Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lemming Watch

We should all celebrate the success of Alvin and the Chipmunks and sequel. Because it means that all over Tinsel Town, movie execs are shouting into their cell phones: Quick! What other cartoon characters we got out there?!"

And now we have our answer:

Speedy Gonzales is taking his folk hero status, incredible speed and signature red kerchief to the big screen, courtesy of New Line. "Garfield" scribes Alec Sokolow and Joel Cohen will adapt the classic animated Looney Tunes character into a live-action/CG hybrid feature. ...

We are fortunate that Warner Brothers Animation and other studios developed a variety of cartoon characters in the thirties, forties, and fifties. Because it gives Hollywood a lot of different choices as it populates the oncoming tidal wave of hybrid animated features.


Anonymous said...

Yes, we are fortunate up to a point. On the other hand, you can't deny that it is all a wholesale raiding of cartoonist history. Live action producers and writers are getting a free ride on the backs of animation sweat. Were the world made of sunshine, rainbows, and lollipops, studio executives would be paying cartoonists millions to gang bang live action vaults.

Anonymous said...

In Speedy non-PC in this day and age? The characters in the early cartoons seem to be nothing but (slightly offensive) stereotypes, which is common for older cartoons (they may also be where some stereotypes come from). How are they going to make Speedy act like Speedy we grew up with but not actually offend anyone in this sensitive age?

robiscus said...

Not to mention that fact that his ignorant wife alleged that the original Speedy Gonzalez was racist. Those were her exact words.
“We wanted to make sure that it was not the Speedy of the 1950s — the racist Speedy,”

So screw her. - and I've given a lot of thought to that sentiment. If you are THAT stupid and careless with your allegations, then, well... I've said enough.

I'll leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

It's funny that the people who find Speedy most offensive aren't those that he supposedly makes fun of. From what I've heard, Mexicans love the character.

Anonymous said...

Running fast is not a Mexican stereotype!

Jeff Massie said...

Anonymous #4 above makes a good point.

I always assumed the whole point of Speedy Gonzalez was to make fun of the cliche of Mexicans as lazy siesta-takers. If Speedy is speedy, then by definition he breaks the stereotype.

Doesn't he?

Anonymous said...

Speedy himself is not a stereotype, it is the characters he contrasts that are the stereotypes. Speedy is interesting because his traits are the opposite of those of members of his community (as portrayed in the cartoons).

God said...

Well, Jeff, you're technically right.

What's behind the complaint about the stereotypes, is the fact that you hardly see any latino characters in POSITIVE roles, such as a doctor, firefighter, etc. There are a few, but,the overwhelming majority of roles depicting latinos is in a negative light, which in turn, only help perpetuate the stereotypes and the judgemental attitudes, which I have experienced personaly, in the US towards latinos.

Speedy might be fast, but he does wear a straw hat, and the 'campesino' outfit, doesnt he?

Is not a direct accusation that those who like the toons are being "racists". Maybe that lady said so, but she speaks for herself, not for me, anyway.

So I don't really see any reason to take a defensive position on your part.(I'm looking at you,robiscus). Nor, I'm I saying that doing a live action 'Speedy' is a bad idea, or that it has to be changed.


Floyd Norman said...

Why is a funny character always considered a stereotype? They're simply a funny character. I hated it when Amos and Andy was booted off the air because the NAACP considered the show racist.

It wasn't racist - it was funny.

Anonymous said...

Well, of course the possibility is that it could be BOTH!

It looks like they're trying to salvage Speedy, much as many insensitive consumer icons of the past have been salvaged.

Aunt Jemimah is no longer a mammy, she's your beloved Aunt, who dresses like a doctor or a respected judge.

I never felt that the character of Speedy was mean-spirited, and so we can go forward with a more culturally sensitive modern version of the film, with the stellar voicing talent of the voice of Paco, from the stereotype-breaking Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

robiscus said...

You don't see Latino characters in positive roles? I remember watching "Chico & the Man" 35 friggin years ago. My favorite character on "Welcome Back Kotter" was Epstein the Puerto Rican jew. He was on kid's lunch boxes for crtying out loud. Your grievance about the lack of positive roles can be stated about any ethnicity.
More importantly, where is the glut of negative stereotypes we are bombarded with? Back up your allegation. I don't think you can.

And the characters he contrasts are the stereotypes???
So there can't be ANY bad ethnic characters presented?

Political correctness has truly created an upside down world for the spineless and stupid.

Anonymous said...

Thank ronald reagan for that kind of PC-ness.

robiscus said...

The television can't raise your kids for you. political correctness will not insulate your children from seeing stereotypes. There are negative stereotypes in millions of books in the library. In millions of songs. Your children will see them.

The only guide for your children to figure out right from wrong is parents. Thats it.
Life isn't easy and it isn't fair.

You can't regulate against stupidity and you can't sanitize selected parts of human nature. Its a fools quest and the people who think that Speedy Gonzalez(of all things) is a negative influence on young minds are fools.

God said...

Robiscus, you jackass.

The list of movies depicting latinos in a bad light is quite long. "Scarface", "Falling Down", "Collateral Damage", ...the list is effing endless and, frankly, Im not in the mood to feed it to you with a spoon.

woud you provide any more examples of POSITIVE cases? I really dont care if you do, and you can choke on it, for all I care... I never said there werent ANY, the point is, the overwhelming majority is negative. And yes, I'd agree that it applies to other ethnicities as well.

Anyway, I hope they do a good job with Speedy, cause I did find it funny when I was a kid.


Anonymous said...

*Thank ronald reagan for that kind of PC-ness.*

^So the left-wing loser has switched his spew from Bush to Reagan, huh?

Stick it, pal, we all know which political party is responsible for the political correctness plague - the one that rightly has a jackass for its symbol.

robiscus said...

"Scarface", "Falling Down", "Collateral Damage"

These movies are guilty of having latinos as villains. Oh... the horror!

You think an ethnicity as a villain is unfair? Explain to me why. Are you saying DePalm,a is not allowed to document the rise of cuban drug trafficking in the eighties in Miami? Wasn't Scarface's mother a positive depiction of the latino community?
Have you even seen the fucking film dude? how does the character Tony Montana represent latinos?

You didn't even cite accurate examples you moron. You are building a case against villains in stories. An example of a negative stereotype furthered would be the Godfather because Michael Corleone is the hero of the film and he is a crook and a murderer. Bu the italian community is thankfully more intelligent than you, in that they place a tragic tale over cries of victimhood.

I feel bad for you because your views have created a destiny of disappointment and frustration for you in this complex and varied world around us. You don't understand it. Your loss.

God said...

Robiscus, you're the moron.

The issue is not one film or two, is the sum of the collective work, and how it perpetuates a bad image of ethnic groups,that's the problem, you dimmwit. You keep twisting the issue and building strawmen. You're the retard.

And I frankly don't give a rat's ass what you think.

Anonymous said...

I grew up watching Speedy on TV like everyone else. I didn't think of him as " a latino" but as a MOUSE! A Mouse from Mexico! Jesus. There was nothing negative about him-he's a typical Hawley Pratt, cute-as-a-button WB mouse. The "lazy" mice were the contrast, yes, they were based on the old, old (we're talking Zorro move old) sleepy siesta-taking peasant cliche-or stereotype if you will. ALSO totally NOT negative. Sorry, but mice hanging out chillaxing in the noonday CARTOON sun just ain't in any way going to prejudice any child into suddenly thinking Mexican humans are lazy. Not on this planet.

Of course, the cartoons originally were shown to adults in the theater, and the adults "got" the satire but it's a cartoon of a cartoon. I suspect all audiences in this country back then knew that mexicans don't lay on the ground sleeping and talking like Mel Blanc just like they knew all Irish didn't sit on a Blarney Stone outside a pub and shake a shillelagh.
It's done for cartoon comedy.

God said...


Anonymous said...

can we please move on to making fun of religious groups now? this topic is f***ing dull.


Anonymous said...

Racist or not.....this movie is going to just Blow. Why doesn't hollywood stop digging up classic characters and ruining them with these Live-action-hybrid-animation fiascos. Put down the bong, pick up the phone, call a decent writer and make a movie somebody actually wants to see. Stop ruining my childhood memories! lol.

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