Thursday, June 2, 2011

At Least There Weren't Any Disney Princesses

Just before turning in, my wife likes to check the news.  All part of the bedtime ritual.  Last night, she spotted a headline that she had to share with me.  Apparently, there was some poll rating the top screen siren (their words, not mine) of all time, and Jessica Rabbit topped the list.

Okay. 

Seemed like an unusual choice to me, but my wife thought it was downright weird, and I think she thought that it was weird that I didn’t think it was weirder.  “She’s a cartoon.  You know that, right?  A cartoon.  She’s not real.”

I looked over the list.  Hayworth, Hepburn, Monroe.  All the usual suspects, and a toon.

I’ve been accused from time to time of being the devil’s advocate, mostly by my wife, but it's a popular opinion.  Now I’m not saying that’s true, but I should probably mention that I am on infernal retainer.

“Well, she’s not any less real than anyone on that list.  Not to me.  They’re all just pictures on a screen.  Every last one of 'em.  Jessica’s just a little more… stylized.”  

After all, the whole siren thing is a bit of a cartoon.  These aren’t real women.  They’re caricatures.  Go on, tell me Marilyn Monroe’s not a cartoon!

So sure, why not?  Why not let the most cartoonish lead the pack?  After all, that’s what she was made for, to be The Siren, every smouldering Hollywood starlet that ever was, all rolled up and crammed into that impossible silhouette.

That conversation led, of course, to the “How would you rank them” conversation.  I’m not a big fan of musicals or of Hollywood’s Golden Age, so it wasn’t easy. 

For those of you who’d like to play along at home, here’s the list.

1.         Jessica Rabbit
2.         Audrey Hepburn
3.         Marilyn Monroe
4.         Raquel Welch
5.         Ursula Andress
6.         Elizabeth Taylor
7.         Grace Kelly
8.         Rita Hayworth
9.         Ingrid Bergman
10.       Vivien Leigh

Okay, Ingrid Bergman takes the top spot hands down, and I gave Andress second place for those three seconds walking out of the surf in Dr. No, but after that?  Meh. 

I love cartoons.  Always have, always will.  I just don’t love cartoons.  Even the ones that weren’t drawn.