Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nose Balloon/ Ren and Stimpy/ Cartoon Gags

This is part of the plot setup for "Life Sucks".
I'm curious but does anyone do pure cartoon gags anymore? Mighty B maybe?
I know there are still a couple cartoony designed shows, but are they allowed to do some ridiculous impossible stuff just for visual fun?
This is a scene drawn by me and Nick Cross for Life Sucks.
It's from the beginning of the cartoon. Stimpy is in his garden enjoying the beauty of nature and life forms, when Ren wakes up with a hangover and comes over to see what kind of idiocy he is up to.
I can't remember exactly why Stimpy blows his nose up here- maybe it's just a sign of extreme happiness.
Anyway, I like when cartoons are cartoons. Almost all early cartoons did this sort of thing as a matter of course. Why? Because you could. What other reason is needed?
Disney and later generations of animators frowned on this type of cartoon silliness for silliness sake, as if it was beneath them to use the medium in a way that no other medium could imitate.
Personally, I have never been able to follow this logic. My favorite cartoons are probably from the mid 1940s - but even then, outside of Clampett and Avery, most animated cartoons had abandoned pure visual nuttiness.
The 20s and early 30s cartoons might be cruder in execution than the 1940s, but they are full of pure cartoon gags and that makes them rare treasures.It gives them an appeal that you can't get anywhere else. They celebrate the fact that they are cartoons and anything is possible. They took advantage of the creativity of the cartoonists themselves, instead of squashing their natural instincts as has become standard practice.
I wish that there could be cartoons that retain the best elements of all the eras, rather than constantly abandoning good traditions just because something legitimately new or merely trendy has come about. Why not do everything that's fun if you can?