Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  505 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Outrage over Cartoon Network’s Thundercats reboot: ‘CalArts style’

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  ·  505 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  ·  505 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  ·  499 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.