Monday, 6 August 2007


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Certain quirky, recurring features of cartoons of the past have entered the collective consciousness. If you want to know about bashed heads turning into anvil shapes, dust rising from the spot where a coyote has just fallen from a cliff, or the ability to shrink and run through a fallen log, then Joseph Johnson is probably your man. His dissertation looked at these memes and tropes of animation. As part of his research, Joseph watched all 680 Tom and Jerry cartoons still in existence and watched for moments of hunger when images of food appeared in the eyes of hungry characters. The breakdown for Tom was as follows:

Depictions of food appearing in eyes of Tom character:

steak (raw): 13
variety of foods, eg stacked on table: 10
steak (cooked usu. with fries etc):8
fish (whole): 6
string of sausages: 3
hot dog: 3
fish (bones): 3
hamburger: 2
lobster dinner: 1
roast mouse (with apple in mouth): 1
bowl of fruit: 1
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