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Animation Monday: The Uproar Over ThunderCats Roar

Last week, Warner Bros. Animation announced a new series based on the classic animated series “ThunderCats” that would premiere in 2019 on Cartoon Network.  The show is called “ThunderCats Roar”, and when the art style and video previews came out, many people called it out and criticized it.  As you can see below, the art style is like what you see on Teen Titans Go, which many people love to hate as well.

And in a video from Warner Bros. Animation where they show off a few scenes and interview people who are working on the show, it’s mostly disliked with a ton of critical comments.

And I can understand what people are saying about this new animated series.  The artwork looks very cheap, and extremely childish.  One reason why many people do not like Teen Titans Go is because of the art style, and the writing. ThunderCats has had two past series.  The original series back in the 1980’s was amazing to watch.  The reboot in 2011 was amazing as well, but hardly anyone watched it, and merchandise sales was flat, the two reasons why the reboot was canceled.

But, if you are one of the many people criticizing this new cartoon series, I have something to say, get used to it.  There is a reason why Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, and Nickelodeon mostly make animated series that are comedic.  For starters, it gets the highest ratings. The networks have tried to do animated series that include more action and drama.  A few have succeeded like Gravity Falls for example, but most didn’t last.  These days, the animated shows that are mostly comedic get the most people watching.

And I know that’s something animation fans don’t want to hear.  But that’s how the kids networks are surviving.  Comedic animated shows get the most people sitting on their butts and watching in front of their TV screens, they get the highest merchandise sales, and get a lot of people talking about the shows online.  It’s the world we live in now, and with more people cutting the cord from cable TV, the kids networks will be doing more things like this to survive.  So then you are asking, if I love action animation, where do I go?

The answer is streaming online.  Netflix has a couple of great action animated series like Voltron Legendary Defender.  Other sites like VRV, Cartoon Hangover, Funimation and CrunchyRoll have amazing great animated content.  Basically, if you love cartoons and animation, you pretty much have to move onto an online streaming format.  Sure, there are a few great cartoons on TV right now, shows like the Ducktales reboot and My Little Pony: FIM are amazing to watch.  But for the kids networks to survive, they have to put out cartoons that appeals to the biggest audience that gets smaller and smaller over time.

And currently, the cartoons on TV that mostly appeal to the widest and shrinking audience, are cartoons that are comedic in nature.  This is why Cartoon Network will sometimes air Teen Titans Go for hours on straight.  It sucks, I don’t like it, but we better get used to it.  I am sure when ThunderCats Roar comes out in 2019, Cartoon Network will air the show for hours on end.  I wish Cartoon Network would invest in better action animated programs.  But that’s not where the money is at right now.  Lauren Faust even suggested that kids today who want action will play games online instead.

Remember, cartoons is not just about ratings on TV, it’s also about merchandise sales.  Kids these days are going to better remember the cartoons they see on TV that made them laugh and smile.  Kids are likely not going to remember cartoons they see on TV that involve action or drama.  Of course, I wish it wasn’t like that, but thank the Lord we can stream cartoons online these days.  Because many new animated series will premiere online only.  Get used to it.

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