Friday, January 30, 2009

Preview Excerpt of Conservatism part 2

Conservative VS Liberal Cartoons Of The Past:

Disney's studio was extremely conservative in its content. Their characters and attitudes were wholesome and generic, never veering into the territory of the specific individual - because conservatives naturally distrust anybody that has a unique personality. Disney himself admitted it many times. He distrusted anybody that stood out from the crowd.

On the other hand, the studio experimented in the advancement of skills. They believed in "quality" which in the 1930s partly meant extreme inhuman otherworldly phenomenal ability. Nobody before the mid 60s ever expected that famous people would ever be average. We all took it for granted that if you were on TV, or in the movies, on radio, sold records, were a politician or whatever that you must be some amazingly gifted accomplished person. Whether you were a liberal or a conservative, you shouldn't be rich and famous unless you could do something that hardly anyone else can do.

.....on to other classic animators, some liberal, some conservative in their approaches...

Every cartoonist on this page shared an important trait, but then differed in how they applied it.


Toole said...

Collared shirts and ties.

Rick Roberts said...

It is just me or did Friz become a bit more experimental in the late 50's ? BIRD'S ANONYMOUS was pretty bold. THE THREE LITTLE BOPS had a convential plot but it was sort of Clampett-esque.

ciacco said...

Do you think the classic animator as we know it is a thing of the past. I feel like you could of been the last of a short line of people who could create great animation storylines, appealing charicters, while actually being able to animate them at the same time.

I know they have to be out there somewhere, but i feel that todays extreme conservatism has deleated these people from the system.

linzo said...

Hey Jon have you seen this?:

Isn't that blatant copyright infringement?

Niki said...

I got no clue who anyone is up there except Disney. I'm awful with faces. I wouldn't know it was Disney without mickey mouse up there.

Trevor Thompson said...

Do you think the classic animator as we know it is a thing of the past. I feel like you could of been the last of a short line of people

There's still hope. That's why John does this blog and why we all come here.

- trevor.

Rick Roberts said...


The rest in decending order:

1. Chuck Jones
2. Joe Barbera (sitting) and Will Hanna
3. Bob Clampett (The one standing and holding a clipboard)
4.Friz Freleng (sitting)

Rick Roberts said...

Oh and the guy next to Friz that is standing is I believe is layout artist Hawley Pratt.

Hans Flagon said...

Are you saying they are all liberal, or all conservative?

Or all had their periods of relative conservatism and liberalism?

Or that there is some other important aspect they share?

Hanna Barbera in Tom and Jerry Years did some beautiful work, and some violent work, however, I think they adhered to that same cat and mouse formula with a vengeance.

Niki said...

That's seriously Chuck?! Such a young picture. I've only been familiar when he was older and looked like the KFC colonel!

krakit said...

Thank you, Rick Roberts,
for the list of names.

John Young said...

I hate conservatism in all its insidious forms. I'm sick to death of it and i see it everywhere, you can't make jokes anymore because people are terrified by anything out of the ordinary. It makes me sick! I love this blog though.

Geneva said...

I'm excited about hearing more about this. Less excited by the slew of people thrown of by using the words "conservative" and "liberal" in a non-political context.

Anyway, I wanted to show you that I did an exercise. I don't expect feedback or much of your time (though I appreciate it wholeheartedly), but, I dunno, maybe you'd like to see that people are doing work. Expect more from me.

Thanks, as always, for your posts.

Anonymous said...

The Three Little Bops is Clampett-esque?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Back when men dressed like men. I wish I had a bow tie like Hawley Pratt.

Rick Roberts said...


I think it is in the sense that it's more gag driven then the usual Friz musicals and a bit less convential.

Alterego said...

Instead of conservative or liberal, we can also think of it as straight--or safe, versus experimental.

There are entire levels of animation that we haven't even discovered because we haven't taken it far enough yet. Comical drawing is a relatively young form, compared to other art forms. Those of us with computers have in our homes, possess tools that surpass the studios (both animation and recording) of much of the 20th century. We also have the benefit not only of growing up with all the animation that has preceded us, but also the availability of this material online, and the animation community. This site alone is an incredible resource. I wish I had found it sooner.

Yet cartoons still lack (in my estimation) the larger movement toward maturity as an art form, with greater use of language, characters, music, and dance. I fully expect that we will see much greater variety and depth over the next century, particularly as we have more developed talent, ease of production, and collaboration between cultures.

America has enjoyed dominance in this area of art, with a larger body of work than any other country. Globalization will hopefully mean that the community extends beyond cheap, insensitive parody, and begins to incorporate more diverse elements the same way that film and music do. This process has been accelerated by the popularity of Japanese animation and comics.

I would like to see animation follow small press comics into new styles and sophistication. But this must also include the musical accompaniment, which has been stuck in the 1950s Broadway model, most notably with Disney, but even with Pixar and Randy Newman. And as much as I love Tim Burton and Danny Elfman, I would have expected a radical departure from that stale milieu (see James and the Giant Peach).

At the same time, I would like to see more and better humor. Perhaps the really talented comedians get drawn away into other forms of entertainment. Yet there has never been a better time to be an oddball, eccentric, or class clown than now. Cartoonists have for too long been cowed by their obligation to entertain children. It is time for us to be setting the boundaries of taste and legitimacy. Let's see Foghorn Leghorn get racked on a fence post, or Karl Marx farting in the bathtub.