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.

Except maybe for the atomic sky rocket.


ejaz14357 said...

this is very meaningfull blog.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Thanks, ejaz.

Sophia said...

This post brings back memories from my childhood. These cartoons used to be among my favourite ones when I was kid. To be honest, they still are. Of course, as a child I used to watch them for entertainment purposes. I did not understand the underlying messages each episode was sending.

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Hi Sophia. I love old cartoons, too. I suppose knowing the really old ones were drawn by hand, painstakingly, increases my appreciation of them. They weren't all socially relevant, but others became so without meaning to be. Movies and cartoons really reflect the era in which they were made, so they always give us a little peek into the mindset of the era.

Sophia said...

I guess you are right. They became relevant and meaningful unknowingly and this says a lot about the era in which they were made.

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