200 Years of Cartoon History Cannot Solve the Traffic Problem
Animated cartoons (of the previous century) long reflected a selective view of modern American life. Whether we’re talking about Burbank’s Walt Disney Studios in 1953, or Studio City’s Hanna Barbera Studios in 1963 (envisioning life in the year 2063), the animator’s imagination has tended to be skewed by his daily view of the local Southern-Californian landscape. This means many 20th-c. cartoons were replete with images of backyard BBQs, fenced-in yards, neat Bungalows, Hollywood stars, (and the Hollywood Bowl and the Hollywood hills), suburban place names, and, most of all, highways, traffic, and all the trappings of the dominating local car culture.
So completely car-addled was Cartoonlandia (as one might call that golden age of Hollywood animation studios) that animators in L.A. in the middle of last century could hardly conceive of a world that wasn’t overrun and ruled by traffic. Thus, the bookended views of Goofy stuck in traffic in 1953 and George Jetson stuck in a mid-air jam in 2063. Plus les choses changet, mon amis, plus le trafic augmente.