This week was a sudden blaze of animation and cartoon related news both good, bad, and the ugly which all together have sent bloggers of animation and cartoon fans into a frenzy.
First the good: Cartoon Network has finally after a years of whispers, rumors, and a small confirmation from Genndy Tartakovsky (though he was not involved) have announced a new Powerpuff Girls special! Bringing back everyone’s favorite superhero kindergarteners, the original voice actors are also back for the ride along with with a brand new look and a special guest Ringo Starr. The special is being produced by Cartoon Network Studios in association with UK’s Passion Pictures (the studio responsible for the band Gorillaz’s music videos) so you know it is going to be amazing.
While the special will be in CGI, the officially released concept art shows a retro 60’s era cut paper children’s book or advertising Mary Blair-like illustration style omitting their formerly signature black thick lines. Most notably their hair has been given a stylized makeover with more realistic detail and lines and subdued colors in the case of Bubbles and Blossom and fun new bangs and part for Buttercup. The consensus on blogs is that people either love the new look; or hate it. Which I really don’t understand much because the involvement of UK’s Passion Pictures means the vectorized flat cut paper look will probably be what the short looks like; CGI doesn’t always mean 3D. The last two seasons of the show were done in CGI.Plus, there are going to be MORE Powerpuff Girls. How can you say no to more PPG? How many times have they redone Scooby Doo after every few years with brand new production and animation teams and you “90s and 00’s kids” never scream foul. You don’t see our parents who watched them in the 60’s and 70’s complaining. I’m twenty-three, I remember the original pilot for PPG when it was just a cartoon short. And you don’t see me screaming “You’re killing my childhood!” and I loved them quite a lot. Would you like a medal or something? This screams good design. Why not turn PPG into an everlasting franchise that can be reinterpreted every few years? I’d be up for it!
I really don’t understand this particular uproar and I hope everyone is blown away by the special, which if we’re lucky may or may not spin-off a new series (maybe if popular, just my own thought).
And now the bad:Cartoon Network has similarly announced the cancellation of DC Nation fan favorite Saturday Morning cartoons Green Lantern The Animated Series and Young Justice. Whether it’s the lack of sales of merchandise or less than stellar viewership, the shows are routinely voted as some of the highest rated on Cartoon Network’s current roster outside of Regular Show and Adventure Time which has caused many to cry foul over the network’s decision. Both series were constantly put under long running hiatuses since their launch, pretty much ensuring their failure or lack of interest. The revival of Teen Titans as the purely comedy series Teen Titans Go! and the new gritty CG Batman cartoon Beware The Batman are poised to take their place in the Saturday morning line-up.
Young Justice known for it’s new canon take on younger main hero sidekicks and their relationships was affected by the hiatuses the most; it was on hiatus more than it was allowed to air episodes. Many fans of both shows have started now to band together in acts of solidarity between the two to petition and help save the shows by boosting viewership and letting Cartoon Network know their unhappiness over the decision to axe the shows. Whether this will cause a change or not has yet to be seen but the hope is there. I urge anyone who is a fan to support the cause and seek out what to do from others in the fandom. I am not a viewer of either series, but I feel for those that do. Young Justice marked the first official appearence of DC’s favorite “toxic” superhero and Tim Drake’s girlfriend Stephanie Brown in an animated series outside of an unnamed blonde homage to her as Tim’s wife in Batman Beyond. As a fan of her and Cassandra Cain, I know the pain of having your favorite things being mistreated and abused by editorial decisions. So please keep up with your fight!
And now the ugly:
Supposed leaked character designs via posters for Disney’s upcoming 3D CGI “adaptation” of The Snow Queen, aka Frozen featuring Princess Anna and her sister The Snow Queen Elsa were posted online also earlier this week. The reception, however, was not too kind. Anna, already criticized for her Glen Keane and Rapunzel-like appearance in the officially released concept art looked particularly Rapunzel-like as did the Snow Queen, her sister. Fans, already touchy over the huge amount of changes to the Snow Queen‘s original plot-line (only the actual Queen remains, everything else has been changed) went to their blogs in an outrage over the designs and overall blandness. However it was brought to everyone’s attention that the posters were released by Cine1, a website that makes faux posters and artwork for counterfeit DVD’s. Thus the artwork and the shoddy quality of the designs were thus probably fake or doctored in some manner. However the soft facial characteristic if Anna’s voice actress Kristen Bell somewhat visible in the face of Anna, and the detail in their costumes has me wondering if the designs were partially leaked; the backgrounds and the like were fake, but the designs weren’t. Disney had made an official complaint and the site has since taken down the posters but they have since been passed along on the internet. For the sake of avoiding a complaint from Disney I will not be posting those pictures, BUT I will post a picture of the character that will be the “comic relief” character in the film and is confirmed official, Olaf the snowman:
Yes let’s leave it at that shall we?
Staff Writer/The Doctor