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Cartoon Universe: Monkey, Not Truck: Why Beast Wars is Great

Beast Wars Transformers is one of those rare, near-perfect cartoons that pop up seemingly out of nowhere to become classics.  It’s quite possibly one of the best shows of the 1990s, combining unexpectedly deep scripting with fun, nuanced animation that was cutting edge for its time.  The characters feel real, their conflicts seem intimate, and […]

Cartoon Universe: Wheel of Morality

Cartoons have had moral messages for as long as the medium has existed, from the explicitly anti-war Peace on Earth in the 1940s to the urban morality of Fat Albert to the cloyingly pro-social Care Bears.  Educational and moral-focused shows such as these have always been a part of the cartoon tapestry, perhaps never more […]

Cartoon Universe: Introduction

We all live in a cartoon universe. Think about it – animation is almost omnipresent in our daily lives.  One of the nation’s largest media companies is, at its heart, an animation studio.  Japan’s image is now associated with its certain kind of animation.  And America’s most recognizable and admired man is not the president, […]

Remembering Roy E. Disney

Were it not for Roy E. Disney, the course of animation history would have been almost completely different. The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin would likely not have been made, at least not with the class and verve that made them classics. Had Roy Disney not intervened, Pixar might have been preparing to […]

Toons of the 2000s: DVD and Digital Distribution - Part 3

You are reading Part 3 of DVD and Digital Distribution. Part 1 | 2 | 3 | Go back to the Toons of the 2000s Intro. We’ve been talking about the new methods of distribution as it pertains to traditional animation – that is, the shows produced and distributed from the animation companies.  These are usually produced and designed with television or film […]

Toons of the 2000s: DVD and Digital Distribution - Part 2

You are reading Part 2 of DVD and Digital Distribution. Part 1 | 2 | 3 | Go back to the Toons of the 2000s Intro. Beyond DVD By 2007, DVD had reached saturation – nearly every major release had come out on the format, and nearly every American home owned a player.  Not surprisingly, the market for discs had slowed – software […]

Toons of the 2000s: DVD and Digital Distribution - Part 1

You are reading Part 1 of DVD and Digital Distribution. Part 1 | 2 | 3 | Go back to the Toons of the 2000s Intro.   In the halcyon days of the 1990s, die-hard fans of cartoons had to subsist only on what the networks fed them. Online petitions were formed to get Cartoon Network to pick up He-Man and the Masters […]

Toons of the 2000s: Bottom 5 Cartoons

 Go back to the Toons of the 2000s Intro.  Some cartoons are made with tender loving care. They are gorgeously animated. They are well-written. They tell stories in new and interesting ways. These cartoons prove how versatile the medium is and should not be confused with anything appearing on this list. Instead, this is the cream […]

Toons of the 2000s: The End of Broadcast Kids TV - Part 3

You are reading Part 3 of The End of Broadcast Kids TV. Part 1 | 2 | 3 | Go back to the Toons of the 2000s Intro. The Other Guys NBC and CBS were footnotes on Saturday mornings in 2000; they remain footnotes in 2009. Only the names have changed. NBC was a non-factor for nearly a decade, having chosen to bow […]

Toons of the 2000s: The End of Broadcast Kids TV - Part 2

You are reading Part 2 of The End of Broadcast Kids TV. Part 1 | 2 | 3 | Go back to the Toons of the 2000s Intro. Kids’ WB: That’s All Folks? Things looked rosier over at Kids’ WB, thanks mostly to the ongoing success of Pokemon, the resources of Warner Bros. Animation, and the general oversight of WB Network boss Jamie […]

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