I’ve spent most of the past few Saturday mornings watching cartoons. They’re still showing the old classics and I know what to expect from newer series like the new Batman, Superman, Justice League or X-Men series– darker, more serious animated series that more closely reflect the flavor of the comic books from which they came. But I have to admit that watching other cartoon series take a different twist when you’re older and have a little more perspective:
- Baby Looney Tunes. No, not Tiny Toons. Baby Looney Tunes. It’s Bugs and Daffy and the rest of the gang as “babies.” It’s kind of like Muppet Babies– they’re all living together in some weird anthropomorphic creature group home and are all looked over by Granny, the little old lady that normally appears as the owner and caretaker of Sylvester and Tweety. At first, I thought this series was very cute– baby cartoon characters are always over-the-top cute– but then thinking about it more, it kind of weirds me out. I mean, Tweety and Sylvester play together in some weird sick and twisted relationship and everybody laughs at Taz who desperately tries to control his devilish inclinations and fit in. It’s like the “Origins” version of Looney Tunes. The question is, did they think it would just be cute to have baby cartoons, or did they want to explain where they all came from? Does their strange connection here explain Bugs and Daffy’s future antagonistic relationship and do Sylvester and Tweety just go on to live together so long that they become the equivalent of Grumpy Old Men who really love each other, but harass each other to show it? Or maybe it’s a testament to no matter how much nurture, you can’t fight nature– Sylvester will always try to eat Tweety. Okay, maybe I’ve gone off the deep end, but this series is weird.
- Alvin and the Chipmunks. Apparently, they’re still making new episodes/videos of this series and I have to admit that I was amused by this series back in the day. Three of them were entertaining with their different personalities and you always have to appreciate some musical numbers. My favorite episode was the one where Theodore needs to pass a history test, so Alvin and Simon associate historical facts with food (e.g., General Custer and custard) and musical history lessons ensue. But, you have to wonder, even in the world of cartoons, didn’t someone think it was weird that Dave Seville, who was drawn like a distant cousin of Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid and was a young, single man who lived alone, decided to take in three freakishly large (for chipmunks) anthropomorphic chipmunks as his foster children? And wasn’t it some kind of sick exploitation to have them perform in a little Hanson precursor music group? And didn’t anyone think it was additionally weird when Ms. Miller, that old lady down the street, took in three female chipmunks into her house like she was recruiting from some weird brothel that specialized in bestiality? And wasn’t it convenient that the three chipettes had analogous personalities to the chipmunks? Now really, what’s the probability of that? Three chipmunks might be believable, but three female, analogous chipmunks in addition is a little too much to swallow.
Okay, so I’ve probably gone of the deep end and I swear I’m not high. I’m just “thinking critically” about what I see. And don’t even get me started on “The Sissy Duckling” on HBO (which I think is a great idea, but is still kind of weird).