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Old 01-19-2010, 05:21 PM
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Animation vs Cartoon?

My five year old says that animated television shows are not technically "cartoons" (or words to that effect). I tend to agree with her. A wiki search is inconclusive. I'm talking about shows like Backyardigans, or even Blue's Room. What is a cartoon anyway?
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:37 PM
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If you want to get technical about it, a cartoon is really a single drawn image that includes a joke or caricature, often satirical, and usually found in a newspaper. Somehow the word got transferred to animated shorts around the earliest days of animation, back when Mickey Mouse still wore shorts with big buttons.

But I guess in modern usage, a cartoon is a single six minute story within an animated series.
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:40 PM
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I had heard once long ago that the 'toon' in Cartoon referred to the early animated shorts that focused on some sort of musical element.
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:48 PM
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According to the Online Etymology Dictionary:

cartoon:
1671, from Fr. carton, from It. cartone "strong, heavy paper, pasteboard," thus "preliminary sketches made by artists on such paper," augmentive of M.L. carta "paper" (see card (n.)). Extension to comical drawings in newspapers and magazines is 1843. Cartoonist first recorded 1880.
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Old 01-19-2010, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
I had heard once long ago that the 'toon' in Cartoon referred to the early animated shorts that focused on some sort of musical element.
Sadly, no. It comes from the Italian word "cartone" (car-toe-nay) which literally means "big drawing" (From "cart" the same root as "chart", "cartographer", etc. and "-one" a general Italian ending for "big".)

For example, in Italian a pumpkin is a zuccone -- "big squash" -- in contrast to zucchini -- "little squash".

Originally they were large-scale reference drawings used as preparation for painting murals.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:15 PM
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Merriam-Webster's defintions show "cartoon" to refer to a drawn image on paper and "animated cartoon" to refer to a film made out of sequential drawings. Since the root word of "cartoon" means "drawing" and the root word of "animate" means "move," it makes sense to me. (Blue's Room definitely wouldn't count as an animated cartoon, as it's a puppet show. The Backyardigans is CGI, which falls under animation.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus
I had heard once long ago that the 'toon' in Cartoon referred to the early animated shorts that focused on some sort of musical element.
No, although a number of early sound cartoon series did use names that emphasized the use of music in them- Silly Symphonies, Merrie Melodies, Looney Tunes, etc.
#7
Old 01-21-2010, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
I had heard once long ago that the 'toon' in Cartoon referred to the early animated shorts that focused on some sort of musical element.
Well, there were some early cartoons that used that pun, though the word existed previously.
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