Primarily, ‘Rocky and Bulwinkle’ reiterate a unique theme: good verses evil. In silent films ‘Vintage Women tied to Railroad Tracks’ and ‘The Admiral’s Message’, antagonists commit evil deeds such as tying up an innocent woman to railroad tracks or attempting to steal an important message. However, protagonists overcome such obstacles with good deeds such as saving the woman’s life or fighting spies to successfully relay a message. Similarly, in ‘Rocky and Bulwinkle’, antagonists of the cartoon commit an evil act by trying to steal treasure of Monte Zoom while protagonists Rocky and Bulwinkle chase after them. Antagonists fall over a cliff and Rocky and Bulwinkle are able to retrieve the real gold of Monte Zoom. Although Bulwinkle cynically comments that happy endings are for children’s cartoons, the cartoon nevertheless highlights the idea that good deeds overtrump evil deeds.
However, ‘Dudley-Do-Right’ takes a different approach towards the theme of good verses evil by utilizing another theme: love. In the silent film ‘The Sheik’s Wife’, Cadwallader falls in love with Fatima, and love motivates Cadwallader to fight for Fatima’s freedom from the antagonist, Sheik. Similarly, in order to capture the antagonist Whiplash and to impress his lover Nell, the protagonist Do-Right commits various evil deeds that will tarnish his reputation as ‘a man who can do no wrong’. While both the film and cartoon underline human goodness – Cadwallader fights Sheik’s men in order to save Fatima from Sheik’s tyrannical rules and Do-Right commits immoral acts against his will to gain Whiplash’s trust-such acts of goodness are motivated by love.
Lastly, both cartoons and silent films are similar to stage plays because they use various characters such as protagonists and antagonists to relay a specific theme to the audience. While stage plays directly communicate with the audience, cartoons and silent films use different forms of medium to reach the audience. For instance, the audience can read subtitles or listen to narrations in silent films in order to understand certain traits of characters or situations. Similarly, the audience can listen to the dialogue between characters and watch their actions in order to comprehend traits and situations.