Author Topic: A cartoon lover's lament...  (Read 9011 times)

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Offline Pak-Man

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A cartoon lover's lament...
« on: December 06, 2006, 08:59:13 AM »
I miss cartoon violence.

It's been a very long time, and I think the shift was so subtle we didn't even realize it happened, but cartoons aren't violent anymore. At least not in the way they used to be.

Let me explain: Take the cast of any modern cartoon (For kids or otherwise). Now put them all in a big ol' trash compactor, a-la Star Wars.

Now smoosh 'em. Smoosh 'em all. As you play the scenario in your head, do you see any survivors at all? Perhaps a Spongebob and, sadly, maybe the cast of Drawn Together, but you'd have to fish them out from the juices and entrails of a hundred other dead 'toons. This just shouldn't be. Cartoons need violence without repurcussion. We need 'em to fall off cliffs, get squashed by anvils, torched by flamethrowers, blasted with rifles, only to bounce back later for more. That's what cartoons are about, in my opinion. They're about making the impossible happen. Most cartoons these days aren't impossible enough. Does anyone else miss the old fashioned, slapsticky cartoony-shows? I think the last show out there that embraced it was Animaniacs, and it's been a long long time...


Offline J-Proof

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Re: A cartoon lover's lament...
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2006, 09:18:17 AM »
Amen - The greatest cartoons ever (Looney Tunes and Silly Symphonies) had /tons/ of cartooniness that we don't see anymore =(

Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Bob Clampett, Bob McKimpson, Ub Iwerks, and Max Fleischer need to drop anvils on the entire industry!!
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Offline Tyrant

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Re: A cartoon lover's lament...
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2006, 12:09:24 PM »

  It's gone because, despite the millions of kids that grew up watching cartoon slapstick and NOT dropping anvils on their heads or trying to run off a cliff for those few precious seconds of supposedly being able to "tread air" by running really fast (and the vast majority of those millions of kids survived to adulthood), parents these days are terrified that cartoon violence will somehow make their kids kill or hurt themselves.


Offline pyro

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Re: A cartoon lover's lament...
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2006, 12:28:39 PM »
I hardly notice it anymore which is sorta sad in itself I guess....


Ed Edd & Eddy seem to keep with the idea though, unrealistic crushing and etc of it's characters... Billy & Mandy can get pretty twisted, including in the theme song where you see them without skin


Offline dignan

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Re: A cartoon lover's lament...
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2006, 12:30:31 PM »
Chuck Jones especially had a way of drawing his characters so that if they got shot in the face or bill, or if they got blasted out of a cannon or fell off a cliff, you knew, somehow, that they'd be okay. 


Offline Variety of Cells

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Re: A cartoon lover's lament...
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2006, 12:50:52 PM »

  It's gone because, despite the millions of kids that grew up watching cartoon slapstick and NOT dropping anvils on their heads or trying to run off a cliff for those few precious seconds of supposedly being able to "tread air" by running really fast (and the vast majority of those millions of kids survived to adulthood), parents these days are terrified that cartoon violence will somehow make their kids kill or hurt themselves.

However silly it may seem, studies have shown that television violence does increase aggressive behavior.  Even if the violence depicted is cartoony and fake, the children are generally more aggressive in their activities after watching shows with violence vs no violence.  The effect is increased if there is no consequence for the violence (some one is punched in the face comically and all that happens is a lump on the head) and the person doing the violence looks cool, or is portrayed as being cool.

That said, to negate that effect you just need to explain to children that real violence has real consequences.  Take some time to sit down with them and watch a violent cartoon and point out how it would be different in real life.  Basically, riff the cartoon with your kids and point out how unrealistic it is.  As long as they understand the difference, there isn't much of a problem.


Offline Tyrant

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Re: A cartoon lover's lament...
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2006, 02:12:53 PM »
  Agreed. It's a very simple thing to sit with children and just explain violence in cartoons to them so they understand it and aren't trying those things in real life. We all got the lecture back in the day and I would say most of us turned out alright.

  So, bottom line: 1) did the slapstick cartoon get killed because parents stopped lecturing their kids and complain to higher ups or 2) did kids stop listening so parents had to complain to the higher ups anyway? Or 3) did that study on aggression come out and everyone got paranoid? Good fat to chew on, at any rate.

   All -I- know is that if I had kids, I'd let them watch Looney Tunes.


Offline J-Proof

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Re: A cartoon lover's lament...
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2006, 03:11:38 PM »
Chuck Jones is the man.... I digress

Anyway - The one cartoon that best exudes the influence of the great Termite Terrace films of the past is "Spongebob Squarepants." We even studied it in Art School (And one of my professors worked on both Looney Tunes and Spongebob as well as a score of other things).

Heck, I was just watching an episode of Spongebob where he and Sandy were having fun with each other before Sandy had to go into hybernation, and that particular episode was drenched with Looney Tune antics. Spongebob had bowling balls dropped on his head, he turned to mush when he moved at supersonic speed, his arms were stretched out and flattened - it was awesome!

Aside from that, we have cartoons like Yugio and PokeMon coming out that disillusion kids toward reality far more than the Looney Tunes (imho). I'd rather have my kids watching Pepe LePew and maybe learning the wrong way to pickup a girl, then have them watch cartoons that influence them to pull out pokeballs and a deck of cards the next time a bully challenges them to fight.
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Offline Edward J Grug III

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Re: A cartoon lover's lament...
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2006, 03:23:53 PM »
Dude, I was constantly surprised by the stuff they'd put in the powerpuff girls. They would bash teeth our, and in one episode I saw buttercup punch right through an eye. An EYE for christ sakes!
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Offline Pak-Man

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Re: A cartoon lover's lament...
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2006, 03:30:38 PM »
Yeah, that's the work of Gendy Tartasomethingorotherski. One of the modern greats if you like over-the-top action in your toons.


Offline J-Proof

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Re: A cartoon lover's lament...
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2006, 03:35:54 PM »
Yeah that's neat and stylized animation fosho'

I'm just sayin' - I miss the feel and style of Looney Tunes and Silly Symphonies  =(

I would /love/ absolutely LOVE to watch Goofy in another "How to Ski" cartoon or something like that before a movie, and not have to sit through Coke and Fanta commercials....
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Offline Pak-Man

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Re: A cartoon lover's lament...
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2006, 03:40:42 PM »
Amen to that! I've seen movies I'd never see because of the promise of a Roger Rabbit cartoon before it.


MontyServo

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Re: A cartoon lover's lament...
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2006, 03:40:57 PM »
I would /love/ absolutely LOVE to watch Goofy in another "How to Ski" cartoon or something like that before a movie, and not have to sit through Coke and Fanta commercials....

Coming in 2007:

How To Install Your Home Theater

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/03/movies/03solo.html?ex=1322802000&en=791981dba29a6329&ei=5088partner%3drssnyt&emc=rss


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: A cartoon lover's lament...
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2006, 03:47:38 PM »
Wow! God bless Pixar! I hope that takes off and becomes a regular thing again. I just wonder what I'll have to sit through to see the short...


Offline J-Proof

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Re: A cartoon lover's lament...
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2006, 04:41:11 PM »
I would /love/ absolutely LOVE to watch Goofy in another "How to Ski" cartoon or something like that before a movie, and not have to sit through Coke and Fanta commercials....

Coming in 2007:

How To Install Your Home Theater

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/03/movies/03solo.html?ex=1322802000&en=791981dba29a6329&ei=5088partner%3drssnyt&emc=rss

YEEEEES!!!!! And thank you for the post!
J to the Pizzo
P to the Jizzay...