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Then and Now

A Bleakly Hilarious Look At What Your Favorite Cartoon Characters Are Up To These Days

In Where Are They Now? the icons of the '80s and '90s don't fare so well.

Think you had it hard during the recession? At least you weren't an animated hero forced to sell insurance or man a kebob stand, which are the respective fates of Skeletor and Charlie Brown in Where Are They Now?, an amusing short animation, created and voiced by artist Steve Cutts. The cartoon is narrated by Jessica Rabbit (whose famous figure has fallen victim to time and chips), and follows the disappointments of her career and marriage. But the truly brilliant thing about the short, is the casual way in which Cutts populates the public and professional spaces of city life with beloved characters from our youth. Many of these icons are merely background, like the Sesame Street characters eating alone at a fast food joint or the overweight, boozing She-Ra. Also smart, is how these heroes and super-villains must re-imagine their epic feuds when forced into mundane settings. As a supermarket cashier, the only way for Mumm-Raa to fulfill his evil nature is by playing dumb pranks on Lion-O, the janitor. But the cartoon isn't a total bastardization; in a few cases, Cutts really does fulfill characters' true destinies. Like He-Man and Man-At-Arms, who were clearly fated to lounge shirtless by the pool and rub each other down with coconut oil.

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