2017-06-27: A BUSY MIND

avatarben2017-06-27: OK so I just finished watching the whole series of The Raccoons on DVD for some reason. I don't know if people have heard about that show outside of Canada, but I remember it being a huge influence on me as a kid, especially as a kid drawing comics. Well, I wasn't disappointed this time either. Apparently I remembered most episodes, but there's one thing I didn't remember: the perfect evolution of Cyril Sneer as a character. I said it many times before, but dammit, they just don't make good cartoons anymore.

Cyril Sneer was technically the antagonist of the series: a rich magnate who didn't care about anything but money, and dreamt of destroying the titular Raccoons' forest for profit. Classic. However, during the series, Cyril becomes more and more sympathetic, and by the end he's changed completely. It's arguable that the main character of The Raccoons isn't delusional nitwit Bert Raccoon, but Cyril Sneer. He's in every episode, he's the only one with an arc, and it's so well executed that you can't help rooting for the guy. Granted his personality changes are somewhat hammered in at times, but this remains a show for kids, and was never intended to be binge-watched.

In the first season, Cyril refuses to lend his tie to be used as a rope to save Bert's life when he's about to fall into a giant whirlpool. In the last season however, he goes so far as to grab Bert's hand to prevent him from touching toxic waste. He's still obsessed with profit, but he's invested in a company making environment-friendly products. And while he's always been concerned about his son Cedric's happiness, trying to shape him into a ruthless businessman like himself, in the last episode he's so confident in his son's abilities he actually retires in his favor.

Watching the show again, I was genuinely impressed. The animation is good, the backgrounds are detailed, the morals are great, the songs are catchy, the characters are well defined and multifaceted, and most importantly, the show makes a point of not insulting the children’s intelligence. Even the environmental rhetoric is shown as being a complex problem that can still be balanced with economic issues. For instance, at one point Cedric decides to use less plastic to make bottles for his sun balm, but they're too thin, and they spill. So he just finds another solution (by recycling trash) instead of dropping the whole project because making money is evil and saving the environment is good.

So, The Raccoons is a great story full of nuances, and they should make a movie about it. It'd be like There Will Be Blood, but with a happy ending. Too bad Daniel Day-Lewis just retired, he'd make a solid pink aardvark.
DazzWorld is a webcomic about dazzling heroes, space travel, strange new worlds, engaging mysteries, and Love. There's also a chinchilla. The comic is updated weekly on Tuesdays.

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Creator: benbd@dazzworld.com [Twitter: DazzBen]
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