Tag Archives: warnerbrothers

Reading The Rabbit

Reading the Rabbit: Explorations in Warner Bros. Animation (1998)

“A wide-ranging inquiry into an important area of contemporary scholarly interest, and also an engaging, well written and intelligently conceived collection.” -Eric Smoodin, author of Animating Culture: Hollywood Cartoons From the Sound Era

An abundant revelation to my interest, this book provided insight into Warner Brothers almost-obscurity during Disney’s epoch, despite their Looney boom in Animation; with consideration to a resounding decade of WB salvation, (1988 – 1998) the given collection of essays into their history, compares and contrasts in relation to Disney,  both companies’ creative undulations: including thought-provoking analysis into treatment of class, race and gender.ll


Final Thoughts: what exactly is Bug’s Bunny trying not to fall into? I daren’t mention my first thought…

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Cartoons concerning gender depiction

Tom and Jerry: Baby Puss 1942


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaNAo-a_pbo and http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6nniq_baby-puss-ray-patterson-scene_shortfilms#.UW7LdCvwJ8c

Depicts the idea of being a child or woman as being ‘girly’ as amusing and derogatory. Explores the issues of representing feminine qualities as juvenile qualities.

Backwards Bunny 1959


Just one (unavailable – sorry!) examples of Bugs Bunny using cross-dressing as an escape.

Did you know?

There are 167 Bugs Bunny cartoons…

and 52 involve kissing…

4/168 are heterosexual

28/168 are male characters

25/ 168 are “wacky” (kisses to startle/confuse/delay pursuers)

and out of the 37 cross-gendered episodes 5 kisses are when Bugs is in drag acting as a female.


Nevertheless he always returns to his male self. Suggesting the inefficiency of homosexual performance in Bugs bunny cartoons, contains and creates a ‘gendered identity’ constituting the subject through comedic disavowal and eventual exclusion of the transvestite.

Girls’ Night Out 1986. Joanna Quinn

: The story of a sexually repressed housewife, who enjoys a wild night out involving a male stripper.




The audience immediately identifies with warm Beryl’s mundane existence. Its establishment of being feminine gendered film reclaims the language of film, predominantly gendered masculine: by prominence of male characters, modes of action and adventure with the relegation of women to subordinate roles and narrative function.

The film’s vitality is expressed by endowing objects excess of drawn movement (the telephone shaking and jumping when ringing) this energy unpins the film’s textual agenda. Resisting masculine norms, representational lines and movement instead of hyperrealist text, and static illustrations of the ‘coach-potato’ husband in front of the television make a stark contrast to Beryl’s life and vigour. Her body, with emphasis on the jiggles and wobbles it creates, are investigated in a ‘spirit of acceptance and not judgement’. Illustrating the married woman’s life as dull and oppressive, in need of excitement; draws attention to the existence of many women rendered ‘invisible’ or misrepresented by other notions of womanhood and ideas of femininity that are prioritised and endorsed in the media, e.g. youth, slimness, sexual passivity/availability etc.

What Beryl achieves in the narrative, Quinn achieves in the manipulation of film form and reclamation of particular ideals, which privileged the male position and rendered women absent or passive.

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Cartoons concerning racial depiction

Alice Cans The Cannibals. 1925. Walt Disney

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2w6w11oSdo (sound not representational)

One Step Ahead Of My Shadow. 1933. Warner Brothers



The Little Lion. 1939. Warner Brothers.



A Day At The Zoo. 1939. Warner Brothers


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtblQQvT2Nk (now censored – originally made racist references to baboons and black people)

Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs. 1943



These racist cartoons with a variety of characters were inspired by recognizable performer types from Vaudeville including ‘bits’ (topical references, physical gags and ethnic jokes).

Three Orphan Kitties. 1935. Walt Disney


http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xc7lsu_silly-symphonies-cartoons-three-orp_shortfilms (not in English)

Tom And Jerry: The Mouse Comes To Dinner (1945)



These films show black stereotypes’ allusion to marginal roles for example maids/nannies.

Little Hiawatha. 1937. Disney



Jungle Drums (starring Superman) 1943.



These films show the ethnography apparent into animation (Haiwatha’s racial depiction is almost Caucasian and the aboriginals are somehow part of a Nazi party).

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