Friday, September 04, 2009

Like a fine wine

If you don't like cartoons, surf away now, save those precious minutes of your life for something else.

My beloved MPC2 (for those not familiar with the acronym, it's: "Most Precious Child" lifted from a good buddy who coined the term, "2" indicating child 2 in terms of birth order), who's 4, LOVES herself some loony tunes (though she requests "Bugs Bunny" like southerners request soda pop by asking for a "coke," which will prompt the server to ask which kind - cola, dr. pepper, sprite, orange, etc.).

So, I'm getting to watch them regularly (again) as I read next to her on the couch. Some of them still cause me to put the book down and watch.

I think among aficionados like myself, the funniest Warner Bros. classic cartoons of all time are perhaps these:

- Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 Century
- One Froggy Evening
- Robin Hood Daffy
- The Rabbit of Seville
- Rabbit Seasoning
- What's Opera Doc?
- Feed the Kitty -- I still chuckle at the line: "My, what a long face!"
- Little Red Riding Rabbit -- You just know that there was some chick who talked like that who annoyed the hell out of the animation crew.
- A Bear for Punishment -- A family favorite. We've adopted "I nudged him and I nudged him. He's awfully still." (around the 3:12 mark) and "But Henry." as family catch-phrases. The prior just for fun, but the latter because we have a cat that feels he needs to be petted at 2:13 A.M. and prowls around the bed purring the loudest purr I've ever heard on a cat, which is sometimes met with my launching him off the bed, and if my wife catches me, I get the standard lecture about how he's needy because he was taken away from his mother too early and so on. So I report to MPC1 that I got the "But Henry." speech again last night.
- The trilogy starring a clueless Porky Pig and a silent, scared out of his mind Sylvester: Scaredy Cat (1948), Claws for Alarm (1954) [my favorite, and sorry this version has a commentary running through it], and Jumpin' Jupiter (1955)

The look on Sylvester's face from "Claws for Alarm" is the perfect embodiment of sheer terror.

But "Little Boy Boo" has become my all-time favorite:

In particular, the hide-and-seek sequence just kills me every time, around the 4:44 to 5:40 mark. I love the brilliance and multi-layered meaning to Foghorn Leghorn's cautious, "No, I'd better not look. I just might be in there."

Philosophy fills me with inertia, but I'd love to know how many formal philosophies are touched upon by that one gag.

Note: Half of these links will disappear as Warner Bros. still combs Youtube for posts of cartoons and shuts them down. Which I think is stupid and futile given the age and ubiquity of these things. They had to have made their money from the DVDs by now, and people are still gonna buy them if they want a good copy or the ability to plant the kid in front of the TV for a while. Why doesn't WB just view these as commercials? Anyway, a hunt for the title on Youtube, Google, or Bing will find you a new copy usually.

This is especially useful if you are away from home, but visiting somewhere where there's a computer. You just fire these up for the kids, and you've got some time to talk.

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