men_in_full: (more devos)
A ginger Ghost of Christmas Present. Sorry, there's a commercial before the clip:

men_in_full: (de vos bacchus pinch)
[ profile] jennie_jay in the comment thread directly below mentioned the "restrained Bacchus" of Disney's Fantasia:
Disney's "Fantasia" contains a (restrained) Bacchanal, with a rather stereotyped Bacchus. The original sketches were much better than the final result we see in the film. I've got a book about the making of "Fantasia", will try to scan some of the illustrations.... and the "centaurettes" have nipples in the original rough-outs, too! A far cry from the saccharine final look.

She sent some sketches and pastel storyboards, which show a freer, more abandoned Bacchus (especially in the last image, where he forms the centerpiece for a swirling mass of centaur dancers.

Click for concept/character sketch details.

More below the cut... )
men_in_full: (Default)

This is awesome: Topless mermaids and a fat King Neptune who jiggles appreciably with each belly laugh. Hat tip to the [ profile] mermaid_lagoon community.

Some screencaps below the cut: )

Interesting, too, how this 1932 cartoon prefigures Disney's 1989 The Little Mermaid fairly closely, with the red-headed mermaid as "centerpiece," and how the swirling water gets stirred by the trident. Neptune's roundness and coloration (that very pale purplish tinge to the skin) gets reflected later in TLM's Ursula. Interesting too how TLM "buffed up" King Triton (another incarnation of Neptune) and made the villain not only fat but a feminine tribute to the transvestite performer Divine.

But in this earlier mermaid story, the fat Neptune saves the mermaids from the predatory pirates.

men_in_full: (opera goers)
From [ profile] blachubear (via [ profile] munciecub,) this awesome video. "Papiroflexia" is Spanish for origami.

The man has great "swing" in his step and body. I also like how he leaves his home (surrounded by his magical creations) to take his enchantment out into the world, transforming it as he goes along. In the last shot (with its final metamorphosis), all sit down together in a "peaceable kingdom" moment.

men_in_full: (bacchus de vos)
While the culinary rodent Remy might have been the furry star of the Oscar's Best Animation pick Ratatouille, the presiding "genius" of the film is his wonderfully floaty fat mentor, master chef Auguste Gusteau. Rarely has a fat man in animation been so suffused with artistic power, energy, creativity, an air of subtle sexuality, but Pixar brings him to life in Brad Bird's film. And best of all, it's done with no fat jokes, no deprecation, no snark.

Ratatouille remarks, with spoilers )

From what I read, Pixar's next film WALL-E apparently portrays pretty negative images of fat people, as Disney watch blogger Jim Hill reports:
The first act of this film is set on Earth 700 years from now, where -- thanks to humanity's wasteful ways -- our planet is now basically one big trash heap floating in space) ... In the future, mankind has grown so slothful that everyone weighs 500 pounds and has lost the ability to walk on their own.
Shall we leave aside how people so immobile are able to build space stations, the rockets to get there, and the barcaloungers to loll around on? It's a shame Pixar has to tread this path, especially after delivering such a delightful fat character as Ratatouille's Gusteau.
men_in_full: (thoughtful)
Fat superheroes and body-morphing come up occasionally as themes in comics' "golden age." Of course, the fat superhero/sidekick is often ridiculous or shameful. I read comics in this era and it's pretty easy to see how they shaped perceptions.

Sorry if the images load slowly ...

Thanks, L., for finding Fat Superboy.
men_in_full: (Default)

In A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, the Ghost of Christmas Present appears in Scrooge's room and transforms it:

The walls and ceiling were so hung with living green, that it looked a perfect grove; from every part of which, bright gleaming berries glistened. The crisp leaves of holly, mistletoe, and ivy reflected back the light, as if so many little mirrors had been scattered there; and such a mighty blaze went roaring up the chimney ...

Heaped up on the floor, to form a kind of throne, were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking-pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth-cakes, and seething bowls of punch, that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam.

In easy state upon this couch, there sat a jolly Giant, glorious to see:, who bore a glowing torch, in shape not unlike Plenty's horn, and held it up, high up, to shed its light on Scrooge, as he came peeping round the door.

'Come in.' exclaimed the Ghost. 'Come in and know me better, man.'"

The image on the right is from the rare 1971 Oscar-winning animated version directed by Richard Williams (of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? fame.) In Williams' interpretation, Christmas Present's generosity of form also reflects the expansiveness and charity of the season that gets left out in so many adaptations, for this Christmas Present takes Scrooge not just to Bob Cratchit's and Fezziwig's homes, but to the home of the miners, the lighthouse keepers, and the ship at sea as well. So his fullness of body (rather than reflecting gluttony) serves as an emblem of the generosity, openness, and hospitality Dickens wishes us to associate with the season for those in all walks of life and circumstances. And he uses a "jolly giant, glorious to see," full in body and spirit, to do so.

The Ghost of Christmas Present wasn't cut from whole cloth by Dickens. Before there was the commercialized "Santa Claus" as we know him, there was "Father Christmas," whom Dickens appropriated for his Spirit. He's middle-aged, not old, with the wideness and solidity that some men grow into with time. With his green fur-trimmed robe, his crown of holly, his "capacious breast" that disdained "to be warded or concealed by any artifice," his hint of wildness and phallic torch, he perhaps hails from the Green Man of pre-Christian England.

Today we are cautioned against the season as a mortal threat to diets. That sounds similar to the Puritan disdain for Christmas, where fear and suspicion of the twelve-day long season peaked during the ascendancy of Oliver Cromwell. The 17th century Puritan parliament's "Godly Party" embarked on a twenty-some year attempt to snuff out the celebration, seen as sinful, luxurious, wasteful, and a harbinger of pre-Puritan days. But in older Catholic and Anglican celebrations,

... there was also the concept of a ‘Father Christmas’, more as a figure that oversaw the community celebrations than as someone who gave presents to children. ... It was a period of leisure, of eating and drinking to excess, of dancing and singing, gambling, gaming and stage plays (though modern-style pantomimes did not emerge until the eighteenth century), of drunkenness and sexual immorality, a period when normal rules and self-control did not apply, a period of deliberate inversion and ‘misrule’. (Ref.)

C.S. Lewis had his Cromwellian White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe enchant Narnia so that it was "always winter and never Christmas," and it's the coming of Father Christmas that signals the end of her ascetic and bitter reign.

The Spirit stood beside sickbeds, and they were cheerful; on foreign lands, and they were close at home; by sruggling men, and they were patient in their greater hope; by poverty, and it was rich. In almshouse, hospital, and jail, in misery's every refuge, where vain man in his little brief authority had not made fast the door, and barred the Spirit out, he left his blessing, and taught Scrooge his precepts.

As he might us. God bless us, every one, and hold us fast in the embrace of Christmas Present in this upcoming season.


men_in_full: (Default)

September 2013



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