The White Glove Test
Not that it will come as a big surprise to anyone out there, but I love "classic" animated cartoons! "Classic" meaning the wonderful theatrical shorts that were made for and shown in movie theatres until television reared its ugly head and killed them all.
I am not fussy. I pretty much like them all. I love the classic Looney Tunes, the Disney shorts, the gorgeous MGM cartoons, and all the others. I can even enjoy the Famous studio shorts and even Terrytoons. (Well, that might be a stretch. I do love Heckle and Jeckle, though!)
By watching cartoons my whole life and reading every behind the scenes book I could find about them, I feel I can answer just about any question on animated shorts posed to me. Who is Shamus Culhane? I know that. Who was the voice of the Baby Bear in the Warner 3 Bears cartoons? Duh, Stan Freberg. I even know all the words to Bugs Bunny's square dance in "Hillbilly Hare"! (You can guess how much fun I am when I am liquored up!)
Even with my vast knowledge of cartoon trivia, there is one question that I do not know the answer to:
WHY DO SO MANY CARTOON CHARACTERS WEAR WHITE GLOVES WITH THREE STRIPES ON THE BACK?!
Mickey Mouse wears them. So does Goofy. As do Bugs, Porky, Woody, Mighty and a whole bunch more. Even incidental characters, including politically incorrect African natives wear them, but why?
I know that at the turn of the century, many gentlemen wore dress gloves. More often than the "gentlemen" of today, at least. Did they wear them all the time, though? Were they always white?
There is probably a simple explanation for this. Mutt & Jeff were very popular when animated cartoons were born (they even starred in a bunch), and they wore the gloves. Maybe early animators liked the way they looked on them, so they included gloves on the characters they created. Cartoonists often rely on formulas for drawing, so maybe the white glove became yet another formula they included when they were designing a new character. It could also be an aesthetic choice. In creating "black" characters like Mickey and Goofy, they might have slapped on the gloves so the characters hands stood out. Indeed, Mr. Mouse was glove less in his early films. This doesn't explain Bugs, Woody and the rest though.
We will probably never get an answer to this question, so unless any of you out there have the definitive answer, we'll let this topic rest, and turn our attention to more pressing questions.
Such as: IF PLUTO AND GOOFY ARE BOTH DOGS, WHY CAN'T PLUTO TALK?