Deconstructing Cartoon Favorites

Note: The following was originally posted at D:ET but, for the life of me, the frontpage keeps changing and you probably couldn’t even find it there unless you started digging around. Grrrrrrrrr. Many of the posts that I drop on that site are pieces that I normally would have put on this site. Unless things change I may just scale back posting there and post here. When you look at it, comments on that site were starting to pick up to about the same level as they are here.

We’ve all grown up with cartoon characters as a part of our lives. If you’re like me (old) then you’ll remember sitting in front of the television set waiting for that CBS Special Presentation roll onto the screen at 8pm right before a holiday so that you could watch any of the Charlie Brown Christmas specials. But, have you ever wondered: There has to be more to cartoon characters than a bunch of emo dialogue, bongos playing as they are about to run or the ability to evade an adversary by drawing a tunnel in the side of a wall.

Well, my friends, there is. With Halloween just around the corner I hope to provide you with a fascinating (if not slightly macabre) look at the skeletal systems of some of your favorite cartoon characters.
Michael Paulus: A character study of 22 present and past cartoon characters
Take a good look through Michael Paulus’ gallery on his site. It is really breaks down how difficult it is for a cartoon character to have to support such a gigantic head. According to Paulus:

“…I would dissect them like science does to all living objects – trying to come to an understanding as to their origins and true physiological make up. Possibly to better understand them and see them in a new light for what they are in the most basic of terms.

I decided to take a select few of these popular characters and render their skeletal systems as I imagine they might resemble if one truly had eye sockets half the size of its head, or fingerless-hands, or feet comprising 60% of its body mass.”

Poor Hello Kitty. Even her skeleton lacks a lower part of her jaw. Check out the dome on characters such as Dexter or even Charlie Brown and Lucy. The Power Puff Girls really come off a little grotesque with the enormous eye sockets. Blossom! Buttercup! Violet! Visine!

Amazing, no? But what about taking it up another level?

Hyungkoo Lee: Animatus
Hyungkoo Lee: AnimatusAt the Arario Gallery in Korea, land of the…uh…Koreans, artist Hyungkoo Lee has an exhibit that also deconstructs cartoon characters and even uses the fake Latin to describe them. The exhibition is a mixture of both pen and ink drawings as well as three dimensional representations using resin, aluminum, steel and wire. In some weird way, looking at these makes you feel like you’re Superman and that you have x-ray vision.

If you troll through the little online gallery you’ll see favorites such as Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, the Coyote and Roadrunner. There are also a number of images for documentation purposes. It took a number of people required to make the three dimensional versions of the skeletons. And they’re not exactly small, either.