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Cartoon Hell #14 – “The Lost Dream”

February 11, 2009

Cartoon Hell is TheKarpuk’s attempt to review every single installment in an awful $5 collection called “150 Classic Cartoons” purchased at his local Wal-Mart. Your prayers are welcome.

Mine was to be a dinosaur hunter!

Mine was to be a dinosaur hunter!

“The Lost Dream” begins with a theme song about a little orphaned cyst. I don’t trust this interpretation, because as we’ve established, the music fidelity on this DVD set is akin to playing your stereo speaker in bathwater. The song is supposed to be about Little Audrey, who is an orphan. Not to be confused with that other orphan, whose name people remember.

Mammy SMASH!

Mammy SMASH!

Not one minute into the run time, I yell, “Gadzooks, a mammy! Complete with terrible racist accent.” I assume it’s a nanny, or a maid, or someone with the authority to tell Audrey to go to sleep. Audrey responding with “yessum” is kinda weird, and I can’t quite determine if it’s mocking or not. The mammy, named Petunia,  says something about reading by moonlight giving you strange dreams, which I’d never before heard of.

You know she's just going to spend it on drugs.

You know she's just going to spend it on drugs.

Audrey soon sleeps, and dreams she’s cutting down candy canes in some sort of non-copyright-infringing Candyland. Not to eat, mind you, I think she just declared imminent domain to build an airport or an oilfield. Then she dreams of a rain of dimes and nickels, enough to get chips and pickles. In this case I’m uncertain as to whether the rhyming was intentional.

A rain of small change would sting like a bitch incidentally.

This bit actually rang true. Kids have the most unambitious, crappy fantasies when it comes to wish fulfillment. Sure they’re plenty imaginative otherwise, but they’re desires are such crap. When I was a kid I often dreamed of owning a hot dog factory. That was the height of imagined decadence for me, ready access to cheap meat.

No, she's not dying, stop looking so hopeful.

No, she's not dying, stop looking so hopeful.

Audrey’s tardiness makes her personified dream miss, “The Dream Boat”. The spirit is understandably upset that Audrey didn’t listen to her household stereotype. They walk up a beam of light, and I wonder if this isn’t how they trick the souls of children into going to heaven when they die in their sleep.

Spirits in Dreamland keep the stars shining with brushes, others sew silver linings on clouds, and everyone seems to have a grueling, menial job to do. That’s awfully left-brained of Audrey, the unicorns in her dreamworld probably have diapers so they don’t shit all over the clouds.

The Sandman bears a striking resemblance to Mickey Rooney.

The Sandman bears a striking resemblance to Mickey Rooney.

The dream and Audrey report in to the Sandman, who’s pouring sand into bags by hand. The Sandman asks Audrey to account for the tardiness, and she gives the crap excuse, “Well, you see, sir, he was my dream and I didn’t know he was so late.” The dream plays along with the bullshit by saying Audrey kept him from getting lost on the way. I’ll let you work out the obvious logical fallacy there. The Sandman buys this story completely. The world of dreams being run by an idiot make sense in a way, dreams being what they are.

The Sandman’s one and only stipulation is not to open the large, sinister, scary-ass door of hurting located near by. I assume it’s full of repressed memories of dirty uncles people discover under hypnosis in their 40’s, or perhaps mundane like, I don’t know, falling.

The dream gives Audrey a tour, and by tour I mean a gallery of shitty sleep-related puns. I shall list them:

You're a cat nap god damn it, go back to sleep!

You're a cat nap god damn it, go back to sleep!

A cat nap. Yeah, I know, this fruit isn’t just low hanging, it’s rotten on the ground.

Could also be a dradle, for those of a hebraic persuasion.

Could also be a dradle, for those of a hebraic persuasion.

“He sleeps like a top!” Wait, what the hell? Help me out here, I’m not old enough to even have enough context for a good joke about that. How does one sleep like a top?

It's Happy Hour, two for one on martinis of betrayal!

It's Happy Hour, two for one on martinis of betrayal!

Broken dreams are shaken, not stirred. I did not know this, I always assumed they were blended. Within the broken dream poof we witness a boy getting a degree, goes into a building dressed in a suit, and comes out in an old-timey cleaning outfit. Audrey gets bent out of shape over this, because like all good hearted children, she’s saddened to see graduates discover that their creative writing degree will not earn them a living wage neither now,  nor ever.

This door may be, perhaps, just ever so slighty, just a little, dangerous?

This door may be, perhaps, just ever so slighty, just a little, dangerous?

I’ve never heard of this Audrey character before, but the theme song discusses her proclivities as though they were a well known thing at the time, like the Menace of Dennis, or Garfield’s dislike of Mondays.  I think she may have been based on the anarchist who shot McKinley, a hot topic at the time. Her only urges involve bringing down the Dreamworld from the inside. This comes to a head when she approaches the dreaded door of rape fantasies, slaughterhouse memories, and Hannah Montana fan-fiction. Also, there may or may not be “DANGER” too.

The dream very sensibly warns her away from the door, as all little girls should prefer wholesome puns to unimaginable horror.

For best results, apply sepia tones to all your faded dreams.

For best results, apply sepia tones to all your faded dreams.

Back on the tour, several dreams are brushing off a faded dream involving a free lunch, which they must have been prepping for some hungry, hungry hoboes. No supper in those bindles tonight, boys!

When he turns back, Audrey is once again tugging at the door. Most sensible people would realize that the little sociopath should be taken home post haste, but this dream is too damn trusting for his own good.

Not just chemistry, it's girly chemistry.

Not just chemistry, it's girly chemistry.

We get to see what girl dreams are made of. It’s very exciting, I assure you. The dream expands into a scene where a dolled up eight year old leaves a stage door, and three guys swoon over her. Fun fact, interesting dreams weren’t discovered until the late 50’s around the same times whites burgled Rock and Roll.

When little boys' dreams go wrong, they sometimes take out an entire city block.

When little boys' dreams go wrong, they sometimes take out an entire city block.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, little boys dreams make a great base for meth. The only result of this formula is an ominous vision of a school house burning to the ground. No, I’m not actually kidding, it’s that ominous.

And of course the moment the dream isn’t looking, Audrey returns to the door attempting to release the forces of evil. I admire the dream spirits patience. After so many tries I half expected him to knock her to the ground and slap her into unconsciousness. This aspect actually comes off accurate on the topic of kids, since stopping them from committing unspeakable evil is one of the chief responsibilities of a parent. The only reason children don’t kill us all is parents teaching them not to before they can get big enough to wield weapons properly.

The speed limit in Dreamland is 40 winks by the way, I just thought I’d point that out.

Is joke, yes?

Is joke, yes?

And yes, there are pipe dreams. The pun’ishment, it burns, it burns.

It's night terrors, CAJUN STYLE!

It's night terrors, CAJUN STYLE!

Then, as we all assumed would happen since Audrey determined to visit night terrors on the world, the door is thrust open, and three goofy looking Mardi Gras heads begin cackling. And no, that image isn’t blurry because of my bad screen capture abilities, the film went out of focus for roughly thirty second. As I’ve indicated in previous installments, some of these films seemed to be melting as they transferred to DVD.

Guess what the spirits do when they’re released? Do they tear the dreams of all living souls to shreds? Do they fill the world with heart-attack-inducing nightmares? No, mostly they do a musical number too garbled by age to be understood, but the gist involves her doing what she oughtn’t to have been doing.

Audrey wakes up and says, “No more moonshine for me!” My god, the minstrel-show-throwback knew all along, there is a correlation between moonlight and bad dreams. Either that or she’s swearing off hillbilly wine, I don’t really know what kids were into back in the day.

UNPC Moment:

I’m going to go with the mammy. Yes, definitely the racist, nearly black-face portrayal of Audrey’s maid/nanny/whatever. God bless the lack of quality control that lets bigoted old cartoons leak into $5 bargain collections.

What’s weird is the Wikipedia page doesn’t even mention Petunia, even though I’m pretty sure her character is the reason Little Audrey cartoons have never been shown on television during my lifetime. She’s in almost every Little Audrey cartoon I could find on Youtube.

Rating: Nearly Unwatchable

When the entire cartoon is about dreams, it still feels like a cop-out when the conflict is resolved by the main character waking up.

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4 comments

  1. The Three Boys are wooing at the young girl in the cartoon. The Young girl is walking like the Mae West style (West is the cousin of Wesley Matthew Enloe!)


  2. The Sandman is a caricature of British-American Mickey Rooney. Rooney is very much alive in California.


    • I don’t think I made a comment about Mickey Rooney’s health one way or the other. And in all fairness, a lot of cartoon characters kind of look like Mickey Rooney.


  3. On the cartoon, “The Lost Dream,” one person who got the diploma but later become the custodian, has Coke bottle glasses. He looks like Darwood “Waldo” Kaye from Our Gang. There is one song on that cartoon is “I’ve Been Working on a Railroad,” reminds me of Texas due to the song, “The Eyes of Texas.”



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