Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy Late Mother's Day.

        Okay here is the set up…there is this kid, right? His Mother has been dead for a couple of years and he lives with his father Gus, who drives a cab. The dad is overworked and struggling to balance raising a child with working enough to pay the bills. The father is lonely, and his child has been getting in fights at school, because Mother's Day is coming up and one of the other kids teased him for not having a mom to make a card for. In comes a woman that they believe is a nanny that cares about them, but who is in fact planning to kill them. If you guessed that this is the Mother's Day episode of the hilarious animated series “KissyFur”, then you are correct!
        Once we get past these minor characters we meet the real stars of the show; ladies and gentlemen, your villains and mine… the Swamp Gators! Floyd and Jolene are trying to catch something to eat and of course, failing miserably. You have to wonder how cartoon villains don’t all starve to death considering the fact that they never seem to eat anything. The “good guys” eat and often times they even eat meat but the bad guys keep the audience laughing at there desperate attempts to survive. If I wrote the cartoons, I think I would have thrown a few minor characters their way every once in a while, I mean really who’s gonna miss them.
        In their desperation, the gators find a trunk buried in a river sand dune, which contains: 1. A pair of high heeled shoes 2. White gloves and a ladies hat 3. A pink dress and parasol 4. A realistic bear mask.
        It was quite a struggle for me to pull myself away from wondering what kind of crazy fetish sex this gear was intended for, but I eventually did. (For now anyway.) After I got back to focusing on the all too common situation of male alligators dressing like female bears, I began to appreciate the subtlety of the show. In any NORMAL cartoon the bad guy would pretend to be the nanny and get to know the kids and family. He would still go through the motions of the plot to betray them but in the end, he would have a last minute change of heart and show them mercy. This is not one of those shows. He gets the trust of the family, and he and his lady gator trap the kids in a cage and try until the very end of the show to boil them alive.
        If all of this weren’t enough, we are treated to a anthropomorphic bear love triangle, focusing on the cub’s teacher Miss Emmie. Emmie has clearly been positioning herself to be Kissyfur‘s new mom. Her obvious attempts at impressing father and son, paired with her resentment of the new “nanny”, add a nice amount of romantic tension to the show. She radiates jealousy throughout this episode by insulting her rival, and throwing fits when she thinks Gus prefers the nanny. I haven’t seen enough episodes to find out if she ever becomes Kissyfur’s step mother but I think the odds are that she does. If nothing else I’m sure she occasionally gets some from papa bear… I mean, a lonely schoolmarm needs a little honey now and then, am I right?
        Between the murderous plotting, and the sexual tension it makes me wonder what kind of audience this show was geared toward exactly. The one thing I do know is that Kissyfur seems to be the quintessential 80’s cartoon. The drawing style is incredibly weird with unique character and background design. Even the wonderfully bizarre soundtrack music adds to the feeling that this cartoon exists in it’s own separate world. If I had known about this show I guarantee I would have watched the hell out of it when I was a kid. The quality of the animation and the writing make each episode play out more like a miniature animated film.
        The discovery of this show is better than any gift I could have gotten for Mother's Day… if I were a woman… and a mother… and… It’s just a really good cartoon okay! Now watch it. Watch it!!! Or I’ll give you such a guilt trip.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


In memory of Dom DeLuise. An incredible screen, and voice actor. A truly unique man with great comic timing. He was a large part of the cartoon memories of my childhood that helped to make me who I am today. He will be missed.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

After These Messages...

        Greetings Humans... The First official issue of the Claymation Werewolf Digital Digest has hit the stands! Incredibly, I am already behind on my goal to write at least one issue a week. (I will of course always stay on schedule in the future . . . scoundrel’s honor!)
        What you are currently reading is a “bumper issue” which I will periodically post to keep you abreast on the latest in the land of the CMW. I will give you a heads up on upcoming issues, changes in format and all other gloomy tidings. Other special editions will include:

Holiday Specials - Such as the recent Easter, and upcoming Mother’s Day issues. These will be produced the week of each holiday.

Commercial Breaks - Will be a video and short essay about a retro commercial. I will post these issues at times when I want attention, but don’t want to make a lot of effort.

        There will be other special issues announced later, as well as the regular issues of Claymation Werewolf. Each issue will focus on a specific story, not cartoons or products as a whole . . . so if you find yourself thinking “I waited all this time for the Ducktales issue and all I got was a four paragraph rant about whether or not Launchpad was a licensed pilot?” Fear not citizens, we will make a return flight to Duckberg.
        I hope you have enjoyed what you’ve read so far in my ongoing attempt to bring something a little bit different to the world of Gen Y Nostalgia. I did say different….not better.
Until next time.