Tuesday, May 09, 2006

When Cartoons Evolved- Bugs Bunny

The western world-especially the United States- used to believe in a concept called "progress". Everyone thought that man naturally wanted to make things better. They believed in constant experiment with the purpose of finding better ways to do things. Man believed that through the power of invention, we could improve things and speed up evolution. This is a forgotten concept.

Take cartoons as just one example. It used to be a matter of course that every year, cartoons would be a different style than the previous year and not only that, each cartoon character itself would constantly change and get better as all the artists working on them would have a hand in shaping and evolving the look and the personality of the characters. No one ever thought to question this.

That's why cartoons improved so fast from 1928 to 1945. The animation world (like everything else at the time) let the practitioners use their creativity to do something considered radical today-to be creative. To constantly change things-to invent formulas and then discard them as they got bored.

Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker all looked totally different and kind of primitive when they were created than they did just a couple years later and they all continued to change and evolve (and eventually devolve) throughout their lives. Today's cartoon characters are born primitive and stay the same primitive for their whole lives. South Park, The Simpsons, Family Guy, etc. The whole system is geared against artistic progress. Artistic invention is now called "off-model".

Bugs Bunny is probably the greatest and most popular cartoon character of all time and he wasn't even created. He just evolved out of concepts and other characters.

more to come...