Monday, April 21, 2008

The Rabbit of Seville

Cartoons these days are so full of shit. Over the years there were some cool ones like Pinky and the Brain, Johnny Bravo, and maybe even the Power Puff Girls, but overall the cartoons I see on TV these days quite simply suck ass. When I am sitting around with the kids and I watch them watching Sponge Bob on the TV it drives me crazy. It’s like I can see their brains just being sucked out of their heads. The cultural references are bogus and the writer’s idea of good humor seems to be a bunch of jokes about boogers, mucus, and farting. I can’t help but turn the TV off. Cartoon network does not seem to be designed for kids but rather teenage dumbasses and over aged stoners like me. The stuff like Dora the Explorer is great but is purely educational. Whatever happened to feel good cartoons with Daffy Duck or the Goofy Olympics? Even classic Mickey Mouse was better than the crap that makes it on TV these days. People argue that watching Tom and Jerry kick each other’s asses turned loads of kids into murderers but that’s a load of crap too. Everyone I know including me was brought up on those cartoons and I don’t know a single person who has killed another person intentionally, but accidents do happen. The Road Runner, now there was a fantastic cartoon. Wyle E Coyote got his ass whooped week after week but he never gave up chasing that damn bird. He is like a tragic hero in classic cartoons. I loved that look on his face right when he knew that the carefully planned out trap he so delicately laid out using paraphernalia obtained from the illustrious Acme Company just blew up in his face. Or when he just ran off the edge of a cliff and suddel\nly realizes there is no ground for him to stand on. Yes there are bombs, rockets, slingshots, bows, and arrows in The Road Runner cartoon, but I would still show that to my kids any day over something like Ben 10 or even the Transformers. The violence in the old cartoons was slapstick, not realistic city scenes with cars being blown up and peoples limbs being chopped off.

My favorite cartoon from back in the day has got to be The Rabbit of Seville. It is based on an excerpt from Rossini’s The Marriage of Figaro called The Barber of Seville. The cartoon sees Elmer Fudd chase Bugs Bunny into a theater where a crowd is seated to watch The Barber of Seville. They find themselves on stage and while Elmer struggles to shoot the cwazy wabbit, Bugs goes about his business of harrowing Elmer as much as possible. In no other Bugs Bunny cartoon have I ever seen Elmer harassed as much as in this one. The best scene has to be where he gets Elmer into a barber’s chair and then proceeds to treat Elmer to a head massage and full facial. The union of cartoon and music in this sequence is magnificent and unforgettable. Cartoons like this and Tom and Jerry were probably the first exposure I ever received to Jazz and Classical music. And the jazz music in some of those Tom and Jerry cartoons is just fucking awesome. The artists who put these pieces together were equally fantastic. There is another scene in The Rabbit of Seville that is set against the fast paced violin drills in Rossini’s overture where Elmer comes at Bugs with a small axe, then Bugs reciprocates with a larger axe, then Elmer with a bow and arrow, Bugs with a gun, Elmer with a cannon, and so on until the encounter culminates in a large…… Wedding! Bugs Bunny Proposes to Elemer Fudd and the 2 of them get married, Elmer wearing a beautiful white dress. This cartoon is really old and might possibly be the first instance where a gay marriage was televised. But no one thought anything of the fact that both of the characters were males and not to mention one of them was an animal. Things were so simple and less confusing back in the day. If that cartoon was released now there could be uproar from gay activists saying that Bugs tortures Elmer because he is a homosexual. The animal protection board would go on and on about how Elmer abuses the rabbit and promotes hunting. Parents would argue that this cartoon simply advocates bestiality and homosexuality, and then the homos will say they are being implicated as animal fuckers, and so the whole carnival never ends.

You can download the entire cartoon of ‘The Rabbit of Seville’ below. The file is about 75MB but worth the effort if you got decent speeds. You can also download Rossini’s overture for ‘The Barber of Seville’ which on its own is also an awesome piece of music as well.

The Rabbit of Seville (FULL)

Rossini’s Barber of Seville Overture

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