Saturday 19 October 2019

Why We Like Cartoons

Cartoons make me happy. I’m sure they make you happy, too (well, good ones, anyway). I don’t need some professorial psychoanalysis to tell me this.

However, I guess someone did. Here’s an unbylined article that appeared in newspapers starting on December 24, 1930. I wonder if this didn’t come from the Warner Bros. PR department. The first Looney Tunes cartoon had been released about eight months before this story appeared.

“Bosco” was the character’s preferred spelling by the studio into 1931.

Psychological Appeal Of Cartoon Comedies Explained
Antics Of Characters Contrary To Established Laws Of Reality.

The appeal of the cartoon type of comedy has become so universal that it has piqued the curiosity of psychologists as well as of motion picture producers. The explanation of the public liking for cartoon comedies is of an unusual nature.
Leading psychologists declare that people are always interested in anything that acts contrary to the established laws of nature and their own sense of reality. The mystic tricks of magicians always find a ready audience. One must remember that the average layman attends the theatre to enjoy the things that take him away, for the time being from the humdrum happenings of everyday life. By means of animated cartoons, which have become so popular, the artist is able to present situations which by the very nature of their unusualness, enable the audience to lift itself for the moment, out of this life into the land of make-believe.
A good example of this is evidenced in the "Looney Tunes" series of Vitaphone song cartoons. In one of the releases, Bosco, the central cartoon figure, whistles for his auto which comes running to him to the tune of a popular song. In still another of the series is shown a brute of a hippopotamus rendering popular selections on a guitar. The "Looney Tunes" cartoons are devised by Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising with a special musical arrangement by Frank Marsales.
The cartoonist is allowed great opportunity for imaginative skill. The more fantastic, the more unusual the antics of his characters, the better chance for success the attraction has. The element of impossibility and surprise in animated cartoons is a feature greatly appreciated by audiences. Added to the highly amusing though impossible situations, the use of music and sound effects, well synchronized, have probably done more to popularize the cartoons than any other factor.
The increasing popularity of the "Looney Tunes" series as well as other animated cartoons of like nature, bears out the contention of psychologists and the experience of exhibitors that the antics of cartoon characters are relished by the public because of the element of surprise, due to their improbabilities, and the amusing manner of their presentation.

1 comment:

  1. i'm personally a Big Animated Cartoon Buff as well too! & i assume Comic Strips & Caricatures count as a form of cartooning because before we were able to film drawings on film we made Caricatures or drew Comics as we pleased. :)