Friday, April 11, 2014

What? There Are Two Of Them?

What do you think of when you see the phrase Dennis the Menace?

I think of a little blond haired kid who causes trouble for Mr. Wilson, and has friends named Margaret and Joey.  But that's because I live in Canada, which is saturated with US culture.  If you live in the UK you're likely to think of a small boy with black, spikey hair, who has a small dog as a companion.

Yep, there are two cartoon characters called Dennis the Menace, one from the United States, and one from the United Kingdom.  Even more interesting is that they debuted within a few days of each other way back in March of 1951, and continue to be active in the 21st Century.  The UK Dennis strip is often known as Dennis and Gnasher outside the UK, Gnasher being Dennis's dog.  Conversely the American character's adventures have been simply titled Dennis when they've been offered in the UK. 

It's a bit hard to imagine such co-existence happening these days.   Given the internationalisation of media properties if two creations came out with the same name at about the same time a major legal battle would likely result, with whoever had the most resources winning in the end.

I only found out this interesting fact this morning.  Given how long the UK version has been around you'd think I would have run across him someplace before.

No comments: