Wednesday, September 12, 2007
More Animated Attractions: Erin Esurance
Two years ago I wrote a post about my crush on Honda’s spokescartoon, Mr. Opportunity. I admitted the animated fellow’s charm was most likely his voice (he is voiced, by the way, by prolific voice artist Rob Paulson). Still, the point was that sometimes cartoon people can be pretty sexy.
A much better example of this, apparently, is Esurance auto insurance’s Erin Esurance (55,000 Google results and growing). While Mr. O seems to draw mixed reviews--some people turn off their TVs when he appears--this past weekend my husband discovered the rampant popularity of his own personal animated crush.
Yes, David did a search for Erin “photos” to put up on his wallpaper. I wish I could say this was ridiculous to me, but seeing as I have this history with Mr. Opportunity, I really can’t criticize. Besides, I think Erin is pretty hot myself. I do, Davie does, and apparently so do an awful lot of other people. You’d be amazed how many online folks are asking “Is it wrong for me to be attracted to Erin Esurance?”
Look, guys, it’s really okay to lust after the pink-haired cutie. To paraphrase Jessica Rabbit, “she’s just drawn that way”; the artists at Wild Brain used, albeit subconsciously, the same standards in creating Erin as those that males use to judge attractiveness: large, wide eyes, tiny nose, big...yeah. These visual cues get the same results whether they are flesh and blood or tan and hot pink.
In my research on Erin, I discovered there are an awful lot of men with crushes on Ariel, aka Disney’s The Little Mermaid, too. Those Disney animators have always been good at drawing nice looking people. I for one have always wished the footage of the Beast, after he turns back into a prince, went on for another 75 minutes.
The comics in Playboy notwithstanding, we tend to think of cartoons as being for children and therefore incompatible with erotic feelings. But animation is just another form of visual arts, albeit a stylized one, so there’s no reason why cartoon people can’t be sexually attractive.
Consider then the middle ground between cartoons and live action: “interpolated-rotoscoping,” the technique used, for example, in the film “A Scanner Darkly.” Live action footage is converted into cartoon-style, yet realistic, imagery by computer. Since the real life Keanu Reeves is sexy, his rotoscoped version is too. Can you say you’re attracted to a cartoon if you react thus to the cartoon Keanu? Or is rotoscoping too close to real life to count?
So, there’s really no reason to feel weird about lusting after a cartoon person simply because said person is animated. Erin is a perfectly wholesome, clever, resourceful, spy/insurance expert. Of course, this brings up the issue of some of the Erin Esurance “fan art” out there, in which our intrepid spokescartoon engages in not-so-wholesome activities and is altered from the original in certain key ways. Well, what are you gonna do?--it’s fantasy.
And at least this celebrity isn’t going to sue you for Photoshopping her into appearing nude.