…A Book By Its Cover

Discussion in 'The toonzone - General Animation Discussion' started by The Huntsman, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. The Huntsman

    The Huntsman Friend of Toon Zone

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    I’ve noticed that many people on this forum have refused to watch various animated programs due to their thoughts on their animation styles or artistic designs. I found this to be interesting, as I don’t believe that I have ever refused to watch an animated program based upon what it looked like. Everybody knows the old adage that people shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and I was curious; should the same logic be applied towards animation?

    Have you ever refused to watch an animated program based upon its animation style or its artistic designs? Also, do you believe that it is fair for people to refuse to watch something based on such things, without considering the other aspects of the series?

    Personally, I don’t believe that it’s fair. I mean, I have no problem with people who consider animation styles and artistic designs when they make their overall judgments of a series, but if people refuse to give a series a fair chance based upon what it looks like, then they’re merely guilty of prejudice. Sometimes, genuinely entertaining experiences can be found even with unpleasant artistic designs, and animation styles have little to do with how entertaining a series can be. If the writing is good and the characters are enjoyable, then it should be entertaining regardless of if it’s hand-drawn, CGI, flash or anything else.
     
  2. EJLD4Ever

    EJLD4Ever Animation Student

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    I'll have my say here: I tend to dislike (and I already know I've said this before) any animation/live-action combo succeeding Roger Rabbit but with pre-Roger Rabbit production standards, despite a drastic variance in production budgets, such as:

    -Just popping toons (which are normally rendered flat) in with real people, without any attention to lighting, shading and/or reflections.

    -Live-action footage shot with a static camera, avoiding all movement and shifting angles to ease the task of matching animation to the live footage.

    -Lack of human-toon-set interaction, such as using an animatronic arm, holding a REAL soda can, to simulate a character drinking (the character animation is later superimposed over the robot)

    Also, I've always loathed limited animation (to a degree), saying it is like "watching a live-action movie with all characters played by robots instead of real people." On the Plus side, Warner Bros' Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers' "pale stereotypes" seem to poke fun at limited animation. I like when people poke fun at something I dislike!
     
  3. The Weed Of Cri

    The Weed Of Cri Smarter than you

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    I considered the question carefully, and I can't say that there has ever been a program that I have refused to watch just because the art style did not appeal to me. However, if I think a show's art style is ugly, it has to have some strong positive points in order for me to watch more than one episode. There have been some shows with ugly art that had enough appeal to me to keep me watching. Duckman and South Park are two that come to mind. And there have been many show with excellent art that I thought were creatively brain dead and couldn't force myself to watch (Thundercats and Silverhawks fall into this category).

    Usually, if I reject a show sight unseen, it is usually because there is something in the concept or execution that I know will not interest me or hold my attention, like the endless variations of slice-of-life pre-teen comedies that show up everywhere, or the growing infestation of game-based anime.
     
  4. Jave

    Jave Beware of the SPLAT
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    Few, but yes I have. In order for me to reject a show based on visuals the art has to be pretty much bottom-of-the-barrel, and the only example that comes to mind right now is Bratz. On the other end of the spectrum, I can actually sit through stuff like Camp Lazlo because the art is so damn attractive, despite the mediocre writing.

    I don't think the "book cover" analogy is really valid. When you read a book, the cover is gone after turning to page 1, but you have to stick with the art all through the cartoon. The book cover equivalent of an animated cartoon would be the title screen.
     
  5. HomeMoviesFan

    HomeMoviesFan I have a nemesis!

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    Wouldn't that just apply to only Cool World and (to a limited extent) the live-action/animated Looney Tunes movies? What others are there?...
     
  6. R-Taco

    R-Taco Just A Little Bit Crazy

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    I tend to be much more open-minded when I'm watching a show with art that I like. The Batman was a good example; I liked the unique designs so I defended the show's sloppy writing in it's early episodes, but when things got horribly generic-looking in it's fifth season I began to criticize the show's flaws more.

    I try to look for shows that have a sense of style, and it takes a bit more prodding for me to get into a show with cookie-cutter art.
     
    #6 R-Taco, Jun 22, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2008
  7. Racattack!Force

    Racattack!Force 私は、ああ、くそっバットマンなんだよ !

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    Not if it's a picture book. :shrug:
     
  8. Jave

    Jave Beware of the SPLAT
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    Uhh... even then, the cover is still gone. A cover doesn't necessarily reflect what's inside, but the art style is something that's prominent through the whole thing.
     
  9. Kagetsu

    Kagetsu Hooligan

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    If it's a channel I'm hanging around because it has several shows I'm watching, I generally see a show coming from it's ads. I have made selections for and against based solely on animation style. Code Lyoko was a "must see" Camp Lazlo was a "never will watch". Rarely have I ever been mistaken because it's mostly the animation that will hold me to a show even if the story is weak in the beginning. That has been shows like Reboot, Totally Spies and The Spectacular Spiderman. Atomic Betty was my biggest disappointment. it never did get better.

    So many shows can be grouped as styles and type because they use similar animation that I just know they are trying for a market that isn't right for me.
     
  10. SB20xx

    SB20xx Oooooh!
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    There may be a good show underneath an ugly exterior, but part of the initial job of animation is to catch the audience's attention with the designs and/or animation. If those elements turn off the audience, it won't matter how complex and well-written the stories are underneath; the audience won't watch it. This -is- a visual medium, after all, not radio.
     
  11. Lavenderpaw

    Lavenderpaw Essense Of Love

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    Totally Spies:Their tight,glossy hair and bodies never did it for me.

    Skyhawks (or is it Stormhawks?):Were harsh on my eyes.The angular,point lines of the characters looked so thin and sharp they could cut you like a knife.Also,the sole female in the main group was ugly.She didn't look like a girl.

    Squirrel Boy:Someone must have been on something pretty high when they made the red-headed kid with the lima bean-shaped head.
     
  12. EJLD4Ever

    EJLD4Ever Animation Student

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    I have not seen Cool World, but I assure you the LT "combo" movies certainly DO NOT COUNT as part of my "hated" list. I mean, Bugs, Daffy and the gang have highlights and shadows on their bodies to simulate the live photography, everything is shot with a mobile live-action camera, and there's acceptable human-toon-set interaction.

    "What others are there?" you ask? Well, take a look at one of CN's first forays into live-action originals, and see what I mean! Many commercials also make use of what appears to be a toon holding a "photographic-cut-out" of a live-action prop, which is very crude compared to the robotic-arm and superimposition tecnique used by WFRR, Space Jam and LT: BIA.
     
  13. JesseCuster

    JesseCuster Figment of Your Imagination

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    Have you ever refused to watch an animated program based upon its animation style or its artistic designs? Also, do you believe that it is fair for people to refuse to watch something based on such things, without considering the other aspects of the series?

    Unfortunately, I have done this. Most recently with Transformers Animated and The Spectacular Spider-Man. I saw preview trailers for both shows and immediately wrote them off.

    The Transformers: Animated look and storylines just totally butcher my favorite childhood series and I'm pretty glad I've avoided it. This sentiment has been echoed by more than a few fans of G1.

    On the flip side, I did originally write off The Batman, but have come to find that is is pretty good. I kind of feel like I've missed out.
     
  14. Dee

    Dee What?

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    If it doesn't even have a hint of being interesting to me visually, Im not gonna go out of my way to watch it. Usually though, if it's on and I have cable-- i'll probabaly at least leave it on in the background.

    One show that really is a turn-off for a few reasons-- is that Eon Kid show. I dont know what it is about it, but I would rather sit in silence than watch it or even leave it on in the background.

    I grew up on Batman TAS and at first The Batman's style was so edgy and different-- I was kinda wary of it, but I've grown to absolutely adore it.
     
  15. warnerbroman

    warnerbroman Active Member

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    I find it ironic that some of you guys are defending some shows but criticize Klasy-csupo for their art style
     
  16. Hordesman

    Hordesman slashor

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    Having grown up on tv animation, I am less fussy about art style and limited animation provided the story and characters are appealing/strong/amusing. If Klasky-Csupo produced anything I found interesting, I probably would have gotten used to the art.
     
  17. Infusions

    Infusions Showers in Spokane

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    I tend to steer away from most action shows, IE: Batman, Gargoyles, Avatar, Transformers, etc. Also, most anime shows.

    It's not that I think they all suck, but I do like some shows that have action (Xiaolin Showdown), but they're just not my cup of tea.

    Lately, I've tried giving new comedy cartoons I hear of a shot. If the script is well written and I like the characters, I wouldn't care about the artwork.

    Which is probably one of the reasons why The Misadventures of Flapjack is so interesting to me, because without it's artwork, it wouldn't be as funny. I haven't laughed at visual gags like that since the silly tweens of Bonus Stage.
     
  18. Dudley

    Dudley Moderator
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    I give all cartoons a shot. Except sometimes anime, mainly because a lot of it I find boring
     
  19. Elven Moon

    Elven Moon hiya, toonsters

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    If it's drawn in a style similar to Ren and Stimpy, where I can simply tell that it'll be full of fart and gross humor jokes, I will stay away. Otherwise I try to give everything a chance.

    I do seem to be drawn to "retro" style art, though (like My Life As A Teenage Robot and The Secret Show), regardless of quality.
     
  20. HomeMoviesFan

    HomeMoviesFan I have a nemesis!

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    Yeah, that's what I meant with "to limited extent", because I thought they were pretty good. But seriously, Cool World's the only movie to combine live-action and animation and do it atrociously. (even Rock-a-Doodle wasn't too bad, and Spongebob Squarepants did it shockingly well)...
     

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