In Defense Of The ‘Toon!

…It’s time, Planet Earth. Time to stop the madness. It’s time to start the healing by having this much needed discussion. We can’t wait any longer. We need to talk about–cartoons.


In an effort to help humor-challenged adults and young folks who take this social media thing waaaay too far, here are a few basic questions and answers that will help you in your future cartoon viewing. What? You don’t  watch cartoons?? Somehow, you have found a spot in the universe where you are untouched by animated humor? You poor thing, you. There is hope for humanity and humor can still be found in the animated adventures of chickens, pigs, rabbits, wolves, cats, mice, dogs, and people.


Q: What Is A Cartoon?

I guess I could get all clinical and encyclopedic, but for now a good description of a cartoon is: an animated drawing(s) (moving picture, if you will)  that tells a story–sometimes humorously and sometimes with the aid of a voice actor(s) who gives vocal life and personality to the characters.

Q: Are They All Funny?

Some cartoons seek to educate and inform and use humor to do it. Other animated productions shy away from humor altogether to make sure the message isn’t lost. And then there is the hammer upside the head variety where the only message is “Look how funny this dude looks after we drop an anvil on his toe.”

Q: Which Cartoons Are The Best?

It is strictly a matter of taste. Some people absolutely LOATHE violence of any kind, animated or otherwise. Others can’t stop laughing because one character keeps finding new and clever ways to blow up the other character. IMHO–it’s a cartoon, so stupid and absurd are the orders of the day.

There are some characters and characterizations that I like to refer to as ‘live action cartoons’. These are non-animated shorts or features that are outrageously funny (because of dialogue, action or so-bad-their-good special effects) and very well could have been animated.  Not many of these exist today (except on DVD)–times do change. But they are just as funny now as they were 60 years ago and can be mixed right in with the animated stuff. The ‘Our Gang-Little Rascals’ comedies; The Three Stooges; almost anything with a Muppet in it.


For those of you who don’t know where to start in your animation odyssey, you can choose any one of several ways to link up to the lunacy:

Historically–you, Wikipedia and lots of snacks; By studio–Warner Bros, Paramount, MGM, Disney; By Character–Rocky & Bullwinkle, Bus Bunny, Sponge Bob; By Voice Actor–June Foray, Mel Blanc, Daws Butler, Jim Cummins.

I hope this little talk has helped some and enlightened others. Loose the chains, my friends. Seek for stupid humor and you shall find it. Go forth and embrace your inner Acme!



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