Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Peace On Earth, Good Will To Men.

A few years ago I discovered the MGM cartoon Peace on Earth while watching an episode of the Cartoon Network's Toon Heads. Since then it has been one of my favorite holiday cartoons. This 1939 cartoon was written by Jack Cosgriff, Charles McGirl and Khat Harman and directed by Hugh Harman and is the only cartoon ever nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Before reading any further I want you to watch the cartoon.

This cartoon was created prior to America's involvement in the Second World War by people who served in the First World War. This amazing story takes you on a journey:

From Cute and Fuzzy,
To Man's inhumanity to man.
To a climax.
To a resolution.
And back to Cute and Fuzzy.

The cartoon was remade by William Hanna & Joseph Barbera in 1955 as Good Will to Men and was also nominated for the Best Short Subjects Oscar.

While the remake is set in a post atomic bomb era the message stays the same and sadly that message has not been learned. One of my favorite moments in Peace On Earth is towards the end when the audience collectively realizes that the animal’s houses were made from the men's helmets and the lamppost was made from a sword. Then you sober up when Mama Squirrel sings, "Sleep in heavenly peace". On a final note I want you to think about this:

The story that was told.
Those moments that touched you.
The buttons that were pushed.
The feelings felt.
The lessons learned (and not learned by some).

The writer started this journey with an idea, and then it was translated:

To words.
To voice, music and Foley.
To ink & paint.
To the big (and later small) screen.
And the audience translated the sight and sounds back into the writer's original idea.

Something to think about when you are enjoying those holiday specials.

To quote Tiny Tim, "God bless us, everyone!"

Merry Christmas

Tony & Donna Figueroa

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