'Toon Tarts

This is not a topic of interest for any woman, ever.  This is the domain of men. 

The male of the species has the flexibility and the twisted imagination to find sexiness anywhere, and in the smorgasbord world of cartoon women, those two-dimensional temptresses, pickin’s is anything but slim.

Men don’t wish every cartoon woman could be “real” however.  I’m sure no guy is slavering over Betty Boop (well . . . maybe from the neck down, but that ginormous, top-heavy melon would be too much). 

Similarly, no sane man wants Æon Flux roaming the planet (the original cartoon one, not Charlize Theron’s sexy but somewhat compassionate Æon of the eponymous 2005 movie).  Æon Flux, an enticing, genuinely bad girl, is downright dangerous, a cold-blooded, emotionless sociopathic killer.  No, you don’t want her in your boudoir.

'Toon TartsCredit: Vic Dillingerâ„¢, © 2011This does not mean women do not have twisted imaginations – they just don’t waste time on dumb stuff like the raging debate over who’s hotter, Betty Rubble or Wilma Flintstone.  [The answer, unless you’re brain damaged, is Betty.  She’s prettier and she has a better personality.  And personality counts for a lot, even in pen-and-ink dames.  Wilma, in contrast, is a nag.  But then again, I guess I’d be a nag, too, if I were a woman married to Jimmy Kimmel.]

I’ve seen men get into red-faced arguments over such discussions. [Like the Betty Cooper versus Veronica Lodge contest, which is no contest at all.  Betty wins that one.  But, before you get all gushy over “Awww, you like the girl-next-door type” . . . WRONG!!  Veronica is high maintenance and she is a major pain in the derriere, but that isn’t what keeps her from being hotter than Betty.  Betty gets the prize because she has a better rack and caboose than Veronica.  And she is more pleasant.  But it’s the rack that wins it for Betty.]

Nope, women have more refined things on their minds.  You never hear women getting into these talks, partly because cartoonists know men are freaks; animators don’t waste too much time making their male characters even remotely desirable.  Women just don’t argue over who’s studlier, Johnny Bravo or SpongeBob.  They have better things to do.

But because I’m a man, and I don’t have better things to do, here is a loving, respectful treatment of cartoon cuties to examine.  If your particular favorite isn’t here, tough: write your own piece. 

Oh, and one more thing about these cartoon women (and this is a little piece of insider info for the wives/girlfriends/barflies out there): men do not want the cartoon babes of their dreams to be anything other than what they are, cartoons.  That’s the image we fell in love with.  If every pen line, curve, and exaggerated feature could be made “live” in 3-D we’d want that, not a woman who looks like that.

So, set your DVRs for the 2-D world of animated dames, and let’s go for a ride.

Corpse Bride
Laugh it up, but Corpse Bride is sexy. 

Except for the occasional graveyard maggot and the sloughing skin, if you take a good look at her she is a living . . . er . . . undead doll.  And, just like with Betty Rubble and Betty Cooper, personality does count.  Corpse Bride(63996)Credit: Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, 2005CB (she let’s me call her “CB”, we’re tight like that, yo!) is a sweetly, sometimes ding-batty, afterlife Aphrodite by any standard. 

First, she has a rockin’ body, if you can look past the part where you might literally be jumping her bones (but, hey, she still has that one sleekly-smoothed pipe stem to make up for it).  The bony arm might be a little hard to deal with, but a sexy, long, black opera glove would take care of that.  [See? You gotta work the angles.] 

Finally, this graveyard gal is a cutie, once you get over the decomposition complexion problems.  And maybe the smell.  

OK, so . . . a black opera glove, maybe some nose plugs, a No-Pest strip, and lots of Febreze® – you got yerslef a hottie!!

Tim Burton’s 2005 stop-action animated Corpse Bride followed The Nightmare Before Christmas in his filmmaking oeuvre of weirdness.  The movie Corpse Bride tells the tale of a Corpse Bride movie poster (2005)Credit: Tim Burton, 2005hapless murder victim – that’s right, CB met with foul play.  She’s buried in a forest and a guy, Victor, comes along who’s going to marry another woman in an arranged marriage.  He’s fresh from screwing up a wedding rehearsal, so he takes time out to practice his part in the wedding by himself in a forest.  To keep from losing his wedding ring, he slips it over a tree root (yeah, I know it’s contrived, but get over it).  The tree root is none other than a shallow-graved CB, though.  She rises from her grave, and she thinks this man is now her lawfully wedded husband. Having been murdered on the night of her elopement, CB isn’t about to let Victor get away, so she drags him off to the Land of the Dead.  The rest of the movie revolves around his escape from the underworld; in the end CB (whose name in the movie is “Emily”) figures out who killed her.

I want to make it clear I am not the only one who fell for CB’s charms.  If you own the DVD or have watched the bonus features about the making of this movie there is something magical going on there.  Out of all the puppets, models, toys, and prostheses used in this movie, only CB was talked of and lavished attention upon as if she were a real, living . . . um . . . unliving woman.  The affection that the cast and crew had for this puppet (she’s a couple of feet tall) was genuine.  They all talked of her in the third person as well, referring to her by name, mostly the shorter “CB”, but they also always used personal pronouns such as “her” and “she” in reference to her, never “that” or “it”.  That says a lot when writers and directors can make a dead doll such a richly developed character that not only do you care about her you fall in love with her!! And although I know CB isn’t technically a cartoon, but a model (“Hey, I’m dating a model!”), I still wish she could be truly “alive”.

Jessica Rabbit
This is the one most men fall all over themselves for. 


Simple: it’s curves.

And lots of ’em.  Curves on top of curves. 

Jessica Rabbit’s framework of pneumatic, hyper-feminized, exaggerated, seam-busting beauty means she probably had to be built in an airplane factory.  The zeppelins packed into her dress alone are just pushing the edge of ridiculous (but not quite).

Jessica Rabbit montage

When half the planet saw the live-action/animated classic Who Framed Roger Rabbit? her character was one of the stand-outs, and she quickly became a pop culture pin-up.  She actually is a Jessica Rabbit (Web art)gentle reminder of the good old days when women were “cave-wimmen” – the voluptuous Jean Harlows, the Marilyn Monroes, the Jayne Mansfields, women today who probably wouldn’t get a break in movies because someone would say they’re too fat.  Jessica Rabbit is not fat, she is voluptuous.  And goofy.  And fun.

Again, I am not alone in my love of Jessica Rabbit.  A clear indicator of a character’s popularity is how she is treated on the Web.  Many graphic artists (and ordinary shmendriks with little or no talent) take a stab at re-interpreting these women.  The idiom they use and how the subject is portrayed are bellwethers both for the character’s stardom but also for how she is perceived.  Jessica Rabbit is tarty, but she’s also a “good girl” (at least in the movie – the book was a whole different story).  That sultry image is presented time and again in Web art.  It’s generally tasteful and respectful.

What keeps Jessica Rabbit from ranking a bit higher for me isn’t the fact she’s into the bestiality thing.  It’s because her back-story has her as a kind of gold-digging conniver, and I’m not a fan of underhanded women.  Hot, yes – underhanded, no.  But Jessica did turn over a new DDD leaf, so I forgive her, and yeah, she needs to show up at my house in that red dress and her Veronica Lake peek-a-boo bangs to play some serious patty-cake!

Holli Would
Ahhh – Holli Would!!  Men love her.  They can’t help it.  She’s sexy, she’s bad, she’s a tease, she’s a party animal, and she’s built like a brick you-know-what house – what’s not to love? Wellll . . .

The 1992 fantasy live-action animation cult classic Cool World boldly went where no man had gone before.  It blatantly explored the fascination men have with cartoon women.  Its premise was the “what if” fantasy – Cool World movie poster (1992)what if you could meet and have a relationship with a favored cartoon chick?  Unfortunately, it also made painfully obvious the idea that we want our cartoon woman as is, not a transmorphed “real” woman.  This movie was ruined by Kim Basinger’s presence in it (not her fault). I’ll explain.

Holli Would as a cartoon is what she is and that’s what we want.  In the movie, Holli (like Pinocchio before her) wants to be a real flesh-and-blood person.  To that end she connives and wheedles and figures out a way to use her animator-creator to make that happen.  But that’s when the movie runs out of steam.  Every guy in the theater held his breath in anticipation during that transformative moment when Holli Would (cartoon vamp) turned into Holli Would (real woman).  And then collectively let out that breath in a disappointed sigh. 

Kim Basinger is absolutely stunning.  But she is not fantasy girl Holli Would hot.  This is not the beautiful Ms. Basinger’s fault – she is, after all, competing with someone’s idealized, built-to-spec image in this movie (with much larger breasts, fleshier thighs, and more well-rounded everything). 

She did her best, though.  And she should be given credit for doing the movie.  It’s tough to compete with a cartoon (unless it’s some dumper like Daria or Scooby-Doo’s Velma).  That transformation sequence and the rest of the film were a complete let down.  Again, not Kim’s fault.  It’s our fault – we expect too much. [Oh, the human Holli Would role was originally envisioned for Drew Barrymore, by the way].

Kim & HolliCredit: Vic Dillinger™, © 2011

Holli Would is sincere pin-up material on the Web.  Again, she is given many makeovers, but all dwell on her physicality and carnality.  In most of the Jessica Rabbit interpretations, for instance, there are attempts at subtlety and sophistication. She is generally portrayed in her character’s chanteuse role.  Holli Would doesn’t come in for that level of sensitive treatment.  She’s mostly drawn by-the-book, all curvy and flirty and pouty and teasing.  Her Web art is not nearly as sublime as Jessica’s.

I love Holli Would because she’s a bad girl, with just a tot of good girl.  And I love Kim Basinger for being Kim Basinger. 

Carmen Sandiego
Surprise!!  Betcha didn’t know this video vixen from a series of children’s educational TV shows and computer games was a smoking gun of sex and adoration.  Believe it!

I have always felt a bit ashamed (and alone) in my love for Carmen Sandiego. It was the love that dare not speak its name, my private cross to bear. 

In conversations where cartoon chicks were raised as a topic over which to start fistfights I never mentioned her for fear of being jeered.  Well, I’m saying it now, out loud and proud – Carmen Sandiego collageCredit: Vic Dillingerâ„¢, © 2011I think Carmen Sandiego is one of the hottest cartoon women ever invented. And she is all woman (Holli Would is kind of a girl-woman and Jessica Rabbit is childlike in many ways.  Carmen is one of the cave-wimmen).

As a former private investigator any woman involved in any kind of espionage or covert activity or who lives among the shadows appeals to me mightily, right down to my gumshoes.  Tough moll Carmen Sandiego has the added bonus of being a good girl gone totally bad – my all time favorite type of woman. 

Brøderbund Software developed Carmen Sandiego as a video learning aid in the early 1980s [I love the name “Brøderbund” with that Nordic “ø” in it – it looks like some unspeakable perversion: “So then Carmen and I did the Brøderbund.  It was rockin’!”]  Her adventures were to teach children about geography originally with the series Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?  But for some reason her creators made her really attractive (I mean really attractive)!  And they also made her bad (she used to be a good agent, now she’s gone over to the dark side as a thieving Carmen Sandiego (Web art pin-up)Credit: CallMePo, 2010criminal mastermind; hence, the incessant need to find her).

Again, the on-line artists have latched onto Carmen as a pin-up subject.  However, her treatments are less standard fare.  Her character has enough diversity that she can be placed in almost any action/adventure setting, even the ones that transcend her humble origins as a learning aid (a Glock–toting Carmen, wearing a red Jessica Rabbit dress and her trademark hat, held at gunpoint in a roomful of armed men, for example.)

My love for Carmen (barring her bountiful “vital” statistics) is also because I love Latinas.  And I have to believe with her exotic looks and a name like "Carmen Sandiego" she is Latina (maybe Colombian).  So, having said that, I have a great movie idea.  It’ll be box office boffo, I tells ya!! I want to see a serious, full-length thriller/action/adventure movie of Carmen Sandiego doing anything that Carmen does.  And I have already narrowed it down to a coin-toss between two stunningly beautiful Latina actresses who could play Carmen Sandiego (they each have their merits, so I’m going to leave it up to the home audience to decide):

Sofia Vergara & Eva Mendes as Carmen SandiegoCredit: Vic Dillinger™, © 2011

So, Steven Spielberg, I have this fantastic idea for a big-budget killer movie that definitely has franchise written all over it featuring a lusty Latina international criminal mastermind – call me when you get the time.

Wonder Woman
I have been hypnotically enamored of Wonder Woman since I was a little kid.  I love her, almost all phases of her career, beginning all the way back to the 1940s (I hated her “mod” period in the late New Wonder Woman (DC Comics)Credit: DC ComicsSixties,though; her storylines got lame, and she lost her powers, and I hate hippies).

Wonder Woman combines the best of all worlds with respect to cartoon dames. She is sublimely dignified, and carries herself well.  She is honest.  She is also pleasant, but not in some saccharin-sweet I-think-I-need-a-shot-of-insulin way.  Wonder Woman is a totally beautiful, sexily-stacked Latina (I can’t think of her as anything else anymore, not since Lynda Carter made Wonder Woman the classic icon she did.  As far as I’m concerned Lynda Carter is Wonder Woman embodied in a mere mortal, and no other will ever meet that bra-busting standard).

Wonder Woman has it all: body, brains, beauty.  No matter what era of comic she’s in, she’s still Wonder Woman.  She’s never a letdown (except for the Sixties when DC Comics threw in that hippie crud and ruined her for a few years). But Wonder Woman’s other appeal is her super stature as an all-powerful goddess (from Paradise Island, a wondrous land of bouncing, bountiful babes, all of whom could kick your ogling crevices closed).  There probably isn’t a man on the planet who Wonder Woman (new version, Web art)hasn’t thought about what it would be like to have an action figure as a bedroom bunny. 

The whole “mortal/super-hero” relationship thing was hilariously skewered and charmingly presented in the underrated 2006 Uma Thurman movie, My Super Ex-Girlfriend.  This film handles the “what if” issue of a dating relationship with a super woman.  Unfortunately, for the shmo in the movie, his heroine has “issues” – she is mentally unbalanced.  The film has some great comedic moments starting when the guy breaks up with the lunatic G-Girl (Uma Thurman’s “Wonder Woman” in the movie; Uma totally rocks that G-Girl costume!!)

Like many other cartoon women, Wonder Woman is also a very popular subject for many on-line artists.  What is interesting, though, is her character is almost overwhelmingly treated with reverence and respect.  She is invariably displayed in a positive and glorious light, or in some killer action poses, or things of that nature.  She is apparently greatly admired (and the art work shows it) even by the part-time doodler.  Even the manga stuff looks good!!

Wonder Woman (collage, various styles)

The best thing about Wonder Woman, and it is a testament to her longevity as a dynamic, iconic character, is she still finds new audiences.  Today, her character has been revamped again; she’s a little edgier, a bit brooding, and lovelier than ever.  Younger graphic artists have taken up her image and redefined it.  She is getting some dimensions to her she previously didn’t have, and since she’s also the hottest Mexican super heroine ever I will always put her as my Numero Uno. Immigration issues?  I don’t have any.  This Amazonian from Paradise Island (the little island in the Pacific that belongs to Mexico) will always be my wonder woman. 


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