nickramer wrote:Do you even have a list of favorites? I'm very curious about that.
It's a function of exposure to more materials, and of thinking about them. It was easy when I was a kid and was limited to heavy rotation from the various available packages; repetition of traditionally well respected shorts from a limited set of studios made it easy to like What's Opera Doc, Mickey's Trailer, Mice Capades, Pantry Panic and whatever the Popeye was with the live action footage of the kid in it. Then I got the Tex Avery VHS tapes in high school and I realized how good those were and different from the standard fare (I'd been exposed to Tex Avery MGM shorts in packages before, Senor Droopy probably being my favorite then, enough to ask for the tapes, but seeing them together (several to a tape, mind you, not all of them) really is a different experience than the occasional viewing. So it became a function of "oh, I have just _really_ seen these cartoons, they are my favorites." Which, when it comes down to it, is the issue: a cartoon doesn't "deserve" to be my favorite just because I saw it recently. That may be a perfectly legitimate way of determining what someone else's favorite cartoon is, but I find it to be too transient for it to qualify something as my favorite. My thought is that there likely is a cartoon that is my favorite cartoon (all it takes is for me to like it more than all other cartoons), but how to determine that is difficult.
When I was a kid, I had a small subset of golden age cartoons that I'd seen (nothing like the much smaller subset kids are limited to today if all they have is American tv), and repetition of certain cartoons made me familiar with an even smaller subset. I liked those cartoons to an extent because I saw them a lot (with notable exceptions, as will be seen in my entry for Falling Hare on October 28th in the '43 blog). It's perfectly understandable why that is; if you haven't seen something, you can't like it (not in a meaningful way, from my perspective). But I don't think that's a good enough reason for me to call something one of my favorites now (nostalgia aside; a cartoon can still be comfortingly familiar to me, which in a way may make it one of my favorites, but not in the sense that I think something like this thread is getting at).
So, how to determine what my favorite cartoons are. I'm not certain how many golden age cartoons I've actually seen. As a Gen Xer I'm in a better position to have seen a wider swath on tv than the Millenials, but I'm worse off than the Boomers. The internet and projects like the Cartoon Research Garage Sale pretty much give us all an approximate maximum to shoot for that most of us will never reach. Even with fairly heavy repetition as a youth, I must have seen more than a thousand cartoons, with cartoons from Fleischer/Famous, Lantz, Terry, WB, Disney and MGM on the table. Of course, just because you've seen a cartoon doesn't mean you've really watched it very well. It's really easy to sleep walk through a cartoon, have it on in the background while you eat or read or whatever. Not paying much attention to somethin is not a very good way of determining if that thing is one of your favorites. I've closely watched more than 300 cartoons for my blogs; I can't just bring them all to mind; there's too many of them. There are some cartoons I can go back and look at the screen caps for and only barely remember the cartoon (and that's less than two years old for any of my chrono blogs). Now, while that's a good argument for those forgettable cartoons not being some of my favorites, the less thorough forgetting of many other cartoons, cartoons when I look through the entry I can remember liking, is still a problem in determing favorites. I can easily remember cartoons I've seen dozens of times, whether I like them or not; but a cartoon I've seen (and even WATCHED) a couple of times? Much harder to remember, even if I like it more than the old standards.
It's a lot harder to put all your cartoons in a pile in front of you and sort through them to find your favorite, like you could with comic books or CDs, or even MP3s. Having a list of names isn't a very good substitute. Even with my blog entries aren't that good for this (tho they are a pretty optimal way for me to review my thoughts on a cartoon without having to half rememebr anything. You could do it with video files best, probably; have all the cartoons there, so you can flip through some footage, weed out the unworthy, promote the favorites, just sift through the material. It would probably be best if you could throw each cartoon into a loop n an ipod touch and make piles of them.
So do I have a list of favorites? No; I guess I just don't have enough iPods to get the job done.