It's kind of a diversion from what we usually talk about on this blog, but I thought this might be fun. Classic Looney Tunes are all but absent from TV these days, aside from a rotation of about 1/3 of the pre-1948 library shown once or twice a day on Boomerang, and Turner Classic Movies' blink-and-you'll-miss-it show "Cartoon Alley".
It's more important than ever, amid the new controversy over computer animation and Motion Capture and lowest-common-denominator "adult" series, to remind people what an art form classic 2-d animation was and is. All of the above media have their moments and a place in our culture, but it seems to me that animation producers in general are losing sight of what makes a cartoon appealing. Everyone wants to do way-out, bizarre designs. They want weird stories and characters. They want fantasy and fart jokes to co-exist. Everyone wants to make their show either safe for kids or "cool enough" for adults.
It seems to me that what they should really do is this:
1. keep it simple
2. make it EASY on the eyes
3. make the characters appealing
4. Make it funny
5. Make it fun to listen to
I was surfing through video sites on the internet trying to find something "weird" or "rare" or "interesting" to do a post about. I decided to stop the search for a minute and watch a fan's posting of Friz Freleng's 1957 classic "The Three Little Bops". It made me think of those 5 things I listed above, a mental list I keep of why modern cartoons suck so bad. "Misce-Looney-Ous" is not here to preach. We let the other blogs do that, because they do it better! But I'll ask you this, readers: Have you seen a cartoon in the last, say, 5 years, that was a good as this one?
The Three Little Bops
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This cartoon is Friz Freleng's "Three Little Bops", one of the few cartoons to not credit Mel Blanc at all, or feature him. The music was composed by Shorty Rogers, the song and character voices were performed by Stan Freberg. The timing and characters? Freleng and his animation crew. It's a one-shot musical cartoon from 1957, and I DARE you to show me anything kids are subjected to now that comes CLOSE to the appeal of this. As Daffy Duck might say, "I DAAARE you!"