Saturday, January 30, 2010

Len Lye Cartoon

I'm a fan of cartoons. New ones, old ones, anything that even remotely resembles cartoons. Of course my favorites are the cartoons of animation's great days at Warner Brothers, Disney, Fleischer, Terrytoons, Walter Lantz, Paramount, MGM, etc.

One thing about a lot of old cartoons is the level of racism afoot in many of them. No studio, it seems, was free of showing black people, Native people, Asian people, ethnic folk of almost any type in a negative light. With the possible exception of Jews. Since a lot of animators and producers were Jewish, they seem to have escaped this one venue as a target of racism.

So I was surprised to see this following stop-motion animated cartoon by animation pioneer Len Lye. It's the first time I've ever seen a 30s-era cartoon character white guy presented as a monkey. That was generally reserved for the most odious of racist cartoons.

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