Cartoon Anatomy Is Weird

Cartoon anatomyI’m no expert on human anatomy, but I’m pretty sure Charlie Brown’s neck wouldn’t support his head. He’s always seemed a bit… top-heavy.

The same is true for Mabel Pines, and her neck isn’t the only problem—I’m pretty sure those legs wouldn’t carry her weight. Speaking of which, I consider it a miracle that Doctor Eggman can stand at all. His slender needle-legs wouldn’t hold up his mustache, let alone his, um, bulbous physique.

Yes, I’m overthinking things. Cartoons aren’t supposed to be realistic. Character designs are highly stylized. I get that, and I like cartoony proportions. (Would Snoopy from Peanuts be one-half as adorable with a proportionately-sized head? I didn’t think so.) All the same, I find myself occasionally scrutinizing cartoon characters and wondering which bones would be the first to break.

Consider the following image of Charlie Brown, courtesy of Michael Paulus.

Charlie Brown's skeletonFor someone frequently addressed as “blockhead,” Charlie Brown’s gargantuan dome is quite spherical. No way on God’s green earth would a few spindly vertebra hold up a skull like that.

I suppose cartoon anatomy joins the ability to pull stuff from nowhere as one of animation’s greatest mysteries.

 

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