Monday, October 27, 2014

A couple of fun lists- Dwarfs and Cartoon Physics


I don't know how it works in your family but my wife and I have a running gag in that she'll mention something like slimy or icky and almost simultaneously we'll say these are two of the lesser known Dwarfs. I believe we've racked up about 25 extra dwarfs so far. 
Now here's the cool thing. It seems the familiar dwarf names we've come to know and love weren't immediately agreed upon (or even the number of dwarfs). The folks at Disney went around and around with a number of other dwarf names before settling on the seven familiar ones.

Before you go getting all stressed trying to remember the seven dwarfs they are: Dopey, Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sneezy, Bashful, and ---I'll tell you the name of the seventh dwarf at the end and give you time to guess.

Now here are the names that were ultimately rejected:

Deafy - I'm not kidding.
Burpy - I would have liked to have seen this one.

Now that we have dwarfs out of the way lets consider other things cartoony - I know that's not a word, but it should be. The subject of the moment is the Cartoon Laws of Physics. This may not be an exhaustive list so feel free to add any others that come to mind.

The Biggie - Violent death is not permanent. To witness this, one only has to watch an episode of Itchy and Scratchy on the Simpsons (that poor cat has been sliced and diced more times than I can count) or consider poor little Kenny McCormick on South Park (The bastards have killed Kenny). Yet on the next episode or sometimes even in the same episode, the character is hale and hardy.

Weapons - They don't work all that well. As a rule even the most lethal looking weapons - think Marvin the Martian's giant planet destroying cannon - is only partially lethal. Daffy Duck has been shot directly in the face by Elmer Fudd and has only had his face blackened or in extreme cases had his beak shot off, which he then reattaches. This speaks nothing of guns suddenly going limp and sagging or magically transforming into gag guns that merely shoot out a flag that says 'Bang'. 

Bags, Buckets, Coat Pockets, etc have an infinite volume. These objects, when in the possession of a toon are four dimensional. It not unusual for a toon to pull a whale from a bucket or a piano from a jacket pocket. Think Bullwinkle and his magic hat. Lions and Rhinos emerged from this tiny chapeau and Bullwinkle's only explanation was, "Wrong hat." Dora the Explorer's backpack will produce twenty foot extension ladders and spacesuits.

Gravity is perceptual.  When chasing the Road Runner Wile E Coyote will occasionally run off the lip of a cliff. He will not fall until he notices his situation. Once when Bugs Bunny and Marvin the Martian were plummeting to Earth in an out-of-control spaceship they stopped just inches before striking the surface. Their explanation, "Ran out of gas."

Cartoons leave cartoon-shaped holes or impressions in industrial materials (Brick walls, metal plates, etc). Again let us visit the world of the Simpsons. In the opening sequence Homer is propelled through space and leave a silhouette-hole in the garage door. Mr. Coyote performs this trick regularly when in pursuit of a skinny road runner.

There are many more rules of Physics peculiar to the world of toons and feel free to enlighten me. 

Oh yeah, the name of the seventh dwarf  is Sleepy. 

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