Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Why It’s Awesome to be a Toon

As any kid who spent every Saturday morning glued to the TV can tell you, the world of cartoons is a heck of a lot cooler than the one we have to put up with. Sure, cartoon characters have to deal with evil super villains a tad more often than we usually do, but overall being a toon has plenty of benefits which we, alas, must do without.

Looks are Usually not Deceiving

In the world of cartoons you always know who you can trust. The good guys are always clearly heroic, likeable, and darn-good looking. Bad guys are usually the opposite. In the real world we have to deal with a whole lot more ambiguity. Things are just a lot more complicated when everyone goes out of their way to look like normal everyday people.

Sure he’s evil, but at least he’s obvious about it

Every Wound is merely a Flesh Wound

In cartoons people can have anvils dropped on their heads and dynamite explode in their hands and they’ll be perfectly fine by the next scene. When real world people suffer injuries we have to deal with crippling pain, possible disfigurement, and recoveries that can take weeks if not months or years. If that all wasn’t bad enough,  we also have to deal with conniving two-faced insurance companies.

I’d hate to see his monthly premiums.

Everyone can Sing Everywhere

American Idol has taught me two important lessons. The first is that people really like shallow repetitive reality programming, but the second more relevant lesson is that most people really can’t carry a tune. This is not so in the world of cartoons. Not only can both villains to heroes give professional singing performances on the fly, but they can do it whenever and wherever they want. In our boring uptight real world, if you try breaking out into song in public, people will just think you’re weird. In cartoons not only will everyone go along with an out-of-nowhere musical number, they’ll even join in if the tone requires a chorus.

I imagine this isn’t normal animal behavior.

Consequences are Non-Consequential

In the real world we’re often limited by these annoying things called “consequences.” Cartoon characters however have nothing holding them back from doing dangerous and or socially unacceptable stunts. No matter how bad things get, everything will be back to normal by the start of the next episode. Property damages will have been repaired, the previous misadventures of the main character will have been forgotten, and Kenny will somehow still be alive. The most anyone will have to deal with is an annoying end of episode Aesop.

Don’t try this at home, kids

Science can be ignored

Overall there is one reason above all others than insures that the world of cartoons will always be better than ours. In cartoons, anything and everything can and will happen. Here in the real world what can happen is unfortunately limited by the mundane laws of physics, biology, chemistry, and common sense. Not so in cartoons! In cartoons the only limiting factor is whether something can be animated and trust me, the animators WILL find a way to do it.

A vehicle that can shrink to the size of a cell, travel into the bottom of the sea and through space and time? Easy! Cavemen living with Dinosaurs? Screw paleontology! To be fair, special computer effects have made it possible for live-action movies to have crazy things happen in them too, but some things will always be so crazy that they can only be done well in cartoons.

Well I hope you enjoyed this by-no-means serious editorial.  See you at the next post!

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