Amidst all the terrible headlines recently, the worst of which was about the rapid ice melt (believe you me, this has implications), here’s an article that got me laughing:
Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto thinks Happy Feet, this season’s blockbuster animation, contains ‘far-left’ propaganda. ‘I half-expected an animated Al Gore to pop up,’ he said. Zoe Williams decodes the political subtext of the new film – and 10 other cartoons …
One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
Central premise: Dalmatians are well cute.
Central characters: Pongo and Perdita; their owners; Cruella de Vil; the puppies.
Message: A few points to make. First, this is a bit of a dual-issue film, virulently anti-fur, passionately anti-smoking. And yet, there are some interesting financial undertones. Cruella de Vil is Ms Moneybags; she tries to buy Pongo’s puppies, and the other 84 have been legitimately bought from pet shops. The message is that money isn’t power, or certainly shouldn’t be – that just because you have the wherewithal to pursue your will, if that will is malign, it shall not prevail.
The overall impression is puppies cannot be bought. They will rise up, and anyone underestimating the intelligence of the puppy will come a horrible cropper. There’s a potent message of direct action. It’s probably the most radical cartoon of its era.
My favourite bit came in parentheses:
… it credits to the human female the kind of savagery and lack of sophistication more commonly associated with meercats (Oh ho, they’re cute, you say? They look so sweet when they peer? My friend, you do not listen to enough Radio 4. They are vile.) …
Tee hee. I wish to learn this deft touch with the language.