Saturday, December 10, 2011

another remnant from my childhood

I had this VHS of cartoons that I would watch repeatedly. It's like, some guy just compiled a bunch of random old cartoons into one giant thing to sell. You used to be able to find these videotapes at dollar stores or really cheap off-brand department stores.

There was a cartoon on the tape that always frightened me, but I loved watching it. It was an old Fleischer Studios Superman cartoon, my first introduction to Superman actually. The episode on the tape was an American propaganda piece where Lois lane gets kidnapped by Japanese people. It was made during WWII.

You'd think watching the cartoon would make me hate Japanese people now, but it didn't. The Japanese people were pretty fucking evil/scary-looking, but as a child, I didn't equate the villain of the cartoon to actual Japanese people. It most likely had to do with the fact that I didn't know what the fuck Japanese people were; I thought all East-Asian-looking people were from China. It was popular in my preschool to squint your eyes with your fingers and say "ching-ching-chong", but I didn't even see a relation between that and these cartoon Japanese guys (the 90s were an innocent time).

I am surprised that even though this is the first incarnation of Superman I was exposed to, it isn't the Superman I prefer watching. The interpretation I love is the cartoon by Bruce Timm. That one came out when I was 8 or so. So I wonder, if I saw this Fleischer studio one at age 8 or so, would I hate Japanese people now? I wonder what my most impressionable age was and if it is universal in all children. The answer to that question is probably in some book somewhere. Someone should adapt that book into a movie so I don't have to read it¡

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