Mindless Behavior! A Guide to Cartoon Characters

DEDICATED TO EDDIE VALIANT AKA BOB HOSKINS

Forewords
Mezzo-soprano, polarity, chartreuse, simoleon.

Introduction
I never thought I’d be writing this book.

I’m serious! All I wanted to do was learn a little more about studio relations, and what inspired
the creative artists of the animated medium to do what they did. It wasn’t until I got a couple
extra leads from my grandfather that I found out that there was more to animation than we’d
been taught.

Before long, I found myself in a position that allowed me access to unprecedented materials on
cartoon characters, Toon Residences, and other info. Backed up by a horde of others with like
minds, I managed to turn out this book.

Officially, this is a work of fiction. After all, it was the only way I could get this on the web.
However, there’s no shame in looking a few of these things over for yourself. What you see may
surprise you.

Special thanks to those who helped give me leads on this. It wasn’t much to you, but it means
the world to those who really are in the know, or those who want to know. 

So what is a Cartoon?

You would think that a Cartoon is easily defined as being animated. However, after the rise of
human related animated features confounded that definition, and the desire to keep cartooning
as a clean profession arose, Cartoons were defined in 1972 as more specifically being animated
creatures with the intent and ability to amuse. Humanoid characters created before 1950 are
considered exempt from this rule, via a grandfather clause.

This definition disqualifies several live-action based actors with animated counterparts from
gaining headway in ToonTown, while also stopping any mature shenanigans from slipping past
the radar. However, this rule is subject to debate in front of the studio heads, so with enough
work, a humanoid character who is considered sufficiently funny can be slipped into the system.

If a newly-created cartoon is lacking in consistent ability, they are usually taken under a mentor,
and referred to as “Works-in-progress”, to distinguish from more established cartoons. For
reference, most established cartoons work under a studio, in order to protect their image.

Cartoon objects also exist, some with personality, like a car of some sort, and some for use
as disguise, such as a perfect latex costume of another, or drag. Suspension of disbelief is
prominent here. 

Life and Living of a Cartoon.

Cartoons can be created only by an animator using an official model sheet, and a somewhat
developed character. Note that this doesn’t always mean the cartoon is stable in thought
process or body movements. In fact, some animated characters are downright insane, due to
some stimulus affecting their animator. Also, a cartoon is generally flexible in anatomy, due to
humor. A cartoon can have it’s ears knocked off, and suffer no damage save a lack of sound
around it. Some are even able to cheat their anatomy for a gag, such as when Oswald rubs one
of his feet on himself for good luck.

Cartoons are created as beings of entertainment, and as such, their entire focus is to be funny.
Despite this, they have different personalities, and gags, depending on the animator who
brought them to life. Another thing to note is that a cartoon may evolve beyond the set premise
of their creator, depending on their life experiences.

A cartoon has emotions. They can develop relationships, suffer heartbreak, and even hold
grudges. It’s important that a toon stays emotionally healthy, in order for them to function well.
When this guideline is not kept to, the results can be hazardous for human and toon.

On occasion, a cartoon will have its gags and comedy fall flat, which is a sign that the character
is getting stale. If not revamped or otherwise made original, these cartoons can be like tumors in
the studio, stagnating and sucking the potential out of new cartoons. (I mention Garfield here as
an example.)

Toons are also set in their habits unless these habits are changed by another animator. This
means that if a toon is drawn with some form of “tough guy” item, such as a cigarette, they will
have a smoking “habit”, which is to say that they will prefer cigarettes. This is not an addiction,
just part of that interpretation, and easily changeable by a studio demand.

This leads us to “death”. The only way for a toon to cease existence is for everyone in the
audience to stop caring about the toon, and for the toon and it’s model sheet to be destroyed.
No other process can kill a toon. It’s like Twilight, but without the sparkly skin and other
downsides. More on this in the history section. Even if a toon is immersed in dip, they can still
be constructed from a model sheet

If a toon is made by a studio, then turned out on the street, that doesn’t stop them from existing.
If nothing else, the toon has a belief in itself, and there may be a few diehard fans keeping the
cartoons alive. Some imaginative folks have even brought obscure cartoons back from near
extinction, just by their nostalgia and alternate interpretations.

Morality of a cartoon is entirely flexible, as they are mainly meant to entertain. This explains
why a villain can appear on a sitcom with a different personality. All that is required is that the
character’s roots remain intact.

NOW That’s What I Call History of Cartoons! (1920-2014)
 

1920: With Felix the Cat’s popularity, and the prominence of cartoons in early days, a guide to
cartoons is issued. This “Animator’s Bible” will be continually revised by studios into a cohesive
guide for all cartoons.

1923: First character dispute, with a studio taking possession of another artist’s creation. This
necessitates the creation of another cartoon and studio owned by the artist, establishing a
pattern that will be followed in later days.

1928: Founding of initial Toontown by Marvin Acme. Artist demands will create a sprawling area
of toon residence.

1934: Cartooning is enforced by censorship, referred to as the Hays Code, despite being
enforced by a man named Breen. As a result, popular cartoon star Betty Boop is toned down.
This is the first brush with controversy that cartoons will have, but not the last.

1937: First animated film is produced in the US, creating a strong market for cartoons. Cartoons
in the Theatre have been a constant for 2 years previous, but this convinces holdouts that
cartoons are the way to go.

1941: Union strike among animators causes cartoons to consider a union for their rights. This
will be left aside due to an oncoming war, but this will have repercussions later down the line.

1947: This marks a problematic time for Toons. The first ever Toon Criminal, and hopefully last,
winds up exposing a silent enforcer in cartoon dynamics, a thinner like substance called DIP.
This has been created by the studios, but never used. Further investigation reveals the culprit,
disguised as a human, has orchestrated the deaths of several humans. This marks a much
needed revision to Toontown, making the land publicly owned. (Founding of B.L.O.T.)

1952: To disguise Toontown from the press, artists resort to restricting access, and in one
instance constructing a theme park to hide the more mundane entry. Cartoons are exposed to a
new audience via TV.

1957: First foundation of a spinoff studio, and association of cartoons with cereals. This will
kick marketing for cereals into high gear, and eventually lead to restrictions on using cartoon
characters in marketing.

1963: Following the closure of a famous studio’s animation department, another independent
cartoon studio is created, resulting in cartoons moving off of the silver screen and into television
full time.

1968: Surrealism in cartoons is introduced in full with the release of a British film featuring
a popular band. Further trouble for standard production lies ahead, as another production
company is formed, one that will challenge what cartoons stand for, and why.

1972: An X-Rated cartoon is released to theaters. This results in an well-invested glance over
the Animator’s Bible, and a banning of all “blue” content. Color Coded rating systems are used
for animation studios to establish their family-friendly content. Sadly, this will also cause quality
in cartoons to go down. (Formation of the Loyal Knights of the Inkwell.)

1978: Aside from Schoolhouse Rock, and some acclaimed cartoons, animation has slipped into
an overly protected rut. Bland fare about sharing and good has taken over the airwaves, and
almost every studio has fallen into a rut.

1982: Marketing for toys is the norm in cartoons, and eventually, all would fall out of favor.
(Though most would be well remembered, and one would return.)

1988: Looking for material, executives decide to use the history of the era, immortallizing the
events of 1947 as Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Renaissance of animation begins.

1995: Animation meets the languishing studios, creating new work and new ideas. Meanwhile,
computer animation hits the screen, to a resounding success.

2002: The second decline of animation occurs, with repurposed tv episodes, pop culture
invasion, and mass-market investments crippling the studios well standing. But all is not lost.
A webtoon created around this time finds success. Also staying afloat is a new network with
independent shows. Also, Pixar!

2008: A studio gets their act together, airing content that rivals that of the prior animation
juggernauts on television and in theaters.

2014: Inventive new cartoons stand out among a sea of knockoffs, and a cartoon film breaks
1 billion in box office. All is right with the world, especially due to the return of the webtoon that
helped this revitalization. (Recombinants formed.)

Cartoon Platoons: Groups for Cartoon Rights (and Lefts)

Chief among the groups working among toons is an organization calling itself B.L.O.T. or the
Benevolent League Of Toons. No one has been able to get a sufficient head count on how
many people are in the organization, and some have rumored that the whole thing is run by only
three people, while others place the number at 3,000. Members of the organization are usually
focused on the decade of cartooning they were raised in.

B.L.O.T. Members are identifiable by their uniform, which is based off of “The Phantom Blot”, an
old cartoon villain in the 1920s. This uniform has been testified to represent cartoons who were
destroyed by DIP during its common use. These people are usually seen in studio meetings,
making sure that common cartoon interests are upheld. Some members even focus on finding
old model sheets, which they can use to revive older characters. 

As a counter-offensive to this group, studio heads in the modern age created the Loyal Knights
of the Inkwell. This group mainly consists of modern studio supporters and employees. Their
focus is keeping power in the hands of the studios, and monitoring resources to ensure that a
production is done without blowing the budget. Often, productions can be ground to a halt due
to conflict between B.L.O.T. and the Knights.

In response to the burgeoning movement towards independent cartooning, some renegades
have created a group calling itself The Recombinants. These people are also innumerable,
but they have created, via reverse engineering, various substances that can be used to turn
humans into toons, or create toon objects or creatures, which the Recombinants view as a new
form of evolution. This group is very fringe, but they make appearances on occasion, usually to
target others for their experiments. Think mad-science meets animation.

Conclusion:
Cartoons are much more interesting than most people realize. Think about what you read here
next time you see them. With that, I am gone.


Appendix Was Removed in making of book.

A Cyber Ace Original