Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Animated discussions: cartoon time
Animation is magic. Most kids love magic. Most kids love cartoons. And adults who are still kids love cartoons. That's me.
Watching TV as a child. I remember - Popeye, The Flintstones, and Huckleberry Hound. Then there was "going to the pictures" - Walt Disney's Bambi, Sleeping Beauty, The Lady and the Tramp, and 101 Dalmatians.
But as well - there were all those daily cartoons and animations that went with TV commercials. It kept most animators in business. From the start, British commercial TV hosted cartoons by the shopping trolley load. From the 1950s on - bear skinned guards marched and sang about "Murray Mints" (too-good-to-hurry mints), parading shirts sang about Rael Brook poplin .... plastic Martians hooted with laughter over the idea of Instant Mashed Potato ("for Mash eat Smash"). Cartoons and animation everyday. That's how most of us got to know Aardman Animation, before Wallace & Gromit. When their vox pop "Creature Comforts" for the "Heat Electric" campaign hit our telly screens.
Even now I watch the "broken window - wind blowing hat - bewildered hat owner - helpful window repair man - hat back on head" sequence before Channel 4's Weather Forecast. (Done by Studio AKA for Lloyds TSB.) And I still laugh out loud. The Old Man thinks I'm very obsessive about this one.
There is a whole history of animation in the simple act of viewing commercial TV over the decades. Now though - maybe the magical separateness of the animated world is growing indistinct. With animation's fusion with CGI and with the media's daily reliance on digital cosmetics and trickery - do children and adults start mistaking "movie magic" for real life?
I mean, nobody mistook Yogi Bear for a real Grizzly.
Or did they?