Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cartoon a Day: A Ham in a Role

A Ham in a Role
Directed by Robert McKimson
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 6

This marks the first time that a Goofy Gophers cartoon has appeared on "Cartoon a Day." The characters were never major stars in the Looney Tunes universe (they only appeared in nine films) but they can be amusing characters.

In this short, a dog is fed up with acting in cartoons so he heads to his country home to practice Shakespeare in order to pursue more dignified roles. Unfortunately, his home has been taken over by gophers who seek their revenge after being tossed out the window.

The gophers lay right into this dog character without much cause, so it's a little hard to cheer for them. Problem is, the dog is portrayed as pompous, but not mean. So it's the gophers that come off looking nasty. The sequence involving a magnet and a suit of armour toward the end of the film is very funny however.

There was one thing that struck me as I watched this short. Now understand, I'm one of those people that can't stand it when people suggest that certain cartoon characters (or Muppets) have certain...shall we say alternative lifestyles. However, as I watched the interaction of the two gophers, which is the funniest part of the film, I began to have memories of a James Bond film, "Diamonds are Forever." Specifically, the two assassins in that movie, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd, who are supposed to be gay. Seeing the two gophers plotting things and then walking off arm in arm reminded me of seeing the James Bond villains walking off hand in hand. I did find a little bit of debate out there on the interwebs about whether the gophers were portrayed with a certain stereotype. I don't think they intentionally were, but I could see where one might think so.

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