Sunday, November 16, 2014

10 rules for kids cartoons

There was a time, not long ago, when cartoons dominated Saturday from the hours of 7 AM to 11 AM.  As a kid, this was practically a holiday every week until they started rerunning the cartoons, but even so, they ruled.  Then came cable TV and the Cartoon Network.  Now Saturday was every day and slowly cable TV killed Saturday Morning Cartoons in mid 2014.  Cartoons have a world all their own.  It's a world similar to our less exciting world but there are many differences.  Some of these differences have rules.  It's these rules that make the difference between a loonytoon cartoon and an instructional military animation. There are a few of them

10 - Cartoons are easily surprised - Think of it this way, if you can't easily surprise a cartoon, you won't get those great cartoon surprised expressions that are super funny.  Not only that, but if cartoons aren't surprised then why are you watching them?  They aren't going to do anything interesting.  So cartoons will be shocked and amazed at nearly anything that happens in front of them that isn't super average boring.

9 - If cartoons can talk, they say everything they are thinking - Scooby doo was famous for this, but it extends to really any cartoon.  It's pretty difficult to use subtilty on a cartoon where kids are concerned.  You need to make sure that the expression of doubt includes something like 'I don't know if this is going to work'.  The most interesting thing about this is that it is actually educational for the kids.  If you have noticed people will often use the same facial expressions that they saw on cartoons in regards to what they are thinking.  Don't believe me?  Next time someone says 'I wonder'  look at what they do.  They will look up and to the right and maybe put their finger on the side of their face.  Just like a cartoon would.  Even better, when you have kids you can watch their expressions change based on the cartoons they are watching.

8 - Cartoons must heal up in the next scene - Violence and cartoons are like cake and frosting.  Yes you could have one without the other, but you really would rather have them together.  One of the rules of this violence is that if the violence is not an integral part of the story, it will be erased by the next scene.  Cartoons heal up very quickly.

7 - Pain is different cartoon world - In the cartoon world, pain is used to show you the level of something that happened to the character.  Hit your hand with a hammer and it swells up in seconds and glows red, that's the rules.  The character gives you the same pain face that they give for a nail through the foot or a poke in the eye.  If you should have been killed by what happened, you will show near debilitating pain as well as a black eye and missing teeth.  It's ok, next scene you'll be fine.

6 - Cartoons fear death and Cartoons can't die - Pretty strange, but obviously true.  Often a character is threatened by another what will happen?  Well presumably they are scared because the other character means to kill them.  Cartoons fear for this.  yet cartoons rarely die and even if they do, you and everyone else can see their ghosts or angels in the same scene that they died.  Cartoons also often fear hell.  Who doesn't when hell is a flame filled hole and a classic textbook devil waiting to poke you with a pitch fork.

5 - Cartoons are nearly always hungry -  If a cartoon sees food, a cartoon is hungry.  one of the corollaries to this is all food in cartoons looks like thanksgiving dinner or dessert.  No wonder they are hungry all the food looks good.

4 - Cartoons are good singers - I guess it's kind of obvious, and yet strange, every cartoon that can sing, sings well, just ask Disney.  If you are a character that is going to last more than 2 scenes, you are gonna have some pipes.

3 - The underdog ALWAYS WINS -  Rule of cartoons, The smaller and more defenseless a creature, the more likely it is that they will not get beat up.  This one is pretty much universal, so much so that there was a cartoon called UnderDog.  He also always won because he was humble and lovable.

2 - Cartoons run at roughly the same speed - Have you noticed that no matter how fast another cartoon is, their competitor cartoon is nearly as fast?  this has more to do with the screen size than it has to do with the actual speed.  Road runner was always much faster than the Coyote, but often the Coyote could be seen matching the pace of the road runner.  Yes of course as the scene gets over, the faster leaves the edge of the screen.  I realize there are exceptions to this rule, but often it is true.

1 - Cartoon science is the science of the obvious - There is no real scientific principles in cartoons that aren't painfully obvious.  If you drop a large anvil onto the road below you need to use a lever.  The blueprints explain it all.  Every machine in cartoons are rube goldberg type machines that need reactions from elements to react with other elements to finally create the desired outcome.

Allow me to give a big thanks to Spencer for giving me this idea to work on.  Thanks!

No comments: