Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Sun Won't Come Out Tommorrow for Little Orphan Annie

After eighty-six years -- 86! -- New York's favorite orphan is going away. The final Little Orphan Annie cartoon is running today, and tomorrow -- tomorrow! tomorrow! -- her newspaper life will be no more. With the decline of newspapers and the cartoon industry, Annie was currently appearing in less than 20 newspapers. So the end was nigh. But eighty-six years is a respectable, ripe old age and marks an extraordinary run.

And yet tomorrow Annie fans will have to clear away the cobwebs and the sorrow.

The first Annie cartoon ran on August 5, 1924. At that time, Calvin Coolidge was President, the Charleston was the hot dance craze, movies were still silent, F. Scott Fitzgerald was still writing The Great Gatsby, and Adolf Hitler was just some nut hanging around German beer halls. To say it was a different time is a bit of an understatement.

I will admit that I never really read the Little Orphan Annie cartoons. Also, I was a little too young to go to the musical when it was still on Broadway. (The Annie musical ran from 1977-1982 and is now legendary because one of the Annies was a young girl named Sarah Jessica Parker.) Apparently there is a planned Broadway revival for 2012.

However, my first movie going experience, or at least the first movie I can remember going to, was the 1982 Annie movie. It wasn't a great movie in retrospect but at the time I loved it. Even though it was set at the depths of the depression, Annie was such a bright, fun little girl who was so nice to everyone that she was exactly the kind of friend a little five-year boy like me wanted. And the movie presented a romantic, beautiful New York that can only exist in the movies. Thus I've always had a little affection for Annie and am sad to see her go.

So goodbye, Annie. You made generations and generations of people happy. And remember:

"When I'm stuck a day
That's gray,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And Grin,
And Say,

The sun'll come out
So ya gotta hang on
'Til tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I love ya Tomorrow!
You're always
A day
A way!"

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