Wednesday, December 26, 2007

McKimson's gift to Dads - humanity

Y'know, when you read a lot of animation histories or critiques, you find that the animators that get the most points among the critics are the ones who seem to have invented the most stuff, broke ground or bucked the establishment. Skill at entertainment is not high on the list of praise and I think that's an injustice. (just look at what wins animation academy awards)

To me, all art and entertainment should aim at communicating with humanity and speaking truth to human nature. Yes, great innovators are to be admired, but so are great pure entertainers. Entertaining at the top levels requires great talent and skill and love of the audience, and most of the audience is not made up of critics or art historians. It's made up of us people who have real lives and all experience universal emotions and situations.

Kids look for certain things in their entertainment that is different than what the adults need, and certainly different than what the critics need. The general perception of cartoons today is that it's a medium for kids, but it wasn't always that way.

Most grown up men aren't that into what cartoons are all about - fantasy, silliness and wild imagination. They certainly aren't looking for art and imaginative flights of fancy.

After all, they have to be mature and bring home the bacon, shave 4 times a day, raise smart ass kids, worry about rent, taxes, Liberals, stocks and pensions. They are slabs of meat riddled with real life stress.

So what do men find entertaining? The essentials: Fear, pain, stupidity and abuse.

These are all universally funny and that's why the 3 Stooges are the most popular comedians in history and Bob McKimson is the greatest cartoon director for the unwashed capitalist masses.

McKimson delivers the goods and I'll bet he made the most popular WB cartoons after Clampett left the place. Mckimson is the Jules White of the cartoon world.
This is top level fear.

This scene completely says it all:

Nothing is funnier than a good ass beating with a board...except when it's a beating that's the result of causing a burly male to experience extreme fear.
What else do regular guys need from entertainment?


*** These frame grabs are from a remastered cartoon. The lines have been ridiculously thinned. Note how jagged that makes them. The colors have been "modernized" by taking out all the subtleties and pumping up the primaries and secondaries. It makes the cartoon strobe when you watch it on TV and flattens everything out, but this is all you get to see because we have removed the Film-maker's version from history."