Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Oswald: Going To Blazes, Cartoons Make The Best Stereotypes

Here's a post for Jorge, the last of a dying breed.


Witness an innocent babe, who doesn't yet know the facts of life.
All of life seems happy and clean and full of God's beauty.
All of a sudden, the sweet babe sees what goes on in the world.
At the wholesome community firehouse yet!

The unspeakable act of swishy dancing!Every natural instinct spills up from the guts of this unspoiled youth and retribution grasps his quivering revulsed soul.

Baby grows up fast and knows exactly what to do.This is the way of intolerance since time began. If it's different, cut it to pieces!

Luckily, Oswald is a modern hero with modern ideas and he comes to the rescue.

No crime, however instinctively motivated goes unpunished in an Oswald cartoon!

Watch The Dance Of The Firehouse Fruit

Animation is just great for stereotypes. In real life, stereotypes create themselves and are then caricatured in stand up comedy, rap videos and live action media. Then liberal white women and Keith Olberman cry about it.

But cartoons add another level to stereotypes.

You would never actually see a gay guy dance like this in real life, but it would be great if you did!

That's what cartoons are for, to make up stuff that's surreal but just feels right.

Don Rickles was on NPR last night talking about making his 50 year career out of making fun of stereotypes and it was hilarious. He made fun of every group equally, which is totally American and democratic.

I wish everyone would lighten up and enjoy how weird and different everyone is and make fun of it! We should enjoy how weird and varied human life is, rather than deny it and be ashamed.

Oh, for the good old un-politically correct days!

Here's another great American animator at work:
Walt Disney's Favorite People

40 comments:

Kali Fontecchio said...

This was very eloquently executed John, bravo!

Jorge Garrido said...

God bless you, John Kricfalusi.

Get that homo, little pup!I never knew Oswald and Walter Lantz were liberals, though.

I'm gonna do some research on Lantz animators and try to guess the animator.

Kali Fontecchio said...

I forgot to mention how mesmerizing that dance really is! I am drawn to its whirling cycle like a moth to a porch light.

Why do you insist on indulging Jorge's MASSIVE ego? You afford him magnanimously this spotlight he would otherwise never receive.

Just kidding Jorge! I wish I had someone like you to take the bus with in LA actually! It's a scary place for a white girl!!!

Peter F. Bernard, Jr. said...

Yeah, it's the fault of "liberal women" and the only guy on TV telling the truth. Everything is their fault.

This is your problem, man. You weren't canned from Nick for "late delivery of shows" or whatever. You were fired for calling the execs there "evil hippie women." I was told that personally (and angrily, along with alot of personal insults about you) right after you got fired by someone who was an exec there at the time. Stuff like that is funny coming from Archie Bunker but it's a major turn-off coming from a visionary filmmaker like yourself. Now you know I wouldn't work with Nick anymore after they fired you, no matter what you said or who you were prejudiced against. Even after you personally wrote me and told me I should go ahead and return there when I was asked back, I couldn't go back for some reason. So don't accuse me of being against you or something.

You don't have to clear this, I just wanted to say it to you, not necessarily the world. I'm not saying I don't have more faults than you, but it pisses me off that you're not really big and famous now, and this is how you shoot yourself in the foot. I guess that makes me a "fag." Whatever.

JohnK said...

Whoa, Peter, lighten up!

There's no hate in this stuff.

It's all in good fun.

Roberto González said...

Wow, this was weird. But pretty funny too. I didn't know there was this kind of stuff...and in a Disney cartoon! I guess this is mayyyyybe a little offensive (though the gay guy didn't get hurt and the pup is punished at the end), but I've never understood the racial stereotype problem...they are just caricatures of how black people look, only in the War cartoons they were offensive to japanese, and it is understandable in that context. Other than that, they are just caricatures. Nobody says Elmer Fudd is offensive for bald people or Bugs Bunny is offensive for Brooklyn's wise guys...all characters in cartoons are exaggerated, that doesn't mean they are portrayed better or worse than the others.

And even if they are eventually racist (like Daffy riding Black Beauty in A Coy Decoy) people shouldn't make a big deal about it. I think that goes over the children's heads most of the time. And if the adults can see something like D.W. Griffith's Birth Of A Nation, they can stand these things in a cartoon. I think Birth Of A Nation had a lot of problems when it aired, but now it's considered a masterpiece and they won't cut it or add thousands of disclaimers here and there, like they do with cartoon masterpieces.

Charlie J. said...

Amen!

I was driving last night listening to a Slim Gaillard cut of "Chinatown, my Chinatown", and the girl I'm with starts crying. Jesus christ!

Forbes said...

It would make my day if somebody just broke out into a dance like that infront of me. Shame on the big bad wolf for dressing like a Jewish peddler. Walt Disney you naughty man hahaha!

David Germain said...

Then liberal white women and Keith Olberman cry about it.

And Censor Monkeys screech and screech about it as well. Don't forget that.

Yes, I wish I was around in the pre-code days as well.

Craig D said...

I've heard that firmen like to slide down poles...

Art F. said...

ah, if only real stereotypes were as funny as cartoon stereotypes. i think that when it comes to political correctness, modern man's mind is so open to it, that his brain has fallen out. there are certainly more important things to worry about socially, than cartoon stereotypes.

and John, we still think you're big and famous no matter what anyone says.

PCUnfunny said...

The only way I am offened by sterotype is when it isn't funny.

Marc Deckter said...

Oswald, brushpeddlers and swishy dancing - the ingredients to a perfect post.

Banarne said...

Once again, as with several of your posts, I am reminded that Canadians don't quite get American culture. This flamboyant buffoon featured here with Oswald is obviously either:
1. A woman (it looks like she has breasts).
OR
2. A reference to Drag perfomers.
Drag culture was big in Vaudeville (you could have done a little research), and hence big in cartoons (how many times did we see looney tunes characters i.e., Bugs Bunny, appear dressed in drag?)
Early American cartoons are loaded with vaudeville references, and even now vaudeville is referenced continuously in animation. Slapstick buffoonery is the basis of American cartoon animation, and this is in no small part due to the great work of vaudeville performers.
So, Jorge and everyone else, you can relax. You're not a "homo", and neither is this character here. He/She isn't even a stereotype. It is a caricature of a drag performer.
And if you are mourning what you imagine to be a stereotype in cartoons nowadays, you should watch some friggin' TV! All of the animated sitcoms (Southpark, KOTH, Simpsons, Family Guy) are chocked so full of things which are supposed to be offensive stereotypes that it is neither offensive nor shocking; it is just boring.
Is that the direction we should go? Make more stereotypes, thus making more boring cartoons? How about no more boring catoons?

Mish said...

Hey John. Could you give me some advice?

My name is Aleks. I've been rejected from CalArts twice now. Everyone says I'm amazing at drawing, hell, I've been doing it eversince I could hold a pencil. Some people (calarts students) have even told me I'm better than some of the students currently attending.

Anyway, I'm at a little new college in the Bay Area called Ex'Pression. Stuff that comes out of it doesn't look great, it's all 3D and I know it's the student and not the teacher.

I always try to push my design and everything else, and I was just wondering if you'd have some inspiring words for a guy in my situation. Maybe the fact that I didn't get in twice in a row means I'm not supposed to go.

Sorry this isn't very related to your post (I read it though.), but you're a great animator and I thought you'd be a good person to turn to for some advice.

Thanks

Aleks

Josh "Just What the Doctor Ordered" Heisie said...

Burning people in a giant furnace because they are different isn't good.

Drawing exaggerated pictures of them because they're different, really isn't that bad.

And...heaven forbid...a lot of african american males have larger lips than caucasian males. Good heavens! God forbid a caricature!!!

Crumpled Up John! said...

Here Here! In fact, I wrote a paper with the same points with Coal Black as my subject. People needs to lighten up

JohnK said...

>>All of the animated sitcoms (Southpark, KOTH, Simpsons, Family Guy) are chocked so full of things which are supposed to be offensive stereotypes<<

Those are animated?

queefy said...

>>>Those are animated?

By homosexual manatees

Ryan G. said...

Political correctness is out of control in this country. Is it really possible to not offend someone today? Im offended that things are so watered down and censored.

Midgets want to be called "little people"

I thought babies were little people.

Midgets are midgets.

Peter Welsiack said...

Guys and gals!

Wow! What's with the gleeful reception of homophobia? Maybe I'm reading between the lines wrong, but I'm bummed most of you think this way.

John's #1 Fan,
Peter Welsiack

Gabriel said...

1. A woman (it looks like she has breasts).

No it doesn't, sorry. Download the video and check it more carefully. No breasts.

Soos said...

Just to recap, the straight white probably-Christian male supports stereotypes.

It's easy to rail against political correctness when you're the majority.

JohnK said...

>>It's easy to rail against political correctness when you're the majority.<<

We aren't for long according to the news.

J. J. Hunsecker said...

>>This flamboyant buffoon featured here with Oswald is obviously either:
1. A woman (it looks like she has breasts).
OR
2. A reference to Drag perfomers. <<

The character is definitely not a woman. I think the joke is that the character is the "pansy" stereotype in what was considered a manly occupation. Perhaps the joke is also a play on a "flaming" homosexual who is also a fireman.

Rafi animates said...

Well said John! I think this may be my favourite post yet!

Maximum Awesome said...

Has anyone ever seen a racist caricature of a white person even attempted? Are we just too boring to exaggerate, or are we the world's only visual racists?

Banarne said...

>>I think the joke is that the character is the "pansy" stereotype in what was considered a manly occupation.>>

That is a very modern take on the situation. It is obviously a drag performer. Are you Canadian too?

Stephen Worth said...

If you think this is a person performing as a drag performer, I wonder what you think of Flip's Soda Fountain, where the pansy character prances in and proceeds to make love to a straw. THAT didn't come from any vaudeville show!

Besides, the drag performers in vaudeville were under the strict code of conduct agreement that all performers had to adhere to. Their performances were more like the cross dressing clowns in Dumbo than this kind of mincing pansy stereotype.

See ya
Steve

toast said...

John, you have hit the nail on the head. I too, long for the days when we didn't have to watch what we said so closely. Animation isn't the same nowadays. The whole debate over the PC-ness of Disney's The Princess and the Frog is proof of this.

I am a half-white, Canadian (for you Banarne), Christian male and I am tired of everyone getting their knickers in a knot everytime there is something that resembles a stereotype.

Jorge Garrido said...

"Just to recap, the straight white probably-Christian male supports stereotypes.

It's easy to rail against political correctness when you're the majority."

John isn't Christian and I'm not white so you wanna try again?

That reminds me of Thad K's comment: "All of John K's fans are white trash"

So either I'm an exception or you're a dumbass.

Paulrus said...

John K you give me hope that not everyone in LA walks around with a giant P.C. stick up their corn chute.

Gabriel said...

i'm not christian either. I don't know if i'm white.

DavidMcG said...

If you want to see racist charicatures of white people, you can find them in some early manga.

Jon Brown said...

John, I agree that entertainers must use stereotypes for comedic purposes, and there is nothing wrong with this, as long as it is just harmless fun and not intended to harm anybody. However, I also think that stereotypes are often used for less honorable purposes.

During WW2, American cartoons were filled with racist stereotypes of Japanese people. These stereotypes not only attacked Japan's war policies but also dehumanized and degraded Japanese people by calling them "slant eyes" and "baboon face" and depicting them as stupid, evil, lazy, mean, and cowardly. The intention was to make the Japanese to appear less than human.

This is not about people crying and getting their feelings hurt. Thousands of Japanese Americans were rounded up and forced into concentration camps after Pearl Harbor. Racist stereotypes in cartoons and films deemed Japanese Americans inferior and worthless, so when we took away there rights we did not feel bad about it.

I'm not defending censorship of cartoons, I am just trying to say that the issue isn't so black and white and there is plenty of evidence showing how stereotyping can be used to harm people. So while I don't disagree with your point, I just think there are many situations where stereotyping is wrong.

sullenboy said...

I respect you as an animator John,
i salvate over your great drawings an try an absorb everyting you teach here bout animation.

but everyone is NOT an expert in racist theory, feminism, or any subject dealing with oppression etc... specially not you.

I understand that cersoring cartoons suck but to encourage stereotyping of race,
is something serious.
If (im assuming) you arent properly aware or engaged in the study or discorse of racist theroy, then you shouldnt be preaching that stereotyping is ok. Stereotyping and cencoring cartoons are related but ultimatly different subject matters.

Ms. Jane D'oh said...

You've lost me!

Jon Brown said...

"Stereotyping and cencoring cartoons are related but ultimatly different subject matters."

Yes, I totally agree. I know there has been a large ammount of research done by social scientists and psychologists about racial stereotyping, and most of the studies indicate that stereotypes are harmful to minorities.

I think that censorship would be a bad idea, especially of classic cartoons. I think the way they handled the issue on the DVD was good, simply having Wooppi Golderberg say that she doesn't support

Triadsense said...

Actually, the greater harm is the antiquated government policies that result in the mass incarceration of male minorities for victimless crimes and this sudden interest in the immigrant status of elementary school children, among other dozens of failed right-wing and left-wing policies that have resulted in disparities between whites and African Americans and Hispanics and men and women.

Sure I wouldn't expose a child to a stereotyped cartoon, but that isn't going to turn a child into a racist or a self-hater who will never achieve anything in life because their feelings were hurt by a drawing.

Triadsense said...

Actually, the greater harm is the antiquated government policies that result in the mass incarceration of male minorities for victimless crimes and this sudden interest in the immigrant status of elementary school children, among other dozens of failed right-wing and left-wing policies that have resulted in disparities between whites and African Americans and Hispanics and men and women.

Sure I wouldn't expose a child to a stereotyped cartoon, but that isn't going to turn a child into a lifelong racist or a self-hater.
-Amber S.