Wednesday, November 12, 2008

FROM THE JOURNAL OF CARTOON OVER-ANALYZATIONS

Here's a theory you might have missed behind "Casper the Friendly Ghost". It goes that Casper is symbolism of homosexuality and the struggle for gays in society. Casper is a boy ghost or male who constantly seeks the company of other boys or other males. The boys seem to think Casper is a nice fellow and find nothing wrong with his company. After a short while of cute playing, the friendship is ruined when grown ups, who represent the more "traditional" views of society, intervene. More than frowning on such relationships, they fear it terribly and steal the innocent boy and run away from poor Casper, who is left to seek out the next relationship.

If you will note at the beginning of The Simpsons, the "Simps" part is visible before the "ons" part. This is undoubtedly a reference to the word(s) "simpleton" or "simple-minded," etc.

I guess it's worth mentioning that of the 101 Dalmatians, the minority of them had blue collars. This has implications ranging from gender discrimination (the color of the collar is associated to the character's gender) to socio-economic generalizations toward blue collar workers.

One thing that always bothered me was that back when Scooby's villains were just people in scary costumes: why did they have super strength? I mean, you would see them pick up insanely heavy objects like sofas or filing cabinets and throw them like they were pillows, or they would smash through wood or metal doors, or even walls with their bare hands. They should have been very seriously injured, but they just kept on going like it was nothing.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned this: the lack of biological parents in cartoon shows. Think of all the characters who live with someone other than their parents: Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby living with Uncle Donald then Uncle Scrooge in DuckTales. Gosalyn and Darkwing Duck in Darkwing Duck, Robin and Nightwing living with Batman. Also, Penny and Uncle Gadget. No explanation is given about their parents' whereabouts. When I was a kid I wondered where they were. I think if cartoon creators have a handle enough to show orphans, they should go the full monty and explain where mom and dad are.

Brendan S. mentions several characters seen in the feature Who Framed Roger Rabbit? that were created after 1947, the year the film takes place. I read an interview with the filmmakers where they stated their excuse for this was that these characters were hanging around Toon Town in that year until they were "discovered" a few years later by the studios, as if they really existed and shared the same legends as live action movie stars. A bit of dramatic license. I think a bigger problem is the glaring lack of Tom and Jerry in the film. I guess they couldn't get the rights to these characters.

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