Monday, May 25, 2015


Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Snoopy the Dog.... Have you ever wondered why people create cartoon characters of humanized animals. I mean, they walk on two legs, they wear clothes, and they even speak the human language. If these characters act "human", then why don't animators simply make them humans? This only shows that people can only relate with animals based on cartoons they see. they also ruin the actual image of the animal. Mickey Mouse for an example is a character loved world wide by all ages, he is a mouse. A mouse is an animal that most humans try to stay away from and yet Mickey gathers fans from all around, different from an actual mouse. How is it that people love this mouse, but not the actual creature he is based on?


  1. This was particularly interesting to me as well. As we all know mice are vermin that we constantly try to get rid of because they infest our world with such "negativity". Yet we worship the cartoon version of a mouse. That makes so sense to me. We teach children two different things about the world. One as the fictional character that is loved by many children and the other real life animal that many children fear.

  2. I think it depends on circumstances that we see mice with positivity or negativity; for instance, when my cat in high school brought in field mice, my parents reacted with panic and immediately got the mouse out of the house. On the other hand, many people keep mice as pets for their enjoyment. So I think it depends on the person and the situation that people like or hate something like a mouse.

  3. I see what you are saying, Mice are regarded in a negative connotation for being pests while Mickey Mouse is regarded as being one of the most lovable creatures on the planet which is unfair. It just goes to show how far anthropomorphism is pushed upon animals so that we can like them. Of course we will like them if they are just like us or they share the same humanistic qualities.

  4. This is something I've always wondered myself, the fact that Mickey Mouse is someone everyone loves but I often hear the same people who love him say they hate mice. Not only that but the fact that these cartoons are being made seem human but yet still showing a clear separation between animals and humans. How is that Goofy is a dog and so is Pluto but he doesn't walk or talk like the rest of the characters. I think this a way society tries to please everyone, showing that nonhumans are like humans but yet still showing that they are different therefore leaving one character to fit the ideal pet.

  5. I never noticed how animals that are treated negatively can be loved by so many people around the world by giving them human features. Thanks for bringing up such an interesting point. This situation reminds me of how my mom told me that when she first came to the United States, she would only watch cartoons because at the time there were many where the characters spoke very little (Tom & Jerry) so she was able to follow the plot. It could be possible that using animals for some people was a way to not differentiate among races, and sort of ease the tension among humans. Also, the idea that it could be okay to make the animals do whatever you want in the cartoon, since it's not human. Violence in cartoons was a bigger deal thirty years ago, so maybe using animal characters that were human like was a way to soften the blow.

    That fact that certain animals get such a bad rap, while still being loved in so many cartoons is very difficult to answer. Once you remove the features you don't like it's easier for people to come to terms with the creature. People can be racists towards people of another country for wearing a different piece of clothing, but once they are seen without the clothing its as if their the same as the other person. It's possible we could be thinking like that when applying human characteristics to cartoons.

  6. Your point about anthropomorphizing animals to fit into characters that we'd like, reminded me of two graphic novel series that I like: Maus and Blacksad.
    Maus is the retelling of the holocaust, narrated by the artist's father. In it, Jewish people are depicted as mice, with Nazis depicted as cats. While I adore the story and artwork very much, I've always wondered why the artist decided to depict Jews as mice (vermin in the eyes of many), especially seeing as he himself is Jewish. Making all of the Jews nearly identical could be perceived as reinforcing racist labels, but it could also be that the artist did so ironically, to show the absurdity of thinking of people in that way.
    In Blacksad, the style is more realistic and many of the anthropomorphized characters actually look like animals. The main character, John Blacksad, is a cat, and he looks and acts like a very sombre, grumpy cat. His companion, Weekly, is a weasel, and acts and looks like a weasel.
    The only exception to this, would be a number of the female characters in Blacksad. They are drawn with (exaggerated) human-like figures, with tiny waists and huge hips and smoky bedroom eyes. They look more human than animal more often than not. Is it because the artist wanted them to be more sexually appealing to the reader? Surely (most) readers wouldn't find an animal sexually appealing, unless she mostly resembled a human.
    It's a strange thought, but an interesting one.