Analysis: Cartoon Network 20th Birthday Character Mash Up

In this short video all of the animated characters over twenty years created at Cartoon Network are featured.  While this video does not consist of numerous clips from multiple sources I still believe it is a good example of a mash-up.  It is fun to see all of the familiar faces that I grew up with in one place.  First dealing with copyright laws and such, Cartoon Network created this clip and owns all of the rights to the characters so putting them all in one place wasn’t an issue.  The creators could choose the famous characters over the years and pick how they interact.

Dealing with closure I believe that subject-to-subject is used.  There is one large scene of the characters being at a birthday party but as the camera moves it closes in on a group of characters having a conversation occasionally getting a closeup of one’s face.  The mash-up definitely falls in the iconic category since it is of all cartoon characters.  The use of color is very powerful in the short video.  The background is black with thin white lines that create a setting for a birthday party.  The minimal use of color in the background is so the animations stand out.  The cartoons are all in their original colors which is important because it is an essential component to make the iconic characters.  The lines used in the background are very thin and I believe this is intentional because the purpose is not for them to stand out, but it creates a setting for all of the characters.  The conversations being carried out are between characters from different shows that one wouldn’t typically see interaction.

The type of dialog is consistent to the personality of each character.  For example at 0:32 seconds into the video the camera closes in on Johnny Bravo from his show and Coco from Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends.  Coco talks in her normal tone which is composed of a single word “coco” which ironically her name.  Johnny Bravo is supposed to be a very “smooth” character, so after Coco mutters “coco” Johnny interacts with her by putting a finger over her mouth and saying “You had me at coco”.  These instances happen throughout the two minutes and I think that is what gives it a genuine mash-up feel.  Being able to see characters from my childhood interacting with others is truly a treat.

Cartoon Network 20th Birthday Character Mash Up


One thought on “Analysis: Cartoon Network 20th Birthday Character Mash Up

  1. Thorough analysis, Kelsi! Your paragraph about dialogue brings up an interesting analytical problem: are McCloud’s categories of word-picture relationships sufficient to explain why this scene words, or are other terms / explanations needed?

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