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One Froggy, pantless evening

mjf.jpgThe WB has fired Michigan J. Frog as its spokes..thing.

I'm sure MJF will rebound quickly and find work elsewhere. I mean, a singing frog...they don't just turn up on your doorstep every day. Especially a singing frog in a top hat.

Which is what I really want to talk about, rather than Mr. Frog's employment problems.

See, I have a thing against cartoon animals that wear a piece of clothing (in this case, a hat) but no pants. It's got to be either all or nothing. Once you put one piece of clothing on, you become partially humanized, and that means your genitals should not be showing, or even hinted at showing. Or even showing the place where the genitals would go if non-adult cartoons had genitals. Not that you can see MJF's package, but you know it's there.

This is why I've always had a problem with both Donald Duck and Porky Pig, but not Bugs Bunny. Donald wears a ridiculous sailor suit, as if he's a five year old child getting ready for his annual photo shoot. Porky wears a jacket and tie, but no shirt or pants. Sometimes he even wears a cowboy getup - hat, bandana, vest - but still no pants. Mickey wears shorts. I appreciate the fact that Walt covered up the mouse's naughty bits. Yet Daisy the hobag walks around wearing a shirt and big ass bow, but no pants or skirt. Easy access for Donald, maybe? Wally Gator wears a freaking collar. A collar! WHY? (I understand Wally made an appearance on Harvey Birdman last night - don't tell me about, I won't watch it until later today). Magilla not only wore pants, but suspenders as well, so when he was chasing the little girl around like a crazy uncle, his shorts didn't fall down and reveal his monkey meat. I thank HB for that. Wile E. Coyote? Completely unclothed, like a good animal should be. And Bugs, too. He wears nothing, unless he dresses up during one of his escapades (baseball uniform, a skirt and high heels, etc.). Nothing is fine, because that says to me that he is a rabbit. Rabbits generally don't wear clothes. His nakedness is natural. But slap a hat or necktie on him and you've got to have pants.

Do you see what I'm saying here? If you give a cartoon animal a human trait, such as wearing chaps, YOU HAVE GOT TO COVER THEIR HOO-HAS AND WEENIES! Even if you can't see the private parts, you know they are there, hidden under the fur or reptile skin or whatever. Vest...hat....DICK! The cartoonists are stating the obvious by NOT stating the obvious. Why go halfway? Why dress a pig or a duck in half an outfit? It's only going to call attention the fact that the other half isn't dressed.

I'm giving way too much thought to cartoon animal genitals for a Monday morning.

Good luck with the job hunt, Michigan. I hope that when you do land on your webbed feet, it's at a place the demands proper attire. Like, pants.

More thoughts on the singing frog here.


Ok, which one of the kids spike Michele's coffee this morning ? :)

(Actually, I agree with you 1000% but I don't think about it that early on a Monday morning)

And BTW, absolutely magnificent banner shot.

D. Duck always creeped me out, but lay off Wally Gator - he rocks. Thanks for the laugh :)

I hate to mention this, because it'll maybe affect your theory, but supposedly in on Bugs Bunny cartoon, there's a scene where he steps out of a bathtub, and in ONE frame (note - ONE frame only, not visible under normal viewing circumstances but it would be visible with slowed down film/dvd), apparently the animators drew in some, ah, bits....So they're there, even if you can't see them.

I dunno. I always ascribed to the "if they got fur or feathers, that equates to being clothed bit" No matter that some observation of real dogs, or real bulls, or whatever, puts the lie to not being able to see anything....

I've always had a problem with Felix the Cat...

I mean, what kind of damn cat walks around carrying a friggin' "bag o' tricks?"

And what's in that @#$@ bag anyway...?

That and mingus...crazy little brick throwin' bastard...

See, I'm not sure you should be offended by Michigan J. Frog's hat and cane. If you recall the original cartoon that he was in, he was just an everyday, ordinary frog... that could sing "Hello My Baby." The man who found him knew he had a goldmine, and tried to get him to sing in front of others, all to no avail. At the end, Mr. Frog was given a top hat and cane (since he'd also dance while singing). However, he just sat there like a frog when the curtain went up. Only after the audience had left and his owner was bankrupt did he get up and dance with the hat and cane.

So basically, this should follow under the same category as "animals who are dressed by their owners". It is left to the reader to discuss whether this practice should or should not be condemned.

Ah, good point, Johnny, and absolutely right. When MJF had his way, the hat fell off, the cane clattered to the floor and he was just one floppy, croakin', nekkid-as-the-day-he was-born frog rather than a side-show freak his owner dressed him up as.

That was one of my all time favorite cartoons, btw, though I'm not sure many of today's WB watchers even know where he came from. Sad, he was one thing I actually liked about "The WB".

Speaking of "animals who are dressed by their owners" my neighbor, an elderly lady, takes her dog out for a walk in a different little sweater every day. I've never seen that dog wear the same thing twice; she must spend a lot of time knitting.
As for organ grinders monkeys, some wear pants, some wear skirts, some are bare bottomed but all wear tops of some sort (I researched this). So I guess whether the animal wears pants depends on the owner.

I agree with Michele's overall point, but I see the hat as more of a prop than clothing in MJF's case.

Actually, the problem I've always had with MJF as a public corporate spokesfrog is that it directly contradicts a central rule about the character (his only rule, really.)

It would've been funny if they'd had MJF as spokesfrog, occasionally glimpsed doing song and dance on the edge of the screen, but when put in the spotlight by the WB, he just sits there and says "ribbit." :)

David's got it.

The old WB cartoons beat any other cartoons you can name. They were funny, inventive and the gags stuck in your brain like...well...like things that stick in your brain. They don't make em like that anymore.

I agree with David's takes here on MJF's hat and cane as props - not the same as clothing.

Darth...a minor correction here.

It was Ignatz of Krazy Kat fame that threw the bricks - Ignatz was a confused mouse in love with Krazy.

And coincidentally, my first car was named Ignatz - 1965 Pontiac Catalina with a tempermental AM radio that required pounding on the dashboard to work.

So is it okay if the character wears full clothing (like Peter Potamus) and is a total skeeze (like Peter Potamus?)

"You get that thing I sent you?"

I agree that the frog's hat and cane aren't that bad - its a hat, after all, something to add to his ensamble - at least he doesn't wear a tux in the cartoon.

Donald and Porky have always bugged me too - I mean come on, lets put some pants on, guys. I was commenting on this very subject with my roomate while watching Family Guy - Brian does the same thing in the theme (suit but no pants), but that's supposed to be over the top. During the cartoon, he wears a collar, and that's usually it.

The question is, if Bugs is dressed up for one of his gags, why doesn't anyone notice that he has no pants? THAT'S the real question. Usually, whoever is chasing him believes he's a doctor, or a baseball player, or a police officer, despite the fact that half the time, he forgets his trousers. Now THAT'S odd.

That being said, I am glad that he usually just dresses up like a rabbit, making him seem like he just forgot that normal people wear pants.

I am so glad that so many people think the whole, shirt no pants - clothes in general on cartoon charcters is strange. I thought this was one just for me and my brother

This could very easily be a 100 Words topic -

My brothers and I always noticed the inconsistency with Donald Duck, too. As when he dries himself with a towel after a shower - behind the shower curtain - but then half-dresses.

What about Goofy? He's fully dressed, and lives in a houose. Yet Pluto is the smart one...

The thing that's always bugged me is not the fact that Donald Duck doesn't wear pants (I chalk that up to artistic license), but that if in some wacky scheme Donald loses his clothes, he immediately covers his crotch. WHY? It was bare before, but now that his shirts gone, it suddenly becomes embarrassing to have a bare bottom half.