The cartoon “Rocky and Bulwinkle” and “Dudley-Do-Right” resembles the film clips “Vintage Women Tied to Railroad Tracks” and “Flicker Flash Backs Silent Film Highlights” intentionally mainly in three ways.
First of all, the cartoons succeeded in mimicking film’s humorous/sarcastic style. In the film, with the allegro background music and special editing effects of the film, characters portray the scenes in a clownish way. However, since the plot is about a dangerous and serious situation of ladies trying to escape from the train track, there is a strong sense of sarcasm in these scenes. In the cartoons, it even goes further to use animals as speaking characters, while sharing the ironic style. There are deeper social and political implications hidden behind the absurd performances.
Secondly, the plots and character settings share obvious similarities. Both type of productions have some bad guys who try to murder the lady by tying her on the track, and the good guys (typically with a ride/house) who eventually saves the ladies from being killed. This typical melodrama theme of “Good VS. Evil” as a result of exaggeration connects the two types of productions together in a direct way. It seems each character has a clear mission or role in the story. The evil guys in both cartoon and film have a hat and mustache, and they are all dressed in black. On the other hand, the good ones always dress in much brighter colors, and they are always successful in saving the victims. The general plot lines are fast and lots of details are cut.
Finally, the dramatic displaying of emotion in the cartoons closely resembles those in the film clips. In “Vintage Women Tied to Railroad Tracks”, when “the evil” is angry, he jumps up and down like he is on fire. In a cartoon production such as “Dudley-Do-Right”, more flexibility is allowed. Anything can happen in a cartoon. People can be ripped into pieces in a second, and even animals can communicate and have a conscious mind like human beings.
In theater acting, showing of emotion is one of the basic elements. On a stage where no close-up view is possible, the exaggeration of the dynamic of the play is the only way to deliver messages to the audiences. For example, in real life or movies we can take a close look on someone’s facial expression and get a brief message about his/her feelings. However, on the stage it is harder to observe small moves. Therefore, the cartoons and film clips’ dramatic nature resembles stage plays. In order to deliver some certain sarcastic message in a really short production, the performing have to be theatrical.