“Remember the line from “Wayne’s World” when Garth asks Wayne if he was ever attracted to Bugs Bunny when he dressed up like a girl bunny? Not something you would want to readily admit: finding sexy a cartoon version of another species indulging in cross-dressing.
But I think we have all been attracted to cartoons now and again, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Cartoons are fantasies, and for that reason sometimes have a better shot at capturing erotic appeal even better than reality.
I remember the first time I saw Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” when at the end the Beast is transformed into his original human form. I was absolutely stunned at the splendor of the man. It was love at first sight...what a shame it was such a bit part! Gorgeous eyes, beautiful hair—really impossible good looks on the plane of reality.
Actually, a cartoon guy even doesn’t have to be really hot looking to be sexy. I’m pretty attracted to “Mr. Opportunity,” the spokes-cartoon for Honda. Ironically, I think the allure is his voice. Maybe the fact that that cute voice isn’t coming out of a flesh-and-blood human just draws attention to it. The cartoon image itself is like a charming mask at a masquerade party: just makes you want to know more about the owner of the voice behind it.
My latest cartoon flame is the male lead in Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise comic, David Qin. He is sweet, exotic, vulnerable, dangerous—in short, irresistible. Obviously it’s the storytelling itself that gives David his true charm, but he is drawn pretty sexily too: the Asian good looks, the great hair, the hauntingly tortured expressions.
I think perhaps it is the minimalist style of comic book illustration (Alex Ross’s Norman Rockwell-esque art notwithstanding) that lends itself well to erotic fantasy. David Qin is drawn to have just enough detail to suggest how he looks, and the imagination fills in the rest. This phenomenon can result in an even more alluring appearance than photorealism would. David in ink evokes thoughts of exotic eyes, silky black hair, a posterior that jeans fit well, the grace of an Asian martial artist. All of it springs from the imagination, perfect for my own particular desires.
So if you’ve ever been smitten with a cartoon, be ye not troubled. We’ve all been there. And you can’t be any worse than my elder daughter, who in her youth had a mad crush on Danger Mouse.
Any nominees for hot animated characters? If so, please post!