Thursday, August 2, 2018

Garfield and Friends Tackle Taming of the Shrew

"Much Ado About Lanolin." By Mark Evanier and Sharman DiVono. Perf. Lorenzo Music, Thom Huge, and Howard Morris. Dir. Jeff Hall. Garfield and Friends. Season 3, episode 7. CBS. 6 October 1990. DVD. 20th Century Fox, 2005.

I have always been very fond of the Garfield and Friends Saturday morning cartoon show. It was cleverly written (often more cleverly written than the comic strip), often quite meta-theatrical, and frequently full of allusions.

In a U. S. Acres segment (they are the "and Friends" part of the show), the barnyard animals determine to put on a Shakespeare play. Orson Pig (making me wonder if his name has any connection to the Welles of Shakespeare fame) decides thy can all use their imaginations to enact a version of Taming of the Shrew, putting an imaginary Lanolin Sheep (an occasionally-overbearing characters) in the role of Lanolina, the Shrew.

There's actually some good insight (as well as a brief introduction to Shakespeare) in the episode. Orson says, "Art imitates life, and then life imitates art." It's not a bad summary of one of the tenets of New Historicism . . . as well as Hamlet's advice to the players about holding a mirror up to nature.

Here's an edited version of the episode:


That's not bad, though I wish Orson had broken into Theseus' speech on imagination from Midsummer Night's Dream:
. . . as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposed a bear! (V.i.14-22)
The interjections from other plays are also rather enjoyable. So enjoy!

Links: The Episode at IMDB.


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Bonus Images!  Wade Duck in Shakespearean garb:



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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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