Thursday, January 10, 2008

200 Posts! "Norman Normal" (1968)

When Jon and I started this blog, we hoped to collect, in one place, the wealth of information that the internet has brought to light concerning the history of Warner Bros. cartoons. Thanks to the miracle of forums, blogs, Youtube, Dailmotion, Ebay and email, material that has been scattered and hard to find for years has come to light for all to see. Fans, historians and collectors of Warner Bros. Cartoon history have come together to share their knowledge, insight and collections. Even we had no idea how many random books, bits of merchandise, comics, commercials and audio recordings featuring the Looney Tunes characters existed until we started this blog. Just when we thought we'd seen every commercial ever done with the Road Runner, for example, another one turned up. Classic cartoons that have been ignored by TV and video distributors for years are now popping up all over the place.

With the classic cartoons gone from TV these days, it's more important than ever to keep their legacy in the public eye, and show their continuing impact on our culture. I like to think our little blog has helped with that.

Keeping all of this in mind, here's a cartoon that has only appeared on television in the United States a handful of times, on Nickelodeon's "Nick at Nite" 20 years ago. It's one of the few truly great cartoon shorts to come out of the late 1960's, and certainly a highlight in Warner's mixed bag of low-budget entries during the 1967-69 period. Directed by Alex Lovy of Walter Lantz and Hanna-Barbera fame, "Norman Normal" (1968) is a thoroughly adult look at society, predating "The Simpsons" by over 20 years. It was written by musician Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary fame, and he also provides several voices. Norman is an averge joe put in the tough spot of choosing whether or not to do what's right or follow society. His boss pressures him to get someone drunk in order to facilitate a business deal, his out-of-touch father advises him to "just blend in", and he becomes a party-pooper when he rejects racist jokes. It's surreal, has some laugh-out-loud funny moments, and has a social relevance that still raises questions for today's world...truly ahead of its time! Now if only Warner Bros. could put this on a Golden Collection for all to enjoy...until then, there's always "Misce-Looney-Ous!"

4 comments:

yokota said...

Happy 200th post!!! I love this blog!

Christopher said...

Well, happy 200th post Matt! Hope you'll provide us with plenty more LT stuff to come.

As for the cartoon, first time I watched it and it was dead trippy, espicially the end. Didn't feel like a Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodie at all but there were still some bits that made me chuckle. The "immature argument" and the "approval" sections.

jill santi said...

finally I reached to watched it from daily motion...I remember to saw it ages ago, during a evening tv show for kids as a prelude for the Simpson new series...I was impressed that wbros could produce not just cartoons as the one that everybody knows, but also stuff like this: cartoons for adult...and, as I saw in the interview, lots of people worked for it! Someone should take again the idea of make a spin-off of a Norman Norman series, instead to produce nasty stuff like loonatics!! :P

Anonymous said...

LaVerne Harding animates Norman confronting the bartender(''You don't like yourself after you've had a couple of drinks do you,Norm?'')

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