Saturday, December 8, 2007

White gloves

Andy J. Latham (from Andy's Animation blog here - http://andysanimation.blogspot.com/) really got me wondering about cartoon gloves. Obsessing actually. All of the really old cartoons featured these gloves, even if a character wore no other clothes.

People say it was just to help the hands stand out. But why not just colour the hands white as they do with some other body parts? Why is it always the same gloves?

Andy speculated that maybe it came from mime. Good theory. I also wondered about blackface minstrels, who wore similar gloves - probably reading too much into it but then it's unlikely to be something easily admitted. And then there's Michael Jackson, the closest thing to a living (but really very creepy) cartoon character.

Bugs Bunny, for example, wears these gloves and nothing else. Not a stitch. Now, he's grey and has several other white patches that didn't require clothing - his feet for example. Why did his hands need gloves? I have no idea.


But I have to find out.

3 comments:

Andy J. Latham said...

Well I can't say that I HAVE to find out, but I sure would be interested if you found the answer!

I loved the model sheet to your life too. If your disputes with Tp are anything to go by, I can see where that fixed expression comes from!

Laura said...

Consider that many of the characters who donned gloves were usually meant to be the "cartoonier" characters--if that makes sense.
You would see Bimbo with the gloves, but not Betty. Betty was lovely and sensual and would have been silly and completely UNsexual with the gloves, and Bimbo was somehow made more tolerable as the dog boyfriend with no pants because of the gloves. Less threatening, more satirical.
Also, the question of whether or not to draw fingernails would have been an issue, perhaps, with such exaggerated hands? Although that doesn't hold water because there are cases where they simply draw them with or without.

shirley said...

good post!!thanks