Just for fun!
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Cartoon physics is a joking reference to the fact that animation allows regular laws of physics to be ignored in humorous ways for dramatic effects. For example, when a cartoon character runs off a cliff, gravity has no effect until the character notices and reacts.
In words attributed to Art Babbitt, an animator with the Walt Disney Studios: "Animation follows the laws of physics — unless it is funnier otherwise."
The phrase also reflects the fact that many of the most famous American animated films, particularly those from Warner Bros. and MGM studios, unconsciously developed a relatively consistent set of such "laws" that have become regularly applied in comic animation.
Specific reference to cartoon physics extends back at least to June of 1980, when an article "O'Donnell's Laws of Cartoon Motion" appeared in Esquire. A version printed in 1994 by the IEEE in a journal for engineers helped spread the word among the technical crowd, which has expanded and refined the idea. Dozens of websites exist outlining these laws.
O'Donnell's examples includes:
Any body suspended in space will remain in space until made aware of its situation.
Any body passing through solid matter will leave a perforation conforming to its perimeter. (Also called the silhouette of passage.)
Certain bodies can pass through solid walls painted to resemble tunnel entrances; others cannot. (Corollary: Portable holes work.)
8 years ago