Little Known Facts About Your Favorite Cartoon Characters
Once again, I’m basing this on my own experiences. I’ve watched tons of cartoons from different studios since the 80s and when the Internet “happened,” I used it to find out more content related to cartoons. I thought I knew almost everything there is to know about the cartoon characters that I liked, but it turns out there are a few tidbits that I missed. Here are some of the best ones:
Tom and Jerry’s Real Names
One of the most popular rumors surrounding Tom and Jerry’s names is that they’re based on WW II slang, as British soldiers were referred to as “Tommies” and Germans were dubbed “Jerries” around the period.
It certainly doesn’t negate another rumor, which is that the names were suggested by another MGM animator to the original creator, Willian Hannah, as a replacement for the original names used in their first appearance in the 1941 cartoon ‘Puss Gets the Boot.’
In the cartoon, the cat was referred to by its owner as ‘Jasper,’ and while the mouse was unnamed, Hannah stated that the mouse’s name was supposed to be Jinx.
The Reason Why Springfield Residents Are All Yellow
In an interview with the BBC, Simpsons creator Matt Groening revealed that making the Simpsons’ characters all yellow-skinned was an animator’s idea, with the intention being that it gives the show instant recognition when you’re flicking through channels very fast – when a flash of yellow goes by, you’ll know it’s the Simpsons.
SpongeBob Squarepants’ Name
SpongeBob Squarepants was originally going to be named SpongeBoy, but creator Stephen Hillenburg found out that the name was already copyrighted and used for a brand of mops. He went with SpongeBob because he wanted to retain the word “sponge” in the name. The reason? He wanted to ensure that kids wouldn’t mistake the character for a large chunk of cheese living under the sea.
The E. in Wile E. Coyote
Chances are, like me, you thought the E. in Wile E. Coyote’s name was just meant as wordplay for “Wily Coyote,” because coyotes are supposed to be almost as cunning as foxes. However, a 1975 comic has revealed the E. to be “Ethelbert.”
All About Smurfette
Everybody who’s familiar with The Smurfs franchise knows all about Smurfette – she’s blonde and she’s the only female Smurf. However, the truth is neither of those are true, at least not originally.
Smurfette was originally a brunette. She was created by the evil sorcerer Gargamel and sent to the Smurf village in order to trick and seduce the Smurfs. However, it didn’t work and she ended up crying and repenting, prompting Papa Smurf to forgive her, turn her into a blonde, and accept her into the village.
As for being the only female Smurf, the later seasons of The Smurfs featured other female Smurfs as well, such as Sassette Smurf and Nanny Smurf. As for how they managed to reproduce, nobody knows. What’s known is that they can be magically created from blue clay.
Bugs Bunny is a Marine Master Sargeant
Bugs Bunny was so popular during the 2nd World War (particularly the cartoons he starred in that made fun of the Axis powers) that the U.S. Marine Corp decided to make him an honorary Master Sargeant.
Tweety Bird’s Gender
Due to his teeny-tiny voice, his color scheme, and the fact that his name rhymes with Sweetie, most people assume that Tweety Bird is a female canary bird. However, he is actually a male character (he had a cousin named Sweety Bird.) In the original model sheet, he was even referred to as “Orson.”
Think you know something about a toon that no one else does? Shout it out on our ToonBarn forum. Who knows – just might be a prize in it for the person who uncovers the best piece of animated treasure!
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