Cartoons: Land of Imagination
Just as Moses climbed Mount Sinai to receive the ten commands, the
following are the ten laws that govern my most interesting place. 1. Any body
suspended in space will remain in space until made aware of its situation. 2.
Any body in motion will tend to remain in motion until solid matter intervenes
suddenly. 3. Any body passing through solid matter will leave a perforation
conforming to its perimeter. 4. The time required for an object to fall twenty
stories is greater than or equal to the time it takes for whoever knocked it off
the ledge to spiral down twenty flights to attempt to capture it unbroken. 5.
All principles of gravity are negated by fear. 6. As speed increases, objects
can be in several places at once. 7. Certain bodies can pass through solid
walls painted to resemble tunnel entrances; others cannot. 8. Any violent
rearrangement of feline matter is impermanent. 9. Everything falls faster than
an anvil. 10. For every vengeance there is an equal and opposite revengeance.
These laws are the laws of the Cartoon Universe.
The Cartoon Universe is not a tangible substance, rather an exploration
into imagination. It is this facet that makes this universe more appealing than
our own. One is free to create and manipulate not only the physical actions of
a character, but the mental behavior as well. If my recollection serves me
correct, aside from hypnosis, there is nowhere else that this is possible. In
the cartoon world, "anything goes." There are no boundaries to which one is
confined. With a little ingenuity and imagination one can create a place or
being that has never existed before.
Scribble, scribble, squeak, squeak, the colored pencils glide
effortlessly over the white canvas. A dab of golden yellow, a speck of sky blue.
Within several minutes I have create my ideal woman. Blond hair, blue eyes,
wearing a tight fitting black mini-skirt. Perfect in appearance and poise, and
nothing but words of encouragement and love linger in her black caption. For a
raging hormonal man of eighteen, this scenario is a dream come true. Cartoons,
however are not just a group of characters jumping off cliffs, and getting shot
out of cannons. On the contrary, cartoons often have incredible meaning.
With the recent presidential elections, many cartoons have been invented
representing the two current candidates: Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. Political
satire, although often humorous, is meant to convey a message to the reader.
The cartoonist has cleverly transposed his own thoughts, into that of his
characters. Many environmental issues have been tackled as well.
"Captain Planet," is an environmental superhero with supernatural powers,
the combination of the Planeteer's powers magnified. Each character represents
a different force of nature: earth, fire, wind, water, and heart. He also can
become any one of these forces. However, if Captain Planet is exposed to
pollutants: acid rain, toxic, waste, smog, etc., his powers are temporarily
weakened, and he must return to Earth to "recharge". Each episode is designed
to confront an environmental problem. The five characters, each equipped with
a ring, bane together in times of trouble. By placing their rings next to each
other, "Captain Planet" appears. Captain Planet, using the powers of the five
individuals, swarms around the earth correcting problems when needed. Although,
this is a far fetch from reality, there is truth to it. What this cartoon
represents is, aside from the fact that we must keep out environment sound for
everything living, is that it is very difficult to solve a problem alone, but
with team-work often it is easy. Just as "Captain Planet" represents the evils
inflicted by selfish human beings, the Jetsons explore this in a different
The Jetsons a futuristic cartoon, represent what life may be like. In
the cartoon, families live above the stratosphere of the earth due to enormous
pollution created by thousands of years of human habitation. Houses are built
on long high rise poles with platforms at the top. The surface of the earth is
no longer used for any practical purpose. Shopping centers, restaurants,
schools, offices, etc., are left free floating in the sky.
"Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" starred one of the longest-running cartoon
characters in TV cartoon history. What we remember are four teenagers and their
trusted dog galloping across the country in their purple and green van solving
mysteries of all sort – and in the process, meeting all kinds of interesting
people. The truth, however, is that they were four high-school dropouts, who
with their sentient dog ride around the country in their psychedelic love
machine, earning their way by selling drugs. Occasionally, they solve a mystery.
Shaggy for example, is obviously a marijuana smoker. He constantly has the
"munchies." Scooby, on the other hand does not smoke marijuana, but gets his
"high" from Scooby-Snacks, which are in fact hash brownies. This is a small
glimpse into the counter-culture of the 1960's. Another cartoon that ventures
into American lifestyle is the Simpsons. The Simpsons, a modern age family live
in Springfield. The Simpsons are an in depth look at the breakdown in family as
well as family values. Homer Simpson, the father, is an unmotivated drunkard
who favors Lisa over the rest of his children. Homer, too involved in himself,
rarely pays attention to his wife Marge. Bart, is a pre-teenage misfit,
constantly causing trouble. Maggie, the baby of the family is approximately
three years old, and can neither talk or walk. Homer, works at a nuclear power
plant, where he often causes "melt-downs." There is drug overtone in the
Simpsons as well. Several times, if close attention is paid, drug paraphernalia
can be seen in the background.
Cartoons are often made for the purpose of enjoyment. Many adults
believe that they were formed for the amusement of children. This cannot be
further from the truth. In almost every cartoon, there is an underlying meaning.
Often the message is so strong that a cartoon is the only way it can be
addressed. Sometimes, there is dramatic symbolism or a subtle message.
Cartoons provide people with a way to speak their mind freely with little risk
of being criticized. It is much harder to point a finger at an imaginary person
than it is a real one. The cartoon world and the physical world, although on
opposite sides of the spectrum, are actually parallel. The cartoon world is
influenced by the ten laws of "Cartoon Universe." Whereas we are governed by
the ten commandments. The ten commandments are biblical rules, by which most
humans follow. Cartoons address the ten commandments in their own way. They
show us how and why we should be following them. The real reason, so we do not
end up like "Shaggy," or "Homer".
* Source of Cartoon Laws: The Institute, October 1994; Volume 18, Number 7,