Cartoons, Childhood and Caricatures

I love cartoons. I mean, who doesn’t.
It’s an age of innocence that only lasts about a decade where every story begins with ‘Once upon a time’ and ends with ‘happily ever after.’
The End.
Or is it?
I have fond memories of getting up early before school just to sit in front of the television and watch Tom & Jerry run around chasing each other.
Or classic characters such as Dick Dastardly and his fighter pilot dog Muttley, with that unmistakable bark-cum-laugh…hi hi hi hi hi hi hi!
Thanks to those ingenious Warner Brothers, mothers and fathers around the world taught their children about the birds and the bees with cats and dogs.
And rabbits, roosters, panthers, bears, ducks, mice. In fact, it seemed, anything but a human.
And who can forget Bugs Bunny’s penchant for carrots, Wiley Coyote’s obsession with ACME explosives, and Pepe Le Pew’s incessant romantic advances towards anything with a pulse.
Come to think of it, those crafty cartoonists were prepping us little rug rats for life in (and beyond) the playground.
If you take away the cute characters, whimsical music and of course, the breakfast timeslot, you had an adult narrative of Food, Hate and Love that was fed daily into impressionable minds along with Coco Pops, full cream milk and that mesmerising melody of ‘snap, crackle and pop.’
I’m not sure which was more saccharine – Fruit Loops or the Loony Tunes?
Saturday morning television sure was a regular Animal Farm. (And no, not the one you’re thinking!).
You learned the facts of life from cartoons – way before The Facts Of Life was first aired in the 80’s!
Then there was that bizarre collection of blue creatures called The Smurfs who lived in a magical forest and ate magical mushrooms (or was that the writers of the show?). Let’s not forget this was way before The Blue Man Group – and a lot more interesting, if you ask me.
I mean, where in any society does there exist a people consisting of just one female and a seemingly endless supply of males, led by their Papa?
I think that’s where the phrase ‘Who’s your daddy’ had its roots, but that’s another subject altogether.
The point is, whether you’re a big kid or a small kid, cartoons are always lots of fun.
It doesn’t matter if you’re watching them on TV or watching a professional cartoonist draw a caricature, a creative illustration, a black and white sketch, or an artistic doodle can take us all back to that golden age of innocence. So next time you see a caricature artist sit down and take you back to your childhood.

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