Friday, April 15, 2016

Is it plagiarism if you steal from yourself?

I could (and do) watch old cartoons all day long. Now that I have YouTube, I am in fact good for nothing else. But it's an interesting thing to look at the really old ones, like these two. They represent the first entries in a very long series by Warner Bros:  Merrie Melodies. (Perhaps you've heard of them.)

The first one, Lady Play Your Mandolin, features a drunk horse, and the second, You Don't Know What You're Doin' (which some YouTube wag called Justin Trudeau's theme song) a drunk dog who must have had a genetic mixup with the horse or something. Or else the animators just got lazy.

I mean! This is Cartoon One and Cartoon Two of the immortal, incomparable Merrie Melodies series, and they're repeating themselves in the second cartoon. The shot of the character screaming at the camera is pretty much identical, except the horse is white and the dog is black. Even the dragon-ish looking thing is pretty similar.

They say Disney stole from everyone - I wrote about that once, and I may steal from myself and re-run it because I don't remember much about it. But on the second cartoon? I think they should've quit while they were ahead.

Actually, it was this documentary I was thinking about. (I can't believe I found it again! I had no idea of the title or when it came out or anything, but if you keep Googling, anything is possible.) It was shown once on CBC, years and years ago, and never again - in French, with English subtitles. There's no English in this version at all, so I didn't get very far. But hey, if you're French. . . It's an eye-opening look at just how much Uncle Wally got away with.

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