Cartoons Then and Now

Remember those days as a kid when you were actually excited to get up on a Saturday morning just to watch cartoons? I remember those days very clear. In fact, I am sure most of you have heard the expression “90s kids.” Well I was lucky enough to be one of those kids growing up with such cartoons as Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Rocko’s Modern Life, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Dexter’s Laboratory and so much more. It’s almost impossible to count them all. During this generation I also got to experience the classics such as Scooby Doo, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, Looney Tunes and the list goes on. This was before the use of CGI, when cartoons were more about the story rather than the latest animation style. Many programs today, such as flash, make it so much easier to get a cartoon up and running rather than using cel animation. This is the process of drawing out every frame to make it all come together.

I may be living in the nostalgic realm, but I feel cel animation works out a lot better. Sometimes you can spot out more mistakes, but that is okay. It is more free flowing . Let me give you an example. The Simpsons is an American cartoon sitcom that came out around 1987. This is a show that is still airing new episodes today. Before the stop of cel animation and before the latest technology, The Simpsons had more of a cartoony flowing look like this:


Here is a picture from the latest season:


There is little room for error. The characters are no longer as free flowing as they used to be and to me its a shame. I think of a time when you can see Homer, one of the characters, burp and you can see his whole mouth moving and eyes lowering.

homer burping

Now you would probably only see his mouth open and close. Doesn’t seem as funny does it?

I’ve mentioned before it is all about how the new animation looks. People now a days take that more into consideration than the story itself. Now The Simpsons are on their 26 season, so it is understandable for the stories to get a little stale. Let’s look at a newer cartoon, Bob’s Burgers. Now, in my opinion, not only does the animation suck, but so does the story line. This is an example of using newer technology just because it is easier to produce. I do not see what is engaging about that show. Let’s talk about the newer Disney movies such as Frozen. Now look at the animation compared to The Lion King. With Frozen it is amazing to see how far we have come but it just doesn’t blow me away like The Lion King did. This goes with animation and storyline.

The era we are living in moves way too fast, always looking for the newest thing. Tom and Jerry is an example of a show that did not always go for the newest thing. Many of there cartoons pretty much had the same story line. Cat chases mouse, mouse outwits cat. However they were were able to keep that mentality fresh with new ways to do so. I say we need to step back, not worry about the latest technology and just enjoy what is out there. The work is suffering so let’s pull back, take out time and make it right. Of course this is just one man’s opinion with nostalgia eating away at him. Please comment your thoughts below and let me know if you feel I’m in the minority.





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