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January 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 14 Jan 1994 08:48:28 -0500
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I'd like to pick up a thread in Sterling Chen's note on Animation.
How many of you out there would grant the status of 'Art' to the
classic Warner Bros. cartoons, but NOT to Beavis & Butt-head?
If so, WHY?   Is it the old "test of time" ?
It's true, as Sterling suggests, that animation is changing.
Obviously there is less emphasis on visual perfection, and possibly
more emphasis on the writing -- though the Warners were also superbly
written.  WHAT, then, is it that distinguishes the 'new' animation
from the old?  Or is this not the  right question?
I happen to think that the strength of The Simpsons, and of Beavis & Butt-
head is the writing, the (dare I say it?)   WIT,  and that this
compensates for the 'minimalist' qualities of the animation.
Back to my earlier question, then:  if we're ready to call the Warners films
'Art' (as I think we should), then what arguments are people using to
deny this status to Beavis & Butt-head? (as many seem wont to do)
Because this would suggest a fundamental difference between the two cases,
and I don't see it.
        -- Derek Bouse