Why cartoon characters wear gloves

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Vox

Animators had a few tricks up their slee...err gloves. Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjO Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com to get up to speed on everything from Kurdistan to the Kim Kardashian app. Check out our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyE Follow Vox on Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H Or on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06o

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Video Transcript:

This is the VHS for an extremely goofy movie it's a follow up to the cult classic a goofy movie and it's one of my favorite animated films now there's a moment in this movie where Bobby zamorski Max's stoner friend you know the one that Chuck's cheese whiz he says do you ever wonder why we're always like wearing gloves that's a damn good question Bobby let's figure this out [Music] Does the question why do animated characters wear gloves come up a lot for you the question rarely comes up but when it does there are a number of answers to it that's John cane maker he's an animation historian and professor at NYU miss basic theory is that glove save time at the dawn of animation everything was hand drawn over and over and over again and certain techniques to make the process more efficient shape the style Of the cartoons as Felix was becoming more popular the animator Bill Nolan decided to remove his snout and make him more circular overall what they called the rubber hose encircled spaghetti characters this rubber hose encircle aesthetic allowed animators to quickly draw arms legs and hands without spending too much time developing realistic details of the characters body like elbows and knees a round edge was much faster to draw than an angle and That certainly applied to hands with all those little fingers and Knuckles but hands posed another problem for animators in the age of fuzzy black-and-white film characters were in black-and-white films difficult to see against their black body take a look at Mickey Mouse in 1927 is playing crazy he had black hands and feet just like Felix he gained shoes in 1928 Steamboat Willie and in 1929 he's wearing gloves the Opera House the rubber-hose style of Animation is in full effect here every character is exaggerated round and simple and like many of the glove wearing cartoon characters of his time Mickey Mouse is a non human doing very human things in his 1968 biography the Disney version Walt Disney addresses this very issue he says we didn't want him to have Mouse hands because he was supposed to be more human so we gave him gloves so in addition to saving time and providing color contrast gloves bring Non-human things to life making their grand gestures stand out these 1935 teakettles from vampyre and studios have them this movie camera does too when Pinocchio is a puppet he wears gloves but when he becomes a boy they disappear they're no longer needed but there's another less practical influence behind cartoon characters white gloves the Opera House is a film about Mickey putting on a big vaudeville show that film and many of the animations that Predated it were inextricably linked to vaudeville performance and the blackface minstrel shows of the time in fact early animators often performed on vaudeville stages Nicholas salmon writes in birth of an industry that early animated characters like Felix a cat Bembo Bosco and Mickey Mouse weren't just like minstrels they were minstrels both the cartoons and the stage characters were portrayed as mischievous and rebellious yet good-natured they wore loose clothes Had painted faces and they wore white gloves in the 1930s vaudeville and blackface minstrelsy declined white gloves were no longer associated with vaudeville to a new generation of viewers instead they were just part of the cartoon style people came to expect there was also in the band concert do you know that film it's from 1935 one of the characters is a cow characters called Clarabelle cow and she plays the flute and her glove Gets stuck in the past so really tricky without the glove 60 years later goofy takes off his gloves before getting in a pool and it's frankly really disturbing now what's really bothering me is why Daffy Duck and many other animated birds don't wear gloves we might never know look let's not split hairs why do you even wear a glove because I've always worn them it's Who I am why do you wear that thing around Your neck Touche Bugs Bunny Touche [Music]

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