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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Outrage over Cartoon Network’s Thundercats reboot: ‘CalArts style’

1) Thundercats was shit. Those of us who were in the target demo at the target time acknowledge that Thundercats was pure shit. You could argue about GI Joe and Transformers and Robotech but they were all acknowledged as better than Gobots, which was acknowledged as better than Masters of the Universe, which was acknowledged as better than Thundercats, which was arguably better than Tranzor Z, but not by much.

2) Shit as it was,

Go ahead and google image search "cheetara." You will note that fan images outnumber actual images by 10:1. If your safesearch is off, Rule 34 will clobber you. Despite the fact that Thundercats was acknowledged as pure shit, it still got your preadolescent tinglies on. It's fair to say that the ideation of Thundercats has moved far beyond the actuality of Thundercats and that ideation does not look like some goddamn Steamboat Willie lumpfest from the school of "model everything as turds."

3) Nerds will be nerds but there's the rippled-flesh nerds and there's the endomorphic "don't remind me of my body" nerds. The former favor AoT and Dragonball. The latter favor Adventure time and Steven Universe.

4) Thundercats was not the first school-of-GNC animation series (He Man beat them by two years). However, the School of Pillsbury would never dare to lay claim to He Man. Lion-O turning into Newman from Seinfeld? That's a betrayal of the principles of fandom.

For the record: Thundercats was un-fucking watchable. But you could look at freeze frames of it and imagine that it might once have not sucked. You can look at a still of Steven Universe and solve that shit by inspection: it's going to be like Family Guy, but with jokes for people who haven't learned not to poop their pants yet.

Once upon a time, American animation belonged to Ralph Bakshi and rotoscopes.

Now?

So I get the anger. It's like that time MTV insisted that Kriss Kross was rap.




user-inactivated  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I can't believe a comment on a pop culture discussion is what drew me out, but what ever. It's a three day weekend and I'm a bit board.

I agree mostly with what you say, but comparing Steven Universe to Family Guy is like comparing Grave of the Fireflies to Naruto. I'm being a bit hyperbolic, but you get the drift. I've been watching Cartoon Network on and off since it first came on the air and through the years they've had some real hits and some real misses. That said, Adventure Time, Steven Universe, Regular Show, Clarence, and The Amazing World of Gumball are all solid story telling shows. The people who complain about Teen Titans Go! and who will eventually complain about Thundercats Roar! are the kind of people who don't want to acknowledge that they're watching a different kind of cartoon with a different story telling goal than the source material. The visuals fit the storytelling and are appropriate. Me personally? I love TTG and I'm kind of excited to see Thundercats Roar just out of curiosity, even though I'm not a Thundercats fan.

Anyway, the people complaining about this kind of stuff don't understand that tastes evolve and with them so do stylistic elements and storytelling techniques. You know what all looks the same at first glance? Midieval Illuminated Manuscripts. You know what else all looks the same at first glance? Filigree and scroll work on antique silver. Know what else all looks the same at first glance? Comics from decade X. I could literally go on forever, but you get the idea.

Just as much as this stuff is similar, once you get to notice them and pay attention to them you can start to really pick out distinct differences and styles.

I bet half the people who are complaining about this loves Japanese Cartoons. You won't hear me say how those all look the same, because I know they don't. But if I did, they'd be quick to tell me how wrong I am.

kleinbl00  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Missed you, boo. Don't be a stranger. But also don't think your reappearance gives you a bye.

    I agree mostly with what you say, but comparing Steven Universe to Family Guy is like comparing Grave of the Fireflies to Naruto.

Having had to sit through a fair amount of Family Guy and Steven Universe, I stand by my statements. They're both awful. They're both infantilizing. And they're both drawn with a lackadaisical sloppiness that makes Scooby Doo look like Nausicaa.

    The people who complain about Teen Titans Go! and who will eventually complain about Thundercats Roar! are the kind of people who don't want to acknowledge that they're watching a different kind of cartoon with a different story telling goal than the source material.

No, they're the people who are acknowledging that one style of storytelling is falling out of favor to be replaced by another. They are lamenting the demise of an endangered species. They are decrying the replacement of reefs with caulerpa.

    Anyway, the people complaining about this kind of stuff don't understand that tastes evolve and with them so do stylistic elements and storytelling techniques.

Devolve. FTFY.

    You know what all looks the same at first glance? Midieval Illuminated Manuscripts.

You know what looks different? Illuminated and non-illuminated.

    You know what else all looks the same at first glance? Filigree and scroll work on antique silver.

You know what looks different? Decorated and undecorated.

    Know what else all looks the same at first glance? Comics from decade X.

And when Frank Franzetta gives way to... whatever the fuck this is...

...you can't argue that nothing was lost.

    I bet half the people who are complaining about this loves Japanese Cartoons.

Or at least acknowledge that Japanese animation largely resembles humans.

user-inactivated  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We're gonna have to agree to disagree, and this is why. I like that poster. It's colorful, it's stylistic, it's playful, and you can clearly see the DNA from the past material it's building off of. Because I clearly like it and because you clearly don't, we're not going to be able to agree on this issue. Which is fine.

    Or at least acknowledge that Japanese animation largely resembles humans.

Realism is not the only qualifier for what is and isn't good art. It can be an aspect of it, but to what degree its embraced is up to the artist and how well the final result is received is up to the person absorbing it. None of these look remotely like real tigers. I think each one is absolutely fantastic though. Their uniqueness helps them stick out to me, makes them memorable.

If I looked at 10 western paintings of tigers, realistically drawn, but with nothing else about them that grabs my attention, I'll quickly forget about them no matter how realistically and skilled they are. It's a balancing act and we each have different preferences as to where we want the fulcrum to be.

kleinbl00  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Realism is not the only qualifier for what is and isn't good art.

No, but it's a core aspect of an entire school of animation. It's fair to say that it's the only thing Thundercats had going for it, in fact. Watch a few frames; unless we're talking about Snarf, pretty much every character on there is drawn is if they're in a state of permanent flexion. It is, effectively, what makes Thundercats Thundercats (aside from Lion-O's extremely peculiar gender ambivalence).

Look. Seen Metalocalypse?

That's an homage to an aesthetic common to death metal bands. It captures the metal scene well enough to make the visuals a joke of their own. Seen Moonbeam City?

Me, neither. I hear it's terrible. But I can look at that and know that they're shooting straight for a Patrick Nagel/Miami Vice/Gem & The Holograms '80s such that the artwork probably sold the series alone.

And you don't need to know what the fuck a "thundercat" is to know that there should be some thunder, and there should be some cats. And for those who give a shit, what they've got so far is more like whoopie cushion jelly bean.

If you love Sailor Moon, you would want a Sailor Moon remake to look like Sailor Moon, not the Power Puff Girls. Ostensibly, the only thing that separates the two shows is their aesthetic. And the outrage is about "fuck your aesthetic, we're drawing jelly beans now."

user-inactivated  ·  108 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I understand where you're coming from. I also understand where the critics are coming from. That doesn't mean I think what the animators are doing is blasphemous for the following reasons.

1) Exaggerated, easy to draw characters are nothing new to animation. They've been around since pretty much the beginning. Felix the Cat, Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse, etc. and they make resurgences every few decades, Animaniacs, Ren & Stimpy, Powerpuff Girls, The Grimm Adventures of Billy and Mandy, etc. Animators know that it's a great art style to build off of when you want to tell humorous and or light hearted stories. All of that is en vogue right now, which is fine, trends are cyclical.

2) Trying to be efficient and saving time and money in animation is also nothing new. The classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons are a great example, just look at Super Friends or The Herculoids in particular. I understand why people get upset with some of the more recent animation techniques looking cheap, but even compared to the lower budget stuff from a few decades ago, we've come a long way.

2a) As an aside, people tend remember cartoons being better than they really were. For example, it's kind of popular to criticize Teen Titans Go! for being so cheap compared to the original series. I watched the original series quite a few times. I own the whole series on DVD. It doesn't hold up as well as our memories would like us to think. The first season in particular suffered from very simple sounds and animation low in background details. Lots of cartoons don't hold up as well as we remember. I think DC's Timmverse and Samurai Jack are two very good exceptions.

3) Most importantly though, this is just a cartoon series. Something someone is making to tell a story and to make a corporation money. They have control over the property, they can do what they want with it. Once again, I understand why people might not like the art style, but the creators of the series want to tell a different kind of story and the new art style matches the tone I think they're probably gonna take. It's not the end of the world. The original cartoons still exist and just because there is something new that has come about, it doesn't mean what was ceases to be. If something isn't your cup of tea and you fear it runs the risk of ruining your impressions of what you love, ignore it. I've joked on here before that The Matrix Sequels and the Star Wars Prequels were never made and that Iron Man 3 and Fallout 4 are both high budget fan projects and not official canon.

If there is one thing I've learned from comics, it's that sometimes people are gonna take properties we love and take them in directions we don't want them to go. It's fun to gripe a bit about it here and there, but it's important to exercise detachment. If we love a property so much that changing it in such a way causes us to feel grief and frustration, we need to step back and really consider whether or not our relationships with what we consume are being healthy.

tacocat  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It was complete shit.

I fail to understand the outrage as a person who thinks Teen Titans Go is a good way for kids to get into comics. Comics were my gateway to reading. But they're a gateway to being a butthurt canon obsessed useless human for other people. Whatcha gonna do?

kleinbl00  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Two can play at that game.

Here's the outrage: You have your style of animation that you like (that any thinking person can acknowledge as pure shit) and I have mine (that any thinking person can acknowledge as the One True Faith). You watch your shows, I'll watch mine. But if you're going to claim one of my icons and turn it into one of yours, you might as well draw a Star of David on the goddamn Kaaba because jihad is inevitable at this point, infidel.

Canon's got fuckall to do with it. One side believes that animation should be done with finesse and skill. The other believes it should be done without corners. The cornerless side doesn't understand the issue because of course they don't because they think these look like people:

tacocat  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I've been around comics nerds long enough to sorta get the outrage. Yeah sure, not your Luke Skywalker. Because you ignore all the fuck ups he committed in the first three movies in favor of him being some super hero.

Nerds just get their panties in a wad for no fucking reason. The Flash's girlfriend can't be black! She isn't black in the comics! She's black in the comics now!? I will take to the Twitter to voice my discontent!

I can sorta get in that headspace but I'm still like STFU. Thundercats was an awful cartoon with some kinda cool toys. Get your head out of your ass about this.

kleinbl00  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You say you get it but you don't.

Luke Skywalker has always been played by Mark Hammill. No matter who writes him, he's always some form of Mark Hammill. Solo? Not Harrison Ford anymore, but definitely an attempt to stay in the same vein.

Once more with feeling, Thundercats is a long, loooooonnng walk from Star Wars. Let's instead go for something a little more on point, like Sea Quest. Roy Scheider is dead, after all, so we're going to need to re-cast. Shall we go with Zach Galifianakis? Or maybe Jonah Hill? No matter how you feel about Sea Quest, you can acknowledge that it's going to be a different show. And it's not going to be liked by Sea Quest fans, the ostensible reason for the reboot's existence. No, it's going to be liked by Jonah Hill fans.

That you insist this is about race or some shit just shows how badly you want there to be no reason behind it.

tacocat  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    That you insist this is about race or some shit just shows how badly you want there to be no reason behind it.

Not at all. I just think if you actually care about the characters you'd want them exposed to as many people as possible. But these assholes are just completely beholden to an art style they know more from stills than actually watching the shit cartoon. But there's about nothing to care about with this cartoon. So people bitch about the art style. I definitely understand that the Teen Titans cartoon getting cancelled in favor of Go left some people salty. Because it abandoned storylines the characters are deeper than anthropomorphic cats. I get the argument to a degree, I just don't understand why people give a fuck about Thundercats of all things. Except they like the concept and a memory more than the product. Which lends itself to dumbass arguments if you are really not invested in the franchise and just vaguely remember a serious cartoon that was actually complete shit, Now that I think about it

kleinbl00  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Dude - you've got me defending the goddamn Thundercats and I hated them mightily as an eight year old. Why? Because at least they look like something.

Fuck the storylines, fuck the characters, fuck the actual cartoon - people are salty because effortful art has been sidelined for effortless art. This may surprise you, but people hated the ever-loving shit out of the Muppet Babies, too. Why? We went from this:

To this:

And clearly - if you want to watch infantilized bullshit nobody is going to stop you. I mean, they gave Seth McFarlane Cosmos and Star Trek so we're pretty much fucked forever. But every time something with one aesthetic gets retconned for an objectively worse aesthetic, people are gonna bitch even if they were never going to watch either version.

I had to buy a Porsche 911. It was the only sports car with a back seat. I've hated Porsche 911s my entire life. But by the time the car buying public had SUV'd their way through the marketplace, a 14-year-old Porsche 911 was the only sports car I could buy for less than $100k. And that's fucking retarded.

I give two shits about Thundercats. The fact that sports cars are dying out? That shit bugs me.

steve  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I didn’t remember that I knew all the words to the Muppet Babies theme song... thanks for that memory. If I remember correctly, I had to let my sister watch that show so I could watch something I wanted to on Saturday mornings.

kleinbl00  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Latchkey kid checking in.

2nd grade after school: Good Times reruns.

3rd grade after school: Robotech.

4th grade after school: Fucking Muppet Babies.

5th grade after school: Fucking Ducktales.

It was enough to drive a kid to read.

steve  ·  112 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think I had to suffer through Muppet Babies so I could watch this:

tacocat  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Dude - you've got me defending the goddamn Thundercat

Meanwhile I give about zero fucks and my argument with these people boils down to "Why do you care?" so I will get bored soon and let you piss in the wind about cat people

Odder  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Dude. You don't even like cartoons. Why are you getting so riled up over whether animators spend more effort on plot or artstyle. Are you just looking for something to be mad at today?

kleinbl00  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Dude. You don't even like cartoons.

Says who? Unlike anybody else here, I've been directly involved in the production of three series. I've partied at Titmouse twice. My voice is in animation with something like 30 million Youtube views.

    Why are you getting so riled up over whether animators spend more effort on plot or artstyle.

...animators spend zero effort on plot. That's what writers do. What's got me riled up is the notion that anybody who cares what something looks like is an idiotic fanboi that needs to STFU because obviously if things are devolving past the Blue Meanies of 1967 it's because art is in motion or some shit.