Six Cartoon Foreigners

Pimsleur Approach • GlobalComments (0)

Who do you love? Who do you find offensive? Who have we left out?

Cartoon Characters: Pepe Le Pew
Pepe Le Pew – Image via Wikipedia

Pepé Le Pew

Who? One to be filed strictly under ‘can we really get away with this?’, Pepé Le Pew is the amorous, noisome  Frenchman who’s under the perpetual misconception the feline he’s chasing is actually a fellow skunk. Created way back in 1945 (a time when perhaps the U.S. felt they could freely taunt their continental allies) Pepé is still going strong, featuring in a Looney Tunes show just last year. Why do we love him? Pepé never gives up on his pursuit of true amore. And he has a cool accent.


Cartoon Characters: Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon – Image via Wikipedia

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon

Who? Better known simply as Apu, owner of the Kwik-E-Mart, this Simpsons character has been around since the first season of the show and despite some claims he’s politically incorrect, remains a firm favorite among fans. Hank Azaria based Apu’s voice on Peter Sellers’ character of Hrundi V. Bakshi in the movie The Party. Why do we love him? Though there’s a sense of tragedy behind the man, he can always conceal it with a warm welcome and a cold slushie.


Cartoon Characters: Speedy Gonzoles
Speedy Gonzoles – Image via Wikipedia

Speedy Gonzales

Who? Whereas Pepé Le Pew is a definite nuisance, pint-sized Mexican mouse Speedy Gonzales simple wants a little peace and quiet from the dumb cats forever trying to eat him. Though adored by many, in 1999 Cartoon Network took Speedy off the air, citing the fact that the mouse’s friends are portrayed as lazy and inebriated Mexican stereotypes. Why do we love him? For the same reason we all worship Usain Bolt. And because no one says “¡Ándele! ¡Ándele!” quite like Speedy.


Sebastian the Crab

Who? Say the words ‘Jamaican crab’ and there’s only one who really springs to mind. Full name Horatio Thelonious Ignacious Crustaceous Sebastian, this cartoon character caused a real splash on his debut in The Little Mermaid, and since has gone on to star in TV spin-offs and recorded two reggae albums. Why do we love him? For singing “Under the Sea” and lightening the plot of a particularly intense movie.


Cartoon Characters: Samurai Jack
Samurai Jack – Image via Wikipedia

Samurai Jack

Who? Creation of Genndy Tartakovsky (the animator behind the ingenious Dexter’s Laboratory), Samurai Jack is set in something of a dystopian future, in which science and magic have converged, bringing much evil with it, headed by Jack’s arch nemesis Aku. Why do we love him? Jack is a unique kids’ cartoon hero; level-headed, humble, respectful, and emblematic of some of the ancient etiquette and beliefs from the ancient Eastern world.


Cartoon Characters: Smurf's Logo
Smurf’s Logo – Image via Wikipedia

The Smurfs

Who? The Smurfs, or Les Schtroumpfs as they’re known in their native country of Belgium, began life in comic strips, before making the move to TV and eventually North American screens in 1981. Their defining features are that they blue and that they like to be good to each other. Admirable, but perhaps a little dull? Why do we love them? Erm, maybe we don’t. Though some full-grown adults still have a tenderness for Smurfette, those grating voices, plus the recent turkey of a feature-length movie mean the Smurfs are probably best left as a distant childhood memory.

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