After Reading the post by Negative one explainging his problems with mainstream animation, i thought i would share my view on what i consider the decline of American Cartoons. I actually wrote this and posted it to a blog on 10/22/08, so now im posting a copy of it here for NG.
Something that has always plagued me was the desire for good cartoons. As a very young boy, I was in love with all things cartoony, and respected such titles as Tom & Jerry, The Flintstones, and even Rugrats as very well made and original.
As one looks to the past, back to when animation required much more work, and was even next to completely frame by frame(each frame was drawn in by the artists), one can see that the amount of effort put into it was much greater than that of today. If you compare a "classic" Cartoon Network show, from my youth, to a show from this era, you will find that the standards and requirements for a show have been reduced to those of less quality, and the cartoons themselves are even being replaced by those made in other countries, such as Japan.
I recall always wanting to watch DBZ or Pokemon more than what was made by the American Cartoonist, yet was not displeased when I was watching the American made shows. This opinion has however changed.
A cartoon is a medium to convey or portray a point or story to an audience, like any other art form. Some are for education, others for simple entertainment. I find myself having a better time watching something from the past generation that i may have seen many times before than many shows of this era, and not even for nostalgia. I would even watch the Powder Puff Girls over some of the bunk they play now, because it had enjoyable writing AS WELL AS very good animation and art.
There is a reason Tom & Jerry is played almost daily on cartoon network and that is because the quality is so high that even repeated episodes have the same flair as when they were new. Nowadays, a cartoon themed solely by its comedy quickly grows unwatchable as hearing the same joke over and over does not supply it with the same rush as before, killing its comedic value upon watching it even just once before.
In fact, that is what most shows nowadays try to depend upon- Their writing- expecting it to completely carry the whole show alone, with mediocre qualities in every other department.
I recall a moment as a young boy when i said to myself "Dexter's Lab is getting a little boring lately. I'm tired of seeing the same show over and over!"
I find myself thinking i was somewhat right, yet i found myself later regretting it and wishing it would be re-aired instead of the shows that followed its cancellation.
Nickelodeon has cancelled seemingly all cartoons but Spongebob, and airs a few episodes of Failr Odd Parents. In what appears to be an attempt to save the mainstream cartoons, the station holds a show called U-Pick where online votes pick a cartoon to be aired. There is also Nick Toon, the channel available for those with advanced television channels.
Apparently, Cartoon Network does recognize the need for nostalgia and offers the channel Boomerang, which airs classic shows.
That makes me wonder. What will become of American cartoons in the future?
Whenever I watch a cartoon, I make sure to evaluate it as if I were a judge. While I pay attention to what is going on in the plot, I am also evaluating the specific things the animators and artists put into each figure. I examine the smoothness of the animations. I mentally pick apart each character and item on screen that moves to see how they made it, and when it comes to the American Cartoon, i see most of the work went solely devoted to lip synching and audio, leaving much else to be desired.
Another thing to think about- Cartoon Network used to hold a voting show where the viewers would watch the pilot episode of a few shows and would phone in their choice for which was their favorite. This method brought out some interesting and original concepts such as "Codename: Kids Next Door". Now, the cartoons that make the cut are solely chosen by the network and are generally out of nowhere.
As one sided as this argument has been, I do want to point out that there are in fact some very good and original shows available that focus on writing, and Artwork on equal terms such as Chowder, but they are outnumbered by shows of lower quality.
As I am probably ranting a bit too much, I will leave you with this thought-
Weren't those good old cartoons you used to watch better than the shows of today?