Monday, June 23, 2014

Pleasant Goat and Great Grey Wolf

And now for something completely different...

My wife found on YouTube some subtitled episodes of a very popular Chinese animated cartoon called "Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf"*.  While I've only seen a few episodes, I enjoy them.  They hearken back to those thrilling days of my childhood when I could watch uncensored classic cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Popeye, Woody Woodpecker, and other uber-violent fare generally denied the more delicate children** of today.

The plot of the cartoons, so far as I can tell from the handful that I've seen, is pretty predictable:

A colony of rather juvenile sheep, under the leadership of their very wise, VERY slow elder (he is often shown being outrun by snails), live in bliss behind a large wall, put there by their ancestors to stop a pack of marauding wolves.  Life is good... until the Great Grey Wolf and his wife, the Great Red Wolf, move into the neighborhood, enticed by legends of a place where the sheep are numerous, fat and tasty.  Happily for the sheep (and the viewer!), Great Grey Wolf has quite a lot in common with a certain well-known Coyote: he is vain, pigheaded, and never manages to see the fatal flaws in his deeply-laid schemes to break into the sheep village.  Throw into the comic mix that he is very henpecked by his wife who, though she can't be bothered to try to catch the sheep herself, excels at post mortems when her husband returns, empty-handed and usually via crashing through the roof, from the hunt.

The animation of "Pleasant Goat" is primitive to say the least, what one might expect from a video game targeted at very young children.  However, the characters are interesting, the violence amusing, and the wolf especially an engaging character.  For those with small children recently home from China - or for big children who like animated slapstick a la Loony Tunes - this cartoon is worth a search on YouTube.


(*) 喜羊羊与灰太狼, Xǐ Yáng Yáng yǔ Huī Tài Láng

(**) There was a successful lawsuit against the producers of "Pleasant Goat" after two small boys injured themselves trying to imitate a scene from one of the episodes.

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