by Kevin Wollenweber
I hate this time of year!
I disregard it the way some folks have been known to disregard Christmas or the onset of summer and its weekly fun beach parties. I smile when I hear Dishonest John sneer “I hate love!” No, I wouldn’t quite put it like that; I don’t “hate love”, I just hate not being in it!
However, animation over the years has glorified love, predominately from the male point of view, so that is what I pick up on when I watch the classic impressions. There are the love triangles so often seen in classic cartoons. We’ve seen Tom, the cat in the TOM & JERRY cartoons constantly finding himself there, especially in the cinemascope classic, “BLUE CAT BLUES” in which both Tom and Jerry commit suicide over a love so hopelessly lost despite all the material presents they lavish on their intendeds. There’s the
love unwanted, as in the POPEYE cartoon in which he’s hounded by extremely handsome women who just won’t take “no” for an answer (one time in a gymnasium and the other, in the Famous Studio days, while vacationing in the mountains), and there are the regrettable marriages so often outlined in Warner Brothers cartoons, from Daffy Duck in “HIS BITTER HALF” to Foghorn Leghorn’s feeling that he’s demeaning himself by sitting on the egg while his own bitter half is out with the hens of the barnyard. One could almost guess that the animators were venting against their own romantic and marital “bliss” situations, but I won’t over-analyze, here. Continue reading