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Gandhi, Mohandas K. (Mahatma)

Posted in WB Cartoon Companion on March 5, 2004

(1869-1948)

    Gandhi was a highly respected figure who was a leader in the fight for the independence of India, famous for promoting non-violent resistance. Gandhi had a rather singular appearance, with his lean body, glasses, and simple garb. This made him a popular target for political cartoonists and, for some odd reason, animated cartoonists as well.

    Caricatures of Gandhi can be seen in Goopy Geer (Harman-Ising, 1932) as one of the figures in the drunken DTs of a horse, and in I Love a Parade (Harman-Ising, 1932) as “The Skinny Man from India”. Rice Puddin’ the Mad Monk, after an explosion, gets turned into Gandhi at the end of Wake Up the Gypsy in Me (Harman-Ising, 1933).

    Originally, Yosemite Sam introduced himself in Bugs Bunny Rides Again (Freleng, 1948) as “the roughest, toughest he-man hombre thats ever crossed the Rio Grande -- and I don’t mean Mahatma Gandhi”. The short was released on June 12, 1948. Unfortunately, Gandhi was brutally assassinated on January 30, 1948, after the scene had been recorded and animated, but before it was released. In the interests of good taste, reissue prints of the film replace the line with “...and I ain’t no namby pamby”. Even so, the animation wasn’t changed; and it is still possible to read Sam’s lips speaking the original line.

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• The Warner Brothers Cartoon Companion is © (copyright) 1996 E. O. Costello. All rights reserved.

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