Discussion of old movies and the culture that made them.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Independence Day Cartoons
This week we have a look at Independence Day as Hollywood saw it. We’ll get to Cary Grant on Thursday. Today, a few wildly different Independence Day images from animated cartoons.
“Bunker Hill Bunny” (1950) gives us Yosemite Sam as a Hessian fighting more for himself more than for King George III. This one shows us how Bugs Bunny won the Revolutionary War. Remember that for your SATs.
Here is Bugs again, this time doing his bit for the United States World War II effort, urging movie goers to buy bonds in “Any Bonds Today” (1942). He is the personification of Uncle Sam, with the famous image of the painting called “Spirit of ‘76” by Archibald MacNeal Willard behind him, as if they are backing him up. This was painted in 1875 to commemorate the Centennial of the American Revolution. I wonder how often this image has been used, or parodied and lampooned?
Here in “Patriotic Popeye” (1957), we have the much more sedate depiction of a peaceful 4th of July celebration with Popeye watering his flower garden grown in the pattern of the American flag. The conflict disrupting his bucolic scene is caused by his nephews, who want to light “atomic” fireworks.” He tries to take the danger out of the holiday and ends the adventure by blowing up red, white, and blue balloons for them. No brave patriots this time, just a desperate wish for a “safe and sane” holiday. Not a bad thought, but my, how tame we’d gotten by the 1950s.