Toon Heads

Update: Ryan commented that Peace on Earth is on YouTube. Don’t know how long that will last, but the copyright is 1939. Maybe, just maybe, this bit of brilliance is in the public domain? If anyone knows a DVD collection that includes this cartoon, please let me know!

I’m a huge fan of cartoons. I grew up on Bugs Bunny (and the associated classics from about 1930 onward) and continue to enjoy them to this day.

Most modern cartoons suck. Of course, most cartoons “back in the day” likely sucked, too, but the good ones survived. There are some real gems these days. Foster’s Home immediately comes to mind (kgghghhhhhhh…… ok).

For classic cartoons, nothing beats Boomerang. It is a commercial free spinoff of Cartoon Network that plays nothing but cartoons, mostly old and occasionally new. It includes both the classic cartoons and the older totally sucky cartoons. (Kind of like Gilligan’s Island, the sucky cartoons are often things that I used to like. When I was 8.)

In particular, Boomerang carries Toon Heads. Each episode is a 30 minute (or 1 hour) collection of 3 or more cartoons that are historically related. Each episode may focus on one particular director, a subject, recurring themes, the evolution of particular characters, or the like. Each episode narrates what is special or interesting about the cartoons to be shown and then shows the cartoons in their entirety.

Brilliant stuff. Very interesting.

Tonight’s episode featured Christmas related cartoons. The one that stood out was Peace on Earth. This was a 1939 MGM released cartoon where Grandpa Mouse narrates the story of the last man on earth and the peace brought to the animals upon his death. All of men died fighting wars. The cartoon was produced prior to World War II and released during the beginning of the European part of the war.

Very dark. Poignant. Great stuff. Unfortunately apropos to these modern times.

Oh, and any fan of cartoons should be reading John K.’s weblog.


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One Response to “Toon Heads”

  1. Ryan Wilcox says:

    I got introduced to Peace on Earth this weekend. It is really good.

    The neat thing: Peace on Earth is up on YouTube.
    Peace on Earth

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