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History of Animation

The Silent Age of Animation


"I hope and dream the time will come when serious artists will make marvelous pictures that will love and live in life-like manner and be far more interesting and wonderful than pictures you now see on canvas. I think if Michelangelo was alive today he would immediately see the wonders...The artist can make his scenes and characters live instead of stand still on canvas in art museums." Winsor McCay, talking during a WNAC Radio Broadcast, New York, September 1927 The earliest age of mainstream animation known to man, lasting from the early 1900s to the late 1920s with the rise of sound technology. Now, animation has existed for a very, very long time in some form of another before this era came about, but this era is obviously when large amounts of people actually started taking notice of the medium and what it could do. This is owed in part to the rise of the motion picture to begin with during this time period. The earliest known/existing cartoon as we know it is the 1908 French short film Phantasmagorie by Emile Cohl. (While there were many experiments with stop motion and pictures earlier, this was apparently the first one to rely entirely on genuine hand drawn animation.) But here in the west, thanks to men like Winsor McCay (who made Gertie The Dinosaur, the very first cartoon character to have any distinct personality traits, and not to mention the man practically pioneered the use of animation as we know it in general. He experimented with animation as an "extension" of the comics he was working on during that time period) and not to mention Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer, who both created iconic cartoon star Felix the Cat, the cartoon industry quickly skyrocketed, with many new cartoon companies with their own cartoon stars and imitators quickly popping up to cash in on the new cartoon craze. Winsor McCay was not happy with the idea of "Assembly Line" cartoons and regarded their work as inferior to his own. This was justified, in that he spent years working on his cartoons like Little Nemo (he was also the same man who made the original comics), Gertie the Dinosaur, The Sinking of the Luisitania(considered by many hardcore animation fans to be his Magnum Opus), and How A Mosquito Operates, which are some of the most spectacularly animated works ever seen and were masterpieces compared to the quickly, cheaply produced toons that were being rushed out at the time. Not long after cartoons rose in popularity, he left the very animation industry that he helped get off the ground in the first place. Cartoons at the time were both seen as and presented as moving comic strips, sometimes even incorporating Speech Bubbles for their dialog. Fantasy was in full vogue during this period, but it tended to have a dull, heavy handed and literal minded feeling to it, not helped by the primitive, stiff animation, glacial pacing and floaty motion. And because animation was so experimental at the time in its early stages, this resulted in quite a few instances of Deranged Animation, as animators experimented with the medium. Max and Dave Fleischer actually got their start off in this era, with their Out of the Inkwell series, starring Koko the Clown. During this time, the most prominent animation house was the studio of J.R. Bray, who produced many hit series such as "Colonel Heeza Liar" and "Bobby Bumps". Walt Disney got off to a brief start in this era with his doomed Laff-O-Grams studios and Live Action/Animation shorts collectively called The Alice Comedies, but he finally found success later at Universal Studios with his character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. However, after losing Oswald and most of his animation staff over a contractual dispute, Disney quickly left Universal and formed his own studio. He and his friend Ub Iwerks ended up creating their own Captain Ersatz for Oswald: Mickey Mouse. However, the first two shorts, Plane Crazy and Gallopin' Gaucho, were not particularly well received...and then came along Steamboat Willie, the first Mickey Mouse cartoon to have sound. Also, contrary to what is generally believed, Steamboat Willie was NOT the first sound cartoon-the Flieschers had pioneered sound cartoons as early as 1926 (with their film My Old Kentucky Home), and not long before Steamboat Willie came out, Paul Terry, then an employee of Van Beuren Studios, made a synchronized sound cartoon called Dinnertime. However, Steamboat Willie was the first sound cartoon that actually took genuine advantage of what could be done with sound in a cartoon (and reportedly, Walt Disney saw Dinnertime himself and proclaimed it "terrible."). Naturally, the silent age came to a screeching halt with the rise of sound technology in the late 1920s. Disney and many other studios quickly worked to take advantage of the new technology, while former stars like Felix the Cat attempted to make the jump to sound film and failed miserably, quickly fading off into obscurity until many years later, with an ill-fated Golden Age revival during the 1930s and the iconic TV series which debuted in the late 1950s. Naturally, this era was succeeded by the far better-known Golden Age of Animation, which would last even longer and become even more influential and recognized than this era ever was. Characters/Series that are associated with this era: Alice Comedies: early live-action/animation hybrid from Disney, also co-starring Felix the Cat Expy Julius, whom was forced into the cartoons by Disney's then distributor Charles Mintz, who distributed the Felix cartoons alongside the Alice shorts. Bobby Bumps: The Bart Simpson of his day (1910s), created by Earl Hurd. Running in and out of trouble with his dour dog Fido and cynical Black Best Friend Choc'late, Bobby was always in bad with parents and teachers. Bonzo Dog: mischievous pooch from the first famous British cartoon series. Decades later, lent his name to the famous Doo-Dah Band. Colonel Heeza Liar: Possibly, if not the very first recurring cartoon character ever created. Dinky Doodle: A hit series of cartoons made by Walter Lantz in his early years. Farmer Al Falfa: The first star character from future Terry Toons creator Paul Terry (whom would later go on to make Mighty Mouse during the Golden Age). A grumpy, pipe-smoking, alcoholic old hick, Farmer Al was perpetually at war with city slickers and his own livestock. Amazingly, Terrytoons would continue to produce the occasional Farmer Al Falfa cartoon into the 1950s. Felix the Cat: One of the first recurring cartoon stars of this era, let alone the first one to recieve universal recognition and popularity. Gertie The Dinosaur: One of, if not the first genuine cartoon character ever made. Koko the Clown: Resident cartoon star at Fleischer Studios; Out of the Inkwell episodes showed him springing to life on the drawing board and playing tricks on his (live action) creators. He lived on well into the sound era as a co-star to Betty Boop. Krazy Kat: The extremely low budget shorts based on the newspaper comics. Many episodes featured Ignatz Mouse trying to hit Krazy with bricksor simply trying to ruin whatever pastime Krazy might be engaging in at the moment. Mickey Mouse (at first) Mutt And Jeff: Bud Fisher's comic duo starred in hundreds of cartoons, surviving various hard-luck jobs and engaging in numerous getrich-quick schemes. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: Mickey Mouse's precursor and Walt Disney's first genuine cartoon star (the Alice Comedies notwithstanding, as Alice was a live action girl in a cartoon world). Flanderized beyond recognition during the Golden Age, when Disney lost the rights to him and Walter Lantz and his animation unit took over. Tropes that are associated with this era: Animate Inanimate Object

Anthropomorphic Objects Circling Birdies Deranged Animation Disney School of Acting and Mime Everybody Do the Endless Loop: Seen quite a lot in the early days of animation. Forgotten Trope: There were plenty. One of which would be the series of little dotted lines which would go from the eye of a character to whatever object they're looking at, to let the audience in on what the character is looking at. George Lucas Throwback: Wall-E is intended to be a modern throwback to silent cinema in general, and it's pulled off in spades. Well, at least the first half of it, anyway.

o In fact, many of Disney's theatrical shorts in general seem to be throwbacks to the simplistic, generally dialogue free slapstick comedy and stories of films made during this era in general, let alone animation. o Two Stupid Dogs did an entire episode ("Hobo Hounds") that was made to look like a silent cartoon, complete with outdated tropes such as Distressed Damsel and Chained To A Railway. Idea Bulb Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: Music was provided by piano players in the theater. Red Boxing Gloves Roger Rabbit Effect: More than one might initially think. Winsor Mc Cay started this off with Gertie the Dinosaur. Fleischer's "Out of the Inkwell" and Disney's "Alice Comedies" would also make use of this trope. Speech Bubbles: They were used from time to time as an alternative to the usual word cards used in live action silent movies. The Speechless: Well, obviously Walking In Rhythm: Characters would often walk and move to the BGM. (And yes, most cartoons and films in the silent era had BGM; it just wasn't part of the actual film. The film would come with sheet music which would be played by a piano player in the movie theater.) What Do You Mean, It's Not For Kids?: In SPADES during this era, which predates the Animation Age Ghetto by about forty years. Written Sound Effect: Along with Speech Bubbles, written sound effects were another carry-over from the comics which showed up in a lot of silent cartoons, which made sense since they were silent.

The Golden Age of Animation


"We didn't make them for anybody, we made them for ourselves, which was probably the most sensible way to do it anyway." -Chuck Jones, former Looney Tunes director. The Golden Age Of Animation is a period in animation history that began with the advent of sound cartoons in late 1928 and faded out in the late 1950s / early 1960s when theatrical animated shorts slowly began losing ground to the new medium of television animation. Many memorable characters emerged from this period, including Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Duck, Daffy, Popeye, Betty Boop, Woody Woodpecker, Mighty Mouse, Mr. Magoo, Tom and Jerry, and a popular adaptation of Superman, among many others that haven't survived along the way. Feature length animation also began during this period, most notably with Walt Disney's first films: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi. The birth of the Golden Age began with the Walt Disney sound cartoon, Steamboat Williewhile it was not the first sound cartoon, despite common knowledge, it was the first to truly take advantage of what sound could do for a cartoon. This alone made Mickey Mouse an overnight success, quickly toppling the once mighty Felix the Cat as the biggest cartoon star, in addition to reinvigorating the then-declining cartoon industry, which had all but worn itself out at that point. Competitors like Fleischer Studios, which had already experimented with sound, quickly upgraded to full time sound cartoons in order to compete with Disney. And just to show where some roots come from, former Disney employees Hugh Harman And Rudolph Ising and Friz Freleng quickly teamed with Leon Schlesinger's Warner Bros. distributed studio in 1929 and starting in 1930 began producing sound cartoons starring Mickey Mouse derivatives Bosko The Talk Ink Kid in Looney Tunes, as well as Foxy in Merrie Melodies, which debuted the next year. Early cartoons were very musically oriented and simply drawn, for obvious reasonsanimation was an expensive medium and in order to remain profitable, the cartoons had to be produced and rushed out as quickly as possible, with little time for refinementusing public domain music (or in Harman and Ising's case, the entire Warner Bros. music library) solved the music problem, allowing song snippets to be quickly added and timed to the animation. Color got off to a slow start: while cartoons were initially hand-colored on occasion in the past (e.g. in the works of Winsor McCay), it wasn't until the appearance of the animated segment of the 1930 Universal film The King of Jazz, that the first cartoon to make use of the (two-strip) Technicolor process appeared. Then in 1930, former Disney veteran Ub Iwerks brought color to standalone sound cartoons via the first Flip The Frog cartoon "Fiddlesticks." for MGM studios. A few years later, Disney followed suit with its lushly colored Silly Symphonies short "Flowers And Trees"however, studios like Warner Bros, Fleischer and 20th Century Fox's Terrytoons would stick to black & white until many years later. But regardless of the rising quality of cartoons, they were still relegated to be merely filler material that played before the main attractions of feature length films, however, and animation wasn't getting the treatment it truly deserved. Walt Disney went out of his way to put a stop to that notionhe was constantly pushing technical boundaries in his cartoons, in an attempt to be the best studio out there-he quickly abandoned the old fashioned weightless rubberhose cartoons and began integrating more naturalistic techniques into his works, which contributed to his wide success. However, Walt soon came to realize that no matter how much effort he put into these shorts, they would never be particularly profitablethis was because the shorts wages depended on the length of the film, rather than popularity. Thus came Walt's next big step for animationin 1934, he began work on America's first feature length animated motion picture and finished it just in time for Christmas 1937: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. While the idea of a feature length animated film was nothing new to foreign countries, and the Fleischers made their own 20 minute short feature the year before, this was the first one to have both sound and color, and had shockingly high quality animation and art productions which blew all of the competition away and still manages to hold up to this day. That and Walt's simple yet effective story formulause the characters to define the movie, and not have the plot define the movie. While Snow White was originally derided during production as Disney's Folly, even by his own wife, when the film unspooled in theaters, it was an instant success, receiving universal praise from critics and audiences and for its time was the most financially successful motion picture ever made. But all was not well, for Disney's influence was a very mixed blessing for the whole industry. On one hand, it began building on the idea that animation could compete with live action in a way that earlier cartoons could not, but on the other hand, the animation became much, much more expensive and also required much more skilled draftsman, robbing many animators from previous years of their jobs, due to no longer being able to keep up with the high demands of their studios. Also, almost every studio from the time periodsans Terry Toonsbegan copying Disney's works. Soon, everybody, from the Fleischer brothers, MGM's big budget studio led by former Disney veterans Harman And Ising, to even low budget outlets like Walter Lantz, Van Beuren Studios and the Ub Iwerks studio were trying to ape Disney. Nontheless, all of these attempts led to dead ends, as those studios only copied the superficial aspects of Disney cartoonsthe fairy tale like settings, color and lush animation, but none of Disney's character or storytelling skills which helped make them such a hit to begin with. Fortunately for the other studios, the tables were turned on Disney when rising star Bugs Bunny made his debut in 1940, incidentally the same year when Disney experienced the disastrous failures of Pinocchio and Fantasia. Soon, Looney Tunes became the prime cartoon series of the era, complete with other studios trying to cash in on this new breed of gag cartoons, including the then struggling Disney, among them being Walter Lantz's Woody Woodpecker, Tex Avery's MGM shorts, Tom and Jerry, Columbia Cartoons The Fox And The Crow, Herman And Katnip, among many other imitators. Despite the limitations in budget, resources and manpower due to the War effort of the time, many animation connoisseurs consider the 1940's to be the peak of this era, where comedic timing and fluid animation was easily at its highest point in animation history. To some, the decline of this era began at some point in the early 1950's. Due to rising production costs and changing tastes, animators were forced to cut more and more corners in their work and gradually adjust to the newer styles coming out at the time. UPA's excessive use of Limited Animation in The Fifties actually rose to popularity. The rise of television didn't help matters either. Eventually, with the inevitable fall of the studio system that had managed cartoons before, cartoons gradually declined more and more in quality, and as a result began to fall out of popularity in the CHARACTERS, SERIES, FILMS AND THEIR STUDIOS Walt Disney Productions Classic Disney Shorts:

o Mickey Mouse (1928-1953): Appeared in 125 short subjects from 1928 to 1953, made three feature length film appearances * and was the initial big star of Disney. o Donald Duck: Appeared in 1934, graduated to his own series in the late 1930's, and starred in approx. 166 shorts, and made five feature animated film appearances. o Goofy: Appeared in 1932, starring in many Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck cartoons prior to getting his own series in 1939, which lasted for 50 shorts. o Pluto The Pup: Appeared in 1930, starring in many Mickey Mouse cartoons and even one standalone short in 1937 until he graduated to his own series in 1940, which lasted for 44 shorts, ending in 1951. o Figaro: A very short lived spinoff of Pinocchio, lasting for three shorts, and the character guest starred in four Pluto cartoons. o Chip 'n Dale: Recurring characters that debuted in 1943 and lasted up till 1956, making appearances in Pluto and Donald Duck cartoons, and even starred in three of their own short subjects.

o Silly Symphonies (1929-1939): A pioneering series of cartoons, generally centered around synchronized music, and used to experiment with animation techniques. Lasted from 1929 to 1939 for 75 shorts. Inspired many knockoffs and imitations in the 30's. o Misc. Disney Shorts: This includes shorts that weren't branded under a specific series name, such as some of the Wartime Cartoons, Ferdinand the Bull, and the Adventures in Music Duology. Disney Animated Canon: Everything listed before 101 Dalmatians (and below) is Golden Age Disney material: o Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937): The original animated (any kind of animation) feature in the USA and original hand-drawn feature worldwide. o Pinocchio (1940): Disney's first major flop, on account of World War II more than anything. o Fantasia (1940): A financial and critical disaster in its first release, but time has been rather kind to this film. Also the feature length movie appearance of Mickey Mouse. o Dumbo (1941): The first of Disney's budget features, made to recoup the losses of Pinocchio and Fantasia. o Bambi (1942): Walt's personal favorite of all his original films. o Saludos Amigos (1942 / 1943): A film made as a message of good will to Latin America. Also Disney's shortest feature at 40 minutes. Also the first of Disney's budget anthology flicks. o The Three Caballeros (1944 / 1945): The follow up to Saludos Amigos. o Make Mine Music (1946): Another music oriented anthology package. o Fun and Fancy Free (1947): Mickey's second feature appearance, mostly known for Mickey and the Beanstalk, more than the first half of the film "Bongo." o Melody Time (1948): Yet another music oriented anthology film. o The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949): The last of Disney's package films. o Cinderella (1950): The movie that pulled Disney out of its slump and put it back on top. o Alice in Wonderland (1951): An initially derided flop (including from Walt himself) but the years have been very kind to the film. o Peter Pan (1953): One of Disney's most beloved Golden Age films. o Lady and the Tramp (1955): Disney's first feature length film in Cinemascope. o Sleeping Beauty (1959): The end of Disney's Golden Age. Non-Canon Works:
Around The World In Eighty Minutes (1931): Contains a brief animated sequence featuring Mickey Mouse. My Lips Betray (1933): Disney provided an animated sequence for this 20th Century Fox picture. Servants Entrance (1934): Another Fox feature that Disney provided an animated sequence for. Hollywood Party (1934): While this is actually an MGM film, the bulk of which is live action, one segment featured animation done entirely by Disney in the vein of their Silly Symphoniesand a brief sequence of Mickey Mouse interacting with Jimmy Dirante. o The Reluctant Dragon (1941): A feature made prior to Dumbo in an attempt to make some quick cash for Disney, the bulk of it is centered around journalist Robert Benchley, who is touring Disney's then-new Burbank studio in an attempt to sell his story "The Reluctant Dragon" as a movie, all while getting a humorous behind-the-scenes look at the animation process, complete with a few animated segments, the most noteworthy being the "Baby Weems" segment, told entirely through storyboards with almost no animation. o Victory Through Air Power (1943) o Song of the South (1946) o So Dear to My Heart (1948) Leon Schlesinger Cartoon Studio/Warner Bros Cartoon Studio: Looney Tunes: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester Cat And Tweety Bird, Pepe Le Pew, Foghorn Leghorn, Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, etc. The best-known and best-loved non-Disney cartoons of the Golden Age. Started as a series of Silly Symphonies clones until the studio began Growing the Beard and both titles wound up just being umbrella titles for all of their cartoons. Merrie Melodies: Same as above.

o o o o

o The bulk of the Looney Tunes And Merrie Melodies Filmography was made during this time period. Check them below to see how much work was done during the time. Looney Tunes In The Thirties: Covers the short from 1929 to 1939. Looney Tunes In The Forties: Covers the shorts from 1940 to 1949. Looney Tunes In The Fifties: Covers the shorts from 1950 to 1959. o The Censored Eleven o Bosko The Talk Ink Kid (1929-1933): The recurring star of the original Looney Tunes shorts. o Private Snafu: A Cult Classic Wartime Cartoon series made by this studio. o Seaman Hook: Another series made by the studio that lasted for four shortsthree of them were made by Leon's studio, while one was outsourced to the Walter Lantz studio. The main character was also designed by Dennis The Menace (US) creator Hank Ketcham. o She Married A Cop (1939): Features a trip through an animation studio (undoubtedly Termite Terrace, although the story claims it is a New York Cartoon Studio) complete with an animated cartoon featuring ersatzes of Porky and Petunia Pig. o Two Guys From Texas (1948): Features an animated segment, where Bugs Bunny makes a cameo. o My Dream is Yours (1949): While the bulk of it is a live action feature film, it has a live action / animation segment starring Bugs Bunny.
MGM Cartoons Happy Harmonies: A series of Silly Symphonies clones made by Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising. This series also features appearances from Bosko The Talk Ink Kid, in both his original inkblot design, as well as a full on blackface kid redesign. The Captain And The Kids: The first series of cartoons produced by the new in-house MGM cartoon studio. This was a disastrous series of short subjects adapted from the Katzenjammer Kids comics. Friz Freleng directed some of these during his brief tenure at MGM, and could attest that they warranted failure. Count Screwloose: A very short lived series based on Milt Gross's classic comic characters "Count Screwloose of Tooloose and J.R. The Wonder Dog" made in an attempt to make up for the failure of The Captain And The Kids. Milt himself was hired to direct both shorts. Tom and Jerry: MGM's most popular shorts, created by Will Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Anchors Aweigh (1945): A mostly live action film, most notable for the famous sequence of Gene Kelly dancing with Jerry Mouse. Dangerous When Wet (1953): Another live action film featuring a Roger Rabbit Effect sequence, featuring Esther Williams alongside Tom and Jerry underwater.

Invitation to the Dance (1956): A Gene Kelly film featuring several very well done Roger Rabbit Effect sequences. MGM Oneshot Cartoons: MGM also made many unscored shorts that were not part of any running series, even before Tex Avery arrived at the studio, works such as "Officer Pooch", "The Homeless Flea", "Little Buck Cheeser", "The Mad Maestro", "The Storks Holiday", "Peace on Earth" and so on. Barney Bear: An unfortunate Chew Toy character created by Rudolph Ising at MGM, right around the time the studio began to make its cartoons more comical and less cutesy. Barney Bear starred in several shorts between 1939 and 1954, but these shorts are often overshadowed by Tom and Jerry and Tex Avery's MGM shorts. Tex Avery MGM Cartoons: This includes Screwy Squirrel, Droopy, and a LOT of oneshots. Forbidden Planet (1956): Notable for the live action/animation scene of the ID Monster, made by Disney animator Joshua Meador, who was loaned out to MGM by Disney. Fleischer Studios: Out of the Inkwell / Inkwell Imps (1918-1929): Series ended just as the era began. Talkartoons (1929-1932): A series of sound cartoons initially starring recurring dog character Bimbo. Eventually evolved into the Betty Boop series. Screen Songs (1929-1938): A series of early sound cartoons that used Max's bouncing ball. Screen Songs would later be revived by Famous Studios. Betty Boop (1932-1939): One of the Fleischer brothers most popular characters, and the first sex symbol of animation...that is, until the Hays Office cracked down on the series from 1934 and onward, forcing the Fleischers to turn Betty into a bland nagging female character. Betty was also one of the favorite characters of anime legend Osamu Tezuka. The Fleischer's original Silent Age cartoon star Koko the Clown would also make frequent appearances in her early shorts. Popeye The Sailor (1933-1942): While the Fleischers didnt create the character (he was a popular comic character of the time) they helped mold him into what he's best remembered as today. Superman Theatrical Cartoons (1941-1942): A series of big budget, rotoscoped short subjects which helped cement The Man Of Steel as a pop culture icon, as well as influence the entire DCAU and film-makers like Hayao Miyazaki. The first 9 shorts were handled by the Fleischers, while the other 8 were made by Famous Studios, which shifted the series into a war propaganda series. Color Classics (1934-1941): A series of Silly Symphonies clones made by the Fleischers due to Executive Meddling from Paramount. These shorts also feature a 7 short sub-series called "Hunky and Spunky", starring the eponymous mother burro and her baby. Betty Boop also made an appearance in the first one. Max Fleischer's Gulliver's Travels (1939): The Fleischers first stab at a feature length film in an attempt to cash in on Snow White's success. The film was a modest success at the box office. Mr. Bug Goes To Town (1941): The Fleischers secondand lastanimated film, which had the misfortune of being released just when Pearl Harbor was around the corner (two days to be exact). As a result, the film tanked at the box office and was part of what brought Fleischer Studios to its demise. Gabby (1940-1941): A short lived series based on the town crier from Gulliver's Travels. Animated Antics (1940-1941): A short lived series starring several of the side characters from Gulliver's Travels. Stone Age (1940): A short lived series of Caveman themed cartoons. Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy (1941): A two-reeler short subject centered on the characters. The Raven (1942): A two-reeler, color cartoon, which is a very loose adaptation of The Raven. Universal Cartoons/The Walter Lantz Studio: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (1929-1938, 1943): Initially made as a Silent Age cartoon star by Walt Disney, when his creator left he fell into the hands of Walter Lantz, the head of Universal's animation department, after Oswald had been taken from Charles Mintz's studio "Winkler Pictures" at that time, after Mintz had taken Oswald from Disney beforehand. However, Oswald lost pretty much all of his established personality and his shorts degenerated in both animation and story quality, in addition to very inconsistent voice casting. While he would continue making appearances throughout the thirties, he never regained his original popularity he earned under Disney's watch. The addition of color, as well as some re-designs halted the slide a tad, but his shorts and the character would ultimately be phased out by 1938, with an ill-fated revival attempt circa 1943 (with the exception of a brief cameo in The Woody Woodpecker Polka during the early 50's). The King of Jazz (1930): Not the whole film, but the opening animated technicolor segment, the very first use of Technicolor in a cartoon, in fact. Pooch the Pup (1932-1933): 13 short comedies that were probably meant to give Lantz another star besides Oswald. Peterkin: A oneshot short starring a character created by William Pogony, an attempt to launch a new star for Lantz. Meany, Miny and Moe (1936-1937): A 13 short series of shorts centered around a trio of monkeys, who initially appeared in four Oswald shorts. Baby-Face Mouse Snuffy Skunk Doxie Jock and Jill Andy Panda (1939-1949): Universal and Walter Lantz's second major cartoon star after the Oswald series ran out of gas. Initially popular when he debuted in 1939, the cub almost as quickly fell out of popularity when Woody Woodpecker made his debut in one of his shorts. He would still pop up in the occasional short afterwards until he was completely phased out by 1949 (with the exception of a non-speaking cameo in The Woody Woodpecker Polka along with Oswald during the 50's, as well as an appearance in the Woody Woodpecker show special Spook-a-Nanny). Woody Woodpecker (1941-1972): Lantz's attempt at cashing in on the Screwy Squirrel craze of the early 40's, which resulted in a beloved series of short subjects, making Woody a huge star and the official mascot of Universal Studios. He starred in 195 shorts. Chilly Willy (1953-1972): Another popular Universal cartoon character that debuted in the 50's. While this cute lil' penguin never reached the popularity of Woody Woodpecker, he did last long enough to get 50 shorts. Tex Avery (after he left MGM) also directed two of his early cartoons, helping establish an identity for the series. Cartune Classics (1934-1942, 1953-1957): An on and off series of oneshot cartoons. Lasted for 51 shorts.


shorts.

Swing Symphonies (1941-1945): A 14 short series of musically oriented cartoons, often themed around top boogie woogie songs. Musical Miniatures (1946-1948: A short lived offshoot of Swing Symphonies, but themed around classical music. Only lasted for six

Sioux City Sue (1947): A B-Western with a brief animated sequence done by Lantz. Destination Moon (1950): Woody Woodpecker makes a brief appearance, in his newly redesigned form, via an animated sequence explaining rocket propulsion. Famous Studios / Paramount Cartoon Studios Popeye The Sailor (inherited from Fleischer Studios, 1942 1957) Superman (inherited from Fleischer Studios, 1942 1943) Noveltoons (1943 1967) Little Lulu (1943 1948) Little Audrey (1947-1958) Raggedy Ann: Appeared in two shorts made by the studio: "Suddenly It's Spring" (1944), and "The Enchanted Square" (1947). Screen Songs (1947 1951; a revival of the original Fleischer Studios series) Casper the Friendly Ghost (Initially appeared in three Noveltoons short subjects, graduated to a standalone series from 1950 1959) Baby Huey (1950-1959) Kartunes (1951 1953): The spirtiual successor to Screen Songs. Herman And Katnip (1952 1959) Modern Madcaps: Initially appeared in 1958, right in the twilight years of this era, but lasted to 1967. The Works of Columbia Pictures Cartoon Studio (i.e. Charles Mintz, Screen Gems and UPA): Krazy Kat: An In Name Only adaptation of the classic comic strip. Toby The Pup: As mentioned already, initially produced by Mintz's studio. Scrappy: An interesting anti-Mickey Mouse series of shorts created by Fleischer veteran Dick Heumer. Not to be confused with that other scrappy. Color Rhapsodies: A series of color Silly Symphonies clones. Barney Google: A very short lived series based on the Newspaper comics of the same namewas a flop and only lasted four films. Phantasies: A series of B&W cartoons released to replace the Scrappy series. Fables: Another series of B&W cartoons released to replace the Krazy Kat series. The Fox And The Crow: A 20 short series created by Warner Bros. veteran Frank Tashlin. Arguably the most successful of Columbia's cartoons. Pete Pelican: Another attempt at a series by Tashlin, but only lasted for two shorts. Li'l Abner: A brief attempt at an adaptation of this comic was attempted in 1944, but was ultimately a failure. The 40's Columbia studio also made many other oneshots or short lived attempts at launching potential new series, far too many to list here individually. In 1948, Columbia Screen Gems would also make the first animated adaptation of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, with the help of Dave Fleischer. In the late 40's, in Columbia's live action Superman serials, there would be a bizarre use of the Roger Rabbit Effect, that when Superman takes flight, he turns into an animated version of himself (done due to budget constraints). These animated bits were done by ex-Disney veteran Howard Swift. Mr. Magoo of UPA-The most famous short sighted old person. He got his start in short animated films towards the tail end of the Golden Age. Gerald McBoing-Boing UPA also made many oneshot cartoons not part of any recurring series, such as "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Unicorn in the Garden". The Works of Terry Toons: Mighty Mouse: The cartoon star of Paul Terry for 20th Century Fox. Heckle And Jeckle: Another beloved series of shorts made by Paul Terry. Gandy Goose and Sourpuss Farmer Alfalfa: Terry's original silent star who lasted all the way up to the late 50's! Tom Terrific Dinky Duck Little Roguefort Kiko the Kangaroo Puddy the Pup The Terry Bears Hasimato-San Hector Heathnote Luno The Ub Iwerks Studio Flip The Frog: A series of animated shorts made by Ub Iwerks after he left Disney to make his own animation studio. Distributed, but not made, by MGM.

Willie Whopper: Another series made by Ub Iwerks, starring a young little boy. Also distributed by MGM. Comi Color Cartoons (1933-1936): A 25 short series made by Ub Iwerks after he lost MGM as his cartoon distributor in favor of Harman And Ising's shorts. These cartoons being distributed through Pat Powers's "Celebrity Pictures." Predictably, the series was Iwerks' answer to Disney's Silly Symphonies shorts. The Works of Van Beuren Studios Aesop's Fables, AKA "Aesop's Film Fables", which introduced one of the earliest sound cartoons, "Dinnertime", as well as hosting its sub-series "Cubby Bear." Amos N' Andy: A short lived attempt at adapting the popular radio show of the 30's. The Little King: An animated adaptation of the classic Newspaper Comic strip. Toddle Tales: A very short lived Roger Rabbit Effect-based series of cartoons made by Burt Gillett to help beef up the quality of Van Beuren's product. Rainbow Parade: A color series of cartoons, which include obscure series like Toonerville Old Folks and Parrotville Old Folks. Many of the non-series Rainbow Parades are obvious knockoffs of Disney's Silly Symphonies, typical of the 1930's.

o Felix the Cat: While Felix was very prominent in the silent era, the rise of sound film ultimately proved to be his downfall. However, he did receive a very brief three-cartoon revival via Van Beuren Studios "Rainbow Parade" series during the 1930s. Unfortunately, despite the decent animation and use of sound, the shorts lacked the charm and spirit of the original Otto Messmer shorts and comics and Felix was hastily put back to rest again...until he was revived for a new TV series in the late 1950s/early 60's, ironically. These three shorts were directed by ex-Disney veteran Burt Gillett. Toby the Pup: Initially produced by the Charles Mintz studio, a very cartoony, but short-lived series. Only twelve were made, and seven of those twelve are known to exist today. Van Beuren's Tom and Jerry: Two bungling young men, one short, one tall. Absolutely no relation to MGM's Tom and Jerry shorts.
Other Studios And Their Works: The Snow Queen (1957): A Russian animated adaptation of the classic Hans Christian Andersen story. Was dubbed in English in 1959, during the twilight years of this era. Its lush art and animation were undoubtedly a standout from the more stylized animation of the time period, almost being a throwback to 1930's Disney animation and its followers. The King and the Mockingbird: The film started production during this time period, but was not finished until the 1980's. The National Film Board of Canada: Got its start in this era, producing counter-mainstream animation shorts. George Pal's Puppetoons: A series of Stop Motion short subjects. Bugs Bunny would make a cameo in one of them. Grampaw Pettibone: An ultra rare series of Wartime Cartoons. At least two of these shorts still survive, one made by Warner Bros., the other made by UPA. See them here. Goofy Goat: A Stillborn Franchise that never went beyond one shortit was a cartoon made by a short lived, doomed California animation studio in the early 30's. David Hand's Animaland: A series of British Disney-esque shorts. Only lasted for nine shorts, as they were unable to find distribution in the US. Music Paintbox: Another series of foreign David Hand shorts. Alice in Wonderland (1933): This live action Paramount Pictures film contains a brief animated segment adapting the tale of "The Walrus and the Carpenter", directed by Harman And Ising, and animated by Friz Freleng. The Air Force Base Unit AKA First Motion Picture Unit: A military based animation studio lead by Rudy Ising, usually consisting of oneshot cartoons, although they did have a "star" character called Trigger Joe. The studio produced loads of films, but unfortunately due to them believing their films only had ephemeral value, little of their work has survived to this day. TROPES THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS ERA Acme Products All Animation Is Disney: The trope got its start here. And it only got worse from then on. All Balloons Have Helium Alliterative Name: The vast majority of the characters from this era had names like this. Amusing Injuries

Anvil On Head Illogical Safe Non-Fatal Explosions Squashed Flat And Call Him George Animation Bump Art Evolution: Animation as a whole slowly went through this phase from The Silent Age of Animation to The Golden Age of Animation. Early cartoons were very crudely made-they were very stiff, rigid and mechanical in appearance and movement, had no construction, no line of action, lots of symmetry (which made them look flat) and the body parts were piled onto each other, rather than being directly connected by form. This began changing when Disney began forming and refining The Twelve Principles Of Animation, as well as animators like Fred Moore altering Mickey's design to become more pear like and organic, allowing it to not only be three dimensional, but also be more pliable and organic than the earlier, rigid designs from shorts like Plane Crazy and Steamboat Willie. Disney immediately adapted this to their other characters, and everyone else in the animation industry (sans Max and Dave Fleischer) copied this immediately, sending classic rubberhose animation to its grave within a few years. Ash Face Ass In A Lion Skin Big Ball Of Violence Bloodless Carnage Born In The Theatre

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Buzzsaw Jaw Cartoon Bomb Cartoon Cheese The Cat Came Back Catch That Pigeon Cat Concerto Chaste Toons: Main characters of several cartoon series were inexplicably forced to take care of their mysterious nephews quite often during this era. The nephews tended to be triplets. Circling Birdies Clip Show: Started appearing increasingly more often in the 50's, signaling the twilight of the Golden Age in some ways. Conspicuously Light Patch: AKA The Fudd Flag. Very, very prominent in this era of cartoons. Justified in that the coloring done by cel artists is meant to keep the movable objects from blending into the backgrounds. Cranial Eruption Daffy Duck Deranged Animation: Just watch some of the old Fleischer cartoons. Also, Warner's "Porky in Wackyland". Disneyfication Disney School of Acting and Mime Doing It for the Art: In full swing during this era, especially in the case of the Looney Tunes staff and Hanna-Barbera's work at MGM. Duck Season, Rabbit Season Eek A Mouse Efficient Displacement Episode Title Card Era Specific Personality Eye Pop Follow the Leader: Even back then. In the 1930's everyone wanted to be like Disney, with their popular and successful Silly Symphonies shorts. But by the 1940's when Bugs Bunny and Screwy Squirrel-type characters became more popular than Ridiculously Cute Critters, everyone wanted to be like Looney Tunes, even Disney. Funny Animal George Lucas Throwback: Don Bluth's early films were intended as throwbacks to the older, more emotionally powerful Disney films, right down to only using traditional animation techniques in his works.

o Epic Mickey also appears to have many homages and shout outs to Mickey's early cartoons, and even older, forgotten/scrapped Disney characters. Mickey even has his old dot eyes, Disney's original cartoon star Oswald is making his official comeback in this game, and Warren Spector even said the game is meant to be heavily influenced by Fantasia. Kingdom Hearts, this is not. o Speaking of Kingdom Hearts, one entire level of Kingdom Hearts II called Timeless River is meant to be one big throwback to the early Black and White Disney shorts, right down to being in black and white and even having grainy, mono-track sound! Even the heartless of this level are given a cartoony Golden Age-esque makeover. o Also, the entirety of the video game Mickey Mania is made as one big throwback to several of Mickey's adventures over the years, including Steamboat Willie, The Mad Doctor, Moose Hunt, Lonesome Ghosts, Mickey And The Beanstalk, The Prince And The Pauper, and in the Genesis/Sega CD versions, a homage to The Band Concert is included as a bonus level. o Who Framed Roger Rabbit is also a heavy throwback to Golden Age Animation, right down to the movie being set during this era. Many, many Golden Age cartoon stars also make cameos in this movie. o Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures are also intended as throwbacks to the Golden Age Warner Bros cartoons. In fact, Tiny Toon Adventures did a throwback to the classic black and white Looney Tunes in the episode Two Tone Town. o While not a total throwback, Word Of God has stated that Batman: The Animated Series intentionally draws many of its elements, aesthetically and story-wise, from the Fleischer Superman theatrical shorts. One episode in particular, Christmas With The Joker even has a few clever shout outs to those shorts. o John Lasseter has said that The Princess and the Frog is intended as a throwback to the early Disney films. o Tangled, at least the art of it and how it uses its CGI, draws an astounding amount of influence from the early Disney films as well. Or at least, it did. o The Fairly OddParents had one episode which served as a throwback to golden age animation. (specifically, the early black and white toons of Ub Iwerks-even using a similar art style) o Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat is one huge throwback to this era, as well as The Silent Age of Animation, mainly the surreal works of Max Fleischer. o The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Truth or Square" did a bizarre late 20's cartoon style throwback, complete with being filmed in black and white, and every single thing has a face. Gravity Is A Harsh Mistress Instant Bandages Iron Buttmonkey: Common character type for antagonists. Karmic Trickster Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Usually averted with most collections of toons from this eramany Public Domain cartoons can be found readily available on budget DVDs for dirt cheap. Although more popular stuff like the Warner Home Video DVD sets (i.e. Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1-6, Popeye the Sailor Vol. 1-3) plays this a bit more straight (although they're still very common and readily available to the public) this trope is played perfectly straight with the Walt Disney Treasures DVD series and the rereleases of Disney's Golden Age films. Literal Ass Kicking Meat O Vision Mouse Hole Most Writers Are Male

Negative Continuity Non-Fatal Explosions Pepper Sneeze Pie in the Face Plunger Detonator Public Domain Animation: A whole bunch of cartoons from this era wind up falling into the Public Domain. Ridiculously Cute Critter: They ran rampant during a period in the 30's when almost all of the cartoon studios were trying to emulate Disney's successful Silly Symphonies series. Some might mark the infamous moment in the short Screwball Squirrel beats up a cute squirrel as the final nail in the coffin of this trend. Road Runner vs. Coyote Roger Rabbit Effect: Was actually being done going back into The Silent Age of Animation. Many of Betty Boop's and Koko the Clown's old cartoons incorporated live action footage. There was also the Looney Tunes short "You Oughtta Be In Pictures", and Tom and Jerry's cameo appearance in Gene Kelly's Anchors Aweigh, for example. Rotoscoping: An animation technique involving drawing over live-action film, this was developed during the Silent Age and perfected during the Golden Age. Notable uses of it include Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the Betty Boop cartoon "Minnie The Moocher" in which the dance moves of Cab Calloway were traced onto a singing walrus. Rubber Hose Limbs: Especially in the 30's. Rule Of Animation Conservation: Was initially very common thanks to the efficiency of rubber hose characters... until Disney began demanding more realistic, dynamic and natural animation in his works-his imitators promptly followed suit (especially MGM). Studios like Universal, Fleischer and Warner Bros. usually stuck by this trope all the way however, as they had to cope with generally low budgets that would have made it impossible to reach the level of quality the works of Disney and MGM reached. This trope became increasingly more common during the twilight years of this era, however, even with big budget studios like Disney and even MGM. Naturally, this trope and its sister trope Limited Animation would grow and spin completely out of control by the dawn of the next era. Scooby Dooby Doors: Got its start during the golden age. Tex Avery was fond of these. Screwy Squirrel: Both a breed of character that spawned during this era and a short-lived character himself. Seen It All Suicide Shadow Of Impending Doom Shout-Out: Son of the Mask is loaded with shout outs/cameos of characters from this era, and even its cartoon violence is reminiscent of this era. Whereas the first film had tons of Tex Avery references, so much so that he could have co-written it. Simpleton Voice: "Duh, which way did he go George?" Slap Stick Sweeping Ashes Talking Animal Toon Toon Physics Vindicated by Cable: After movie theaters stopped running cartoon shorts, series such as Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry went on to become Saturday morning staples and rose to even higher popularity than in their heyday, to the point where many people will be surprised when you tell them the cartoons came out in the 1940's. Vindicated By History: Many of Disney's films from the 40's post Snow White were actually financial flops, and it wasn't until later theatrical re-releases of these films that the studio was able to make a profit off of them. Wartime Cartoon: Each one full of examples of politically incorrect material as well, in the way the Japanese were represented. Bugs Bunny and Popeye have some of the most infamous examples. One must keep in mind though that this was still an age in which a character left wearing blackface after Non-Fatal Explosions was practically a trope all on its own. What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Where to even start? Betty Boop in particular found refuge in this until the Hays Office finally cracked down on her in 1934. The Hanna-Barbera duo, Tex Avery, and Chuck Jones stated explicitly that Tom and Jerry and the Looney Tunes series were cartoons that were made for an adult audience. White Gloves Wild Take: Codified by Tex Avery. Wish Fulfillment: For some of the shorts of the era, it certainly seemed that way.

The Dark Age of Animation


"TV is such a monster. It swallows up all this animation so fast that nobody seems to care whether it's good or bad. These kids shows are badly done technically; it seems as though nobody really looks at them but the kids...the networks don't look at the show, they just look at the ratings. If the ratings are good, to heck with the show. They don't care whether it's just a bouncing ball." Friz Freleng, sharing his feelings about some of the detrimental effects of the era. The unfortunate successor to The Golden Age of Animation, slowly setting in at the late 1950s and slowly fading out at some point during the '80s * . Limited Animation was the rule, not the exception during this time. Its start coincided with the Fall Of The Studio System in Hollywood. The theatrical short slowly died off, and cartoons moved to television. Naturally, this era would leave a lasting impression on the American culture, for better or for worse, as the primary target audience for cartoons became children. To start with, Limited Animation was primarily an artistic choice for animators like Chuck Jones and John Hubley who were tired of Disneyfication. With the death of UPA and MGM animation studios, it became primarily about saving time and money. Hanna-Barbera was very prominent during this time, thanks to how cheaply produced and rushed their television cartoons were. Filmation also got its start during this time, although it wouldn't hit its stride until much later during the80's. In the meantime, it did give us shows like Star Trek: The Animated Series (which was a continuation of the original show after it was canceled). However, like Hanna-Barbera, they also relied on notoriously low budget animation (possibly even more so than the other company) and corner cutting to get their cartoons out as quickly and cheaply as possible. However, this does not mean everything from this era was bad. Disney's output remained generally respectable and generally well animated early on, although Walt Disney's continual lack of involvement with his films due to his focus on television and theme park projects at the time had a noticeable effect in quality on the 60's Disney films, and the inevitable death of the man hit the company extremely hard, sending their studio into a hard slump post-The Jungle Book. Although they would eventually begin to recover with their short adaptations of the Winnie the Pooh stories (which were later made into a feature) as well as The Rescuers, which was something of a throwback to the style of the older Disney films, thanks in part to a Mr. Don Bluth... mind you, he was an employee of Disney at one point in the past. However, Disney would still continue to struggle until the late 1980's. Looney Tunes was still producing some decent and entertaining shorts late in The Fifties, as some of its most memorable shorts were from this decade. Animation quality was down, but the writing along with the direction of Chuck Jones managed to produce some timeless classics in spite of that. However, due to budget problems the Warner Bros. company forcibly shut down their animation studio for good in this era. (Although a brief revival was unsuccessfully attempted late during the 60s) But, the characters would get a revival in the form of the smash hit anthology repackaging series The Bugs Bunny Show, which repaired many of their old theatrical cartoons and ultimately helped to immortalize the characters as pop culture icons. Limited Animation pioneer Hubley did his best work at UPA in the '50s, with shows such as Gerald McBoingBboing. Later he left UPA and became a noted independent animator, producing a series of distinctive and personal films with his wife Faith. And this was a booming period for trippy, avant-garde European Animation such as Fantastic Planet and Yellow Submarine. Animator Ralph Bakshi, who got his start in this era working in the twilight years of Terry Toons, rose to prominence during this era thanks to Fritz the Cat. This film, along with Watership Down, challenged the idea that cartoons were solely "kids' stuff", an idea that was becoming increasingly popular at the time due to the diminishing quality of the cartoons of that time period, as well as people becoming overly familiar with the Disney style of family oriented entertainment coming out. Bakshi would also go on to make an animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, which despite extremely mixed critical reaction was ultimately a box office success. Heavy Metal would create its own cult interest late in the game (1981). Even Hanna-Barbera brought a respectable adaptation of Charlotte's Web to the big screen in 1973. And though Your Mileage May Vary on which, some cartoons from this era may have had mediocre to poor animation but were ultimately saved by good writing; shows like Rocky and Bullwinkle would be a particularly good example of that. Also, Anime was making its first impact in North America with such imports as Astro Boy, Speed Racer, Star Blazers and Battle of the Planets. While it often was crudely Bowdlerized, the form's distinctive look and content created a cult following that would eventually grow into much more. The Soviet Russia reversal, however, is still at its' dirty job. Behind the "iron curtain", many USSR cartoons saw a light at the end of the tunnel. Some are dark, some are fun and educational, some are just damn fun. And not only were successful inside the country (we're not even speaking about a huge amount of fans who loves them even today and makes English translations of these cartoons for you)... one even got a ton of awards. Considerably, the animation cut was not an option for Ivanov-Vano's cartoons made in this era, every one of which made you feel like you're back to Disney's times of rise when hand-drawn people and animals moved as smooth as never before (and after). However, Eastern Animation also brought us Gene Deitch's Tom and Jerry shorts in the 1960's, which were...interesting to say the least. Animation Age Ghetto is a trope that has its roots firmly planted in this era. Check it out to see the full impact of this era on the typical viewer's idea of a cartoon nowadays. Chances are whenever you see a parody of this era or something that was made during it, it's either a Take That or an Affectionate Parody at the least. For this era's successor, see The Renaissance Age of Animation (which lasted from the 1980s through the '90s). Characters, films and series that are associated with this era: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The original 1960s series. Aquaman Atom Ant The Banana Splits Banjo the Woodpile Cat: Don Bluth's first solo project, which showed some light at the end of the very dark tunnel this era of animation was. A few years later, he would quit Disney and form his own animation company, which would fuel the animation renaissance. Batfink Bob Clampett's Beany And Cecil Beatles Cartoon Birdman (more notable for Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law, its Millennium Age spoof than the actual show) Charlotte's Web (1973) Coonskin (1975) Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines Disney Animated Canon: This is known to some as Disney's "sketchy" period, referring to the style of animation these movies employed. Don Bluth got his start here as well, as anyone with a good eye for animation will be able to tell just by watching these. With the death of Walt Disney, the dark age of animation hit the company particularly hard. It wouldn't recover until the 1980's.

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101 Dalmatians (1961) The Sword in the Stone (1963) The Jungle Book (1967): The final film made while Walt was alive.

The Aristocats (1970) Robin Hood (1973) The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) The Rescuers (1977) The Small One (1978): Shown in theaters with the re-release of Pinocchio. Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids Felix the Cat: In the very late 1950s, Felix managed to snag himself a decent TV series, and even introduced his iconic magic bag of tricks, even though his character was still using the flanderized portrayal similar to the ill-fated 1930s Van Beuren Felix revival. The Flintstones Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles Fritz the Cat: Don't expect this one to be like any of the others on the list. Gerald McBoingBoing: The popularity of UPA and its Limited Animation in The Fifties can be seen as the beginning of the 'dark age', though it would take a while for the cartoon studios' output to decline in quality. Nevertheless, it should be noted that it was the excellence of several UPA shorts, such as this one, that made Limited Animation acceptable. George of the Jungle The Godzilla Power Hour Golden Book Video Harold and the Purple Crayon shorts: A Picture for Harold's Room (1971) and Harold's Fairy Tale (1974) Heavy Metal: Came out at the end of the Dark Age. The Hobbit and The Return Of The King: Surprisingly good animation for its time, co-produced by Rankin/Bass Productions and Japan's Top Craft (which would later become an important contributor to Studio Ghibli). The Return Of The King became noticeably darker in content and production quality, though. Hong Kong Phooey Hokey Wolf How the Grinch Stole Christmas The Huckleberry Hound Show Inch High Private Eye The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964): A Roger Rabbit Effect driven film. Jabberjaw: Pretty much Scooby Doo UNDER WATER with a shark that sounds like Curly. Jana of the Jungle The Jetsons Jonny Quest Josie And The Pussy Cats Laff-a-Lympics Looney Tunes In The Sixties: This era covers the final days of Termite Terrace before they closed the studio. Looney Tunes In The Seventies And Onward: Post-Termite Terrace. The Lord Of The Rings: Specifically, Ralph Bakshi's animated adaptation of it. Magilla Gorilla Mary Poppins: Had an animated segment which made use of the Roger Rabbit Effect. The Mighty Heroes Mighty Mouse Mr. Magoo The New Adventures Of Superman The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat Peanuts (the various TV specials and feature films) a high point of Limited Animation from the period, not so much for the graphics which were lifted directly from the newspaper comic as for the mature storytelling and jazzy soundtrack. The Perils of Penelope Pitstop The Pink Panther: Created by Friz Freleng, after he left the Warner Bros. animation studios. Has strangely little to do with the live action films. The Plague Dogs by Martin Rosen, a followup to Watership Down which proved to be a Genre Killer for dark adult Western Animation due to its content. It's basically Grave of the Fireflies'' with puppies. Brad Bird worked on the film. Quick-Draw McGraw Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure The Robonic Stooges, as well as the earlier The Three Stooges cartoon that included live action segments. Rocky and Bullwinkle Roger Ramjet Sabrina And The Groovie Goolies Schoolhouse Rock Scooby Doo and its many clones Secret Squirrel: The original incarnation. Space Ghost Speed Buggy Super Friends

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The Thief and the Cobbler was produced during this period. By which we mean the entire thirty-year duration of the period, before its creator Richard Williams lost control of the project after briefly obtaining funding to distribute it following the success of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, one of the films that definitively ended The Dark Age of Animation. Tom and Jerry: Revived three times during this era. First by Gene Deitch (the less said, the better), then by Chuck Jones (generally considered the best produced theatrical cartoons of the 1960s, though that isn't saying much), and finally as a Hanna-Barbera TV series (which Flanderized the characters beyond recognition, ironically by the very people who created them in the first place). o Filmation would revive Tom and Jerry once again just as the Dark Age was winding down, though this adaptation suffered from the same Deranged Animation as the Gene Deitch shorts. And yet it was still more true to the original shorts than Hanna-Barbera's TV series. Top Cat Underdog Wacky Races Wait Till Your Father Gets Home: The Ur Example of the animated dysfunctional family (think All In The Family if it were a cartoon series), which would later inspire all the FOX animated sitcoms about dysfunctional or quasi-dysfunctional families (The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show). Watership Down by Martin Rosen. Concept drawings by John Hubley for the dream sequences. Hubley wanted to do the whole film in Limited Animation using Aboriginal-style 60s-70s primitive expressionism. He left the film over "creative differences" with Rosen, who wanted detailed and bloody naturalism. You decide which parts of the film are more disturbing. Winky Dink Wizards Woody Woodpecker: His theatrical cartoons would keep going up till 1972, and he also had a hit TV series appearing during this era. Yellow Submarine: featured a whos-who of British animation from the period. Yogi Bear
Animators who are directly associated with this era: David DePatie and Isidore "Friz" Freleng Norman Prescott and Louis Scheimer William Hanna and Joseph Barbera Ralph Bakshi: Got his start early in this era as a worked at Terrytoons during its late years, later became the most prominent independent animator in this time period. John K. got his start late in this era as a worker at Filmation. He does not have fond memories of the place. Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass, producers of most of the classic Christmas Specials Chuck Jones John Hubley: helped pioneer Limited Animation as high art during his tenure at UPA studios before being shown the door; died prior to release of Watership Down. Gene Deitch Don Bluth June Foray: Did a lot of the voice acting she was famous for during this era. Tropes that are associated with this era: Animal Superheroes: Mighty Mouse, Atom Ant, Underdog, Batfink... Animated Adaptation: for example, The Three Stooges cartoons, the Star Trek cartoon, Filmation's adaptations of Batman, Super Friends, the Beatles Cartoon etc. Animation Age Ghetto A notable aversion is the Star Trek animated series, which remains the only Trek series to earn an Emmy Award in a non-technical field. Bad Writing: Early on some of the badly animated shows were still saved by good writing, such as Top Cat and Rocky and Bullwinkle. By the seventies though, most of the time They Just Didn't Care. Band Toon Conspicuously Light Patch Deranged Animation: It was The Sixties after all. Many people mistakenly think this trope started during this era, which is not the case. Dork Age: In full swing with many established franchises at this point in time. Everybody Do the Endless Loop Everybody Laughs Ending Scooby Doo: Scooby-dooby-doo! Everyone else: Ahahahahahaha! * iris out on Scooby's face, occasionally with a wink* Half Hour Comedy Laugh Track: Why they'd need it in animation, who knows. But many of the shows were basically sitcoms on lower budgets than live action. Lazy Artist Limited Animation Limited Wardrobe Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Hanna-Barbera, which owned most of the popular cartoon characters on television at the time, was able to do this a lot. Motionless Chin Narm Charm

Or if you grew up from '90-'95 and watched a lot of Cartoon Network when these old shows were most of their programming. And now Cartoon Network is blocking the box with the same shows on Boomerang Network, with the occasional classic Popeye and MGM shorts thrown in for seasoning. Offscreen Crash Recycled In SPACE: A recurring theme (Jabberjaw is Scooby-Doo under water, The Mighty Mightor was Space Ghost as a caveman, Gilligan's Planet LITERALLY had the Castaways in space, etc.), particularly for the Sat AM Hanna-Barbera and Filmation cartoons. Ring Around The Collar Saturday Morning Cartoon: Saturday Morning cartoons experienced their heyday during this period. Not only were Hanna-Barbera cartoons regular airings, but cartoons from The Golden Age of Animation would be exposed to a new generation, and in some cases, become even more widely popular than they were originally. Scooby Dooby Doors Team Pet Unmoving Plaid Wacky Racing Wheel o' Feet Wonder Dog Wraparound Background You Meddling Kids: In all the Scooby-Doo-esque shows.

Nostalgia Filter: Chances are if you grew up in the 1960s or '70s, you probably have fond memories of the cartoons of this era.

The Renaissance Age of Animation


The return of animation to a point of artistic respect and prominence started in 1980 with TMS's Ulysses 31. At first the Dark Age persisted limited animation was still the rule on television. The Disney Animated Canon came close to ending for good when The Black Cauldron, intended to be the stunning debut of a new generation of animators, didn't impress just-arrived company executives Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg; they recut it and it proceeded to tank at the box-office. Merchandise Driven shows/specials such as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, and The Transformers ruled 80s television animation and had parents' groups up in arms about children watching glorified toy commercials (commercials that were extremely split between gender lines at that). Fortunately, things got better. In 1980 a Japanese Animation studio called Tokyo Movie Shinsha teamed up with a French company called Dic in order to fund Ulysses 31 and help out with TMS as well. The show worked, and it served as a precursor which eventually led to the start of this age of animation (TMS did try to get out of The Dark Age of Animation as early as 1971 with Lupine III series 1 but nothing worked until Ulysses 31. Lupin III series 2 did do well, but it did not bring the industry out of the dark ages). TMS continued working with Dic until 1984 when two of their staff members, Tetsuo Katayama and Shigeru Akagawa, left TMS to found KK C&D Asia; but even after that TMS was still making the industry better, with their own productions like The Blinkins, Mighty Orbots, andGalaxy High, and with shows like The Wuzzles, Adventures of the Gummi Bears and DuckTales which were done in collaboration with Disney, ultimately bringing quality animation to television for the first time ever. TMS practically ran the industry singlehandedly (The only studio to come near TMS at this time was Studio Ghibli with movies like Castle in the Sky and My Neighbor Totoro, the movies did do well, but Ghibli failed to catch up to TMS) until a man named John Kricfalusi teamed up with Ralph Bakshi to produce Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures. The teamup did not last long as John K went solo to do Ren and Stimpy for Nickelodeon, but it did not last long as John K was fired from Nickelodeon and his post-Ren and Stimpy work did not do well at all. TMS stopped working with Disney after Motoyoshi Tokunaga founded Disney's Japanese unit, and then came TMS's golden age, when the studio was working with Warner Bros. to produce shows like Tiny Toon Adventures, Batman: The Animated Series and Animaniacs. TMS's last major production in this era was Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker; TMS did try to bring this era back with Green Lantern: First Flight but did not do as well as hoped, causing them to do Lil Pri to make up all of the money that TMS lost on it. Outside of TMS, Disney defector Don Bluth started making movies with 1982's The Secret Of NIMH, pushing for a return to the rich classical style of the Golden Age; while it was not a blockbuster, it quickly became a Cult Classic. It attracted the attention of no less than Steven Spielberg, which led to Bluth's directing the successful An American Tail and The Land Before Time for Amblin Entertainment. Don Bluth would both rise to prominence and fall during this period, but his combination with Steven Spielberg proved to be the first real challenge Disney had ever faced in the animated film department, at least since the Fleischers were in business. The Disney animation unit was not shuttered after all after the failure of The Black Cauldron, mainly due to the modest success of The Great Mouse Detective. After the threat from Bluth and Amblin though, Disney frantically stepped up its game and rallied with Oliver and Company, which was another modest success. Their newly-established, adult-oriented Touchstone Pictures label co-produced with Amblin Entertainment, as it happened Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a live-action/animated fantasy that also served as a Massive Multiplayer Crossover of Golden Age characters and was the box-office sensation of 1988. And starting with The Wuzzles but busting loose with DuckTales, Disney launched many successful animated TV shows (first alongside TMS). This successfully raised the stakes for the format with dramatically improved production standards in both animation and writing, eventually prompting Disney's rivals to improve their own to compete to the medium's benefit. In 1989, Disney brought out their first animated canon film based on a fairy tale in 30 years. The Little Mermaid, a musical that refreshed the old formulas of yore, was a surprise sensation at the box office at last, they were well and truly back in the game. While the following year's The Rescuers Down Under was a financial disappointment, Beauty and the Beast (the first animated film ever to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination), Aladdin, and The Lion King were even bigger hits than Mermaid. By the end of The Nineties, rival studios had launched their own feature animation units, most notably Dreamworks. In fact, some people argue that this era should have been called the Disney Renaissance, since they were the most successful animation studio during this era and had the most consistent track record in terms of hits. In 1987, Ralph Bakshi went out with a bang with the revolutionary TV series Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, which helped contribute to the rise of cartoony cartoons on TV again and laid the groundwork for stuff like Ren and Stimpy later on. Warner Bros. had its own revival, via television. Several Spielberg and TMS produced efforts brought Looney Tunes-style comedy into the 1990s; Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs were the most successful. Much of the crew from these shows went on to launch the DC Animated Universe with Batman: The Animated Series in 1992. It should probably be mentioned that though the renaissance of television animation is considered to have truly began during the early 90's, many of the decried "glorified toy commercials" of the 80's, that adult animation fans viewed as suffering from a general lack of quality (especially in regards to the writing department), were obviously still very entertaining to their kid demographic and proved so popular among those juvenile audiences that several of them became major pop culture phenomenons that are well remembered to this day. Examples of these includes the aforementioned 80's commercial shows as well as The Real Ghostbusters, Inspector Gadget, My Little Pony, Jem, ThunderCats and many more. Several established franchises also received Animated Adaptations at this time too, including Dragon's Lair, Alf, and Beetlejuice. Adult aimed animation finally came back to television during the renaissance age. The Simpsons became a full-fledged series in 1989, and MTV caused a stir with Mike Judge's Beavis And Butthead. MTV, of course, was cable and from here came the last great progress that cemented the renaissance: the rise of cable television. Kid-centric cable networks such as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network started with reruns and repackagings of cartoons from earlier eras, as well as syndicated fare (as did the USA Network's Cartoon Express block; this was also the modus operandi of the emerging home video market) but moved on to create their own quirky shows during the 90's. The former launched the "Nicktoons" brand with Doug, Rugrats, and The Ren & Stimpy Show, while the latter had hits like Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls that went by the moniker "Cartoon Cartoon"s. The latter's name was eventually dropped, however, as 2002's Codename: Kids Next Door was the last show to use the Cartoon Cartoon label. All in all, this era did a good job of at least brushing away the worst aspects of the Dark Age. Parental Bonus was back, quality had soared, and profits were high. Anime also found headway in the U.S. in this period, via Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Pokmon, and the films of Hayao Miyazaki. This is also the era that began the rise of computers in animation, riding the wave of the digital revolution that brought affordable PCs to the masses in the 1980s. Disney employed CG for major parts of their films starting with The Rescuers Down Under, and by Beauty and the Beast had refined it considerably (the backdrop of the ballroom scene was very much Conspicuous CGI, as are the stampede from The Lion King and the crowd scenes in The Hunchback of Notre Dame). In 1994, the first completely 3-D CG TV series, ReBoot, came out of Canadian studio Mainframe

Entertainment and premiered on ABC in the USA. And 1995 brought the first all 3-D movie and the one that launched Pixar into the spotlight and a position to drive the future of the animation industry: Toy Story. Depending on who you ask, the deterioration of this era began somewhere towards the end of the 1990's and the early 2000's. The seeds may have been sown in 1995, when Disney distributed the first all CGI animated feature, Pixar's Toy Story. It was a huge hit while their own traditionally animated entry for the year, Pocahontas, did well enough financially but also disappointed many viewers. Disney's increasingly formulaic approach to feature storytelling "I want" songs, wacky sidekicks, pop culture jokes, etc. in the wake of its early-'90s hits, duplicated by the new rivals, resulted in frequently weaker films that strived to include more adult themes (The Hunchback of Notre Dame, anyone?) yet couldn't lift themselves out of the worst aspects of the Animation Age Ghetto when it came to content. Disneyfication was turning on Disney itself. And rival studios' Disney-esque efforts were usually pale imitations at best (consider Don Bluth's work post All Dogs Go to Heaven during the 1990s, The Swan Princess, etc.). Perhaps worst of all, Disney started producing direct-to-video sequels, prequels, and/or interquels to most of their Modern Age films via their television animation units, which sold well but didn't touch the quality of the real things. The sales were so good that even Golden Age and Dark Age efforts were given this treatment, to the increasing horror of adult Disney fans. It can be argued that the "cheapquels" led to a fatal dilution of the Disney brand name, causing audiences to take less interest in their newer animated canon efforts. And when rival studios (particularly MGM and Universal Studios) started doing the same thing with films they owned the rights to, video stores were glutted with unwanted, unworthy sequels to everything from The Secret Of NIMH to The Swan Princess. Before this era sequels were rare if not non-existent. It's one reason the Renaissance, like every other period in animation history, is a bit of a mixed bag. Also, in an ironic twist, the successes of animation and children's programming on cable helped to wound animation on broadcast TV, killing the weekday animation block outright. As animation was an expensive medium at the time, increasing competition led to a greater fragmenting of the audience. With smaller audiences for each network, plus increasing restrictions on advertising content in children's programming (daytime animation still got redlined into the Ghetto), animation blocks became increasingly less profitable. The twin developments of a fracturing audience and animation's move to cable (and needing to make do with cable's smaller budgets), led to declines in animation quality. Work was outsourced to overseas studios. computer coloring eventually replaced ink and paint, and soon Flash made inroads as an animation tool. CHARACTERS/SERIES/FILMS THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS ERA Adventures Of Sonic The Hedgehog Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers Adventures of the Gummi Bears: The Disney cartoon that finally introduced quality animation to made-for-TV cartoons, playing a big role in getting rid of lingering legacies from The Dark Age of Animation. AKIRA: the film that made people take anime seriously. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters Alvin and the Chipmunks: Their 1980's incarnation. An American Tail: This movie was a surprise success at the box office, the first non-Disney animated movie to out-perform Disney, and had a lot to do with showing people that cartoons could still be profitable. Also marked Steven Spielberg's entrance into the animation scene.

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub Zero Beavis And Butthead Beethoven: The Animated Series: Yes, this does exist. That is all we're going to say about it. Beetlejuice Bobby's World The Brave Little Toaster The Brothers Flub The Brothers Grunt: Danny Antonucci's pre-Ed, Edd n' Eddy work. Captain N: The Game Master Captain Planet Care Bears Cartoon All Stars To The Rescue Casper the Friendly Ghost: Got both a live action/CGI hybrid movie revival, as well as a brand new animated TV series to boot. Cats Don't Dance The Centurions Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers Christmas In Tattertown: A 1988 TV special Ralph Bakshi made for Nickelodeon, made in an attempt to revive the 1920's rubberhose cartoon style. Nickelodeon intended it to be a series, but Bakshi knew this would never work, so it never went past this pilot. The Comic Strip Cool World Courage the Cowardly Dog Cow and Chicken The Critic

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An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, and the two direct to video sequels. Anastasia Animaniacs Wakko's Wish - A direct-to-video film based off said series. All Dogs Go to Heaven: Considered by some of Don Bluth's fans to be his Magnum Opus or his last good film. The Angry Beavers Balto Batman: The Animated Series

The Fox And The Hound The Black Cauldron The Great Mouse Detective: This film's moderate success was what convinced Disney to keep doing animated films, as the company was in dire straits in the early 80's after a string of box office bombs. o Oliver and Company o The Little Mermaid: The movie that brought Disney into its renaissance era, after repeated defeats at the box office by Don Bluth's movies. o The Rescuers Down Under o Beauty and the Beast: The first animated feature to earn a Best Picture Oscar nomination, a distinction that would not be repeated until 2010's nomination for Up. o Aladdin o The Lion King o Pocahontas o The Hunchback of Notre Dame o Hercules o Mulan o Tarzan o Fantasia 2000 Doug Duckman DuckTales DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp Ed, Edd n' Eddy Eek! The Cat Eight Crazy Nights Exosquad Family Guy: Got its start at the end of this era. Felix the Cat: Specifically, the character got two revivals, one good, the other very contested. The first one was Felix the Cat: The Movie, which was based on Felix's flanderized portrayal from The Dark Age of Animation. The second one was the surprisingly good The Twisted Tales Of Felix The Cat, which basically brought Felix back to his roots and the series even threw in a bit of Max Fleischer surrealism into the mix. Ferngully Felidae The Flight of Dragons Freakazoid! Freddie as FRO7: Made by the British during this era, it's one of the strangest animated films you will EVER see. Garfield and Friends Gargoyles G.I. Joe Goof Troop A Goofy Movie: Technically not part of the Disney Animated Canon but very well-liked nonetheless. Gravedale High: A long-lost 1990's Hanna-Barbera cartoon. Hayao Miyazaki films, such as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. Heckle And Jeckle: In The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Hey Arnold! Histeria! Inspector Gadget The Iron Giant Johnny Bravo KaBlam! The Land Before Time: The second Bluth movie to make box office records. Also has an infamous case of Sequelitis. The Last Unicorn Life With Louie Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland Looney Tunes In The Seventies And Onward: Post-Termite Terrace theatrical shorts from The Seventies, The Eighties, The Nineties and in The New Tens. Mickey Mouse Works Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures Mike, Lu & Og Muppet Babies

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Daria Darkwing Duck Dexter's Laboratory Disney Animated Canon

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The New Adventures of Beany And Cecil The Nightmare Before Christmas Oh Yeah Cartoons Once Upon A Forest The Pagemaster The Pebble and the Penguin: Directed by the one and only world famous Alan Smithee. Pepper Ann Peter Pan & the Pirates Pinky and the Brain Pinky Elmyra And The Brain The Powerpuff Girls Quest For Camelot Raw Toonage: A short-lived Animated Anthology series from Disney that spawned two spinoffs. Rayman: The Animated Series: An extremely short lived All CGI Cartoon series, very, VERY loosely based off of the limbless

Reboot: The first fully CGI TV series Recess The Ren & Stimpy Show Road Rovers The Prince of Egypt The Road to El Dorado Robotech: Yes, it was a Cut-and-Paste Translation of three unrelated anime series, but it was on the forefront of introducing American audiences to Japanese animation, breaking several of the conventions of US animated television shows, as well as ironically building the popularity of importing unedited Japanese productions. Rock-A-Doodle: Seen by most fans as the movie where Bluth jumped the shark. Rocket Power Rocko's Modern Life Rover Dangerfield Rugrats The Rugrats Movie The Secret Of NIMH: Came out somewhat before what many agree to be the start of the renaissance, but definitely played a role in shaping it in the long run. The Simpsons The Smurfs Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM): Noteworthy for being one of those rarities of rarities: a GOOD video game series! Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie: Also noteworthy for being one of those rarities of rarities: a GOOD video game movie. Sonic Underground South Park: Much like Family Guy, it got its start toward the end of this era too. Space Goofs Space Jam Lola Bunny made her debut in this film as a Looney Tunes Canon Immigrant. Spiral Zone SpongeBob SquarePants: The show also has that Family Guy vibe. Superman: The Animated Series SWAT Kats Talespin The Swan Princess: Notable in how frequently it attempts to defy the Disney formula, while having the characters still end up Genre Blind for other reasons, and ultimately succumbing to the Disney formula. Also the most successful animation motion picture to come from Nest (meaning: neither Disney nor Dreamworks nor Don Bluth.) The Wild Thornberrys Thumbelina: As The Nostalgia Chick said, it holds many similarities to the Disney formula of the time and doesn't work out so well. ThunderCats Tiny Toon Adventures Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation Tom and Jerry: The Movie Tom And Jerry Kids Toonami: Cartoon Network's original "action" after-school block, launched in '97 near the end of the age. While showcasing such hits as Reboot, it's also known for one of the earliest and most successful blocks to showcase Anime, bringing us classics such as Sailor Moon, Mobile Suit Gundam, Dragon Ball Z, Outlaw Star, and many more, and is probably directly responsible for the rise in Anime in Western audiences. Toy Story: The first fully CGI animated film. Your Mileage May Vary on whether or not the success of this movie helped bring about the end of the renaissance era. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 series)

The Thief and the Cobbler: Although it was finished and released in the '90s, it did start production in the Sixties. Transformers: The Transformers Beast Wars A Troll In Central Park Twice Upon a Time Two Stupid Dogs Unico And The Island Of Magic Wallace and Gromit Who Framed Roger Rabbit Wing Commander Academy Woody Woodpecker got his comeback during this time thanks to the TV series The New Woody Woodpecker Show. The World of David the Gnome The Wuzzles

REAL LIFE PEOPLE DIRECTLY INVOLVED W ITH THIS ERA Don Bluth Cree Summer: Actress/voice actress who got her start in the beginning of this era with her role as Penny in Inspector Gadget. She's still a popular Voice Actor today. She also played Freddy in A Different World, which aired around this time. Matt Groening John Kricfalusi, the creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show Hayao Miyazaki Steven Spielberg Genndy Tartakovsky Ted Turner: His company bought the rights to MGM's pre-1986 library and Hanna-Barbera's entire library, which of course included vast amounts of old cartoons. This would prompt the launch of Cartoon Network. Tom Ruegger Tress MacNeille, a very prolific voice actress from this time to today. Mike Judge Skip Jones, animator on many of the films of this era including several of Bluth's films. Joe Murray, creator of Rocko's Modern Life, and later Camp Lazlo. Arlene Klasky and Garbor Csupo of Klasky-Csupo. David Kirschner, who was largely responsible for An American Tail and more obscure animated movies during The Nineties such as Forest, The and Cats Don't Dance. Seth MacFarlane, who got his start writing, storyboarding, and voice acting in this era; and whose World Premiere Toon eventually evolved into Family Guy(which of course premiered at the end of the Renaissance). Craig Bartlett, an animator for Pee-Wee's Playhouse, writer for Rugrats, and creator of Hey Arnold!. Also Matt Groening's brother-inlaw, interestingly enough. Jim Jinkins, creator of Doug and PB And J Otter, the latter of which aired at the end of the Renaissance. Fred Seibert, the producer behind World Premiere Toons and Oh Yeah Cartoons, making him indirectly responsible for their various spin-offs.

REAL LIFE PEOPLE WHO ARE DIRECTLY INFLUENCED BY THIS ERA

Jerry Beck and Amid Amidi. Animation historians, writers on 'Art Of' and other animation novelty books, and bloggers of the industrypopular Cartoon Brew. Doug Walker, aka The Nostalgia Critic. Much of what he reviews exposes the somewhat worse aspects of some of the animation to come out of this era, and frequently includes gags referencing such cartoons.

TROPES ASSOCIATED WITH THIS ERA All Animation Is Disney: This trope runs rampant on Don Bluth's work, and it doesn't stop there. Animated Adaptation: Though this does go back to the previous era, it began to happen more frequently in this era, with unlikely movies such as Beetlejuice, Ace Ventura, and Ghost Busters receiving their own animated adaptations. Animated adaptations of video games were also big at the time, with mixed results. Animation Age Ghetto: A sad relic of the previous era. Animation did begin to overcome this somewhat, with the success of more adult cartoons such as The Simpsons. Animation Bump: IN SPADES. Arch-Competitor: Don Bluth to Disney from about the release of An American Tail until All Dogs Go To Heaven was beaten by The Little Mermaid at the box office (after which Bluth stopped posing a real threat to Disney, arguably due to the departure of Steven Spielberg). Award Bait Song: A staple of animated films of this era.

Conspicuous CG: In some of the 2-D movies from the late 80's and early 90's, it just looked weird when they tried to integrate computer animation because CG technology wasn't advanced enough yet. See the beginning of Thumbelina. Direct-to-Video Everybody Laughs Ending: Was still used A LOT during the 80's, though it stopped being taken seriously and played straight at some point during the 90's. Follow the Leader: The mentality of many of Disney's competitors during this era. Most of them failed miserably, though. George Lucas Throwback: Rampant. The Little Mermaid was designed to be just like the old Disney animated musicals, Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs were inspired by the Warner Bros. cartoons in the Golden Age, Genndy Tartakovsky and Craig McCracken frequently threw back to 70s/80s anime and superhero shows (and at some points drifted into Affectionate Parody territory), John Kricfalusi threw back to Tex Avery, and so on. Ink Suit Actor: Happened quite a lot in Disney's movies during this period, such as the Genie in Aladdin basically just being Robin Williams, only blue and a Reality Warper. Licensed Game: This trend would explode with the NES, and it continues to this day. Nearly any cartoon that has ever become famous has received a video game adaptation. Live-Action Adaptation: Just as movies were being adapted into animated series, the inverse was also happening more frequently. Parental Bonus Prime Time Cartoon Recycled: The Series Revival Saturday Morning Cartoon: Though by no means did they end during the Renaissance (there are still a few around today), this was the last animation era in which Saturday Morning Cartoons on network TV were still big contenders. Serkis Folk: Disney's first all CG character was the carpet from Aladdin. From there Serkis Folk would become increasingly more common, as traditional animation declined. Shout-Out: There were many shout outs to classic cartoons. Who Framed Roger Rabbit was basically one long Shout-Out. Spinoff Babies The Movie: Many cartoon characters both old and new, such as Tom and Jerry, Felix the Cat, Looney Tunes, Goofy, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Flintstones. and others, got their own movies during this period, some of which vary in quality, but tended to usually be quite bad. Thick Line Animation: Popularized by the success of Dexter's Laboratory and The Power Puff Girls, this style caught on towards what many may consider the end of the renaissance. Nowadays nearly every western television cartoon that comes out has this style, if it isn't trying to look anime. Toilet Humor: Became increasingly more common place in the 1990's, especially with Gross Out Shows like Ren and Stimpy. Too Good to Last: Even more so than the Golden Age.
Can also apply to Warner Bros. . and Dreamworks 2-D animated films. We're Still Relevant, Dammit: The animation industry as a whole during this period. And boy did they prove it.

The Millennium Age of Animation


"We're waiting for the pendulum to swing back again, which I am absolutely confident it will." An exceedingly optimistic Don Bluth, speaking about hand drawn animation This is the Age of Animation we live in now, starting from the early 2000swith the end of The Renaissance Age of Animationand continuing to the present day. The usage of traditional 2-D animation methods that thrived in the previous eras is now seemingly all but abandoned, at least when it comes to American works; CGI and Flash animation are the rule, not the exceptionjust as Limited Animation ruled the Dark Age during the 60's and 70's (Especially animation not coming from the USA or Japan). A lot of these shifts resulted from the constant deterioration of the global recession, which came to a head in 2008 and resulted in cheaper production procedures like outsourcing, studios taking safer bets, higher competition, bankruptcy, and massive layoffs. It did not help that any fan of content from the Renaissance Age could not get any decent work in the field by the time they were finally grown up and out of college by 2005. Studios hired unpaid interns by the hundreds, and veterans from the past eras were either out of work, doing their own thing, or dead. Disney began to experience its first box office failures since the early '80s. Treasure Planet is often cited as the film where the downward spiral began, though some might say it began earlier with Pocahontas. The company's next three films would each do worse than its predecessor; after the failure of Home on the Range, Disney announced that it would discontinue traditional animation for good (blaming the medium itself instead of, perhaps, the Misaimed Marketing that went on for most of these movies). For the next five years, they certainly tried to kill 2-D animation; their first attempt at producing a CGI film of their own, Chicken Little, had a mediocre showing (but ended up making a profit)then there was a two year gap before their next canon entry, Meet the Robinsons, was released. That film was followed in 2008 by Bolt, which achieved (at least) critical success in spite of having languished in Development Hell. While this was going on, Disney was undergoing a shake-up in upper management. Since the release of Toy Story, Disney had been the distributor for all of Pixar's films, which were making much more money for them than most of their in-house fare. There was prolonged wrestling between the two companies over creative control, IP rights, and financial stakes over the films. In 2004, Pixar announced that they would be seeking other distribution partners when their contract with Disney was updespite this, the two companies continued to negotiate in an attempt to patch things up. While this was going on, Michael Eisner left Disney in 2005some say "pushed out", as Disney was struggling across the board and Eisner was one of the main obstacles to cooperation with Pixar. Ultimately, Disney bought Pixar outright in 2007, though Pixar was allowed to remain a separate entity; as part of the deal, Pixar co-founder John Lasseter became Disney's Chief Creative Officer and Pixar studio president Edwin Catmull also became president of Walt Disney Animation Studios. Allegedly, one of Lasseter's first executive actions was to discontinue the rampant Direct-toVideo sequels of Disney's back catalog and put that specific animation division to work on new properties (such as the current CG Tinkerbell series). Under Lasseter's watch, traditional animation also got a second chance with The Princess and the Frog. The movie was successful enough to make Disney agree to greenlight a new traditionally animated film every two years, starting with an upcoming reboot of Winnie the Pooh. Their next 2D release was to be an adaptation of Mort; however, the film was canceled due to rights issues, most likely because of the upcoming Discworld live

action TV series. Their originally planned 2013 2D release, based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, is currently "on hold" in Development Hell, although that may change thanks to the death of Mort. Network Decay has had a devastating effect on television animation. Many channels have jettisoned their Saturday morning cartoons and after-school cartoon blocks due to cable competition and increasing restrictions on advertising, and 4Kids has created a monopoly over what's left (and even they're facing financial problems ). Cartoon Network is pushing increasingly towards live-action kids' shows in order to compete with Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, which are in turn becoming increasingly dependent on their respective Cash Cow Franchises (liveaction kid coms for Disney and Sponge Bob Square Pants for Nick). Toon Disney was consumed by Jetix and eventually scrapped altogether to make way for Disney XD. Cartoons from previous eras are either shoved onto Boomerang or not shown at all, relegated chiefly to DVD releases. While home video releases of classic cartoons initially thrived during the early-to-mid 2000s, this trend eventually came to a crawl when a combination of piddling sales, the high cost of restoring the cartoons, and the general state of the economy caused many companies to pull back or scale down future releases of old cartoons, much of the chagrin of many collectors. * Fortunately, older cartoons are starting to see more of a comeback, with future DVD releases lined up for Warner Bros. (including an all new and improved Tom and Jerry collection and, to the delight of animation purists everywhere, the first official home video release of The Censored 11). Columbia has also began reairing many of its old cartoons on Antenna TV, with plans for DVD releases in the works; Fox is also planning to release a Mighty Mouse collection in a couple of years, and Jerry Beck has been attempting to get the classic cartoon anthology program "Totally Tooned In" to finally air in the USbut the real highlight of all of this is that the original Looney Tunes have finally returned to air on Cartoon Network! Anime dubbing has struggled too; Geneon and ADV Films both folded from poor sales, network decay resulting in disappearing anime blocks on television, and competition from internet subtitled episodes (which could be posted shortly after their Japanese premieres). FUNimation is probably the only dubbing studio to remain prosperousit acquired a number of Geneon, ADV Films, and 4Kids' titlesbut even they have financial issues. Despite all of that, there are more theatrical feature films coming out every year, with more major American companies becoming viable, sustained competitors than any time in history. The opening signal could be considered when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) introduced the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film starting in 2001, indicating a new level of respect and vibrancy for the art form; it could also be considered an aid to encourage more films, since they now have an Oscar of their own to shoot for. This presented a problem, too: with animation in its own category, there is an implication that an animated film will never be considered for plain old "Best Picture". This trend was reversed thanks to PixarUp and Toy Story 3 got nominated for Best Picture in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Now we can get to the big companies in the field. For starters, there's Pixar; while the studio's roots are planted deeply in The Renaissance Age of Animation, it still flourishes and finds success to this day, thanks to a solid track record in regards to the quality of their films. Dreamworks Animation (the spiritual successor to Steven Spielberg's earlier animation studio, Amblimation) began making its own waves with great films once it found its footing, first in partnership with Aardman Animations (with features like Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit), and then with its acclaimed computer animated films (the Shrek series, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon). There are also the efforts of production studios like Blue Sky (for 20th Century Fox) and their Ice Age series, Warner Brothers' Happy Feet, Sony's Open Season, and Universal/Illumination's Despicable Me. Even ILM got in on the action with its debut film, Rango, a film so successful that distributor Paramount has decided to get into the animation game with their own department 40+ years after they fired Ralph Bakshi in closing their old one in 1967. (Incidentally, Avatar isn't listed here becausedespite the fact that the bulk of it involves a handful of live-action actors in a CGI settingit is generally considered a live-action film.) On the Direct-to-Video market, the fans of the now-deceased DC Animated Universe franchise found a new source of sophisticated Super Hero animation with the DC Universe Original Animated Moviesand, to a lesser extent, the Marvel Universe videos. All of these films were explicitly produced for the formerly Periphery Demographic of teens and adults. Of course, even though the actual animation in most TV cartoons of this era is not that sophisticated, this doesn't prevent a good chunk of them from being saved by clever writing. In fact, action cartoons have arguably reached an even higher standard than what was common during the '90s. Avatar: The Last Airbender also started a growing trend of high-budget (read: an unheard of one-million-dollars per episode!) animated action series for TV, proving that great animation most certainly isn't gone from TV altogether. The influence of anime on American shows is largely the reason for the rise of Cinematic/Epic Animation Television such as the aforementioned Avatar: The Last Airbender which may be a Trope Codifier in this regard (earlier examples of American action cartoons with a cinematic and/or epic feel are the shows set in the DCAU). Further examples of shows of this type include Star Wars: Clone Wars (the Tartakovsky cartoon), Star Wars: The Clone Wars (the Lucas CG show), Samurai Jack, The Spectacular Spider Man, The Batman, Symbionic Titan and Young Justice, a number of them becoming smash successes in their own right. ATLA stands as the most successful of the group, but the trend is growing, andas of the writing of this updateYoung Justice may just supplant it as "most awesome western epic animation EVAR" (that is, unless The Last Airbender: The Legend of Korra is even better than the first). On an entirely different tack, the latest incarnation of the girl toy-based franchise My Little Pony did the impossible and crossed the seemingly insurmountable demographic chasm to teen and adult males with producer Lauren Faust's sophisticated cult TV series sensation, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. European traditional animation, meanwhile, has made a comeback with the development of several new studios and directors who have produced critically acclaimed films, including The Secret of Kells and The Triplets of Belleville. These films tend to address serious or artistic subjects in an avant-garde style (influenced by John Hubley and lost animated classics such as The Thief and the Cobbler) while still going out of their way to appeal to families with small children. Hayao Miyazaki and his colleagues have carried the torch for traditional, movie-plotted, fully-animated films in Japan, returning to hand-drawn films which Disney (and especially John Lasseter, a Ghibli fanboy) has taken it on to promote in the US, with mixed results. The result has been a series of art films that didn't do well in the US, but were critically acclaimed enough to grow their studios. The challenge, of course, will be to determine how long the backers of such films insist on making art films restricted to families with children. Adult animation found a new home on Cartoon Network's nighttime block, Adult Swim, which turned out to be responsible for Family Guy and Futurama both getting Un Cancelled. After the fall of Toonami, Adult Swim began airing adult-oriented anime as well, while 4Kids still aired watered-down dubs of anime on Saturday mornings for the kiddies. Anime continues to be popular among teens and young adults, although the effects of the Animation Age Ghetto polarize it just as it does Western Animation, with an extra spoonful of All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles. Meanwhile, adult Western Animation tends to rely a bit much on pop culture references and Dead Baby Humor, but at least the Animation Age Ghetto is gradually weakening. On the Internet, a huge amount of Flash animation (most of which can be viewed for free) has arisen in various genres, with fewer restrictions on creativity than commercial releases. Leading the way here is the popularity of the Flash site Newgrounds. While the early 2000s saw a rise of ultraviolence genre series like Madness Combat and Happy Tree Friends, more sophisticated series also appeared as time went on. SERIES/FILMS THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS ERA:

Adventure Time: One of Cartoon Network's better animated shows. (2010)

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Receiving a new incarnation in seemingly every era of animation since their creation, now they're back as computer animated characters in a live-action settingand word has it that because of this movie's success, Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear, Wacky Races, and other Hanna-Barbera characters will soon be getting similar treatments (to the dismay of many).
The Amazing World of Gumball (2011)


is still the same.)

Aqua Teen Hunger Force (2001 - present, currently (as of 2011) airing under the title of Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 01, but the premise Astro Boy (2009 American CG film) Avatar The Last Airbender: Able to attract multiple demographics, as well as its intended one. The Backyardigans (2004) The Batman (2004)

Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Re-invigorated the Silver Age essence of Batman and introduced this generation to more obscure DC characters (Blue Beetle, The Metal Men, Crazy Quilt, etc). It found success despite debuting not too long after The Dark Knight. o o
episodes. Beached Az (2009) Ben 10 (2005) Ben 10: Alien Force (2008) Ben 10: Ultimate Alien (2010) Beowulf Big Buck Bunny (2008) The Boondocks (2005) Brandy & Mr. Whiskers (2004) Bubble Guppies (2011) Camp Lazlo (2005) Chowder (2007) Clone High. (2002-2003) Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island: A shameless knockoff of SpongeBob SquarePants, made by Warner Bros.. Only lasted for 13 Code Lyoko (2003) Codename: Kids Next Door (2002) Coraline (2009) Da Boom Crew (2004) Dan Vs. (2011) Danny Phantom (2004) Despicable Me (2010) Disney Animated Canon: Dinosaur (2000) The Emperor's New Groove (2000) Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) Lilo and Stitch (2002): The only animated film in Disney's Dork Age to be a hit. It got several sequels, a TV series, and even Treasure Planet (2002) Brother Bear (2003) Home on the Range (2004)

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an anime.

Chicken Little (2005): Disney began experimenting with CG with this film, amidst pressures stemming from Pixar threatening to part ways with them and competition from Dreamworks. This film in particular is often criticized for imitating the pop-culture-heavy humor in Shrek, and is often considered to be the Canon's worst film.

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Meet the Robinsons (2007) Bolt (2008)

The Princess and the Frog (2009): Disney's return to hand-drawn features. Also the first time Disney has a black princess and a prince who Really Gets Around. Tangled (2010) Winnie the Pooh (2011)

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Wreck It Ralph (2012) Disney's Tinker Bell and its sequels. Dora the Explorer Drawn Together (2004) Duck Dodgers (2003) DreamWorks Animations' films: The Road to El Dorado (2000) Shrek (2001) Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003) Shrek 2 (2004) Shark Tale (2004) Madagascar (2005) Over the Hedge (2006) Flushed Away (2006) Shrek the Third (2007) Bee Movie (2007) Kung Fu Panda (2008) Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) How to Train Your Dragon (2010) Shrek Forever After (2010) Megamind (2010) Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) Duck Dodgers (2003)

Enchanted: This movie had traditional animation only at the beginning and a few more times throughout; the rest was CG/live action hybrid. A Shout-Out andAffectionate Parody of classic Disney.
Elephants Dream The Fairly OddParents (2001)

Family Guy (1999, though it was canceled twice [once in 2000 and again after the show's third season in 2002. Due to high ratings on Cartoon Network, high DVD sales, and FOX dropping all of their replacement live-action shows left and right, the show finally came back in 2005 and has completed its ninth season)
Fanboy and Chum Chum (2009) Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes (2006)

Father of the Pride: The first totally-CG theatre-quality rendered network sitcom, this DreamWorks effort starred John Goodman and Carl Reiner as White Lions in Seigfred and Roy's Las Vegas act.
Felix the Cat Saves Christmas Fish Hooks (2010) Foot 2 Rue Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends

Futurama (1999; much like Family Guy, FOX dumped this show after screwing with its timeslot and gained a cult following that led to its revival onlyFuturama now has new life on cable TV. It found a temporary home on Cartoon Network until 2007, when it lost the rights to Comedy Central, which now airs not only the original series, but also the made-for-DVD movies and new episodes)
Get Ed G.I. Joe: Renegades (2010) The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy (2003) Growing Up Creepie (2006) Happiness Is A Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown (2011) Happy Feet (2006)

Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi (2004) Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law: A parody of cartoons from The Dark Age of Animation. (2000) Hoodwinked (2005) Horton Hears a Who! (the Blue Sky film), (2008)

House Of Mouse: A much-loved Massive Multi Player Crossover about Mickey Mouse owning a club for Disney characters only and showing animated shorts.
Ice Age (2002) Invader Zim: Too Good to Last, (2001) Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks (2003) Johnny Test (2005) Kappa Mikey (2006) Kim Possible (2002)

The Lion King 1: A midquel reinterpreting the original movie from the viewpoint of Timon and Pumbaa, this is another of Disney's more successful direct to video sequels, as it doesn't go by their standard rules of storytelling. o o o
Unleashed. Looney Tunes: Many things related to it are listed below: Looney Tunes In The Seventies And Onward

Loonatics Unleashed: While Tom and Jerry got a fairly nice revival with Tom and Jerry Tales, Looney Tunes saw Looney Tunes: Back in Action flop at the box office and consequently got this. Looney Tunes would get the short end of the stick again with Baby Looney Tunes, which may even be worse than Loonatics Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) The Looney Tunes Show (2011): Warner's latest attempt to revamp the Looney Tunes franchise, which so far has been fairly well-

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received.

Mad (2010): an animated sketch show based off MAD Magazine and may or may not be the revamped cable version of MADtv (a live-action sketch show on FOX that was canceled in 2009 due to low ratings, budget restrictions, and Seasonal Rot. Unlike MAD, MADtv was only tenuously related to MAD Magazine).
The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack (2008) Mucha Lucha (2002)

My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic (2010): This show came from out of nowhere to rejuvenate a franchise largely seen as a joke; it was pitched as an attempt to elevate cartoons primarily pitched at girls to the same quality and critical success as those for boys (at which the show has admirably succeeded).
Oggy and the Cockroaches (1999) The Penguins of Madagascar, the first Nicktoon from DreamWorks.

Phineas and Ferb: Notable for its Periphery Demographic (many parents and teenagers admit to enjoying the show, despite the show being marketed mainly to 8-12 year olds) due to its insanely clever writing, musical content, and engaging characterization. o o o o o o o o o
Pixar's films: Monsters, Inc. (2001) Finding Nemo (2003) The Incredibles (2004) Cars (2006) Ratatouille (2007) Wall-E (2008) Up (2009): In 2010, this movie became the second animated movie ever to be nominated for Best Picture. Toy Story 3 (2010): Currently the highest-grossing animated film of all time. Brave (2012) Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea saw a US release in August of 2009, though it performed well under expectations. The Problem Solverz (2011) Rango (2011)

Regular Show (2010): One of Cartoon Network's 15-minute animated series that airs on Monday nights (along with Adventure Time, MAD, Problem Solverz, and The Amazing World of Gumball). Based on J.G. Quintel's "2 in the AM PM" and "The Naive Man From Lolliland," this show (like many ofCartoon Network's past oeuvres) is What Do You Mean, It's for Kids? incarnate. Robotomy (2010): Cartoon Network's shortest-lived cartoon series ever (and one of the only current shows it had that used traditional cel animation). It only lasted ten episodes (it would have been 12, but two episodes were never finished), and was canceled due to high production costs and lack of appeal in foreign markets. The show is also the very definition of Keep Circulating the Tapes (though a lot of episodes are available on iTunes): after the final episode ("From Wretchnya With Love") aired, Cartoon Network never reran the show and a week later, deleted all evidence that the show existed from their website.Seems like they were ashamed of it...
Robots (2005) Ruby Gloom (2006)

Samurai Jack: A remarkably mature animated series shown on Cartoon Network. An action show with incredibly deep, profound undertones and severalSilence Is Golden moments. (2001)
Scaredy Squirrel

Scooby Doo, like Alvin, continues to be adapted into a slew of new shows and DVD specialsas well as two particular movies no one likes to mention.There was "What's New, Scooby-Doo?", which brought the original team back and updated the stories for the times, and then "Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get A Clue!" "Scooby-Doo! Mystery Inc." is currently airing, which takes a darker, more action-oriented, and slightly dramatic spin on the show. Cartoon Network also produced a series of original, live-action TV movies about slightly younger versions of the characters. The Secret of the Magic Gourd: A CG and live action hybrid. Co-produced by Disney and China Movie Co Ltd and marketed towards mainland China.
TV show. The Simpsons Movie: One of the only hand-drawn films in this era to be successful, and the most profitable movie to be based on a

o It should be noted that a feature-length Simpsons movie has been in the works since the Renaissance Age Of Animation (and the Golden Age of The Simpsons). Originally, the season four episode "Kamp Krusty" was slated to be The Simpsons Movie, but the writers had no idea how to stretch the plot into 90 minutes, let alone 30 (or 22 minus commercials). They tried again with the season 17 episode "Bonfire of the Manatees" (where Marge falls for a marine biologist after Homer's latest blunder that jeopardizes his marriage to Marge this time, he gives the local Mafia permission to film a porno movie in their house to pay off gambling debts), but that was scrapped. o
Spirited Away: The only hand-drawn animated film to receive an Oscar for Best Animated Film. (2001) ...by a Japanese guy! Spliced: a Canadian George Lucas Throwback of '90s Cartoons that is probably Too Good to Last (2009) SpongeBob SquarePants: This is arguably the most popular show of this era. (1999) Stanley (2001) Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003) Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) Super Duper Sumos Super Jail (2007) Symbionic Titan (2010) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The updated adaptation in 2003 and the completely CG movie in 2007. Teen Titans (2003) Teen Titans: Trouble In Tokyo (2006) The Buzz On Maggie (2005) Thomas Timberwolf: A short-lived 13 episode flash series, the very last work directed by Chuck Jones.

Titan A.E. (2000): Don Bluth's final film, unless he ever gets around to making that Dragon's Lair movie. Its box office failure led to the closure of Fox's animation studio. Tom And Jerry Tales: An interesting Shout-Out to the original Tom and Jerry shorts (something rare for this era), the series ran from 2006 to 2008, being cancelled when 4Kids took over Kids' WB!. Another good cartoon that never had a chance on American TV. o There have also been quite a few Tom and Jerry Direct-to-Video films in the past decade, all of which seem to have been far more well received than their first film in the 1990s. Total Drama Island: Cartoon Network's saving grace of the later half of the first decade (2006), resulting in more Canadian-made sitcom teen shows, including 6teen (2004), Stoked (2009), and Sidekicks (2011).
Totally Spies!! (2001) Transformers Animated (2007) Transformers Prime (2010)

The Triplets of Belleville (2003) Trollz (2005) Ugly Americans: Comedy Central's latest South Park-esque Follow the Leader. (2010) The Venture Bros.: A wildly popular Adult Swim-distributed tribute to '70s Hanna-Barbera action shows like Johnny Quest. (2003)

Wakfu (2008): From the French studio Ankama, and one of the culminating points of Flash art maturing into a legitimate tool for animation rather than a plague.
The Wild: A Disney-distributed film from Canada. (2006) Zevo-3 (2010)

REAL LIFE PEOPLE WHO ARE ASSOCIATED/ARE DIRECTLY INVOLVED WITH THIS ERA:

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Notable Disney Regulars (writers, directors, composers and songwriters for Disney films): Bob Iger Mark Dindal and Randy Fullmer (The Emperor's New Groove, Chicken Little) Stephen Anderson and Don Hall (Meet the Robinsons, Winnie the Pooh) Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch, How to Train Your Dragon) Glen Keane - animator, producer (Tangled) Mark Henn - animator (The Princess and the Frog, Winnie the Pooh) Eric Goldberg - animator, director (Pocohontas) Notable Pixar Regulars (writers, directors, composers and songwriters of Pixar films): John Lasseter (Cars, Toy Story 3) Lee Unkrich (Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3) Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc., WALLE, Up) Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E, Toy Story 3) Joe Ranft (Monsters, Inc., Cars) Michael Giacchino (The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up) Randy Newman (Monsters, Inc., Cars, Toy Story 3) Thomas Newman (Finding Nemo, WALL-E) Seth MacFarlane Jeffrey Katzenberg Emily Hamshire Henry Selick - director (Coraline) Chris Wedge and Carlos Sandahla - directors (Blue Sky) Chris Meledandri - executive producer (20th Century Fox, Illumination Entertainment} Tress MacNeille

Genndy Tartakovsky: Artist and creative director largely responsible for The Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Dexter's Laboratory, and the original launch ofStar Wars: Clone Wars (among others). He faded into obscurity with personal projects about 2005, but resurfaced in 2010 with Symbionic Titan. Is currently helming his own studio.
Spike Brandt: Animator at Warner Bros. who has directed much of the studio's output in recent years.

Greg Weisman: The man behind Gargoyles has written for many recent animated titles seen above, such as The Batman, and has been heavily involved with The Spectacular Spider Man and Young Justice. William Joyce: Children's book writer and illustrator whose stories were adapted by many studios (Meet the Robinsons and Rolie Polie Olie for Disney,Robots for Blue Sky).
Peter De Seve: Illustrator and character designer (all of Blue Sky's films, A Bug's Life, HOP).

Lauren Faust: The wife of Craig McCracken (creator of The Powerpuff Girls and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, who left Cartoon Network in 2009 thanks to CN Real) and the developer of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

Jeff Kline: Veteran animation producer, responsible for shows like Big Guy And Rusty The Boy Robot, Jackie Chan Adventures, and Godzilla The Series. Seemed to have vanished for a while throughout the mid-to-late 2000's, but re-emerged in 2010 to produce G.I. Joe: Renegades and Transformers Prime, core series in The Hub's action block.

TROPES THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS ERA:

3-D Movie Adobe Flash All Animation Is Disney: Or, to update this trope to the 21st Century, All Computer Animation Is Pixar/DreamWorks Animation. All CGI Cartoon: Chronic.

Animated Adaptation: Actually is being seen less, though The Mummy and Jackie Chan randomly received animated shows, among a few others. Plus there was Star Wars: Clone Wars. Animation Age Ghetto: Grew in strength during this era, though it was also accompanied by an increase of Dead Baby Comedy cartoon shows, such as Family Guy and any non-anime on Adult Swim. So cartoons are generally viewed as either one extreme or the other, if they're seen as anything but for children only.
Animesque Arch-Competitor: Pixar and Dreamworks Animation

Dance Party Ending: A favorite ending to lot of animated movies (Shrek is a big example... and is probably the Trope Codifier) end with everyone dancing to old music kids have never heard before.
Direct-to-Video: Had to release those Disney and The Land Before Time sequels somehow.

Dreamworks Face: Phenomenon that changed how animated films are marketed. Characters who never sport a Fascinating Eyebrow in the movie will do so on movie posters to make the movie seem more edgy and comedic. George Lucas Throwback: Disney appears to over-use this trope in their recent films, especially after returning to 2D. The Princess and the Frog was meant to be a throwback to the Disney films of The Renaissance Age of Animation, Tangled is supposed to be yet another princess film as a throwback to their 90's musicals, and Winnie the Pooh is taken directly off of the 60's film. Even though we aren't very far removed from the Renaissance period, there's already enough nostalgia for it for there to have been a throwback. Human Focused Adaptation: Just about every old cartoon character given their own movie has this: Alvin and the Chipmunks, Smurfs, Transformers, and so forth. Ink Suit Actor: Already existed for traditional animation, but this became far more feasible (and common) among CGI films as technology progressed.
some. Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Disney did this a lot. Live-Action Adaptation: Or more increasingly, live action/CG adaptations. The Movie: Continues to be strong from the Renaissance era. Network Decay Parental Bonus: Even though most of the time this trope is a good thing, in a lot of movies it's amped up to an obnoxious level for

Serkis Folk: The line between live-action and animation has become increasingly blurred. Computer-generated characters appear in movies of all genres. Sequelitis: This trope owned the past decade. Pixar avoided it at first, but since 1999 we've seen Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, and Cars 2. Future plans include a prequel to Monsters, Inc. and Planes, a direct-to-video spinoff of Cars. o Of course, Toy Stories 2 and 3 managed to avert Sequelitis, and are considered by many to be Even Better Sequels. ESPECIALLY Toy Story 3. o
Dreamworks' Sequelitis has mostly been contained to Shrek. Thick Line Animation: Nowadays if a cartoon isn't Animesque, it's this.

Toilet Humor: Yes, the Renaissance age would sometimes also have it (Ren and Stimpy and Pumbaa from The Lion King readily come to mind), but really, farting ogres and chipmunks eating poo and calling it raisins? Even Pixar isn't always immune, though DreamWorks movies are by far the worse offenders.
that exists. Vanilla Edition: If an animated movie from the Renaissance age was NOT Disney, chances are the Vanilla Edition is the only one