Super Admin: Vertex
It's really depressing to see some of the opinions in this thread. I'll try to give my thoughts on a few recurring themes and then get into a few specifics. It's goig to be very long, but please bother to actually read it. In fact, after writing it, I think it would be better to split it up across multiple posts.|
Bias. I consider myself a somewhat serious lover of animation. I don't care if it's a Disney movie or an ultraviolent anime, as long as it's quality stuff. I've spent some time revisiting old cartoons I used to love, and I've come to the painful realization that to a large degree, most of it was crap. This is because I can now see the shows critically as an adult. However, I also remember how I saw them when I was young, and viewed through those eyes I still love them. Looking at today's shows, there is still a lot of crap, but there are plenty of good shows. However, to appreciate most of them, you have to be able to look at them as a child would. This is not as easy as most people think it is, but it's a needed skill if you really love cartoons. By and large, I think most people's problem with new cartoons is that they're remembering their old favorites through the eyes of their childhood, but watching the new ones through the eyes of an adult. That's an automatic bias, and it's why we're getting multiple generations of "wow, new stuff sucks."
Violence. So a few of you have noticed and pointed out that today's action cartoons are more violent than the action cartoons of the '80s, and much more violence than what few action cartoons there were in the '90s. The 1990s were an extremely paranoid time as far as parents and youth violence, so yes, it makes sense that they were less violent than cartoons of the '80s or today. As far as the '80s though, guess what? You're dead wrong. Conan, Masters of The Universe, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Voltron, Thundercats, Dungeons and Dragons, MASK, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and countless more. What was the solution to most problems? Punch the badguy, shoot the badguy, or swing a big sword around. The only difference? The violence wasn't animated as nicely and nobody got hurt. Is that really any better than what we have now? Let's think for a minute.
The main arguments against violence in cartoons for children are that it might upset them or that it might teach them that violence is okay, fun, or even a good way to solve problems. Upsetting kids is a silly argument, as it's largely irrational and unpredictable what will scare kids. When I was four years old, a friendly fuzzy blue puppet (Cookie Monster) scared the crap out of me (I still liked him anyway), but a half-naked blue man with sharp fingernails and a skul for a head (Skeletor) didn't bother me in the least. It's pointless to figure out what will scare kids, because you can't. That leaves the "influence" problem. Maybe it's a bad idea to have violence in children's shows at all, but the general consensus here is that the "sanitized" violence of 1980s action cartoons is acceptable. So what good does it do to "clean up" the violence? When you build a world where you can fire laser guns and swing sharp weapons around all day and nobody ever gets hurt, what you're left with is violence without consequences. What the hell kind of message for kids is "violence doesn't hurt people"? If we're going to expose kids to violence, then violence needs to have consequences so that it's clear that there is a negative side to it. Although our American Middle Class upbringing teaches us otherwise, with a little thought I think it's quite clear that giving gravity to acts of cartoon violence is much more morally sound than stipping it of its ugliness. So stop complaining about violence in new cartoons if you're okay with violence in old cartoons. It's pointless and hypocritical.
Besides that, having the freedom for characters to be hurt or even killed gives writers the power to create better stories. It increases dramatic tension and provides an opportunity for some touching moments and deep character development. Both of these are also huge advantages of serial storytelling rather than the episodic style of the '80s and '90s. More later...
Thanks for clarifying your thoughts, Although I'm sure it would make an even better article, Point- Counter Point.
I'm in the minority of people that I can actually get the same enjoyment from the old ones and yet strangely do not get the same enjoyment out of the new ones. Not condeming them at all, Just my feelings on the subject. Then again, I wouldn't consider myself a die-hard animation lover like yourself, Although I like it better than most cinema I'm more of a niche lover.
The violence thing I could write paragraphs about but its really no different than in live-action movies with violence and kids movies versus adult movies. Point is despite all the violence in them or "fake" violence in them, I've yet to commit any crimes where I've commited some serious violence against someone and I'm in the camp that that kind of entertainment shouldn't be blamed for any crimes that someone may commit. But I think I'm going a little too far off topic here into the nature vs. nuture territory, So I'll stop for now.
I agree completely. My point is that if you are going to worry about violence in kids' shows, it should be less potentially tempting for kids if violence is presented as risky with potentially disasterous consequences rather than just having the characters bang their swords together harmlessly or shoot and miss all day. Besides, shooting and missing all the time seems kinda stupid, doesn't it?
But yeah, most kids are smarter than people give them credit for. Kids can learn right from wrong easily if you teach them. They know the difference between fantasy and reality very early on as well, unless you encourage them not to. Put the two together, and most kids should know that violence is (usually) wrong in the real world even if it makes for exciting fantasy.
I watched G.I. Joe: The Movie for the first time since G.I. Joe aired in syndication which was back in 1987, and I found myself being completely desensitized to the amount of violence, which is probably the reason why it got a PG rating, that was in that movie. I know G.I. Joe is fictional but I wanted to get it on tape for prosperity purposes. Now that I'm older the violence in G.I. Joe, or any cartoon from the 80s, doesn't bother me as much as it would have bothered me when I was younger.|
I remember watching G.I. Joe when I was younger and it never really bothered me the amount of violence that was in it but G.I. Joe: The Movie was a different story. That used to bother me so much that when the part where Golubulus uses that mutant plant pod to devolve Cobra Commander back into a snake came on I would hide until it was over but when I saw GIJTM on YTV a few years ago it was like "Huh! Whatever?"?
Anime. What can I say that hasn't been said already. Anime is trendy right now and importing it is cheaper than making original shows, so networks are bound to import as much of it as they can. We in the USA still sanitize our shows compared to Japan, so these shows are chopped up, censored, and dumbed-down. The cheap crappy shows for little kids are easier to edit and require less editing to begin with, so they're an easy target. That's one reason we get tons of bad ones. Also, anime shows designed to sell toys and video games are often of lower quality than shows that are made for their own sake. Localization companies have an incentive to import shows with a lot of merchandise already attached to them, so we get a lot of bad shows that way too. We import a disproportionate ammount of crap and ruin several of the good shows that we do import, so it's not fair to judge anime based on this. I'm sure you'd like this trend to stop, and so would I, but the problem isn't that the shows are anime.
Why rehash old cartoons if the new ones are so good? That's quite simple. For one thing, it's easier to rehash an old idea than to come up with a new one. For another, most of the cartoons that are being remade are (and have always been) attached to brand of toy and are designed to sell them. As with coming up with new shows, it is also easier to revisit an old toy brand than to come up with a new one. I'm glad they do, because a lot of the new TransFormers are really killer, and I have to confess to being a collector. If you, as a toy company, are bringing back an old line of action figures, you'll want to bring back the cartoon to go with it. Basically, we get remakes for the same reason we get loafs of anime. The positive side if this is that the shows can be written without some of the limitations of past decades and can be animated with better technology and more detail. That's not a bad thing at all. Now on to some specifics--next time.
|I have never watched an entire episode of a new cartoon, but if I were to judge from the drawings, I'd say they all are bullshit.|
I guess anime would be considered "trendy" although its been very popular here for the last decade or so and shows no signs of stopping, I think its here to stay in America. I agree its not the problem at all (even if badly re-done anime shows do pop up on occasion). Its more about (and this is especially prevalent in the movie industry) the poision that corporate control causes when they try and appeal to a larger audience for profits. As you well know, the the stations will cower under the slightest hint of pressure from a fanatical group that finds fault with a show for violence/sexism/racism/ etc., etc, etc. and so everything becomes watered down.
I'm not going to deny at all that the shows I grew up on were originally designed to sell toys but ocassionally those shows would take on a life of their own and transcend their purely capitilist driven mission statement. Honestly, Though if the toys are creative, original, and fun I have no problem (Transformers, MASK, and G.I. Joe were all great lines) and parents have no right blaming a show for forcing them to buy something for their child anymore than they do their child commiting any violent acts in the name of the show. Keep em coming!
i really dont vare either way about the new stuff,. some of it is really good, like boondocks, and family guy/american dad and venture bros. but i think that they , like hollywood are running out of ideas. thats why they just redo all the old titles. i expect yet another supewrman toon shortly.|
the only show i really really hate is...TGTM. on AS.
"Visitors from the past shall return from whence they came."
|I hate the newer cartoons like Pokemon and Naruto. However, I do love Courage The Cowardly Dog, Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, and ish like that. I'm a big fan of the cartoons that seem more like indy ventures than stolen and remade japanese properties. Bore me to death and stab my stomach organs.|
Part 3: A an entire post about...|
TMNT. Almost every gripe I've ever heard about the new TMNT series boils down to one or both of two issues: nostalgia for the old cartoon, and violence. I've already discussed violence, so I think this is an improvement and doesn't make sense to complain about. The other issue quite frankly ticks me off. "Oh, I hate the new show, it's absolutely nothing like the real Ninja Turtles that I grew up with! Why do they have to screw it up?" Sound familiar? Well guess what. The TMNT cartoon that most of you grew up with was NEVER the real TMNT. The real TMNT started as a black-and-white indie comic book created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird under their company Mirage Studios, which was quite literally run from an apartment. TMNT was a dark, strange, action comedy. It was indeed very dark, and rather gritty. After all, the Turtles were ninjas. Ninjas hide in the shadows and kill unsuspecting enemies, and that's exactly what the real TMNT did. I have an issue where Michaelangelo--the original Mikey, the real Mikey chokes an enemy ninja with a chain, drowns him, and leaves him dead. The real TMNT was never intended for young children. What we got on television in the late '80s was a sort of "Super Friends" version of the characters, completely removed from their original story. It was about as far from the real TMNT as you can get. Not to be rude, but if you're not talking about the comics, then please SHUT UP about the "real" TMNT. Thank you.
Now, keep in mind that as a kid I loved the old TMNT cartoon. I would jump up and down watching every exciting episode, even though I liked the comics better. That said, looking back at it, it was pretty awful, and by awful I mean really really stupid. So stupid that the writers didn't know the difference between a reptile and an amphibian during at least the entire first season--a mistake I caught when I was in elementary school! It was cheesy, campy, and totally dumbed-down. The new show is the complete opposite. If the old cartoon was like Super Friends, the new one is like Batman: The Animated Series. Although the violnece is still toned down for kids, it tries to maintain the atmosphere and spirit of the original comics, even borrowing numerous elements from the original story line. In fact, it goes so far as to often improve on the overal coherence of the story by linking most of the smaller stories together into one multi-segmented epic. The segments allow new viewers to jump in, but the connections to previous and future stories adds depth for those who watch it from the beginning. There's a sense of purpose as the different stories link back into one another. Over time, the characters grow and learn and develop--something their '80s-'90s cartoon counterparts couldn't claim. In short, it's a fantastic show. It's a far superior show to the old one, much better than most other action shows on today, and it's the closest thing to the real TMNT we're likely to ever have on television. If you'd clear the old cartoon from your preconceptions for just half an hour, sit down, and take the show for what it is, maybe you'd see that.
Also, who said the show was anime-styled? The art is designed by Micheal Dooney, who worked on the original comics with Eastman and Laird since early on. He's an American as far as I can tell, as are all the writers, as is Peter Laird who supervises the show. It's as American as nearly any other modern cartoon, and arguably more American than most of Cartoon Network's "Cartoon Cartoons" which are designed by a Russian (Genndy Tartakovsky).
I could also argue that since the new cartoon is based on the 1984 original TMNT instead of the 1987 remake TMNT, it is essentially more "retro" in spirit than the old cartoon.
|Anime doesn't bother me as much as Sponge Bob Square Pants does. No I'm not a religious fanatic. I don't think that Sponge Bob is fit for anyone to watch muchless a little kid.|
|flamepanther, I agree with this whole-heartedly, and it does bug me when people literally complain about the new version, and give that particular reason (it's not the real TMNT, etc.), which just shows how ignorant they are where that is concerned. |
Now, I honestly don't care for the newer version because I just can't get into it (I think I just outgrew TMNT altogethr) and I already knew that that particular version was made to be closer story-wise to the comics as opposed to the 1987 cartoon. I never read them, so that's probably another reason why I can't get competely into the newer version, not that I really found much wrong with it.
I used to love the old version for the comedy (and Rob Paulsen as Raphael), but looking back now, it was pretty, well, corny and cheesy and I guess this just goes with what I said earlier in this topic; about how most of the stuff we grew up with fit into that type of category.
But Spongebob can be funny. Like Fairly Oddparents, it's so stupid it's funny, but if forced to watch either, I'd choose FoP.
|I can't stand any of the new cartoons. The two that stick out in my mind that i hate the most are the new x-men evealotion along with the new loony toon super hero show. They are both crap.|
nickelodeon has too many cartoons. if they only had a few then they could get the quality up.|
i would like it if they only had the shows ui watch and focussed on them and i also wish nickelodeon would not show the same six episodes of every show they have during plack party summer. every week. there are fort episode of Danny Phantom and 65 episodes of Farily of fairly odd parents. they do not need to show the same ones over and ovee again!
Lorelai's answering machine: We're not here right now, speak if you must.
Quote From Gilmore Girls
X-Men Evolution, from what I've seen, is a fairly decent show, with better animation than the '90s Fox animated series, and it stars one of my favorite voice actors as Wolverine, but it's got a bit too much teen drama factor going on for me to get into it. That angst-ridden stuff is popular with teen audiences though, and that's thier intended market.
As for "Loonatics"... yeah, I agree with you. Bad idea all around.
|I wouldn't mind anime so much if it wasn't so predictable, and all the shows are so similar to each other. That's why I actually could stand FCLC or whatever it was called. But anime writers need to watch things like Akira, Robotech, etc. THOSE are shows.|
What do I think..what do I think...|
Well the new shows are not for my sake of enjoyment. Doesn't have the effect like the cartoons of the 90's had that I still enjoy.
Reminiscing hurts my brain.
Well, I do like several of the newer cartoons. The ones I like are: Ben 10, Fairly Oddparents, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Xaolin Showdown, Danny Phantom, Avatar, And all of the older Cartoon Cartoons. And also, I really do like the newer Ninja Turtles stuff. It has pretty good stories, although I can't compare it to the older series having never seen it.|
ANd also, on the Anime deal, most of you are right. Most translated anime is crap, although the manga they are based on is pretty good as well as quite a few Anime Styled American shows.
ANd by the way, on the subject of oldet cartoons being better , Toyfare reviewed a few of them and Thundercats got a C-, C.O.P.S. got a D+ and He-Man got a B-.
That's the sort of generalizing that will get you in trouble in a discussion like this.
Robotech is a crappy hack job of a dub that tries to cram three unrelated stories together. People need to forget about it. You can't even get "Robotech" in Japan. Why would they even want it when they've got the originals? If anime writers are going to watch anything related to it, they should watch Macross... which they pretty much all already have, because Macross is a classic in Japan, second only to the original Gundam. Just because they've seen it doesn't mean they can match it.
That's why they're called "ToyFare" and not "CartoonFare". Thundercats was clearly better than He-Man.
Thundercats the series was FAR better than MOTU. But the MOTU DVD's are much better done than the Thundercats ones. I thought BCI Eclipse/Entertainment Rights did a great job while Warner Brothers really did a rush job on Thundercats.