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  1. #1
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    Default The Decline of superhero cartoons and animation

    If there has been one notable change with superheroes in my lifetime it has been the decline of superhero cartoons and animation, and a shift towards live action tv shows, as well as the rise of the superhero movie boom.

    The thing is for me is, I don't like live action superhero shows at all. I lasted one year with the Flash, couldn't stomach Titans, Daredevil was a bust, I'm a huge Green Arrow fan, but had not desire to watch the Arrow...

    but DC animation, I love it!

    Everything from Saturday morning cartoons, to Bruce Tim and Paul Dini's classic Batman & JLA, up to the Justice League Dark movies & the netflix Young Justice show. I think that they are all spectacular, and I wish I would see more animation shows and less live action ones.

    If there is one thing I really appreciate about Japanese culture, it is there love for anime. I wish we had the same culture here in North America whereby people would tune in to watch a Green Arrow tv cartoon, animation to me just brings the comic world far more to life, and you can do so much more with it.




    but what say you...do you miss animations prominence, or do your prefer live action? If you love animation post a video.

  2. #2
    Extraordinary Member Derek Metaltron's Avatar
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    Animation quality is probably the biggest issue that affected Marvel after they got bought by Disney, and Warner's history with animation and continued commitment to creating content for both older and younger audiences in animation means they have won that battle for years now. Disney simply doesn't seem to care about letting Marvel do any kind of animated universe for older audiences like DC has managed.

    Even so, I do confess that I love Teen Titans GO - once you accept it's not 2003's Teen Titans and the zaniness of it, I adore it. Definitely my guilty pleasure, and I imagine I'm not the only one.

  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member WebLurker's Avatar
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    I like both, since they can do different stuff.

    Case in point, a scene like this couldn't be done in live action:

    Doctor Strange: "You are the right person to replace Logan."
    X-23: "I know there are people who disapprove... Guys on the Internet mainly."
    (All-New Wolverine #4)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Metaltron View Post

    Even so, I do confess that I love Teen Titans GO - once you accept it's not 2003's Teen Titans and the zaniness of it, I adore it. Definitely my guilty pleasure, and I imagine I'm not the only one.
    I also enjoy Titans Go as well as the movie. Both are guilty pleasures for me.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by The no face guy View Post
    If there has been one notable change with superheroes in my lifetime it has been the decline of superhero cartoons and animation, and a shift towards live action tv shows, as well as the rise of the superhero movie boom.

    The thing is for me is, I don't like live action superhero shows at all. I lasted one year with the Flash, couldn't stomach Titans, Daredevil was a bust, I'm a huge Green Arrow fan, but had not desire to watch the Arrow...

    but DC animation, I love it!

    Everything from Saturday morning cartoons, to Bruce Tim and Paul Dini's classic Batman & JLA, up to the Justice League Dark movies & the netflix Young Justice show. I think that they are all spectacular, and I wish I would see more animation shows and less live action ones.

    If there is one thing I really appreciate about Japanese culture, it is there love for anime. I wish we had the same culture here in North America whereby people would tune in to watch a Green Arrow tv cartoon, animation to me just brings the comic world far more to life, and you can do so much more with it.




    but what say you...do you miss animations prominence, or do your prefer live action? If you love animation post a video.
    I love animation and I also echo your statements about the desire to see more serious western animation akin to the Japanese animation market. However, I do find myself enjoying quite a bit of live-action shows and frankly I do sometimes get more out of a live action superhero show than I do out of an animated one. While I like anime, I found a lot of it to be fairly derivative and not to my tastes. There’s great stuff being made in Japan and I’m envious that they’re so open-minded about the medium compared to the west(which is still so backwards). Though I argue a major reason why Japan’s animation is so big and diverse compared to the west partly has to do with the fact they use animation to compensate for the fact they really can’t do big budget live action shows and movies like the West can. Something like Game Of Thrones or Lord Of The Rings for example wouldn’t be done in live-action if they were made in Japan. They’d likely be in animation. Look at something like Berserk and Vinland Saga. A Japanese equivalent to a big budget Hollywood superhero movie or show is anime. While I do like Japan’s animated television output better than the West, unfortunately I can’t say the same for their live-action output which I often find lackluster. Japanese live action television dramas just don’t do it for me. A lot of them are cheap with poor production values, and hammy acting. I think it’s clear Japan puts a lot of effort in the production values of their animation but not so much for their live-action shows.

    A more interesting question for me is: do superheroes work better in animation than live-action? And for me, it depends. There are superhero comics in which I do feel like they’re basically trying to write and draw a live action action movie in comic form like Earth One Batman, Superman, Green Lantern books or pretty much the entire Ultimates line where it become painfully obvious the writers and artist saw those comics as blueprints for a live action superhero movie screenplay. That being said, animation certainly isn’t something to scoff at and while it will never be as big as a live action in western market I do think animation is perhaps the best medium to adapt a lot of superhero characters. Regardless, I don’t have a strong preference either way. Both mediums both have their strengths and weaknesses and neither medium is inherently superior to each other.
    Last edited by Amadeus Arkham; 12-09-2020 at 09:28 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amadeus Arkham View Post
    I love animation and I also echo your statements about the desire to see more serious western animation akin to the Japanese animation market. However, I do find myself enjoying quite a bit of live-action shows and frankly I do sometimes get more out of a live action superhero show than I do out of an animated one. While I like anime, I found a lot of it to be fairly derivative and not to my tastes. Thereís great stuff being made in Japan and Iím envious that theyíre so open-minded about the medium compared to the west(which is still so backwards). Though I argue a major reason why Japanís animation is so big and diverse compared to the west partly has to do with the fact they use animation to compensate for the fact they really canít do big budget live action shows and movies like the West can. Something like Game Of Thrones or Lord Of The Rings for example wouldnít be done in live-action if they were made in Japan. Theyíd likely be in animation. Look at something like Berserk and Vinland Saga. A Japanese equivalent to a big budget Hollywood superhero movie or show is anime. While I do like Japanís animated television output better than the West, unfortunately I canít say the same for their live-action output which I often find lackluster. Japanese live action television dramas just donít do it for me. A lot of them are cheap with poor production values, and hammy acting. I think itís clear Japan puts a lot of effort in the production values of their animation but not so much for their live-action shows.

    A more interesting question for me is: do superheroes work better in animation than live-action? And for me, it depends. There are superhero comics in which I do feel like theyíre basically trying to write and draw a live action action movie in comic form like Earth One Batman, Superman, Green Lantern books or pretty much the entire Ultimates line where it become painfully obvious the writers and artist saw those comics as blueprints for a live action superhero movie screenplay. That being said, animation certainly isnít something to scoff at and while it will never be as big as a live action in western market I do think animation is perhaps the best medium to adapt a lot of superhero characters. Regardless, I donít have a strong preference either way. Both mediums both have their strengths and weaknesses and neither medium is inherently superior to each other.
    I must admit, I to look on at Japanese anime with envy, I'll watch one of their shows, and think, my god why can't I have 48 episodes of Green Arrow in animation.

    But you bring up a good point on their culture using anime because they can't produce huge blockbuster films...I never thought of that, but the end of the day for me it's always animation over live action. I just don't know why I can't get into live action super hero tv shows, I've tried really hard, but outside of Luke Cage nothing has really gripped me.

    Anyways here's another one of my favourites, Justice League Dark.


  7. #7
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    So... there hasn't been a decline in superhero animation? It seems to me like your issue is that you don't care for live action superheroes. Which is fair but I fail to see how their existence has in anyway negatively impacted superhero animation. Young Justice has a fourth season coming out and they're still producing DC animated movies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    So... there hasn't been a decline in superhero animation? It seems to me like your issue is that you don't care for live action superheroes. Which is fair but I fail to see how their existence has in anyway negatively impacted superhero animation. Young Justice has a fourth season coming out and they're still producing DC animated movies.
    Perhaps not so much with the DC side but there’s definitely a decline with Marvel. They used to have shows like EMH, Spectacular Spider-Man and X-Men Evolution but now their current stuff is nothing to brag about. The new Spider-Man and Avengers cartoons are just so bland and particularly with the Avengers show it’s basically just an animated tie-in to the MCU at this point. And frankly while I do enjoy some of DC’s animated output there isn’t many as you’d like to think. I’d argue even with DC there’s a bigger focus on live-action than animation. Especially when it comes to television. Sure, they do more mature shows than Marvel but their animated superhero output is still relatively small and often are not serious — Young Justice is merely the exception to the rule, and kind of an outlier. And frankly most of the animated output is just Batman and Superman stuff with a smidge of Justice League or other characters. We have yet to get an animated solo Wonder Woman and Flash shows.

    Of course, the stuff the animated stuff that DC does put out like the Harley Quinn show is a delight and one of the best animated DC shows, heck one of the best superhero shows going on right now. That’s truly a gem they have going on, but I can’t say the same for most western superhero animation, especially on television. Western superhero animation on television is largely dumbed down children’s animated shows and while there’s nothing wrong with that, but I have to wonder why DC can’t make more serious PG-13 or R-rated animated content that isn’t regulated to a direct-to-video movie that most mainstream audiences don’t watch. I argue an R-rated Doom Patrol show could be pulled off much better in animation than in live-action considering they could do more of the fantastical stuff from the comics like Rita stretching without having to worry as much about budget. Though I still like that show a lot.

    I mean...why can’t shows like Flash and Supergirl be animated on the CW as opposed to live-action? With some good animation? Why can’t adult superhero stuff The Boys be an animated show? That’s what the OP is wondering about. It isn’t so much that he dislikes live action superheroes, it’s more about disliking the fact it’s the primary medium to adapt superheroes in. We should be able to make an animated dark and gritty Daredevil show just as much as we could a live-action version. The medium isn’t being used to its full potential and often just seen as a children’s medium. The OP desires for western animation to be more commonly embraced as means of adaption for western comics like Japan generally does with anime when they adapt manga. He wants the West to put as much effort into the medium as live-action. And I see nothing wrong with that.
    Last edited by Amadeus Arkham; 12-14-2020 at 01:15 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    So... there hasn't been a decline in superhero animation? It seems to me like your issue is that you don't care for live action superheroes. Which is fair but I fail to see how their existence has in anyway negatively impacted superhero animation. Young Justice has a fourth season coming out and they're still producing DC animated movies.
    Oh there has been a notable decline, but your probably to young to remember, thanks for the input though.


    Quote Originally Posted by Amadeus Arkham View Post
    Perhaps not so much with the DC side but thereís definitely a decline with Marvel....

    but I have to wonder why DC canít make more serious PG-13 or R-rated animated content that isnít regulated to a direct-to-video movie that most mainstream audiences donít watch. I argue an R-rated Doom Patrol show could be pulled off much better in animation than in live-action considering they could do more of the fantastical stuff from the comics like Rita stretching without having to worry as much about budget. Though I still like that show a lot.

    I mean...why canít shows like Flash and Supergirl be animated on the CW as opposed to live-action? With some good animation? Why canít adult superhero stuff The Boys be an animated show? Thatís what the OP is wondering about. It isnít so much that he dislikes live action superheroes, itís more about disliking the fact itís the primary medium to adapt superheroes in. We should be able to make an animated dark and gritty Daredevil show just as much as we could a live-action version. .
    A Doom Patrol animated cartoon series, that would be awesome!!!

    Imagine a world whereby we would get series of DC cartoon teams outside of the JLA (and the Titans/Young Justice which is usually slated for 14 and under) A Legion of Super Heroes animated series would be dream!

    Your right on Marvel, I haven't seen much animation from them at all these days. Traditionally I am a DC guy, but these days I actually read more Marvel, so it would be nice to see at least the X - men cartoons coming back.

  10. #10
    Mighty Member Slowpokeking's Avatar
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    1. Anti-violence issue.
    2. Political agenda
    3. Previous installments too good like DCAU and both DC/Marvel still stick with those old characters for DECADES

    I think most of the non adult night cartoon is in great decline.

  11. #11
    Mighty Member Slowpokeking's Avatar
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    DCAU is overall good but the Batgod fanservice has really hurt the show in later era. JLU has already been in a decline compare to JL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The no face guy View Post
    Oh there has been a notable decline, but your probably to young to remember, thanks for the input though.




    A Doom Patrol animated cartoon series, that would be awesome!!!
    A Doom Patrol animated show done in the animation style of these shorts would be all kinds of awesome.

    Last edited by Amadeus Arkham; 12-10-2020 at 02:18 PM.
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    One guy's take...

    I honestly wonder why they don't take a really serious swing at something like this at HBOMax. They've got almost no content.

  14. #14
    Mighty Member Slowpokeking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by numberthirty View Post
    One guy's take...

    I honestly wonder why they don't take a really serious swing at something like this at HBOMax. They've got almost no content.
    You mean I have to pay extra $$$ to watch the cartoon?

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    Quote Originally Posted by numberthirty View Post
    One guy's take...

    I honestly wonder why they don't take a really serious swing at something like this at HBOMax. They've got almost no content.
    HBO Max has a huge library of content but I take it you mean itís original content.
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