23rd Oct: It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
Cool World is where people's minds / souls go to after they go insane, and the Doodles are said minds / souls.OK, I'm 100% serious about this; I think I've discovered the true meaning behind Cool World. So bear with me... The first person we see going into the Cool World is Frank Harris, and it happens in a moment of severe shell-shock coupled with the shock of having just lost his mother on the motorcycle accident incited by that drunk driver. When his stress reaches optimal levels, he loudly rages against the heavens before miraculously appearing in the Cool World, where Doc Whiskers tells him that he'd never seen anyone make the trip "in the body" before, meaning that minds have gone there before. This clearly happens at the moment when Frank's mind snaps and is lost forevermore. A lot of people (in so much as "a lot of people" have had anything to say about Cool World) have asked how it's possible for Frank not to have lost his sanity after living in that chaotic Crapsack World / Sick Sad World for so long. The answer is, he's already insane. Then we have Jack. Him having killed his wife's lover is not a plot hole, it's pivotal to the story. He lost his mind in that crime of passion that drove him to commit homicide; shortly thereafter, in prison, that's when he started writing the Cool World comics and taking his short "trips" into the world as he imagined it. However, he's not comfortable with the fact that he's gone mad or needs help, therefore these visits are incredibly stressful to him, and his flipping back-and-forth between the "real" world and his own deranged imaginings represent his struggle to keep his head about him when everything else conspires to pull him over to the loony side for good. Frank, on the other hand, hates it in the real world; he's perfectly happy being insane, where he knows nothing can hurt him any more. For him, the benefits far outweigh the faults. Then there's the angle of why Cool World exists independently from Jack, and why Frank takes such pains to hammer this point home. We've established that Jack is in a severe state of denial, and thus chooses to see the Cool World as something specific to him as opposed to something that many other people undergo (e.g. mental insanity). He wants to think that he's being pulled into a cartoon world of his own creation as opposed to being dumped in a place where everyone who's lost their mind goes to, precisely because he refuses to admit that his own mind is lost. And let's not forget two very important lines by Holli and Slash, respectively: "This is your idea of heaven, isn't it?" is a little subtle, but Slash hammers the point home. "You've lost it, man... that's why you're here!" Also, notice that the Goons and even Nails have personalities and mannerisms that very clearly evoke different forms of mental illness. Bash (the blue lanky one) is a compulsive fetishist whose libido compels him to hurt himself (Holli may be like this, too), Slash is a violent psychopath, Mash has lost all cognitive capabilities and has been reduced to an ape, and Nails is clearly some manner of man-child incapable of behaving himself when he's not under supervision. And Bob, well... Bob's just Bob. Finally, we come to the end of the film: Jack becoming a superhero and stopping the chaos unleashed from the Cool World upon Las Vegas. If anyone wants to speculate what that chaos was all about, be my guest, because I don't have a theory on that at the moment, but Jack becoming a superhero clearly represents him finally becoming comfortable with his madness. He just allows it to wash entirely over him, becoming a Doodle, and in the end, he's shown very happily yapping on in a small, square comic book panel (never mind the fact that it's horribly barren and not a nice place any sane person would like to live) while Holli sits in the foreground, visibly depressed. The square comic book panel represents the classic padded "cotton box" where dangerously unstable people are placed into to keep them from hurting themselves, and Holli, the physical manifestation of Jack's confusion, has been soundly defeated. Cue the Super Jail! theme song, please. I'm coming home... oh yeah, I'm coming home.
Some Doodles spring from the minds/desires of people who are in the process of going insane.Going off of the above theory, some of the Doodles in Cool World are people who have gone entirely insane. But others have simply sprung from the minds of people who were, at the time, partially but not entirely insane. Jack Deebs did not create Cool World, as he believes, but he did create Holly Would. Holly and Lonette sprang from the minds/desires of Jack Deebs and Frank Harris, respectively. It is not a coincidence that Jackís doodle lover is a murderous nymphomaniac while Frankís is a tough but sweet girl. Frank Harris began to lose his grip on reality after his mother died. What he lost, and now desires, is love and security. Enter Lonetteóbeautiful and affectionate, loyal to her boyfriend, and just catty enough to defend herself from troublemakers, but not so much that she causes trouble herself. Jack Deebs on the other hand snapped after his wife cheated on him. He is motivated by viciousness, in various forms: violence (he murdered his wifeís lover), as well as lust and bitterness (creating Holly Would, an objectified woman, to spite his ex wife). Holly is murderous, bitter, and treats the opposite sex like a hobby, because she is literally made of these desires. Other doodles could easily have come from humansí minds as well. Jumping back to Frank Harris, his spider sidekick Nails may too have sprung from his mindónot the logical or intelligent part certainly, but the dutiful part of him. Nails acts in a way like Frankís conscience, reluctantly interrupting his moments with Lonette to remind him of his duty not to break the law of Cool World. His heroic sacrifice midway through the movie foreshadows Frankís; it was Frankís determination to do his job and bring Holly back to Cool World that got him killed. As for Deebs, itís easy to see the Gouns as coming from his mind, perhaps just after he murdered his wifeís lover. Holly was then created later, while Jack brooded about his wifeís betrayal. Thatís why Holly and the Gouns already knew each other so well when Jack arrived. When the person finally does crack, they themselves will become a doodle, as the above Troper suggested, and probably associate with the others they created while going insane.
Cool World is Toon HellWhen evil/impure toons die, they go to Cool World. Notice how every single "doodle" there is either insane, gross or a slut. How scary and bizarre the place looks. "Doodles" are dead evil toons. And if you are an impure/evil human who lived in Toontown until you died, you don't go to Human Hell, you go to Cool World. That's why Brad Pitt turned into a doodle after he "died", because he was already dead. That's also why no doodle in the movie truly dies. That's why Mr. Whiskers said Frank was the first to make the trip "in the body", he meant to say that Frank is the first living being to enter Cool World. But, as it turns out, he was wrong, Frank died in the car crash, which is why the spear-thingie turned him into a doodle instead of killing him.
Jessica Rabbit was the first doodleHer lusty ways got her and Roger booted out of Toon Town. So they made a new world. And their horribly deformed, mutant incestuous offspring thrive there to this day.
Toons/Doodles are astral manifests created by our thoughts.Animators drawing the same characters over and over, along with generations of audiences watching them, produces a lot of thought energy which in turn manifests itself into the astral realm. Now here's how that relates to Cool World; if a person were actually to have physical sex with one of these entities, they'd become so real to the person that they would manifest in the physical realm, becoming real.