Since far too often we only publicly say nice things about people when they are dead I’ve decided to randomly pick a Facebook friend every day and say something nice about them.
Today’s person: Wilma Bonet!
I think the thing that makes Wilma so funny is the ease with which she becomes a cartoon.
It’s not easy, becoming a cartoon. Most people can not commit to it. They overact it, or they comment on it to make sure you know that even though they are a great actor they are not, of course, serious right now with this whole being a cartoon thing.
Wilma doesn’t do that. She is a great, subtle actor but she can, at any moment, throw herself into what she’s doing with a manic fervor that makes everything around her a little dull. Her vibrancy makes her stand out against any background like a three dimensional character in a two dimensional world as she entertains herself and us with her Bugs Bunny to Mother Courage range of possibilities.
This is why you may not notice how tiny she actually is. Short, short, short. Massively minuscule. But always glowing with dangerous comedic potential. Wilma doesn’t walk; she powers through space like the The Little Locomotora That Could, and when she looks at you whatever you say better be damn funny or damn serious. She enters any rehearsal room or stage with intensity and enormous presence and with all the dramatic and comedic potential of a little, always ready to explode cannonball.
But if you can get inside the Looney Tunes swirl of her technocolor creativity you find that she’s actually a little, cuddly, and sweet always ready to explode cannonball.
Cartoons aren’t simply animator’s interpretations of our world; good cartoons are shatteringly incisive renderings of the most human experiences. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bunny in a tutu, a skeleton in a sombrero, or a row of hamsters playing a flute on the Titanic cartoons can show us some elemental part of ourselves, they grab us and squeeze us until our feet swell and our hearts burst.
Wilma is a great cartoon.