Monday, July 8, 2013

The Psychologically Creepy World Of Cartoons

I'm assuming based on the stats of my blog, that the people who are reading this post are probably aged between 13 and 30. So, before you read the post, here's a warning, don't read it. It'll potentially destroy all happy memories you had associated with your childhood days spent in front of a television watching Cartoon Network.
If you're still here out of the sheer love for me and the annoying brilliance of some of my posts, I shall like to start of by talking about the cartoon scene on television these days. Will one of you please, for the love of Hanna Barbera and everything nice explain to me, what in the flying fuck is Shin Chan? Or Ben 10? Whatever happened to Tom and Jerry, Scooby Doo, The Mask, The Adam's Family, Swat Kats, Captain Planet and everything that I grew up watching from the age to 3 to 10 sitting in my grandparent's house in front of the television eating seekh kebabs and an apple a day? Why has the apple kept all the amazing cartoons away instead of the doctor? Now while I punch myself repeatedly on the face with a brick for an attempt to make a joke, why don't you read on and destroy your childhood.
The first cartoon I remember watching is an adaptation of Batman. The first memory I have of an antagonist is The Joker in the cartoon. Back then, I was too young and the cartoon was too weird for me to understand the psychotic nature of The Joker which has clearly been immortalised almost a decade and a half later by Heath Ledger. Yet as I sat in my room, 18 years from seeing The Joker for the first time, I googled the psychological disorders of The Joker. One thing lead to another and I ordered books and books and pdfs about psychological disorders of cartoon characters in general. Here are a few things I found to be charmingly insane which lead me to believe that Hanna, Barbera and a man named David Levy were the creepiest people who ever lived.
One of the most famous cartoons to have ever been televised is Tom and Jerry. It was also one of the first cartoons that Hanna and Barbera wrote. Their main character was to be a cat named Tom who, hold your horses (or cats), who had a serious psychological disorder which made him not only hallucinate but also build characters in his head to keep himself happy. See the first ever unaired episode of Tom and Jerry involved a mouse named Jerry running around a suburban American household for months on end and being friends with a cat. The lady of the house (the one whose face we never see), orders her pet cat Tom to kill "the damn thing." That leads to a heroic chase around the house which ends in Tom catching, killing and eating the menace of a mouse, Jerry. Each and every episode of Tom and Jerry after that involves Tom going into depression, and beginning to hallucinate his dead friend Jerry around the house. He would then chase the mouse but never be able to catch it since it's already dead and exists only in Tom's head. The final episode of the show written by Hanna Barbera involved Tom being so creepily messed up in the head that he ends up committing suicide and imagines his friend Jerry doing the same with him. There, childhood ruined.
If you thought that was enough, here's a little more. My favourite all time cartoon has been Scooby Doo. Cute little talking dog eating scooby snacks and catching ghosts and criminals by plotting and making plans with "The Gang." Or so you would think. Fred, Shaagy, Dafne and Velma had a friend named Scooby. An actual person named Scooby who died years ago. Shaggy got a dog, named him Scooby and imagined his character being like their friend's character. Here's more, all four of them suffer from a disorder where they can imagine that the dog talks like their old friend Scooby. In reality, the dog can't actually utter a single word. Zoinks indeed.
The Addams family was written by a guy named J. Addams and despite the entire family being creepy, they didn't actually suffer from any disorders. Till J. Addams died and a guy named David Levy thought of adding just one more character. Cousin Itt. For those of you who don't remember Cousin Itt, he's the character who had insane amount of bushy orangey brown hair all over his body and wore shades and a hat. Now, Itt is the weirdest name anyone can have, but it's not his actual name. He's The Lord Voldemort of cartoon characters, all characters fear to speak the name. So he's called just Itt. The man doesn't actually have a body, it's just orangey brown hair with his sunglasses being the only feature about him. He sucks out the happiness out of other characters in the cartoon world. He is a mixture of Lord Voldemort and the Dementors of Azkaban in the cartoon world thanks to the twisted mind of one person who thought it would be nice to add such a character for infants and kids under the age of 10.
Here's a little more, the idea of Tom being able to see Jerry came from Hanna not being able to see a few faces. He suffered from a disorder where he couldn't see some people's facial features. They did the complete opposite of that for Tom's character. However, Hanna's disorder of not being able to see facial features lead to the creation of the lady of the house of Tom and Jerry and later Miss Bellum from Powerpuff Girls after which Hanna died and a few years later in 2006, Barbera died too and with it, died the cartoon industry.
Well that ends a pretty long post and with that a lot of happy childhood memories. To be really honest, I think after knowing all this, I'll prefer the first ever cartoon character I remember seeing, The Joker. His psychotic disorders are still more understandable. Till the next time we meet. *Goes off to shoot kids who watch things like Shin Chan*