When I saw it, it simply looked like a small, framed poster from some cartoon of two girls on a playground eating bags of chips. When I look closer, I realized that it was no ordinary poster, and that it seemed to have several layers, each with its own portion of the picture. When I looked even closer, I noticed that it wasn't just a picture, but a hand-painted piece. When I looked closer still, I put it alllll together, and realized I was dealing with an actual animation cel!
I was pretty stoked and, with a price tag of $3.00, it completely made my day. Probably my life. I proudly displayed my original/unique/unusual/fantastic art cel in my living room for all guests to see and be super jealous of. I mean, come on, who WOULDN'T be envious of such a masterpiece???
Just a happy playground scene, right?
That's right. I have an authentic animation cel of a set of interracial friends enjoying a nice bag of chips, on what appears to be a playground, in the 1970's. With heavy eyelids. And holding their bags lovingly... "Wait a minute, they're not simply enjoying chips at all, are they!?" Well sir, it appears as though you are correct. There has to be something more to this scene.
My friends and I have come up with three possible scenarios for this picture, dismissing the idea of it just being two friends at recess eating bags of chips in substitution to the gruel their school lunch ladies call "grilled cheese sandwiches." Our theories:
1) Two girls went for a long walk. One is dressed in a sensible pink turtle neck and less sensible/more trendy pink pants, and the other in an awful blue denim affair, but she still looks cool because it's ironic. They stopped by a convenience store for a drink of water and a light snack. After purchasing "Chips" brand chips, they make their way back home, but on the basketball court of the park, they catch each others' eyes. Each is smitten with the beauty of the other, and all feels so right, so natural. They let their bodies and newly-developed hormones take control. Their eyes lower, and go in for the kiss. And boom. That's the scene.
2) A couple of cheerleaders got picked up by a purple psychedelic van full of a group of teenagers and a dog name Scooby in the 70's. They visited some house the teens claimed was haunted, but was really just their grandma's and they just said it was haunted to make the cheerleaders feel more vulnerable and willing to do a "doggie show" for them. They never said whether or not they did the show, but they did say they got baked as hell off of the "sticky icky icky" and some weed browies, and the teens even gave them a parting gift of some chips. This scene is right after they got dropped off at a parking lot and the girls are mashing their chips cuz they have the munchies, but are confused as to how they are going to get home. Bam, this is that scene.
3) The new girl at school, Moteesha, is from the Bronx. Her family can't afford to take her to fancy stores like JC Penny, and so, alas, she must shop at Goodwill or a trashcan. This makes Moteesha self conscious and makes it hard for her to find friends, especially when she wears that tiny blue vest and elastic-waistbanded jeans. Popular, but ditzy, Laura makes it her mission to welcome the new girl by sitting with her in Social Studies, and they quickly become friends. "I gots this shit that'll blow your fucking mind," says Moteesha. "Let's ditch PE and I'll show you." "Teehee, OK! :)" says Laura. And so after class they sneak out and go behind the dumpster on the playground, where Moteesha pulls out two old chip bags and a half can of spray paint. A few huffs and puffs later, and we have this glorious scene!
My bets are on theory 3, but they all make sense to me. What do you guys think? The only thing that doesn't make sense is that the background is printed off of a crappy printer! The whole thing is masterfully done and hand painted, but the background is a garden-variety print-out? Double-you tee eff? This conundrum was so mind-boggling that a friend and I decided to take the cel apart and look for clues. It was professionally framed and matted and even backed, so it was risking damaging my gorgeous piece of art, but the curiosity was too much.
Different layers of celluloid for animation.
Printed fucking background!!
The autopsy disclosed nothing. Why would someone go to all the trouble to paint, frame, mat, and back this and just throw on some ho-hum printed background? Perhaps the mystery shall never get solved, and perhaps it is actually the mystery that is the diamond-in-the-rough with this, but if anyone has ANY information about this I would be happy to hear it.