May 11 2016

Really? We’re Still Blaming Cartoons?

I should write more about how an “Egypt official blames ‘Tom and Jerry’ for spreading violence” (source: ABC News), but I’m stuck on “Still blaming cartoons? Seriously?”

Feh.

Source: Egypt Official Blames ‘Tom and Jerry’ for Spreading Violence (ABC News)


Jan 04 2016

Steven Universe is a Thing

Apparently the cartoon Steven Universe is a thing that we should be aware of.

I wasn’t until this article, and I’ve only skimmed it so far. The headline, “Steven Universe is the most delightful, sex-positive show on television” was enough to get my attention as I was reading about the Oregon militia standoff (a much more depressing news story).

I don’t watch cartoons as much as I used to. Part of that is because my children have gotten older, although I watched plenty of cartoons before I had kids. (Simpsons anyone? Batman Beyond? Heck, how about Thundarr?) Animation quality has declined over the past few years; I don’t mean the shows themselves, I mean literally the quality of the animation. Computers have made it easier and cheaper to produce cartoons, and I prefer the older stuff. That alone isn’t enough to put me off animated series, though. Several people have told me I should be watching Rick and Morty (not a kids’ show), and in general writing will trump animation for me — that is, even if something is impeccably animated but the writing stinks, I doubt I’ll watch it, but if the animation is only so-so while the writing is stellar, I might.

So I admit that I’m posting a link to an article about a show that I’ve never seen. That said, maybe it’s good, and maybe we should all be watching Steven Universe.

I did watch this video, and the song is pretty catchy. Check it out:

The internet’s favorite cartoon is weird, fun, and nuanced.

Source: Steven Universe is the most delightful, sex-positive show on television – Vox


Jul 19 2013

Hug Him And Squeeze Him And Call Him George (Video)

You’ve probably heard the line “I will hug him and squeeze him and call him George.” As I just wrote on Facebook, teaching it to my children is one of my great accomplishments as a parent. (Remember, quoting yourself may be tacky, but it makes fact-checking much easier.) I always thought the line came from a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Now I’m not so sure.

I might even have the line wrong. If so, I’m not the only one.

What follows is a condensed version of my attempt to figure out where “I will hug him and squeeze him and call him George” came from, which led me down a big Internet rabbit hole (pun intended) of cartoons, John Steinbeck, and other stuff.

At first the Internet seemed to be telling me that the cartoon in question was “The Abominable Snow Rabbit”.

In the video above, the line is, “I will name him George, and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him…” Not an exact match, but very close. (Daffy Duck has a great line as well: “I know I’m a louse. But I’m a live louse.”)

Then I stumbled across an intriguing tidbit: “The Abominable Snow Rabbit” is an homage to John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.”

OK. Sure. Why not?

However, according to the Internet there are many cartoon homages to “Of Mice and Men.”

Really. There are.

Here is “Lonesome Lenny”, a 1946 Tex Avery cartoon, described thusly on IMDB: “Screwy Squirrel is bought in a pet shop to be the companion of a daft dog so strong that he squeezes his playmates to death.” Well all righty then. The dog’s name is Lenny, and he calls his new pal George. (Lennie and George are the main characters in “Of Mice and Men.”)

(Tip of the hat to the folks on this AWN forum page for pointing me towards “Lonesome Lenny”.)

But there is another Tex Avery short, “Of Fox And Hounds”, released in 1940, that is also an “Of Mice and Men” thing. This is where the immortal line “Which way did he go, George? Which way did he go?” came from. (I taught that one to my kids as well. I’m an awesome dad.)

(Hat tip to LanguageHat.com. No pun intended that time.)

Research note: Lest anyone think that my sources are limited to Wikipedia and pages I found via The Google, here is a link to The New York Times’ review of the 1939 film version of Steinbeck’s book (starring Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney, Jr.), which states that “Of Mice and Men” has been “endlessly parodied in Warner Bros. and MGM cartoons”. (Personally, I prefer “homage” to “parody” in this case. But let’s not split hairs. Or hares.)

“Of Fox And Hounds” seems to be the first animated homage to “Of Mice and Men.” But, with apologies to Bono, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. None of this tells me the source of “I will hug him and squeeze him and call him George.” Thinking that perhaps the words came from Steinbeck, I did some searching on Google Books, eventually changing my query to the phrase “Tell me about the rabbits George.” That opened a whole new rabbit hole of references.

Lennie, George and rabbits are apparently quite the thing. Who knew?

What did we learn? A lot. Haven’t answered my original question. But that’s OK.

(Thanks to the Facebook friends who inspired this post.)

Classic Looney Tunes – YouTube.


Jun 28 2012

Avatar The Last Airbender Is Awesome Despite The Movie (Updated With New Show Info)

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

I’ve been watching Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender via Netflix with Thing 2 for a second time; Dark Horse Comics has been publishing comics that continue the tale told on TV and we both wanted to get back into that world. Since M. Night Shyamalan’s live-action Airbender movie was so awful, I also wanted to make sure that DaddyTips readers are aware of how awesome the cartoon and comics are, despite the fact that the movie was terrible. Also of note is a new animated series, Avatar: The Legend of Korra, which starts July 9th which has been on the air for awhile now but somehow I didn’t notice. I don’t know anything about the show, although I have a feeling I’ll be watching it. For now let’s discuss the original. Read more »