When will American animation grow up?

Discussion in 'The toonzone - General Animation Discussion' started by James35, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. James35

    James35 New Member

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    It seems like lot of people think media like comic books, animated movies/shows, and video games are meant only for children. I think this attitude stifles creativity. I think there should be more comics and animated films/shows that cover mature topics. I think American animation is geared too much toward children's entertainment. Can't we have an animated show or movie cover a serious topic like war or politics? Comic books have already started covering serious subject matter. When will animation grow up? If comics could move past super heroes I don't see any reason why animation should be relegated to children's entertainment. Who wants to see animated movies/shows that cover adult subject matter? I know I do.

    Perhaps this is the closest thing we will get to an animated war movie.
    [video=youtube;MP8q5F6dFqQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MP8q5F6dFqQ[/video]
     
  2. Dudley

    Dudley Moderator

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    Okay, one,

    American comics have covered numerous serious topics for decades, from war, to horror, to dramas. Though most mainstream comic publishers don't focus on it now, smaller publishers do.
    In case you haven't noticed, more animated cartoons are being made that appeals to an older audience, like the shows on Adult Swim, Comedy Central or on Fox.
    If you want to see an actual mainstream serious animated drama. Well, that's mainly because people would rather see something like that in live-action instead. And compared to animation, it'd be cheaper to produce as well.
     
  3. Goldstar Neo

    Goldstar Neo We're not cousins!

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    It's not as though there aren't any animated series geared toward adults. There are plenty. The animated shows on Adult Swim, on FOX's Animation Domination lineup and on cable channels such as FX and Comedy Central. There have even been adult animated movies such as Wizards, American Pop, Heavy Metal and Persepolis.

    Granted, many of these are comedies, but an animated drama would be a hard sell. Heavy drama requires acting, and acting is difficult to draw. Most cartoons don't do that. they usually have stock expressions, and most people would rather see heavy drama played out in live action than in a cartoon. Also, it's less expensive to film actors acting than it is to animate characters acting.
     
  4. Dr.Pepper

    Dr.Pepper Active Member

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    There are lots of animation intended for adults, however most of it is comedy. I think this is because drama is something that is easier to do in live action.
     
  5. dumbfoolkid5

    dumbfoolkid5 New Member

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    Who knows? Probably not in our lifetime but I hope someday. Cause I take animation way more seriously then live action even though I watch live action too.

    To me the actors bring the cartoon characters so well in their voices. And in that animation is just as important as live action. Though I rather watch animation mainly. We need more drama in animation here.
     
  6. Silverstar

    Silverstar Ah, No.

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    One of the problems with producing an animated drama is the one which others have already raised: that drama requires serious ACTING, which is more challenging and consuming to draw and animate than it is to simply film live actors performing. Sure you could try animating over the actors like that motion capture version of Beowulf, for example, but that technique is still in its' infancy: too often that ends up crossing into Uncanny Valley territory which is just off-putting. There's also the profitability factor: most Americans don't want to see a heavy, serious dramatic cartoon; they'd rather see big name live actors doing the drama and would prefer their cartoons to cover comedy and fantasy. Comedy, fantasy and family-oriented stories are what sells in American animation, and that's the reason why most USAnimated projects fall into those genres.

    However, it's not like there haven't been or aren't any USAnimated shows, movies, comic books or video games tailored for adults. There are many adult comics, but most of them are made by lesser or independent labels. Nearly every FPS video game is adult-themed. And as previously stated, the animated shows on Adult Swim, FOX's Animation Domination and the cartoon shows which pop up from time to time on channels like the FX networks and Comedy Central are geared towards adults. Granted, most of those are comedies, for the above reasons aforementioned.
     
  7. Rhaynebow

    Rhaynebow Active Member

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    This has always been a touchy subject in animation. I for one don't understand why dramatic animation is so taboo. No one is saying that an animated drama MUST deal with real life things. I would NEVER watch an animated Grey's Anatomy or animated Scandal because, like most of you have said, having it be animated is pointless and expensive. On the flipside, shows like Once Upon a Time and Game of Thrones are fantasy enough, so why not let THOSE be animated?

    Even some animators THEMSELVES protest dramatic animation. I find this to be so baffling. Why must all animation be for kids, and if not, have to be FUNNY? Is animation not one of the most flexible mediums out there? To tell future animators that cartoons need to be funny is like giving them a wad of clay and telling them that they can only make a ball. I think we've proven VERY WELL that cartoons are funny, so why don't we go in the other direction so we can get some variety?

    A lot of you have said that money is also an issue, but is it really? From what I've seen, I think that both animated and live-action features/shows cost the same. With live-action, those actors need clothes for the scene, they need food, they need make up, they need to look the part and if the director doesn't want to shoot on Hollywood sets anymore and wants to go to Switzerland instead, that actor has to be there. With animation, that's hours and hours of labor at a desk for maybe a three-minute clip and those people have to eat too, and the building needs to be maintained. I highly doubt that one medium is 'easier' than the other, so when it comes to dramatic media, I think that it comes down to what kind of story is being told. Animated or not, it'll be expensive and time-consuming to make.
     
  8. CoolEric158

    CoolEric158 God Bless America!

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    Might as well add this: though animation is geared towards kids, doesn't mean adult themes can be explored. Avatar: the Last Airbender, a kids show, focuses on the themes of war, friendship, destiny, responsibility, greed, redemption, and peace all in one series.
     
  9. Rhaynebow

    Rhaynebow Active Member

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    Yes, but Avatar is still labeled as a kids show. As heavy as that show's themes were, it was still on a children's' network. I commend the show for having such substance and still treating violence, death and spirituality lightly, themes that are big No-Nos in children's entertainment.

    And I'm just gonna leave this here:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/merrill...gend-of-korra-created-a-new-television-genre/

    Though this article doesn't speak for the majority, it DOES show that a good chunk of American Audiences are still clueless about animation. I hate that the names Avatar and Korra are always spoken when people talk about animated dramas because that's basically all we have and all that we'll ever have at the moment; animated dramas disguised as kids' media.
     
  10. Gatordragon

    Gatordragon Tough as talons! Ca-caw!

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    The Legend of Korra being the first animated drama? I think not. Before that show and Avatar, there was Invasion America. It was an animated drama that aired at primetime on the WB back in 1998. Unfortunately, it only lasted one season.

    Invasion America - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2014
  11. PapaGreg

    PapaGreg Came for the ribs

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    So what about Spawn, The Maxx, Aeon Flux, TMNT 2k3, and Gargoyles you know all those shows that came before Avatar or Korra. Don't get me wrong I like ATLA but there are other shows that fit that description hell Scooby Doo MI could fit into the description of animated drama
     
  12. Rhaynebow

    Rhaynebow Active Member

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    My mistake for missing those :p

    It's also interesting to note how some of the shows you listed, like TMNT and Gargoyles, still somewhat follow the animated drama disguised as a kiddie show-idea (though in Gargoyles case, disguised by a kids network).
     
  13. Dudley

    Dudley Moderator

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    I'd even throw Jem and the Holograms in that list. It gets very soap opera-like at times.
     
  14. trance2009

    trance2009 Fun to play with not to eat

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    Invasion America was a very experimental route that should've gotten more love.
     
  15. Infusions

    Infusions Showers in Spokane

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    Does it really matter if America isn't produce cartoon dramas? Anime does it plenty and we live in a period now where it's easy to gain access to international animation, that it should all just be "media" in our minds. Japan does more drama than America but lacks in the cartoony department, America is the reverse, Europe is great for producing works that are all distinct in visual styles (Which even cartoons and anime miss the mark sometimes, you can find a lot of similar looking animes or Toonboom-made shows), and now India, China, and South America are trying to creep into the animation business.

    I mean, does it super matter that a single nation isn't doing everything for the animation genre? Does America need to be a Jack of all Trades instead of a Master of one? We still have lots of access to serious works that are produced in great quantities in other places, and we get quite a few good ones now and then as well (They're not mainstream, but they don't need to be for an individual to enjoy them). Just because Grave of the Fireflies or Fantastic Planet wasn't made in America doesn't make them any less valid as animations. You can still put them on lists of "Great Serious Animated Films You Should Watch".

    People always make what someone ISN'T doing an issue. Europe isn't producing enough CGI works, should we criticize them for that?
     
  16. The ShopSoldier

    The ShopSoldier Wandering about in both ANGER & DISGRACE

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    About Europe and CGI, as one of your examples, m8.... Yeah - NO THANKS.

    America just needs to be willing to make more serious shows like Japan - if only so everyone will stop treating us Americans like trash for our animation standards, more than anything at the moment, IMHO.
     
  17. trance2009

    trance2009 Fun to play with not to eat

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    Haha we get treated like that for not taking the world cup as godly serious as everyone else, so cartoons may be a drop in the bucket.
     
  18. Lemanic

    Lemanic Member

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    Bob's Burgers, anyone?

    I think the US have both the capacity and knowledge on how to make animated dramas.
    Just an attitude change would help solve this pretty quickly. Most of them drama ideas are created by women, for example. Just pointing that out here for you. (Sorry for manspaining).
     
  19. Silverstar

    Silverstar Ah, No.

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    And again, it's not like there haven't been any. Many of which have been mentioned in previous posts, to wit:

    American Pop
    Heavy Metal
    Rock and Rule
    Watership Down
    Animal Farm
    Wizards
    Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
    Invasion America
    Avatar: The Last Airbender
    Avatar: The Legend of Korra
    Devlin
    These are the Days
    Star Trek: The Animated Series
    Spawn
    The Maxx
    Aeon Flux
    Gargoyles
    Jem and the Holograms
    Star Wars: The Clone Wars

    ...to name only a few.

    But overall, I agree with Infusions: does one country really have to be producing everything for every animation genre? All that should matter is if the cartoons are good.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2014
  20. ShadowBeast

    ShadowBeast Active Member

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    What about the DC cartoons like Batman the animated series? would those go on the list too?
     

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