venture Brothers"- if only the 5th season would start already.

Kit said...

"The only other argument I'll offer in support of declaring "the Fall" a time frame is that Walt had worked on several of the posthumous releases and his touch is still apparent. I believe The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is the last release that had Walt's personal involvement, so you can sort of mark his withdrawal from Sword in the Stone until that."

I can see that argument.

But I consider the whole period to be a dark age. Because I consider Walt's death to be such a blow and clear before/after point for animation.

But I may do some more reading on the topic over the summer.

T-Rav said...

Kit, that might have been its origin. ;-)

Yeah, I think I heard that Whedon was an atheist, but here's the thing: He seems to believe more in being true to the comic-book characters, and Captain America is a very patriotic, God-and-country kinda guy. I think that's what's fueling a lot of the craze right now, in fact; someone called it a movie made by a fanboy for fanboys, and it seems to be working out so far.

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, Marvin the Martian is a great! He and Duck Dodgers!!

T-Rav said...

Andrew, happy to oblige. I really think you'll enjoy it.

And my paper is finished, for your information. So there. :-)

Kit said...

They actually had one cartoon (I can't think of the name) where the good guys say some magic words and then their costumes fly onto the various parts of their body. I kid you not that this was intended to show kids how to assemble the toys. You literally see the man standing there like an action figure with his arms out, the various toy parts surrounding him, the blazing light and then watch each piece go into its assigned place. This would happen every episode with all three main characters. It's shockingly obvious what they are doing."

Was not a cartoon but a possibility. Then again, there were so many toy-oriented cartoons it's hard to say.
From what I heard, Transformers was probably the best, but, honestly, half of that was the theme song.

And Matthew Lillard is perfect as Shaggy.
Especially since it means he can eat meat again!!!

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, what I said to Andrew. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

tryanmax said...

My bully episode happened when I moved in sixth grade. At my new school, you had to have the right shoes or be tormented mercilessly. I tried the appeasement route and begged for a pair of Nikes for Christmas. I got the Nikes, but they turned out to be the "wrong" ones. Strangely, as soon as I stopped giving a crap, the tormenting stopped.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Glad to hear it! I hope you've learned a valuable lesson -- it is easier to bribe a professor than it is to write a paper. ;)

Kit said...

Since we've been discussing 80s and 90s toons, if you want something that covers this period humorously, if in a Not-Exactly-Safe-For-Work kinda way, then check out the Nostalgia Critic.

He leans to the left but you rarely see it. He even rips into CAPTAIN PLANET.
(Though the Nostalgia Chick, his female counterpart, leans VERY hard left).

Jen said...

Andrew, I was going to add the "people with money" part, but thought I was going a bit over the top. So, thank you for adding that in. I haven't been following this "bully" stuff (is there like a movie or something?), but had to share. I remember the topic came up on BH a few years ago, and I had to comment on it. I can't remember who wrote the article, but it was a female. Libs are some of the biggest bullies I can think of (but they would be no match for a REAL bull, LOL!), and I believe it would be because of their insecurities. As long as no one calls their bluff, they are good to go.

I forgot to add something. I did work for a woman over twenty years ago (make that two women) who I had a problem with standing up to. My sister overheard a conversation I had with the second one, and wanted to know how I could let her talk to me that way. I didn't fully realize until later on that I just didn't have to put up with crap anymore. I guess this happened because I left my home state for a while, and didn't have to work for anyone at that time. I got "corrupted" so to speak, by a bunch of men (mostly farmers) since they were about all I would interact with. When that ended, and I had to get a job again, things were totally different.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, He is perfect! And I never knew Cassem was a vegetarian until the internet came along! I swear Shaggy used to eat burgers and pepperoni.

I looked it up -- the show was called "The Centurions." It's obnoxious. Here's some detail: LINK. Note the pointless holes in the suits. Those are actually there so kids wouldn't get upset about the holes in the action figures... holes you need to insert all the accessory packs you can buy. It's truly obnoxious. Check out the picture and you'll see how they are literally showing you the gear you can buy and how to insert it. Each episode had these 30 second moments where they showed the guys getting their gear assembled.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's the thing about emotional power -- it only works when the bully can cause emotion in the victim. If you don't care, they move along.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I believe you are thinking of Centurions, and the magic words were "Power Extreme!" Gladly, I don't have to cop to ever having watched this one. I happened across it while I was looking for info on Kidd Video Flipside few days ago. I remembered the toys, but the cartoon was news to me. I can't say shocking news, though.

tryanmax said...

Uh oh, now I feel bad. I just dogged on Mathew Lillard in my last remake review. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, It takes a while for people to discover independence. We're raised with these constant messages: listen to your parents, listen to your teachers, do what the cops tell you, do what the government tells you, don't break the rules, make your boss happy, worry about your permanent record, don't ruin your life, do what you need to to keep your job, etc. It's all bull and it keeps people afraid to make up their own minds.

I've spoken to many people about this and the most interesting thing I've heard (and experienced) time and again is how liberating it is to get fired. When the world doesn't end the next day, you suddenly realize that all that stuff you worried about will never happen and nobody controls you unless you let them. It's a feeling like you've broken out of the Matrix and suddenly there is a whole different world out there for you.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's the one all right. I've seen about 8-10 episodes and am just shocked that anyone could create this cartoon with a clear conscience.

You dogged on Matthew Lillard? What's wrong with you? I'll check that out tomorrow. Right now I need to hit the sack.

tryanmax said...

So, this thread got me all nostalgic for Saturday morning cartoons. I searched YouTube for Galaxy High and I just discovered it was created by Chris Columbus. Crazy!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

T-Rav- Thanks for the great news!
Whedon may be a self-described liberal but he's got a mighty big conservative streak.

I've seen a lot of his prior work and all of Firefly/Serenity and he hits on conservatives themes a lot.
Or perhaps principles is a better word.

Personally, I think Whedon is a closet conservative whether he admits it or not.
At least his work thus far reflects that.

And unlike many liberals he doesn't let ideology get in the way of quality film making.
He also has a lot of respect for his fans and obviously doesn't wanna let them down.

Incidently, Adam Baldwin always speaks highly of Whedon. :^)

PS- Howzabout we let only Nolan and Whedon do comic book character films from now on?
Not saying Whedon is at Nolan's level...yet, but he is committed to getting it done right as Nolan is.

Kit said...

"Howzabout we let only Nolan and Whedon do comic book character films from now on?
Not saying Whedon is at Nolan's level...yet, but he is committed to getting it done right as Nolan is."

Fine here.

Kit said...

ACT reminds me of Mary Whitehouse and her accusation that the Doctor Who episode "Genesis of the Daleks" (generally considered the best Who story) was "Teatime brutality for tots".

rlaWTX said...

Loony Toons cast as a whole! Yogi Bear & BooBoo (my dad did a spot-on imitation - I was BooBoo to his Yogi. I miss him.)
Honorable Mentions:
Caaaaaaaptain Caaaaaaaavemaaaaan

Bullies - my therapist has explained to me that "mean teasing" and bullying are the same - to the victim. In JrHi & HS, I had tormentors who WOULD NOT STOP - tried verbally striking back, ignoring, etc to no avail. But I was NOT getting adults involved, so I just kept my head down, sucked it up, and kept going... At least the teasers in elementary school would vary their victims so you got days off...

Kenn Christenson said...

Always liked Bugs Bunny. I'd get up every Saturday morning to watch "The Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Show," when I was younger.

On the MUCH darker side, I liked the "Spawn" series, when it was on HBO - but, then I've always been a sucker for Anime in one form or another. Also liked Major Kusanagi in "Ghost in the Shell" - the feature version - very cool and haunting story-line

ellenB said...

I have to admit I liked the Smurfs, though I have no desire to see the movie.

Kit said...

Earlier I mentioned Animaniacs. Here is a great clip from there show featuring the tw
"Who's on Stage?"

And some others:
"Noah's Lark", a Noah's Ark sketch. ("Who am I to judge?")
"50 States and Capitols"
"The Three Animaniacs Try to do a scene" or "Animaniacs Bloopers"

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, The best "Noah's Ark" sketch is still Bill Cosby's. That is an all-time classic!

Ellen, I watched the "Smurfs" in the 1980s... "Muppet Babies" too.

Kenn, I don't know the "Spawn" series? I saw the movie which was pretty good, but I haven't see the comic version. I did like "Ghost in the Shell" a good deal.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, It's all the same instinct, it's just a question of degree.

Your therapist? You're not a serial killer or something are you? If so... well, can I give you a list of names for no apparent reason whatsoever? ;)

Kenn Christenson said...

The Spawn series was MUCH better than the film - a lot darker, though, and definitely NOT PG-13.

AndrewPrice said...

Kenn, Thanks for the link! LINK.

I can imagine it would be. HBO also showed a couple Hellboy cartoons which were a little darker than the movies -- though not that much darker. They were pretty good.

rlaWTX said...

Andrew, thank you for your concern, however, I have not gone that far to the dark side as yet. If I do inch into psychopathy, I'll get that list from you - always need a place to start.

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