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Cartoons have sunk to an all time low

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Cartoons have sunk to an all time low

I have been a fan of cartoons since I was 5 years old. Recently, I have no interest in watching cartoons on any of the networks. Everyone in the industry is following the same trends: Pokeman, Card Game shows that have no plot and are simply copying off one another. Whatever happened to Transformers, G.I. Joe. Jem and the Rockers. We as fans should stand up and demand more. If the industry does not change soon, cartoons on Saturday morning will be something of the past.

80's vs 90's cartoons

OK I feel i have to say something about the 80's and 90's when i was a kid i always looked forward to saturday morning cartoons with a big bowl of Quisp cereal.the 80's cartoon rocked and i was a kid so who cared about the story line good guy vs bad guy that is all i needed to know. which the 80's cartoons delivered and then the 90's began and cartoons pretty much ended simple story lines that kids could understand.most 90's cartoons had idiot storylines and horrible drawing to go with it and as for 00 cartoons............ed,ed and eddie........gimmie a break do we really want our kids to growing up watching something that stupid......I'm glad justice league and a few other super hero cartoons are back and I sincerely hope that cartoons like sponge bob and ed.ed&eddie will come to an end. :)

I think people are not on the same page in terms of cartoon quality. I think people who think the simpsons, family guy and other similar cartoons are great at saying that those shows have great ideas and storylines, but not necessarily great or spectacular animation. If you compare simpsons animation to something like Ghost in the Shell or Spirited away, you will know what I am talking about when I say animation.

On the otherhand, people who are arguing that voltron, thundercats and transformers are great cartoons are probably refering to the quality of the animation and the complexity of the visuals rather than the storyline.

I personally really liked thundercats and voltron and not the simpsons and family guy because I am more of a visual rather than conceptual person and I am turned off by the visual simplicity that the latter two shows has.

I think cartoon these days tend to be really high on verbal ideas but really low on visuals (simpsons, samurai jack, family guy) - which is unfortunately because both are pretty important. Look at Akira - a visually spectacular cartoon that nonetheless had great ideas behind it.

But if it was up to me, I would chose voltron and thundercats over any of the shows today anytime just because they were more visually complex.

Oh man, are you serious?

That 80s stuff was awful. In twenty years- New World Order notwithstanding- some dude will probably be looking back wistfully at the glory days of the Fox Box.

My question is, why do millionaires cram such garbage down the sugar coated throats of Saturday morning TV addicts?

What's the line from the 60s government report -kids television is "akin to statuatory rape."

I disagree. Today, television cartoons are at an all-time high.

Today there are many animated TV shows (most on cable) that I enjoy. Back in the 80s, the only thing worth watching was the Simpsons.

Looks like youngsmith is outnumbered here...

I love the cartoons these days... Family Guy and Southpark have some of the best plots and great writing. I find myself watching cartoons quite often actually!

"i love the graph editor"
and visit me on myspace...

There are good and bad stuff of each cartoon generation.

I think it's hilarious to hear people wax nostalgic about the 80s cartoons.
But then again I wax nostalgic about Yogi Bear and Bullwinkle that some contempararies of that generation derided as crap...SO on it goes.

I have to agree with youngsmith that some of the cartoons today aren't the greatest. But with the bad, comes lots of good shows. Alot of the shows today focus more on story, while back in the days of yore, it was more about selling toys and cereal. I'll always have a soft spot for 80's toons though! Thank god the cartoons today aren't as bad as some of the 70's shows. Anyone ever see the Star Trek cartoon? Yeouch:eek:

Cereal And Pajamas New Anthology : August 2007

new generation cartoons really suck compare to old generation cartoons (thundercats/transformers/gijoe).
those rocked, and had cool animation and stories.
now days animation [cartoon shows] has become just 'garbage' (no offend to the animators between us :D)
take a look at cartoons like 'bobsponge' / 'dexter' / 'jack the samurai' / 'powerpuff' / 'pokemon' ..etc they are all very ridicolous .
i feel sorry for the animators spending time on that "cartoons" insted of creating cool stuff. [they could have saved alot of trees by not-doing those cartoons ;P ]

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That's so borderline scarcasm it's hard to tell whether you're serious or not =)

For the record, anyone who bunches Spongebob with Samurai Jack has made a specific request to lose credibility =P

In Jest,

If the 80's and early 90's cartoons weren't so great, why are there so many remakes on the networks today. He-man, Justice League, Turtules, G.I. Joe, Voltron. This proves that there aren't many new ideas floating around and the networks must go to the well to stay afloat.

Just because an old idea is remade, doesn't mean that it's a great idea. It just means that it's a popular idea: in this case, popular among prepubescent boys and other doll collectors.

Recycling ideas is just an easier way for the suits to make more money... look at Garfield, Catwoman, the list goes on and on and on...

I think generally that cartoons have come pretty far. GI Joe was my favorite toon as a kid. I tried watching an old episode the other day and I couldn't even sit through it, it was so painful to watch.

I got lil nephews in the house.. they watch that pokemon and digimon with all their heart.. and after the cartoon.. they get their cards out battle each other with total imagination.. they start fighting over who's monster is what.. they are EXCITED...

yea industry professionals might think the cartoon these days are wack.. but what about the KIDS?

is they enjoy it, shouldn't we continue?? atleast they talk about team work, and how good always wins etc....

leave the saturday morning cartoons alone..

you want something more.. watch it on cable.. or from other sources that targets adult audience..

I think cartoons on television are just fine as kids in my house enjoy them :) To me.. there are the real cartoon audience

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Anyone who doesn't like Samurai Jack needs there head looking at.

Oh and thundercats/transformers/gijoe - absolute garbage

The Brothers McLeod


i'll put a big logic NOT on your statement :)

res=!(Anyone who doesn't like Samurai Jack needs there head looking at. Oh and thundercats/transformers/gijoe - absolute garbage)

thats better :)

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If your going to insult someone, then please make sure your sentence construction and grammar are correct!

The Brothers McLeod

Oh crap! 'if your' should be 'if you're', should have taken my own advice, guess I am a doofus after all...sorry.

Samurai Jack is cobblers!

The Brothers McLeod

I have fond memories of shows like the Thundercats. But looking back on it now, and seeing the reruns on Cartoon Network, they really weren't all that well told, clever, or even well animated. Just goes to show you that the kids often don't care about any of that, as long as its entertaining.

I think Cartoon Network is really vanguard in a lot of their cartoons. The whole 'Cartoon Cartoon' genesis is great. The stories are strong, the animation is usually really good and the characters are likable. I don't see what the problem is...

Oh crap! 'if your' should be 'if you're', should have taken my own advice, guess I am a doofus after all...sorry.

Also, "needs there head looking at" should be "needs their head looked at." :) Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to have my head looked at. :eek:

Rofl i guess someone ate his own hat :)

Oh, btw, if insulting cartoons sounds so dramatic, than i guess insulting humans is better? :) :)

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There were some good cartoons in the 80s, but we also have to keep in mind how old we each were then. I used to love watching Super Mario Bros., Legend of Zelda, GI Joe, He-Man, TMNT...etc. Yet I have watched some of them recently and they are. . .well, not that good.

Some of the cartoons out there today are pretty good. I enjoy Fairly Oddparents, as well as Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park. I have noticed that cartoons nowadays are less preachy and 'lesson-teaching' than those of the 1980s. :D

2-D animation will never die. The invention of photography did not kill painting. Why would animation be any different?
Dancing Cavy Productions

I am sorry! I did not state my position in a clear way. First, watching the old cartoons on cartoon network can sometimes painful. Silver Hawks was one of my favorite cartoons growing up. I watched an episode a couple years ago, and thought it was terrible.
Eventhough the animation on cartoons is better today, and the writting is a lot better does not mean that the cartoons from the current era are better. If you read a comic from the 1960's or 70's the drawings are not that great, and the dialogue is alittle cheezy but the ideas were great! That is the same for cartoons in the 80's and early 90's. The ideas were great. The Might OrBots, Thunder Cats, He-Man, G.I.Joe, SheRa, Care Bears, M.A.S.K., Jem and the Rockers, Visionaries, Dungeon and Dragons, andTransformers.
You cannot run off as many good cartoons from the current era as you can with 80's cartoons. The new cartoons look better, but the ideas at the core of the cartoons are not as good.

You cannot run off as many good cartoons from the current era as you can with 80's cartoons.

I can't think of a single TV cartoon made in the 1980s that I enjoyed, except for the minute-long Simpsons segments on the Tracey Ullman Show.

Conversely, today I enjoy Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Family Guy, Futurama, Harvey Birdman, Invader Zim, King of the Hill, Justice League, Sealab 2021, The Simpsons, South Park, and a bunch of others.

I agree with the popular concensus here. The 80's stuff, while plentiful, was all pretty much crap. HOWEVER... As I have mentioned before... I LOVED THE SMURFS!!! Hehehe


"Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard" - Paul Simon

I vote for Rocky and Bullwinkle and if you really want to go back...Tom Terrific and Mighty Mouse.

But I like a lot of the new stuff. Rocket Power, Thornberries, Where's Arthur, etc..

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

Just a quick apology (especially to Shany, I love you and want to have your babies) for my outburst earlier in the thread.

I'd had a long day and my (insert swear word) computer wasn't playing ball.

On a lighter note, Battle of the Planets and the Space Sentinels - genius

The Brothers McLeod

It is so commonplace to copy/ recycle it's just the zeitgeist. However, surely there is a difference between recycling an old concept and simply copying it?

Not the animators fault!

The thing about it is this: it all goes back to the writing. Your animation can be flawless, but if the concept/story/writing sucks, you've had it.

I like many of the styles from "today's" cartoons. I think Samuri Jack (though I don't watch it) has some pretty gutsy looking stuff in it. "Stylized" might be a better word. At the same time, I can't stand the animation in "The Wild Thornberries," but think the story telling is excellent.

In my opinion, the LCD (lowest common denominator) for cartoon audiences (on the whole) was recalculated some time in the last 10 or so years, and the writing has become trite, obvious, and decidedly moronic.

There are exceptions to this, of course. It's not necessarily the animation that makes "South Park" a hit. It's the "cutting edge" nature.

I could go on and on.

The bottom line is the personal taste of the audience. Look at me: I used to love "Battle Of The Planets." Now I'm afraid to get the DVD's for fear of realizing just how bad a show it was. ;) But then, I only (even as an early teen) used to watch it for the voice acting.


abvox: Voice and Sound Design Services

I'll have to step in and say that even though there are a lot of annoying cartoons like pokemon or yugioh, the animation rocks. Don't get me wrong, Im a huge fan of Voltron, Ninja Turtles and Transformers but the animation of today is more appealing to the eye by far. It's cleaner and smooth. Im still a big fan of 80's toons though but I love the new ideas. Here's a question...What ever happened to cool camera shots in tv cartoons and motion picture cartoons. For example a lot of the camera views of samurai jack and "the begining" of the stampede in lion king? I think that animators should get a little more creative with cool shots...but that's just me.

Guess what?... I've got a fever... and the only prescription... is more cowbell.

mabye they were never good at Perspective? :)

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While cool angles are great, they are usually only great when animated in house. the reason that angles are kept reasonably simple is because you will probably have an inexperienced animator animating it, and animating a down shot or up-shot is not the easiest thing to do, even for those of us who have been animating for years. Usually, the character does not match the perspective of the BG at all when done in India, China, etc. on cool angles.


"Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard" - Paul Simon

True True! Damn. I have to get back into the drawing scene. I want to be an animator super badly and I think with more practice my skills will definately develope!
dream job= disney

any pointers anyone?

Guess what?... I've got a fever... and the only prescription... is more cowbell.

dream job= disney

any pointers anyone?

Have been animating 10 years ago. ;)

Wowee! Ofcourse I know time and experience is the biggest thing! Practice makes perfect! But other than that...any pointers anyone! Im not trying to find the fastest way to the goal and trying to cut corners...just looking for information on setting my foot in the door!

Guess what?... I've got a fever... and the only prescription... is more cowbell.

oh I didn't mean time and experience, actually. Though of course that helps. I mean Disney isn't per-say in its hayday as far as hiring animators.


if you are ready to wait a little bit there will probably be a job to take on : the replacement of Mr Eisner. :D

Just kidding, just kidding.


i also liked the Smurfs, but seeing them now I must admit that the animation in itself was poor. Yet, we also need to take on the fact that those animations were big animated series, with a small time scale to produce them. So, if they had more time to do them, I'm sure they would have been of better quality.

"taa taa ta smurfs taataa, plum plum and tralalaaaaaa..." :eek:

lol !!! that was quality ! :D

There are some good ones and not so good ones. I don't mind Spongebob.

Hi Adam, Bravo-you should add social historian to your resume! You bring a much appreciated perspective to these forums. I wholeheartedly agree that an artist's solitude forms and anneals a true personal vision-but, that artist needs to bring his/hers/YOUR treasure(s) to the world. Thanks for the incrediable post! :D . Bird

I wholeheartedly agree that an artist's solitude forms and anneals a true personal vision

Yes, but all too frequently that vision is of the artist's own navel!

I dunno, I would argue that the deeper you go, the more universal the vision-it's kind of an odd paradox. Navel studies (I getcha) seem to be more ego-centric. Bird

That is true. I was being flip in my previous post. I do feel that knowledge of one's self is imperative to creating truly great art. I also feel that knowledge of one's audience is imperative to creating a truly great story.

Not so long ago I was in school, acquiring a degree in animation. All too frequently some young "tortured artist" would proclaim that his/her animation was about himself/herself and therefore didn't need to make sense to anyone else. On the one hand, sometimes you do need to create things just for yourself. On the other hand, many defensive cries of "but I'm an artist" seem to be an excuse to fob off poorly thought out, poorly executed mish mash onto the audience.

Hey Praetor Judis, Absolutely, knowledge of one's audience is critical for a great story and great stories are universal, transcedant. The self infuses the local color. I have to confess, I was probably one of those 'tortured artists'. In college, if one of my project's had been totally incomprehensible, but had a piece of dialogue, I defend it as an experimental narrative even though I had no idea what the structure of a narrative was. But popping 'experimental' on the work seemed to cover up a mass of shortcomings. i knew in my heart I was trying to pass off a piece of crap. But then, you grow up, live some life, and realize the only thing worth contributing is the truth. :) Bird

I think it's an important part of growing creatively, bird16. At least, I tell myself that to justify having been there myself as a youth!

I like the stuff that's out there now. WB's 'Teen Titans' has neat animation and has decent story that is sometimes true to the comics. True, there are lots of Pokemon and YuGiOh cartoons out there, but it's not our fault kids like that kind of stuff. Producers aren't making cartoons for the adult animation-fan audience, they are making them for the kids. And right now kids want YuGiOh. And in a year they might want Teen Titans.

I also enjoy 'Justice League Unlimited' boyfriend sits in front of the TV, all anxious like a kid, naming all of the comic book heroes he sees in the background--it's funny. 'Xaolin Showdown' on the WB has a unique style and each character brings to the show different personality; each week they have to find a secret treasure that will give them better abilities in the martial arts. And there's actually neat cartoons on Public Access television, like 'Cyberchase' (which teaches children about math) and 'Liberty's Kids' (which teaches children about history).

Alright, that's my spiel...I'll stop talking now.:D

Check out and read the description for The Ministry project. Hopefully this will give you something to look forward to...

now days animation [cartoon shows] has become just 'garbage' (no offend to the animators between us :D)
take a look at cartoons like 'bobsponge' / 'dexter' / 'jack the samurai' / 'powerpuff' ..etc they are all very ridicolous .

I love all of thems !
And Also "hé, Arnold", "Cow & Chicken", "Kim Possible", "Ren & Stimpy"...
There are all really imaginative and totally crazy.
I agree that there are lots of bad cartoons today, but also lots of good ones; and more than ever !

What is the reason that there are so many crappy cartoons? Well, that’s because the whole process of putting a show or a movie on the air has nothing to do with creativity. Professional concept creators don’t care what could be fresh and original, they only care whether they answer the expectations of the network/producer.
The network/producer people, being business people first of all, are only interested if the show/movie will have financial success, which, people might think, has something to do with its quality. Well, it doesn’t, it’s just that the producers have once launched a certain type of product that proved to be financially rewarding, and they continue exploiting the same formula, that becomes their “trend”, and the concept artist tries to fit in. Why something crappy can be financially successful? Because that’s on the screen, at first people don’t have too much choice but watch what is in front of them, and after a while people develop a certain taste for familiar things. (And if somebody thinks that commercial animation offers a lot of choice and variety, you must be very attentive to details). That is especially true about the shows/movies for children. Children don’t buy videos and movie tickets, parents do, and the parents assume that a well advertised, produced by a major company, safe show of a familiar format is what their children are supposed to dig. And they do, do they have a choice?
From my experience in the industry in most of the cases the artists themselves hate (or at least are not excited about) the concept of the shows they are working on (they, however, are proud of the idea that they are working on a “serious” production and are being very “professional”). I wonder what would the parents think about the fact that all of these cute naïve children shows are created by a bunch of beer loving cynical guys with jail humour who tell dirty jokes about the infantile cartoon while they are making it (most of North American animators think from some reason that being in love with a muscular superhero in colourful tight costume makes them more “manly” than dealing with barbies and talking animals).
In conclusion, nobody is going to risk inventing a new product while the old one is bringing money. Unfortunately, unlike fine art, animation is a medium of the masses: in order to sell a painting it’s enough to have one person that really likes it, in the case of animation it has to be a lot of people who just think it’s OK.

Firstly, I'd like to toss my hat into the ring with the folks who feel the high points of today's cartoons far outshines the high points of 80's cartoons. From style to script, there is far better fare available. I would argue, though, that the low points are far lower than the low points of the 80's.

Secondly, the reason so many 80's shows are being remade today is that the original shows' audience has a) expendable income to throw away on nostalgia and/or b) children they want to indoctrinate about how "great things were when I was a kid." It's all about the marketing.

I dunno about todays lows being lower than the 80s...I remember the Gary Coleman Show...