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Author Topic: The Angry Caterpillar  (Read 4798 times)
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Otis P Jivefunk

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« on: 09-16-2003 16:07 »

A thought came to mind today. I was thinking about the Holophoner, and how unique an instrument it is. It's sound and visual holographic imagery. Anyway, despite it's uniqueness, I thought of a possible influence, that could have helped spawn it's idea in the first place.

I was thinking how similar the Mad Caterpillar's smoke pipe from the Disney cartoon version of Alice in Wonderland is. Although it's not technically a musical instrument, the visuals it produces are very similar, in idea at least, of the Holophoner. In particular the story of the crocodile, where we see a sequence of images created from the pipe, while the Caterpillar tells a story. Despite that the story isn't a song, and the pipe only produces images, not music. The idea itself of him telling a story while we see the images from the pipe, is very similar to that of the Holophoner. Also, he tells it in a kinda musical rhythmic way too.

It's just a thought that came to mind today, and about the most similar things I can think of to the Holophoner. A possible influence, maybe?  smile

ghoulishmoose

Urban Legend
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« Reply #1 on: 09-16-2003 16:28 »

Woah, I've seriously never thought about this before. But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense and could be true actually. I've not watched Alice in Wonderland for ages now, but I do remember the angry catterpillar part, and the holophoner is extremely similar to that of the catterpillar's method of stoytelling via pictures. Also, the images fade as soon as the catterpillar stops his story, as do the images of the holohphoner when the player has finished their stoytelling too. So yeah I reckon that there are some influences in there. Thats an awesome observation Otis  smile
Otis P Jivefunk

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« Reply #2 on: 09-16-2003 16:39 »

Thanx GM!  smile And another thought showing another similarity just came to mind. The scene were we first see Fry's room at the beginning of 'Devils Hands', we see parts of the Holophoner image coming from underneath the door. They almost look like puffs of smoke, just like from the Caterpillar's pipe.

When we're first introdiced to the Angry Caterpillar in 'Alice in Wonderland', the very first thing we see is puffs of smoke. We also hear his singing, in the distance too, before seeing the chracter himself. This opening is very similar to the 'Devils Hands' opening where we see the puffs coming from underneath the door, and he hear Fry's music, before actually seeing Fry himself. Another possible influence, maybe?  smile
ghoulishmoose

Urban Legend
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« Reply #3 on: 09-16-2003 16:55 »

Yeah you're right actually, they both have nearly identicle introductions to the character. Especially with the little puffs of coloured clouds first coming into view. The more I think about it, the more I think that it actually was influenced by Alice in Wonderland. It seems too much of a coincidence not to be actually.

Also, I think in Alice in Wonderland, the little clouds can be stopped if the characters put their hands through them or blows them away, just like Fry does when Bender enters the room at the beginning.

I wonder if theres going to be anything in the DVD commentary for Devil's hands about this. I'd be really interested to see if there is  smile
Action Jacktion

Professor
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« Reply #4 on: 09-16-2003 17:59 »

Wasn't it based on Isaac Asimov's visisonor?
ghoulishmoose

Urban Legend
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« Reply #5 on: 09-16-2003 18:08 »

Who is Isaac Asimov?  smile
Vamsi

Bending Unit
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« Reply #6 on: 09-16-2003 18:18 »
« Last Edit on: 09-16-2003 18:18 »

Did they really pattern it from the instrument in Asimov's Foundation novels or is it just a coincidence? Maybe I should go listen to the commentary for Parasites Lost to find out.

I think it's from Foundation & Empire, the 2nd foundation novel, right? The stories with the Mule are the best parts of the Foundation series.
Teral

Helpy McHelphelp
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« Reply #7 on: 09-16-2003 19:06 »
« Last Edit on: 09-16-2003 19:06 »

Yep, David and Eric Kaplan specifically say in the PL commentary that it's based on the visisonor from Asimov's "Foundation" trilogy. Although Kaplan mistakenly think Robert Heinlein wrote the Foundation trilogy.
Lionel Hutz Esq

Bending Unit
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« Reply #8 on: 09-17-2003 02:26 »

I'm sure that the caterpillar was an influence too, or at least a water pipe.  You have the smoke under the door, and Fry trying to fan it away with his hands when Bender enters.  Any pot smoker would get these references.
ghoulishmoose

Urban Legend
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« Reply #9 on: 09-17-2003 13:11 »

Even though the actual holophoner may not have been based on the caterpillar, I really think that the 'scenes' we see in Devil's Hands were influenced by it for sure  smile
Otis P Jivefunk

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« Reply #10 on: 09-17-2003 15:41 »

Thanx for all the input and help guys, and that's clool it's based on the visisonor from Asimov's Foundation trilogy  cool Does anyone know when that was written? Anyway, I guess that's a fact, and I can't argue with that.

But I agree with GM. Even though the instrument itself may not be based on the Angry Caterpillar, I'm certain quite a few scenes from 'Devils Hands' are based on it, thus making a connection between the instrument, and the Angry Caterpillar  smile Scenes such as...

The puffs coming from under Fry's door, the way we're introduced to Fry hearing and seeing his music, before we see Fry himself, when Fry trys to fan away the puffs when Bender enters, and also I thought about another possible reference as well. When Fry plays 'The Grumpy Snail', he hits a wrong note, and the snail looks back at him in anger. This is just like when Alice messes up trying to use the Caterpillar's smoke pipe, and the Caterpillar gets really angry too.

Also, something I just made up...

Fry meets the Angry Caterpillar

Caterpillar: Who R U?
Fry: I'm my own grandpa
Caterpillar: What!? Who R U!?
Fry: Yep, I did the nasty in the pasty
Caterpillar (turns red with anger) AAGGGHHHH!! Who R U!!!?
Fry: I'm from the future... wait, actually I was frozen, so I'm from the past... but still, that's the future...
Caterpillar: (bursts a few blood vessels) AAAAGGGGGGHHHHH!!! (turns into a butterly)
Fry: Well, so long, Live long and prosper

 laff
Teral

Helpy McHelphelp
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« Reply #11 on: 09-17-2003 15:56 »

The Foundation trilogy was published in the early 50's, so they're probably written sometime during the 40's.

I've never seen (or read) Alice in Wonderland, but from your descriptions the scenes in TDHAIPT sounds like a reference to that story. Not that it'll surprise me at all, those Futurama writers know how to pack in the obscure references, for the select few to pick up on.
Sil

Professor
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« Reply #12 on: 09-18-2003 16:52 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by ghoulishmoose:
Who is Isaac Asimov?   smile

Sacrilege!   laff  Just joking.

The first of the Foundation books was published in 1960.  According to my copy at least.
Metallica

Bending Unit
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« Reply #13 on: 09-18-2003 19:15 »

can we get a picture of this mad catepillar and his instrument   plz. ? i want to see it i never watch alice inh wonderland thingh it confuses me
OC_James

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #14 on: 09-18-2003 21:22 »
« Last Edit on: 09-18-2003 21:22 »

A decent picture of the Holophoner from DHAIP:

And a storybook picture of the caterpillar from AIW:

Now, doesn't the base of the pipe look a lot like the bottom of the Holophoner? The visionor may have been the inspiration for it, but there are definitly some pipe elements thrown in there.
alexvilagosh

Goose Patrol
Space Pope
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« Reply #15 on: 09-18-2003 23:09 »

Is that a bong?  tongue
Asylum-Fry

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #16 on: 09-18-2003 23:15 »

I believe so.
Melly

Crustacean
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« Reply #17 on: 09-18-2003 23:30 »
« Last Edit on: 09-18-2003 23:30 »

It's not a bong, it's a hookah, ha ha. I think it's used to smoke flavoured tabacco.

I saw "The Devil's Hands..." before I saw any other episodes with the holophoner, so when Bender caught Fry playing it, I thought Bender was catching Fry smoking some sort of space drug in his misery over Leela, ha ha.

Oh yes, and angry caterpillar = grumpy snail?   big grin
Lionel Hutz Esq

Bending Unit
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« Reply #18 on: 09-19-2003 02:55 »
« Last Edit on: 09-19-2003 02:55 »

It is a hooka, a water pipe from the middle east, and yes, it is used for flavored tobaccos, although that never limited it either (Canabis is from Afganistan originally). 

Teral, go grab a copy of Alice in Wonderland or Through the Looking Glass.  It is one of the treasures of the English language.  At least find some of Carol's poems (Jaberwocky, Father Williams). It might be a bit hard, depending on your comfort level with english, because he makes up a lot of words, but it is very good. I've seen the orginal hand written and illustrated manuscripts in London, they are amazing.   And the Disney version (the animation is based on Carol's own illustrations) is well worth it.  It's Disney, they've cleaned everything up and dropped a lot out, but it is good.

Anyone who hasn't read the Foundation Trilogy, if you are at all interested in good science fiction, these books are well worth it (and now days, you almost always find them under one cover.  I show printings of 1951, 52, 53 on them, with a copyright of '48-49 on some material in Second Foundation.  It definitly has a early 50s american feel.  And Azimov, along with Clarke, Heinlein, Herbert and Bradbury should be required reading of anyone interested in SF.
Otis P Jivefunk

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« Reply #19 on: 09-19-2003 14:39 »
« Last Edit on: 02-12-2004 00:00 »

Come to think of it, I guess the holophoner does have a resemblance to the Angry Caterpillar's smoke pipe   smile I was looking for some frame grabs from the animated Disney film, but I couldn't find any decent ones thanks to useless Google. Anyway, here's a model of the Disney angry caterpillar, and it shows his smoke pipe fully and very clearly, see what you think   smile
ghoulishmoose

Urban Legend
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« Reply #20 on: 09-19-2003 14:51 »

*Shivers* Maaaaan that film creeps me out.

Anyways, theres a definate resemblence there between the shape of the catterpillar's pipe to that of the holophoner. Especially the bottom of it as it gets wider. I think the holophoner is like a new and improved futuristic version of the pipe almost  smile
LaVaLaDy

Starship Captain
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« Reply #21 on: 09-25-2003 22:29 »

I LOVE Alice in Wonderland!!
mjsmith

Bending Unit
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« Reply #22 on: 09-26-2003 14:52 »
« Last Edit on: 09-26-2003 14:52 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Sil:
 Sacrilege!     laff  Just joking.

The first of the Foundation books was published in 1960.  According to my copy at least.

In fact, the first of the Foundation stories was published in 1942 on Astounding Sci-Fi magazine. The first Foundation book was published in 1951 by another publisher. One of his later Foundation books (As well as the book, "The Early Asimov" ) described how the Foundation series came about.

   smile

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