May. 14th, 2008 09:14 pm
porphyry: (Default)
In the folly of youth I once gave serious consideration to the possibility that Tolkien’s Ents were created with reference to the animate trees in the Wizard of Oz (they appear in the books as well as the movie). Over the years I vacillated between considering the connection insufficiently profound to being struck by my own cleverness.

But the recent expansion of my experience of 1930s cartoons has made the point moot. They are rife with talking and walking trees (though one does not find such characters as frequently, for instance, in the 1950s cartoons I was more familiar with as a child), to the extent that Tolkien can claim no originality in merely creating the Ents, rather they must be considered a commonplace of popular culture that Tolkien borrowed and used for a more serious purpose.

This is the most obvious example I have to hand. It even has a character I indentify to A. without hesitation as a huron (and for that matter, an Entwife):

more Ents & some Dryads )

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