Nerdvana: Down on the Toon Farm
Strap on your overalls, tune up your banjos and grab yourself a swig o’ moonshine, ’cause today Nerdvana embraces its’ inner bumpkin by celebrating some of my favorite rural themed cartoons. That’s right, we’re a-headin’…Down on the Toon Farm. Hit it, boys!
Now that we’ve so tastefully set the mood, let’s begin:
One of the locations which has been tickling my animation fancy lately is the farm/orchard home/bread-and-butter of the Apple family from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Sweet Apple Acres.
That kind of reminds me of a cutesier version of U.S. Acres (known as Orson’s Farm outside of the US), Jim Davis’ not-Garfield comic strip which served as the added attraction on Garfield & Friends. If this were a series, then I picture Richard Horvitz voicing Rancid Raccoon, but that’s just me. One question, though: what the heck are those fruit thingies with the faces? I know some farms genetically modify their crops, but that’s just plain freaky! Speaking of mutants, the bird in that spot looks like a mutant Tweety Bird.
Next, one of the recently retired Ferris’ Funky Farm spots for the McDonald’s Happy Meal, before they axed this campaign in favor of a cringe-inducing red box with a manic grin.
-It’s best not to stare directly at it.
Anyway, opinions on the Ferris spots were mixed to say the least, but I kind of enjoyed them; they had a certain cheesy oddball appeal. I can usually take or leave Klasky-Csupo’s brightly colored sketchy art style, but I thought it worked here.
You know, it occurs to me: these spots were sort of like a bucolic version of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. (Today’s secret word is ‘hayseed’.) The surreal setting, the odd characters, the presence of such incongruous extinct creatures like a dodo and a dinosaur on a farm setting, all that’s missing is the King of Cartoons. Hey, a dino and a dodo on a farm make more sense than a male cow with an udder.
“OK, I’m a chick! ‘Sat what you wanna hear?! I just feel like a bull on the inside, AWRIGHT?!?”
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the first things that attracted me to rural toons, Daisy Mae from Al Capp’s Li’l Abner.
And honorable mention goes to her funhouse mirror knockoff, Daisy Mayhem from Hanna-Barbera’s Laff-A-Lympics.
I can only add one thing to that…..
Y’all come back now, y’hear?