May 27, 2010

Cartoon Logic

Thanks to a now-daily routine of waking up with my infant son first thing in the morning, I'm becoming reacquainted with the cartoons of my own youth.

While I can stomach the pre-school-level broadcasts on the "NickJr" channel fairly admirably, eventually something will come on that's just geared for such slow-wits, it makes Mr. Roger's Neighborhood seem like theoretical physics by comparison. When those shows come on, I go up one channel to a cartoon network that replays all my old favorites, and I feel briefly ashamed that I think of them as my "old favorites."

First off, there's "The Smurfs." I really did love that show when I was just a lad, but it just doesn't hold up well now that I'm 35. Each and every smurf is presented as a total stereotype, right down to the insufferable "Brainy" who always ends up being catapulted out of the smurf village by his fellow exasperated smurfs. Why does he always, ALWAYS land on his head. You'd think a smurf that's supposedly as smart as Brainy would have the sense of mind to attempt some sort of in-air course correction so he at least lands on his feet; then he could attempt a roll of some kind. At least there would be a chance of him saving his glasses from being crumpled AGAIN.

Then there's the whole Gargamel and Azrael dynamic. Gargamel's bipolar relationship with his cat is frankly dumbfounding. One minute Gargamel is laughing maniacally and talking to Azrael about his plan to catch the smurfs, and Azrael responds by almost TALKING. But, the next minute, when Gargamel's great plan unravels, he all but kicks that cat across three counties. After watching that play out enough times, I can't help but think Gargamel is responsible for that paper punch on Azrael's ear. I just KNOW he did it.

"The Smurfs" is usually followed by "Wacky Races," one of those cartoon abominations that constituted the long list of Hanna-Barbera dreck. The biggest problem with this show is that it actually only ran for about five months between 1968 and 1969, and only produced 17 episodes total. So, in my efforts to keep my boy content, I've now seen every episode roughly 12 billion times, and each viewing annoys me just a little bit more each time. Now, when that dog, Muttley, does his little naughty raspy laugh routine, I actually wish for it to be possible to physically punch a cartoon character.

There are some other cartoons I'm becoming reacquainted with, but "The Smurfs" and "Wacky Races," are the two I most often see before leaving for work each morning. I shudder to think how cartoon insane I'd be if I were unemployed.

Posted by Ryan at May 27, 2010 11:47 PM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!