What is Cartoon-osophy?
America has a proud tradition of animated cartoons and at times, they go unappreciated. To most people, Bugs Bunny is just an entertainer. He comes in, slings some puns, and leaves. He’s like if Mark Twain sold out and was a rabbit.
But there’s something deeper there. Just talk to an animator. They don’t talk about cartoons as a comedian talks about jokes. They talk about cartoons like a filmmaker talks about his films. Cartoons are an art form, and like an art form, they have a deeper meaning. This is where cartoon-osophy is born.
cartoon-osophy: (n.) The study of the philosophical implications of cartoons.
What does that mean? It means considering the answers to questions like these:
- What happens when a sentient being cannot be killed?
- What does it mean to exist in a world that is bound by your creator’s talents, but have the extent of his thoughts?
- How does an economy function in a world without needs?
Some might think this a crazy, useless undertaking. But cartoons are many things to many people. The 1990s brought a Disney revival that made Disney synonymous with childhood for a generation. Once upon a time, Looney Tunes were something you saw before a picture show, and they weren’t for kids. Hanna and Barbera made a new kind of cartoon, the one we saw on Saturday morning.
A lot of cartoons mean a lot of things.
Why can’t some cartoons go deeper?