What makes Cartoon Physics so cool?

When reading Bukatman’s piece on cartoon physics, I could not help but smile at the strange rules of the cartoon world. As a child, these strange rules, such as “any body suspended in space will remain in that space until made aware of the situation,” added a certain comedic feature to the cartoon that is hard to explain. I remember thinking to myself that it could not happen in real life, but I believe that only made the cartoon better and more enjoyable to watch. That’s why the part of the article that explores the “Topsy-Turvydom Redux” hits home for me the most. I believe there is a certain freedom of expression that goes into the making of these cartoons. This freedom allows young children and adults to escape the drudges of everyday life and see the happenings of a totally new and creative universe. This rejection of the real world is a beautiful thing, and I am sad that there are not as many of these cartoons around. Having said that, I know that some call out the violent nature of these cartoons and the effects it has on young children watching them. I would be interested in the actual statistics of children harmed because of the cartoons they watched. Would it even be possible to collect these statistics? Also, what percentage of young children could definitively tell that the cartoon physics are different than real world physics? I don’t know the significance of the data that would be found, but in my mind, the older cartoons of years past will always be a great escape back to my younger years.


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