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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Poe's Saturday Cartoon: MOTOR MANIA (1950)

Jack Kinney's MOTOR MANIA is a timeless classic that is just as relevant today as it was when first released 61 years ago. Goofy's demonstration of bad driving skills is so effective that many drivers education courses will show the short to point out what not to do when out on the road. I for one remember watching it during my drivers ed course in high school.

This cartoon is the first in a series of Goofy shorts that cast him as an everyman who stumbles his way through a number of situations in the domestic world of the 1950s. Often referred to as "Mr. Geef" in these cartoons, the Goof would go on to tackle issues with smoking, over eating, getting sick, insomnia and fatherhood is some of the funnier Disney shorts of the era. MOTOR MANIA was the best of the bunch, as this is the only cartoon where Goofy truly shows an evil side to his character. His transformation into the hideous Mr. Wheeler is both funny and just a little too familiar. I know I've transformed into a Mr. Wheeler a few times during that long drive into work.

So the next time you find yourself cursing up a storm at the mini van who just cut you off, remember back to this cartoon and imagine what kind of fool you must look like. Who said you couldn't learn good social behavior on Plissken's Grindhouse.