May 16, 2005
Animation on television, child-safe and otherwise.ZOINKS!
Fact vs. Fiction: Cuddly Little Critters, Cartooned
Some animals — dogs, cats, birds — make for great pets and great cartoons (although honestly, I still dream of a day when Tweety and Roadrunner end up as lunch for their pursuers). But others seem to be using cartoons as a great propaganda machine, showing cartoon animals who are a hell of a lot more interesting that their real-life analogs.
Five animals who are more fun in cartoons than in real life:
- Moose. Okay, as far as I know, there's only one animated moose
out there. But he's Bullwinkle, co-star of the funniest cartoon of all time.
And unlike his real-life cervine buddies, Bullwinkle is easy to get along
with, never runs into cars, and doesn't (as far as I know) smell. And, although
few would argue that Bullwinkle is amongst the more highly-intelligent characters
on TV, he's still a hell of a lot smarter than the real-life creatures.
And have you ever seen a real-life moose try to pull a rabbit out of his
- Bears. Okay, no real surprise here. Yogi and Booboo may be annoying
critters, but they're a lot nicer about grabbing picnic baskets than real-life
bears are. And Baloo and Winnie the Pooh are much, much gentler around humans
than any bear I've ever heard of.
- Apes/monkeys/gorillas. I know, some folks love apes in real life,
but other than whatever amusement value there is in watching them fling
dung at each other, there's not much to be said for actually spending time
with one, no matter how close to us they are on the evolutionary ladder.
But on TV, they're always there for us. From loyal Ape on George of the
Jungle to clever Abu on Aladdin, they're practically our best
friends in the cartoon-verse. Sure, some can be annoying (Gleek, anyone?),
and I'm not sure I'd trust Magilla with anything important, ever. But to
a simian, they're all loyal and willing to put it all on the line for us.
He's a trickster spirit brought to life, using wisecracks, charm, dumb luck, and the occasional bit of cross-dressing to deal with bastards like Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd.
And: One animal who is less fun in cartoons than in real life.
- Sharks. In real-life, they're brutal, vicious creatures who will bite your limbs off and chomp you in half. Not exactly my favorite animals. But on TV, we get Jabberjaw. And after five minutes of watching that creature talk like a sea-born version of Curly from The Three Stooges, I'm ready to hop into the water near Amity Island just to escape. Whatever the real-life sharks did to me would be less painful.
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