... Are the muggles gone? It's just us Disney Afternoon purebloods? Phrew! Jezt, please tell me I'm not the only one whose had it up to here listening to the internet praise this reboot to the rafters. I can forgive the younger generation, most of them were forced to grow up with rancid pferdscheisse like Teacher's Pet, Phineas and Ferb, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and Powerpuff Girls, I don't blame them for being dead inside. But anyone born prior to 1995-1994 has no excuse, they would've been at least 8 or 9 by the time Gummi Bears and Gargoyles were replaced by the likes of Loyd in Space and Teamo Supremo, that's plenty of time to get a taste for quality. And as for anyone born between 1980-1990 defending modern 2D animation, Gott im Himmel snap out of it, it's embarrassing. You grew up with the Disney Afternoon, you watched the Disney Renaissance unfold before your eyes, you know Ducktales 2017 isn't "a perfect example of how cartoons today are the best they've ever been" did you get into der Führer's stash? Did the men in black pay a visit or is your memory really that bad?
Even the original Rescuers, a movie too lazy to add whites to the characters' eyes and considered by many to be one of Disney's worst animated films, can nuke any modern 2D series from orbit and that thing had to be hand-painted on cellophane.
"But muh script! Muh writing, muh adult jokes and references!"
Ja, nein, modern cartoons didn't invent the parental plus. Remember the fingerprints/finger Prince joke from Animaniacs? And older cartoons made references all the time, you just weren't old or nerdy enough to get them because they're aimed at the Baby Boomers, Silent Generation, and Greatest Generation. For instance, I watched an episode of Tailspin the other night that had several Mae West references.
There's this idea nowadays that children's cartoons are smarter or push the envelope further than their predecessors, that they're more cheeky and willing to tackle sensitive topics or adult situations, I think the opposite is true. Kids cartoons are definitely more PC and dumbed down now than they were when I was little. Can you imagine a portrayal like Dijon passing the censors today? Or what about that entire episode of Rescue Rangers with the Siamese fighting fish and the Asian stereotype cats?
They're too afraid of offending anyone to move a toe out of line, which makes comedy difficult. They have to fall back on slapstick, which looks like mass-manufactured ass when you do it with flash dolls and zero or limited squash and stretch. They don't want to scare the kids or the mothers will get angry, so something like the Brain Sponge would never fly today. They think educational must = boring so they're careful not to teach kids anything. Even the gross out humor is tame compared to Wren and Stimpy.
And the medium is called animation, not writing. Want writing? Read a book. Besides, why should cartoon lovers have to choose between good animation and good writing? False dichotomy much? The original DuckTales had both, and being a well-written comedy with adult jokes and references never stopped Animaniacs from having top notch animation. And don't tell me it's down to money or hiring constraints, because if you believe Disney doesn't have the talent or resources to put out a better product even though they're richer and more technologically advanced than they've ever been before, then I've got some property in Siberia I think you'd be interested in. They're selling us an inferior product because they know the majority of the old school fans will tolerate it since because nostalgia, and the reboot apologists fell for it hook line and sinker like good little consumers.
"Crispy, cartoons are no better or worse today than they've ever been, there were good and bad cartoons then and there are good and bad cartoons now, it's your perception that's changed."
Reginald, London is no crumblier today than it's ever been, there were crumbly and stable buildings before The Blitz and by jove there are crumbly and stable buildings now, it's your perception that's changed, old chap. That's you. That's how you sound.
What, are you some kind of cartoon scientist? Did you sit down one day with a team of experts and watch everything from Gertie the Dinosaur to Gravity Falls, carefully sorting them according to decade, number of frames, background art, presence of squash and stretch/perspective shots and ultimately feed that data into a graph proving that the aesthetics, creativity, entertainment value and overall quality of cartoons has remained static since Fantasmigorie in 1908 to the present day? Arguing that the baseline quality of the average cartoon has never risen or fallen merely due to the presence of outliers at either end of the bell curve is like telling a 14th century peasant that the Black Death doesn't exist because there have always been sick people and healthy people.
"But muh comedies, muh slice of life! The writing makes up for the animation!"
Oh for the love of-- again? Firstly, the script's lackluster at best. I can't even tell whether it's trying too hard or not hard enough. I watched the new episode and the first two episodes of the original (not cheating since the 2017 pilot is almost an hour in length and the original's episodes run for twenty-two minutes) just to be sure I wasn't imagining it, and sure enough the original belts out subtle humor, parental pluses, and creative little analogies left right and center while the reboot seems to rely on "lol awkward!!1" or "sooo random!!1" humor mixed with slapstick, which only works when you actually know how to animate and the characters don't move like half-thawed slabs of meat.
Secondly, how many stiff, ugly, comedic slice of life cartoons with googly-eyed boneless stick figures and kindergarten colouring book backgrounds do we need? We're up to our stahlhelms in those things. And do you honestly believe Harvey Beaks and Breadwinners have passionate, witty creators with empty wallets and their toons only look like microwaved rat testes due to budget constraints, or do you think it's more likely that these shows exist solely to make money and the reason the modern entertainment industry is shoveling pferdscheisse is because it figured out back in the late 90s that you can cut out quality control and condition the tots not to know any better and except pferdscheisse?
Yes, I'm so sure Disney, Cartoon Network and Nickolodeon are just champing at the bit to lavish money on a string of high quality animated series, it's not like they're soulless corporations that want to expend the least amount of effort for the most cash at our culture's expense or anything, no corporation has ever wanted more for less.
"Beauty is subjective, anything can be beautiful."
Oh, so it wouldn't bug you at all if I painted your walls Pripyat green with brown and fuchsia swastikas, threw away all your stuffed toys or figurines and replaced them with literal garbage, and hung crime scene photos and pictures of old people legs with verucose veins all over your house? Since anything can be beautiful and reverting it to it's previous state would take effort and money, why bother? What's the matter, too blinded by nostalgia to appreciate new things? It's not your house that's changed, it's your perspective.
The subjective beauty argument is a crock, just because some people find dolphins more aesthetically appealing than deer or would rather wear a blue dress than a red one, that doesn't prove beauty is completely socially constructed. Speaking of blue, did you know it's far and away the world's most popular colour? And it's not like a close call either, all across the globe, regardless of culture or history, blue generally tends to win the favorite colour race by a landslide. Throughout history, lapis lazuli was a coveted stone due to it's rich electric blue pigment which could be made into paints and dyes. Now, was there some ancient nomad who just felt like traversing the globe and teaching everyone that gray is ugly and blue is beautiful, or is it more likely that our apparently instinctual love of the colour stems from objective realities hardwired into our biology? We probably evolved to prefer blue since that's the colour of the sky and water reflecting a daylit sky. Obviously finding water is important to our survival, and humans are diurnal so we evolved to sleep during the night and hunt/gather during the day, mainly to avoid large nocturnal apex predators.
Most people wouldn't find a swarm of flies buzzing around a maggot-infested corpse covered in feces beautiful unless there was something seriously wrong with them, but I've never met anyone who thought rainbows, flowers, butterflies or iridescent seashells were ugly. If taste is completely or even mostly subjective, then why do so many humans share the exact same preferences? Why do I get row after row of blossoming flower gardens, the aurora borealis, lush forests hugging blue lakes, coral reefs and waterfalls when I search Google images for "beauty" or "beautiful scenery," if beauty was subjective then where are all the pictures of garbage heaps, jars of moldy dead ducklings and people vomiting into each other's mouths? Why is there endless sighing and pining over sunsets, snow-capped summits and star-filled skies in the art and writing of virtually every culture and time period? To say there's nothing grounded in objective biological reality going on here smacks of science denial if you ask me.
Hang the confounded writing, a bowl of punch with a turd in it is still disgusting no matter how euphorically delicious the punch is. Even if the reboot had the best script of all time I wouldn't pardon the visuals. There's no good excuse to drop a load in the horderves and there's no good excuse for Disney to skimp on the animation.
"The reboot looks the way it looks because it was based on the old Carl Barks comics/paintings."
Then it's doing a piss-poor job, the Carl Barks comics/paintings had much better character designs done in the traditional Disney style, more detailed backgrounds, a more diverse palette, knew how to colour within the lines, and they somehow manage to look more animated than the animated reboot for Odin's sake. I don't feel like I'm looking at a vintage comic book when I watch it, it looks exactly like what it is: a rigid Gravity Falls wannabe making a lot of noise and displaying as much confidence as possible to make itself and everyone else forget that it's standing in the shadow of it's 1987 predecessor.
"Take off the nostalgia filter, you just can't appreciate new things!"
Take off the novelty filter, you just can't appreciate old things. See? I can do it too, and it's still not an argument. Recently ein Kamerad of mine told me of how they'd gotten into a debate with someone over the Ducktales reboot. They'd tried to argue that they didn't like the new one as the visuals and character designs suffered a drastic dip in quality and the nephews somehow manage to sound even older than their teen selves in Quack Pack. Their opponent went on the offensive, stating that the new DuckTales was superior (although they never explained how or why) and that my Freund was a "nostalgia-blind cartoon elitist", because buzz words = constructive argument, I guess. So, let's deconstruct that a little bit.
Nostalgia: "A sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations."
Well, I've never heard an 80s kid go "I hate this cartoon because it doesn't remind me of a period or place with happy personal associations!" there's always some logical reason why they don't like the new stuff, whether it's overly stylized background art lacking sufficient depth, colour, or detail, Chinese knock-off character designs, an uninspired soundtrack, bad animation, lazy writers or, quite often, all of the above. I've yet to see a "nostalgia-blinded" person hate on something in whole or in part merely because it was new.
Elitest: "Relating to or supporting the view that a society or system should be led by an elite."
Elite: "The most powerful, rich, gifted, or educated members of a group, community."
A society led by the most gifted and educated? Wait, there are other ways to structure a society? What, you want some kind of animation Kakistocracy or something? Of course the standard quality for animation should be determined by the best animators our species can produce. Why settle for Craig McCracken and [insert literally every Japanese animator who isn't from Ghibli] when you can have an entire Uber Morlock animation elite of Don Bluths and Miyazakis churning timeless masterpiece after timeless masterpiece out of the magic machine like the Disney Renaissance on steroids?
"Hey mom, can you throw a fistful of ants into my birthday cake? I don't want you to do a good job making the thing I like" said no one ever.
"Times change, cartoons have to evolve to stay relevant to the younger generation. What, you want them all to have painterly backgrounds and hand-made frame by frame animation like the 80s? You only like that style because that's what you grew up with. Learn to look past the reboot's cons and focus on the pros."
More like devolve. And yes, I do want all of them to have painterly backgrounds and hand-made frame by frame animation like the 80s, is that a federal offense? You can only make a hammer so efficient or breed a showhorse to be so beautiful, so what's the point of constantly fussing with their designs, forever tweaking and reinventing them when you've already got the formula for the most efficient hammer/most aesthetically appealing horse? I don't see anyone raising a fuss over butterflies and rainbows not "keeping up with the times," or "constantly reworking their image to stay relevant to the younger generation." They never needed to change and everyone still loves them and thinks they're pretty.
And another thing, if I prefer that style because I grew up with it, how come I think Rugrats and Madeline look hideous? I grew up with those too. Sure, seeing the world from a baby's perspective was interesting and I enjoyed learning French and listening to broken French, I've got fond memories but, then just as now, I knew that Rugrats and Madeline looked awful visually and I would've had expert character designers and animators come in to remedy that were it up to me. Plus they weren't even remotely close to being my favorites, the instant something better came on, I was up, over, and gone faster than you could say "I think Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog sucks Swatbot schlong compared to Satam even though I didn't discover the latter till my mid teens so oh look another hole in the nostalgia theory." I'd quickly ditch Rugrats in favor of Little Bear or The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends, or jump the S.S. Madeline and paddle over to Aladdin or Tailspin.
Basically, they were just the Dunkaroos and Capri Sun lunch break before the serious toonage started. No one had to teach kid-me that Gargoyles was superior to Snookums and Meat, it was evident at a glance.
And another 'nother thing, people make it sound as though cartoons are just distributed from Mount Anilympus by the cartoon gods, if animation lovers made a conscious decision to stop paying for cartoons that weren't as good as or better than Gummi Bears, some company somewhere would eventually step in to fill that niche market and we wouldn't have to "just ignore the cons." There probably wouldn't be as many cartoons in existence and we'd have to wait longer for new seasons, but so what? Do you want one-thousand moldy loaves of pumpernickel delivered by dump truck to your lawn right now, or a single loaf of sweet, pillowy angel food cake with little rainbow sprinkles baked into the bread trotted into your kitchen on the back of a unicorn next week?
Our collective acceptance of mediocrity is what's fueling the downfall of traditional 2D animation, just like how American cuisine has been getting progressively worse over the decades for the same reason.
"Yeah, well, what if I don't like Disney/Don Bluth style? What if I prefer Craig McCracken, flash dolls, and non-Ghibli anime?"
Then your friendly neighborhood Ghibstapo officer will arrive shortly to help guide you to the nearest mouse-themed re-education facility.
i cannot believe you fit that whole manifesto into the tagline comment area of a deviantart photo. Id bet a grand that no one read it all the way through, except you.
Meanwhile, what you want is more episodes exactly of the thing you liked as a kid. No doubt due to some trauma that has stunted your emotional growth.
If you cant appreciate that a kids cartoon isnt being made for you, and so it has to change somewhat to suit this current generation of kids, then you're deluded too, which would also be a side effect of your stunted emotional maturity.
Sure, you can fool yourself by pretending to break it down like a faux reviewer, but it all just boils down to a baby throwing a tantrum. Its like your crying that baby food doesnt taste like it did when you were a toddler.
This level of hate for a show not made for you anymore, is proof you need to speak to a professional if you'll ever grow into a functioning person. Good luck.
The dragon/ghost/etc scene was very forced. You DON'T do something like that, specially in a PILOT!
And the "adventure"? The pilot was not full of adventure. In a real DuckTales episode, we'd expect the team to pass through problems, like the monsters in Scrooge's map suggested. And we'd also expect some lost civilization. It looked like a Tomb Raider, but almost without villains (just some HELLA STRANGE guys Glomgold payed). The second episode was boring af, just the third was a little better.
I'm sadened because 99% of people are loving it, and they disagree with me even if we're right and come with the same damn "arguments": "OH THE OLD SHOW HAD HOLES", "OH THE OLD SHOW HAS NO DONALD" (since the old show doesn't feature him ON PURPOSE), and people even saying it had the same feeling as the old one.... oh, my God!
It's still too early to tell if the show is going to be a major hit or not as we only have 1 episode and lest we all forget, the hype that's being built can and most likely fall in on itself.
Remember the hype for Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace? Same principle here. People build up their own expectations base on simple things and then we get a Jar Jar Binks.
I'm not saying that Duck-tales will be bad, but I'm also saying that you shouldn't build up so much BASED on just one episode. Let the rest of the episodes tell you if the reboot is good or not.
I know i will wait until the first season is done to pass judgement. And if you prefer OTHER styles of cartoons? Then that's fine too. I won't judge, because guess what?
It's not worth my time or my energy.