Thundercats roar shows lazy animation
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Arts Entertainment

"Thundercats Roar" is A Prime Example Of Animator Laziness

There has been a noticeable difference in western animation in the past decade.


It has not been too long ago since the Thundercats reboot was announced to quite a bit of fan backlash. Honestly, I can't say that I disagree with the backlash either. Thundercats was a beloved show for children of the 80's, and the 2011 reboot took the core concepts, themes and characters and introduced them to a new generation. This newest reboot, based on the brief teaser shown, seems to abandon everything but the name. The cartoonish art style, dubbed "Calarts" by opposers, has left fans furious, and this is not the first time this has happened. I think it is a prime example of the laziness of modern western animators.

I do not like to criticize peoples' creations, and I understand the hard work that goes into making a show of any kind. However, I think there has been a noticeable shift in the art style of wester animators over the last decade. The roots of it can be seen with shows like "Adventure Time," "Regular Show" and even as far back as shows like "Chowder" and "The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack." I am not saying that these shows are bad; quite the contrary. I love all of these shows, and so did a lot of people. "Adventure Time" and "Regular Show" are both award winning shows. I think that is where the problem lies—they were too successful.

When a group of shows become successful like those did, it tells producers that that is what makes money, and that is, essentially, what drives the creation and future of western shows. Money. Notice I keep referring to "western" animation. That is because the western animators seem to be the only ones that are affected by the money, and sub sequentially, this "Calarts" style of animation. In Japan, for instance, money is much less of an issue for the success of an animated show. In Japan there is a philosophy of, in laymen's terms, "someone will like it." Japan is more driven by the mere creation of art, and thus, their creators have much more freedom for their creations. This comes across in their animation extremely obviously. It is easy to see how a show like "Dragon Ball Z" has improved its animation with new technology since the 80's and 90's without losing what makes it "DBZ."

Japan has an answer for the "Calarts" fans too, except there it has adopted the name "Chibi." This form of animation is also wildly popular in Japan and all over the world. It even has merged with a lot of shows with a different animation style like "Dragon Ball Z." Why don't people hate this as much as they do in the States? It is because the creators have a more direct control over their properties, and, if there is a "Chibi" version is done of their characters, it is either by fans or with the supervision of the creator. This keeps the show true to its roots and the fans happy.

Unfortunately, in the U.S, money is much more of a driving factor in shows. Any show that is created, regardless of the source material, creator or plot, has to have a profit. This means that sometimes creators are forced to make a show something that they did not originally envision. If this "Calarts" style of animation is making money, then producers are going to slap it on any idea they can in an effort to make a bigger profit. If that style is what gets views, then that is what we will continue to see.

We are the only ones who have the power to change this. If these new shows are something that you detest, then don't watch them. That is the best way to send a message that this is not what we as fans want. This is also a digital age, and fans are closer to their creative heroes than ever before. Be sure to let them know what you want to see, and most will listen. On top of that, there are so many ways to acquire funding for these projects. With platforms like Kickstarter and Patreon, it is easier than ever to help create the shows you want to see. Lastly, keep in mind that, just because this show is not the one form your childhood, it does not tarnish the original in any way. The original is still there for you to love.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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