Friday, April 6, 2012

Dope Island: a Dope Island tribute to 2012 graduates (it's pretty sad)

By Charles Cassady, Jr.

This I found on a "Little Audrey" cartoon from 1949. It does resound well today, doesn't it? Except, of course, none of you will get a job right out of graduation. Especially a cool government job like sanitation-worker, with benefits and things; that takes real connections. Oh, what's the movie connection? Besides that the film-school students will likely top the list of unemployables (giving the Philosophy Majors someone to look down on and bully, at least), it might be of interest that Jeff Lenburg, animation historian, informs that "Little Audrey" was a Paramount cartoon series of the late 1940s/early 1950s, that went into production when Paramount lost the rights on a previous moneymakes, the newspaper comic-strip derived "Little Lulu" (and I'm still seeing Little Lulu comic books out there; shouldn't she be at least Teenage Lulu by now?).

Anyway, YouTube and other sites have the full public-domain Little Audrey collection, and this one is specifically "The Lost Dream." It does have a stereotypical black-mammy character also, in the prologue. But, grotesquely caricatured as she is, she turns out to be the most sensible human onscreen. Even so, if I posted her the Rev. Al Sharpton and his Hoodie Militia would protest violently, so I'll refrain.

For a Little Lulu clone I have to say Little Audrey had nice production values. Dig those intricate, detailed painted backgrounds, stuff like that you NEVER see anymore. Straightaway the cartoon divisions of all the majors, with the possible exception of Disney, would cut/slash/streamline, go to xerox-photocopy techniques and simple line-art, and do things as cheap and dirty as possible, getting by with as few employees as they could. That idea would, of course, catch on throughout the country, bringing us back to...the current economy! A Wall Street-White House Production, in glorious JoblessScope. So, congratulations graduates. Here's your squeegee, there's the streetcorner, and watch out for the psychos. Your college will be in touch regarding how much you are going to donate to the alumni fund, on behalf of all your film professors who went into teaching when they realized there's no way they could make a living in the real world.

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