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.