Inspiration from Old Cartoons

The beauty of public domain cartoons is that they come from a time when pop culture was bat-shit insane – and I don’t mean the calculated, “trying to damn hard”, imitation insane we get so much of these days.


Here’s a great demi-plane to introduce your characters to, especially if they need something from the inhabitants that they cannot get by means of violence. And wouldn’t you love to pit them against the Pincushion Man.

CANDY TOWN (1931 or 1933)

Another odd demi-plane to hide behind the next magic mirror in your camapaign.


This is one of the great weird cartoons ever made. Talk about your mythic underworld!


I’ve always thought a campaign world where this sort of thing determined the season would be a fun one to challenge players.


The distilled sunlight potions are excellent, especially if you have a stereotypically dour dwarf in the party.

TO SPRING (1936)

Another in the vein of Summertime, this one with subterranean elves who color the flowers in the springtime.

Greatest Fantasy Cartoon of All Time?

No. Not really.

But, I will put the last 15 minutes of this old Japanese cartoon about iron age Scandinavians up against any fantasy cartoon on the market for pure, gonzo greatness. You have no idea how much I want to start statting things up for this, but I can’t. I’d ruin it for you. So, go out and find it – I watched it on Netflix as The Little Viking Prince.

Later, if you’re good (and if I find some time in between watching my pride and joy in her latest play and converting “one last file” for Rappan Athuk (note: not the last file, really) and writing NOD 15 and editing Blood & Treasure) I’ll post the rest of Mother Goose & Goblins. If not tonight, then Sunday (’cause Saturday is Dragon by Dragon day).

Oh – and I’ll swear that the person doing Horus/Hols voice in that cartoon also did Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the Rankin-Bass production of same.