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Are cartoons an inherently juvenile art form? Even animation aimed at adults is still typically considered genre fiction–a guilty pleasure–and the form enables tones and approaches that might simply be considered awful if presented as traditional live action. So what’s the appeal?
Dee’s voice can be heard in substantial portion of today’s cartoons, especially for animal or monster noises, like Boots in the new big-screen adaptation of Dora the Explorer, Momo and Appa in The Last Airbender, Animal in the new Muppet Babies, etc. He’s also a deep thinker who proudly defends cartoons as providing primal delights of humor, justice, and narrative meaning.
Mark, Erica, and Brian engage Dee about his experience as a voice actor (e.g. as Klaus German fish in a Seth MacFarlane sit-com, figuring out what Adventure Time was actually about, doing all the similar-but-distinct voices of the various clones in Clone Wars, coming up with a language for The Boxtrolls, and recreating Mel Blanc’s voices in Space Jamand other Looney Tunes projects), his role in collaborative creation, the connection between cartoons and vaudeville, how live-action films can be made “cartoonish,” graphic novels, cartoon music, and more.
We also touch on Love & Robots, A Scanner Darkly, Larva, the documentary I Know That Voice, and the 1972 film What’s Up, Doc? Introduction by Chickie.
We did read a few articles in preparation for this about the phenomenon of adults watching kid cartoons:
- “Therapists Explain How Cartoons Affect Your Mental Health” by Elisabeth Sherman
- “Why Watching Cartoons Makes You An Awesome Adult” by Cecilia D’Anastasio
There’s also a lengthy reddit thread that we mined for perspectives.
This episode includes bonus discussion that you can only hear by supporting the podcast at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.
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