Mouse at Midnight

Author's note: The following is meant to come before Turn on, Toon in, Drop out and should be read in that order.



FILMED BY JERRY (No last name given)


*We’re rolling!*

“Hi, I’m Russell, and this is our unofficial study on the Disneyland park.”


“As many are aware, this park is restricted to cleaning staff and behind the scenes people. We figured out their patterns, and they all center around a specific hub, with the exception of New Orleans Square. We’re going to use that as our springing ground to investigate the two most mysterious parts of the park. First, the entrance into Club 33, reported to be easily accessible at night, and second, the odd addition of a gate for the Toontown part of the park, and lack of security sweeps beyond it. So this isn’t just an excuse to get some cheap alcohol.


“We’re going to use the Monorail as a decoy. They’ll expect people to enter via that way. But we’ll pull the brake partway through, and exit into the park using parachutes, landing by Club 33. Following that, we can use the Club as a respite, then plan our way to Mickey’s Toontown. The way I see it, if we can sneak into the most guarded part of the park, Mickey’s house, and take back a souvenir, that’ll make us look really cool!”

[Disney management here. This is not advised for many reasons, but we’re focusing on the one in particular here. Also, we’ll add captions to this tape for clarity.]


“You got things set, Jerry?”

*Yeah, it’s all good to go!*

[Due to security reasons, we can’t show you how they overrode the Monorail. In fact, we don’t know how they did it either! The tape’s focused out the window for a while.]


“Oh, man. I can’t believe the camera’s still working! Uh, we’re in the Club 33 area. Turns out they’re experimenting with an audio sensor.”

[They got in by using a toy whistle, and I swear we had no clue that the equipment was that sensitive!]

“So, we’re going to need to evade the guards. The train’s locked up, but the island is a possibility. We’re heading to the Tom Sawyer raft dock, and going over there while the techs work on Fantasmic for tomorrow.”

*Why the island, Russ?*

“My camera guy would like me to tell you exactly what the hey is happening, but I’d rather show you.”

[Edit here for time.]



“Ah! Jeez, that is one bright flashlight. Ok, here we are, the pirate caves.


“I basically found this one by accident. Turns out one of the gems in this pile works as a key in one of the skull eye sockets. It’s got a blue tone, and it’s a diamond.

*What do you mean, blue? Diamonds aren’t blue!*

“I have no idea what you’re shouting, but I found it. See? It has a light blue shade, so the Employees can tell what it looks like. The passage opens into a secret tunnel, and that lets out at Fantasyland. We can head from there to Toontown. Just let me put this in…


[Ah, I’d wondered what had happened to that plan for a secret passage. The door’s closed now, FYI.]

“OK, stay close.”


[They got here because we were distracted by the monorail. Won’t happen again.]

“Now how do we get in? They’d have to be able to open the gates somehow.”

*Wait! The population counter!*

“Wait a moment, yeah! That could be a combination lock. But what would the combination be?”

*I know this. Hold the camera and leave it to me!*


*You sure about this?*

“As sure as my name is Jerry. Now hold on.”




*Hurry up, the guards are back!*

“Ok, and the last one is lemon. Gate’s opening.”


“We lost the guards. They’re in that ride that Jerry likes, Robert whatever.”


*Roger Rabbit’s!*

“Fine. Anyway, we figured we’d see what wasn’t nailed down. Not a lot, as it turns out. Let’s see, this book called Mice Station Zero feels different.


*What did you-*

“Nothing, Jerry, honest!”


(Please board the elevator.)

“Wow! This is something I’ve never seen.”

*Don’t focus too much on it. The guards could be coming!”

“Right, in we go.”


“Oh, wow. Where does this lead?”

*The lever has settings for Toontown, Toontown Fair, and Mickey’s Toontown. It says we’re at Mickey’s Toontown.*

“There’s a real Toontown?”

*Only one way to find out.*

(Now heading to Toontown, Home of cartoons. Careful, full cartoon action and motion ahead!)


(You have arrived at Toontown Station. Please exit when you have reoriented yourself.)


“Go ahead without me. I’m gonna be sick for a while.”

*No, Russell, we’re going on. I don’t leave people behind.*


“Holy &?@%$, man. This isn’t what I expected at all!”

*You just censored that second word. This really is Toontown, isn’t it?*

“We are in so much trouble.”


[We found Russell in the Police Department, completely frazzled. Toon Patrol told us that he’d been overwhelmed by the happenings of that night, and couldn’t quite wrap his head around it all. The tape was in his hands. We never could find Jerry. But we know he’s an adult, same as Russell. Probably not a cast member. He slipped through a hole near an animation studio. By which I mean he made the hole himself. Funnybone Entertainment is now closed, and we are investigating the matter.]

Turn on, Toon in, Drop out


It was September 2014, on a Friday. My new game had come. I’d been waiting to play this one since I was young. Stay Tooned by Funnybone Entertainment and Sierra Online. Maybe not the most recognized game, but a good game from what I’d seen on Youtube. Deserved more credit. Schmooze, Scoops, Fiddle, and most memorable of all, Pixel and Chisel.

Just needed to verify the info there.

Shipping information:
To Wise Old Al
5555 S Writers Bluff
From Game Scenter “Sniffing out the best deals”
1337 N Hunter Brook

***You qualify for a SUPER BONUS!***


Super bonus? I definitely, positively didn’t know what this was. In fact, it wasn’t there. I checked every square inch of the package, and all I saw was the game disk, and a note.

SUPER BONUS will be after you complete the game.

Why had I ordered from here again? Oh, right, the fact that it cost about 5 dollars and had free shipping. Just had to cross my fingers and hope this ran on the old computer.

[Error: Needs 8.68 GB free and built in camera to run SUPER BONUS. Try a newer computer!]

Ok, that was not a normal error message. Had someone altered the game? Was I doing something that was not only illegal, but also potentially hazardous to my computer? What was this about?

Just in case, I set my phone out for recording.

“Hi, I’m Wise Old Al, and this is a Let’s play of Stay Tooned. Sorry about the setup, I’ll try to get better footage next time.” I started.

I was lying and I knew it. But what could I tell them? It’d just sound crazy.

“So, um, let me get the game going.” I continued ”This one was advertised as having a “Super Bonus” so I’m going to show that off. You can watch a more thorough playthrough elsewhere.”

Why did I use air quotes there, anyway? Eh, whatever. I just needed to find the lab, and then I could get going.

Room 2B, that key in the island painting, and then off to explore.

First room, Old west. Second room, Greasy diner. Third room, Casino.

Wait. I could use this. There was a small chance of getting the remote from here, after all. Just needed to spin long enough, and I’d be at the end game.

Come on, no whammies!

“YES!” I shouted, then stopped, worried that my family might hear. Oh, right, they were out at the moment.

The remote was right there. That was pretty easy. Ok, now zap the toons into the TV again, and I could see just what this Super Bonus was.

“The ending cinematics suggest that a sequel was in the works, but I guess they couldn’t get the whole thing going.” I rambled.

Now I point the phone at the screen, just in case.

“Anyway, he gets turned into a toon in their home, and then it’s the credits.” I summarized.

No? What was happening?

My phone had been charging, thank goodness. I picked it up and started recording the car entering the area, the toons swerving towards the screen, and HOLY MINCE, A HAND OUT OF THE COMPUTER SCREEN!

I hid under the desk, aiming my phone at me. What on or out of earth was happening?

“Did you see what I saw there, or am I hallucinating?” I asked the camera. “Because I saw-”

A voice from the computer interrupted me with “Jeez, Alex, you jumpy or something?”

I had entered my name into the game as Ace.

“How do you know my name?” I asked the computer, from under the desk.

Then I realized that the characters were speaking to me.

“Schmooze?” I said aloud, standing up for a second.

I ducked immediately after, avoiding the four hands that were grabbing at me. I knew those hands. All too well. Those were the hands of the cartoons.

“Someone explain what’s happening!” I said, desperately.

After a while, Fiddle spoke up. “The animators said something about a new contract! Did you look through the Readme File?”

To be blunt? No!

“Fiddle, it’s 2015! No one has looked at the Readme File of a game for 19 years!” I shouted back, over the sound of my desk being ruined by wayward cartoon hands.

Following this, a slip of paper was tossed out into my lap.

Note: This special version of the game is to be given to someone willing to accept the responsibility of legal ownership of 5 cartoons, as follows.

  1. Pixel Manx
  2. Chisel Manx
  3. Schmooze the St. Bernard
  4. Scoops the Bloodhound
  5. and Fiddle the Cat

Installation and completion of this game is interpreted as accepting the contract.

“I got this at a game store, so that means that-” I started.

I stopped. That’s why this game was so cheap. One of the game developers sent this to me!

“And no one’s looking for you?” I asked, hoping to hear something.

Pixel was next to respond. “Does it matter? You accepted!”


“Alright, but no one pull me into the game! I’ve got a life, you know!” With that, I stood up and extended my hands, bracing against the chair for support.

With a loud pop not unlike a balloon, all five characters fell out, landing in a heap at my feet.

“OK, I need to hide this from my parents, and most people in general.” I explained, mostly to gather my thoughts “Can you imagine the reaction I’d get if someone saw cartoons in the real world?”

Fiddle raised his hand.

“That was rhetorical, Fiddle.” I said, facepalming.

“Actually, I was going to say that most studios do it that way.” Fiddle said.

I froze. That was impossible, wasn’t it? If that was the case, you could pick up the secrets at an auction or-

My grandfather! He’d bid on a Disney auction and won some stuff. He seemed like the type to have that sort of thing in his collection. And, in one of those contrived coincidences that seem too strange too be true, he lived at that exact address.

“We need to visit my grandfather.” I realized, speaking to myself again. “But not now! My parents are coming back from their dinner date soon, and my sister is going to have friends over at that time. You need to stay hidden.”

This apparently meant “Go and sneak off while I’m thinking” to most of the toons. Fiddle was the only one remaining when I turned back around.

“Well, then.” I paused. “New plan. Fiddle, make some sort of safe spot in my bedroom. It’s the room with all the bookshelves in it. I’ll track down our miscreants.”

Fiddle nodded, and ran off. Meanwhile, I started in the one area I knew would be impossible for a toon to resist: The kitchen. I arrived just in time to meet a Lemon Meringue head-on, and ducked into the mudroom to wash off and plan my next move.

The air was thick with flying sweets, being thrown by Pixel and Chisel at each other. Every so often, an explosion would ring out, no doubt from a bomb that Chisel had put in his ammo.

If I was getting out of this, I needed to outthink these guys and get them to Fiddle, and also find a way to clean up the mess.

Fortunately, I knew just what to do.

I let out a quick whistle, which attracted Scoops on the scene. Classic cartoon logic. Once he saw the food, he started heading after it, intercepting pies like a champ.

“The hey?” Pixel said, letting down her guard to focus on hitting her brother.

That’s when I swept her up in my fleece jacket.

Manning the now-open Pie turret on the counter, I focused at the fridge, and let fly towards the ammo pile Chisel was using just as he inserted a bomb into the next round. The blast knocked him down, and soon I had both cats in a makeshift bag.

I left to drop off the two by my bedroom, leaving Scoops to get rid of the evidence in the kitchen. That’s just what dogs do. Following this, I started looking for Schmooze.

Eventually, I found him in the downstairs theatre room, watching old cartoons, and snarking at the dialogue. Thank heaven I’d picked up the pie turret, because the rope made a pretty good leash. The smell of food upstairs also helped, allowing me to lead him to the bedroom in seconds flat.

That left only Scoops, but at this point my sister and her friends came back.

I ran downstairs just in time to intercept the party. Not that there was much need. Scoops had cleared out the mess, and since he looked and acted mostly like a dog, convincing everyone that a lost dog had wandered into the house was easy enough. I asked them not to mention this to my parents, noting my mom’s distaste in pets.

Eventually, I got the dog in, and fell asleep, worn out and down for the count.

I woke up to the sound of birds chirping, and no trace of anything happening. Then I actually woke up to the sound of Chisel playing a trumpet in my ear.

“OW! For Pete’s sake, are you trying to get discovered?” I grumbled, my ears still ringing.

“Good morning to you too, Rip van Winkle.” Pixel quipped.

“How long was I out?” I muttered, looking at the clock.

9:30. Still a good night’s sleep considering what happened last night.

“You guys got a quick way to my grandfather’s place, or what?” I said, gathering myself.

“Easily done. Just hop in and brace yourself.” Schmooze said, gesturing towards a giant toon hole on the wall, behind where my bookshelves were.

One desperate trip later, I arrived at my grandfather’s, and fainted from the shock of what had happened.

When I stirred, I was inside, but not in any part of the house I recognized. This was an animation study, complete with all the whistles and bells of any self-respecting animator.

“Hey, Alex.” a familiar voice said.

I blinked. There was my grandfather, standing next to the toons I’d unleashed and not batting an eye.

“We have a lot to talk about.” he said, at the same moment I did. We chuckled, then my attention turned back to the topic at hand.

“How do you know about these guys?” I asked, still amazed at his non-reaction.

“Actually, he’s been with us for a while. He’s the one who sent us out to find someone.” Pixel explained.

“Well, not all of that is true. I only followed what the producers wanted.” Grandpa added, a bemused grin on his face.

“Ok, start from the beginning. I need all of the truth that you can give me. Where did you find these guys, Grandpa?” I asked

“Please, call me Jerry. I actually found them during a late night fling, about the same time I discovered Toons existed.” He looked out the window as he spoke.

“I decided to go with a new cast member to see if the rumors of a real Toontown were true. I’d been interested in the topic ever since Who Framed Roger Rabbit came out, you see.” He paused. “It was 1996, The 3rd of June. I remember filming it all on a video camera.”

“How did you find out? Also, how’d you escape?” I said. After all, this was the largest secret ever!

“We snuck into a secret train under Disneyland. I guess Walt really liked seeing his creations. As for my escape, I left the area the same way you left your house. By the way, most people get woozy, so fainting is no big deal.” Jerry stopped to anticipate my next question.

“But the studio needed these toons, right?” I asked.

At this, Grandpa slumped a little.

“The studio was going bankrupt. Even animation is a business at times. They wanted to sell the toons via the disk, but the people in charge wouldn’t let them.” Jerry sighed.

“Don’t tell me. The large studios wanted control, and these guys protested.” I concluded.

“They want those Toons back, and they’re going to know where to look. They’ve been monitoring the mail.” Jerry added.


“Thanks! Got to hold down the fort!” I said, heading into the hole.

I arrived at my house right before the authorities.

“Remember, these guys want you for property. I think that’s enough motivation to strike back, no?” I said, winking.

Upon getting a wink back from everyone, I answered the door, distracting them while the whole thing got set up.


The people before me were two business-like professionals, men who had no doubt been sent from the authorities.

“Sir, we’re investigating a transmission from this IP address. You posted a video of some odd computer happenings.” said the agent with black hair and a goatee.

“And you two are?” I said, nonchalantly.

“I’m Richard Benson and that’s Leon Andrews, Knights of the Loyal Inkwell.” The man speaking here looked like a Jedi, with his blond hair in a ponytail. “We’re sort of the guys in charge of cartoon affairs.”

“Well, I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean.” I said, looking nonchalant.

As they started to talk, a van pulled up, and several dark-costumed people pulled up.

“Halt! We’re not letting this just happen!” one of them said, speaking through a megaphone.

“Great, B.L.O.T. hoodlums.” Richard muttered. Hal responded by attempting to force his way in.”

“What are you doing?” I asked, suspicion in my eyes.

“Sir, if any Toons are in that house, then we have orders to come in!” Leon shouted at me, shoving me aside.

Bad move. His first step into the house triggered a giant blast, knocking him into several of the robed demonstrators.

Hal whipped out a Joy buzzer, and slapped the next guy to run towards him, scorching his suit, but not knocking him out.

“Story update, those guys are focused on the complete liberation of toons. They don’t care about ownership, only creativity, and they’ve been trying to get toons in their hands for ages.” Hal mentioned to me.

“Like you, then.” I countered. Hal flinched, and got a water hose into the face.

“Don’t be fooled, Alex! These guys work for the studio, and they’re not going to let property slip out of their grasp!” shouted one of the members.

And at that moment, things got much more personal.

“Jerry?” I said, forgetting what had happened.

“Hal, that’s the guy! The one who took the Mouse at Midnight tape!” Richard shouted, chucking a bomb back at someone who’d thrown it at him, and slapping cuffs on my Grandfather.

“Look, kid, to be frank, you’re in the middle of a bad situation. You hand us the toons, and you can all go free.” Hal said, looking me in the eye.

“You can’t keep doing this!” my grandfather shouted. “Toons have rights!”

“Rights worth taking down someone else’s property for? This is exactly what Toontown doesn’t need.” Hal retorted. “Not to mention your group’s destruction of the Warner Bros. tower.”

I looked at Jerry incredulously.

“We weren’t involved in that! All we want is for everyone to be happy.” he replied, and I knew he was telling the truth.

“Turn yourself in, old man!” Richard retorted, glaring him down.

On the one hand, there was the issue of giving the toons back to a studio that would ignore them. On the other, a group of potential extremists.

I knew what I had to do.

“You want toons? Let’s see you handle them!” I shouted, at both groups.

On cue, the house flipped up, and a cascade of all sorts of animated things spawned forth.

In the middle of the flood, I managed to get to Jerry, and a quick exchange got the handcuffs on me instead.

“You head into the house, while you still can.” I whispered to him.

“No, we fight together. I’m not letting this happen without a fight.” Jerry smiled. “No matter what, even if I defy my group, I’ll stand by you.”

“That can be arranged!” shouted a voice, and we were both face to face with another hoodless fellow.

“Name’s Fritz. I happen to be leading a much more functional part of this order.” he said, and I felt a feeling of sludge in my stomach.

“That’s the leader of the toon extremists!” Jerry said to me, and I immediately caught on.

“So, how hard was infiltrating this thing, Fritz?” I said, hoping to catch him in a monologue.

“We didn’t have that much trouble. You guys are just into the whole mask thing, huh?” He said, sneering.

“It’s a gesture of being an everyman! We’re not nutjobs like you, trying to collide humans and toons or other stuff like that!” Jerry said, indignant.

“So what’s it like having a group with no name or ID? Because if I were you, I’d call the whole group something better, like the Recombinants or something.” I paused, rolling my eyes to hide my monitoring the progress of the toon rampage.

“That’s a good name! Recombinants!” He said, distracted.

“Pity no one will remember your names or faces.” Jerry said, getting a kick in before putting on his mask.

“Easily remedied! Recombinants, masks off! No one can see in this deluge anyway.” he said, louder than he realized.

He’d also completely missed the deluge ending. Imagine a bunch of criminals revealing themselves while the real geniuses kept the hoods on!

Fritz swore revenge on me and my family. Or he just swore. It’s hard to hear somebody in the back of an armored police van.

As for the Knights, we talked them into allowing a history of the whole thing to be published, using Jerry’s assets. Thus was born Mindless Behavior, a history of cartoons!

And that’s all I have to say about the past, except for one last email.


From: Ninja8@supermail.not

Subject: Ideas

Dear Mr Wise,

I loved your Mindless Behavior story! I mean, they’re all incredible, but that one is really good.

I was just wondering, where do you get your ideas from, anyway?  

-Ninja 8

“Should we tell him?” Chisel said, looking to me.

In the time after the events, I’d become rather respected among my new friends. I guess you don’t commit to an idea of freedom without being very focused.

“Well, there’s always room for chaos. And imagination does deserve to be free!” I said, hands on the keyboard.


To Ninja8,

You want to know my ideas, huh? Well, I think I can give you a taste. New fanfics on the way.

- Wise Old Al

P.S. I have a game to recommend to you. Ever played Stay Tooned?

(This takes place in the Tooniverse of Mindless Behavior and Mouse after Midnight. Also, Stay Tooned has already been advertised, so you can go get it on Amazon. Just because it’s a fun game, that’s why. Not because I get royalties or anything. I mean, you may need an old computer, but it’s fun! Honest!

Dedicated to my Grandpa Jerry, who will always be the one who got me started on animation.

Shoutout to the real Ninja8, who got me off my keister long enough to finish this thing.)

Mindless Behavior! A Guide to Cartoon Characters


Mezzo-soprano, polarity, chartreuse, simoleon.

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.

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