I’ll be honest, I don’t quite know where this is going. I was doing some soul-searching (I found Jimmy Ruffin!) and while lost in rapturous thoughts of love and the human condition, the intricate web of neurons in my brain somehow managed to connect it all up to thoughts of toys and cartoon characters. So I reckon we’ll go through those things, look at some examples of luuuurve, and then try and find out what it all means. And maybe I’ll rate them on a scale of some sort, because that’s always funny. Hold on to your gonads, here we goooo!
Rescue Rangers – Chip, Dale, Monterey and Gadget
Okay, I get it. I’m sick. I must be, because this is the first thing that came to mind. As any child of the eighties knows, Rescue Rangers was a popular Disney cartoon that put the formerly useless (and naked) Chip and Dale in a bizarre new setting as sort of private detectives. Dale even has a Magnum-style Hawaiian shirt!
To round out the cast, Disney made up Monterey Jack (voiced by the wonderful Peter Cullen) and Gadget (Tress MacNeille). These two mice lived with Chip and Dale in a tree. Three guys, one girl – and she wasn’t shy about waving her
ass feminine charms around, either. This always struck me as an odd theme, inside a kid’s show. There would always be these little flirtations and rivalries and arguments- sometimes Chip would straight-up smash Dale’s head in so he could ride up front with Gadget in their little Rescue Plane. She clearly had a history with Monterey, too.
Love Rating: Lukewarm Perhaps this was Disney’s way of preparing our adolescent minds for the troubles ahead. After all, this sort of situation is commonplace in the real world. And let’s face it, you probably fancied Gadget, thus morphing this love triangle into a robust love square.
Sonic the Hedgehog – Sonic and Sally
I’ve written about Sonic before, but didn’t touch on the incredibly popular animated series, er, serieses or whatever. There were two – the first was a slapstick, wacky, Salvador Dali-esque cartoon where Sonic had all sorts of insane adventures with Tails, all the time thwarting the inept menace that was Dr. Robotnik. It was lighthearted, cheap and funny. Surprisingly, blues legend Long John Baldry voiced the incompetent Dr. Robotnik, and did a great job. He’ll bring tears to your eyes with his gurning face and bumbling antics.
The second cartoon was darker and much more serious. It had an ongoing storyline; each episode would lead into the next, and it was depressing as hell. This version’s Robotnik was a tyrant, a genocidal dictator that’ll give you nightmares. Anyway, Tails was still around, but Sonic was more interested in the female lead, Princess Sally. She was brave and bold and smart; a foil for Sonic in many ways. Svelte, bright-eyed and with a voice that would soothe (and arouse) a raging beast, she wasn’t only Sonic’s love interest – and by that I mean every boy watching was waved on to their path to heterosexuality like a plane coming in to land on an aircraft carrier. Sally didn’t even wear clothes, for heaven’s sake!
Love Rating: Hot stuff Sonic and Sally made a good couple, and their relationship was a robust and healthy one. Nothing unusual here, aside from the fact that Sally herself was designed by a think-tank to awkwardly stimulate the loins of the entire male audience, and probably a few females too.
Transformers – Seaspray and Alana
I’m going to drop my trademark wit for just a moment, because there’s nothing funny about this one. It’s beautiful.
The Autobot Transformer Seaspray travels to an alien planet, and there he meets a woman called Alana. Seaspray promises to help free her people from the tyranny of “Deceptitran” and the two become friends. It’s revealed that Alana’s race has the ability to change their forms when stepping into the sacred Well of Transformation – a puddle of magic water that does what it says on the tin. It will change your body to whatever your heart may wish.
She jumps in and turns into a mermaid so she can go swimming with Seaspray. Later, a battle starts up between some freedom-fighters and the evil Deceptitran’s forces, and Alana and her people flee into the Well – they are safe from the robotic soldiers as the pool destroys anything non-living; anything mechanical.
Seaspray goes to follow her, but is stopped in his tracks by her protests. “You’re a machine, aren’t you? You’ll be destroyed!” she says. Seaspray considers this for a moment and replies – “Maybe that is all I am… a bunch of transistors and bolts. But I don’t believe it! My heart may look like a fuel pump, but that doesn’t mean it can’t feel!” He then jumps into the pool. It boils and bubbles, over the cries and laments of Alana. But then Seaspray emerges, transformed into a merman, his heart’s desire.
Love Rating: Off the scale This literally caused me to burst into tears. How wonderful. In many ways, Seaspray’s plight is our own. Are we just bags of meat? Is the soul an illusion, a ghost in the machine? Or are we something more? That little robot had the faith and courage to find out… for the one he loved.
My Little Pony – Rarity and Adam
Confession time, I’m smitten with a cartoon pony. I’ve written about her before, so I won’t really go into it. I am not ashamed, the character is beautiful and wonderful – the fact that she’s a horsie is irrelevant. Of course, this infatuation has earned me some funny nicknames from my friends, and I’m not allowed in the Cuddle Corner of Pennywell Farm anymore, but I don’t care.
Love Rating: Forbidden Loving Rarity is a bit like going to French Polynesia. You’ve gone so far, you’ve started coming back.
Well, that is all I care to say for the moment. Maybe I’ll return to do another lot, as this was pretty fun to write! I’ve seen some things, though. Just Google any of these character’s names for a crash course in gynecology.
“Puddle of magic”