Saturday, October 13, 2012

From Comics to Toons: Krazy Kat (1962)

George Herriman's Krazy Kat returned to animated form in 1962 as part of King Features Syndicate's syndicated anthology package that also included Beetle Bailey & Snuffy Smith. Unlike those other strips, Krazy and Ignatz Mouse had some previous experience, appearing in a series of theatrical shorts for Columbia in the early 30's.

The biggest dispute over Krazy has to do with gender. Herriman intentionally made Krazy gender-neutral, but in the KFS shorts, produced by William Snyder & Gene Deitch, Krazy is clearly female, swooning over Ignatz despite his hatred of her. Otherwise, the androgynous status of Krazy remained intact in the comics and likely also in those Golden Age shorts. Snyder & Deitch didn't exactly endear themselves to fans of Tom & Jerry or even KFS stablemate Popeye, so ya wonder what was it that got them the contract to handle Krazy & Ignatz's misadventures.....!

Hewey1972 uploaded the intro, which illustrates exactly what I referred to above....

Rating: B-.


magicdog said...

I'd never heard of these characters until the shorts, which IIRC turned up on a local superstation over 20 years ago.

I rather felt badly for Kat since she suffered brutally at the hands of her mousey crush. Despite having grown up on Tom & Jerry cartoons, I just didn't find the violence here funny. If anything it's disturbingly close to domestic violence since the victim is a female in love with her abuser and never sees the light.

hobbyfan said...

Which might explain why Krazy Kat doesn't appear on TV anymore.

As I noted, creator George Herriman intended to keep Krazy gender-neutral, but for some reason, someone, perhaps Snyder/Deitch/Al Brodax @KFS-TV, thought it might make better material if Krazy was a female after all. Some decisions aren't always for the best.