Thursday, July 19, 2007

The rise and fall of TV animation

At the Golden Age Cartoons forum, there's a discussion going on about the declining quality of television animation. The always insightful Ray Pointer weighs in:

In other aspects, it is the industry's current disdain and lack of respect for experienced personnel who know how to create and guide well crafted programs. What they are doing is giving far too much creative freedom to inexperienced younger artists who really have not learned the craft, and most of all, do not have enough real life experience to draw upon for story material. At the same time, there is a lack of understanding of how animation is effectively applied, and mostly a lack of strong directing sense. What results is an imitation of what has been seen in other cartoons and television shows. This, and a limited literacy level also affects the writing of such programs as well as the quality of the humor. I find that too much of what is being offered as "humor" is introspective to that group in the studio, and not understood by the general public which the cartoon is being made for.

Mark J makes an interesting point:

I'm not convinced that TV animation is any worse than it has been since it's inception. Made for TV toons from the 1950's on were all generally awful to look at and produced on shoestring budgets. Look at the awful limited animation in HB toons, Filmation, junk like Speedracer and Corageous Cat and Minute Mouse etc. Those were ugly and terribly animated. It is no better or worse today, it's just that people have emotional attachments to shows they watched as children and believe they are 'superior' to modern mass produced product. The only quality animation was theatrically produced and is long gone.

But Alf disagrees:

But at least, many of the 60´s toons, despite cheap animation, had at least clever scripts which did not talk down the viewer, be it a child or an adult... look at Rocky & Bullwinkle and the rest of the Jay Ward shows, Beany & Cecil, Roger Ramjet and others (including, of course, Tom Terrific).

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