Boys Matter Too — Portrayals in Cartoons

Boys Matter Too — Portrayals in Cartoons

Blog, Cartoons, Critical Discussions, Featured Posts
Female portrayals are improving immensely within the arena of modern-day cartoons. Alongside the increase of women showrunners, writers, and storyboard artists within the animation industry, many female characters are being placed in the roles of leaders, fighters, and influential advocates. A few examples include: Star Butterfly of Star Vs. the Forces of Evil, Marinette Dupain-Cheng of Miraculous Ladybug, many of the Crystal Gems in Steven Universe, and essentially all of the central female characters in the Avatar franchise.   Previous articles including: Star Vs. the Force of Evil: Subtle Feminism Top 10 Female Characters in Animated Television DC Superhero Girls: Capitalizing on Female Empowerment Where are the Girl-Crazed Boys in Animation Is Japanese Anime Misogynistic? discuss both the issues of, and improvements being made in, female portrayals within animated works; however, many of these articles…
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Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters — Deep Dive Review

Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters — Deep Dive Review

Blog, Cartoons, Deep Dive
The Deep Dive segment of Animation Discourse is meant to explore popular cartoons, anime, and animated film to ultimately determine what makes for excellent animated works.   Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters is a Netflix Original series produced in part by Hasbro Studios. It was released in October of 2017, and has received mixed, but positive-skewed, reviews since.   As mentioned in a previous article: "Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters is reminiscent of a combination of both Spectacular Spiderman and Ben 10: Alien Force. The series is actually produced and directed by Victor Cook who worked on the former project, and it definitely shows in both its art style and dialogue points."   In the present-day animation market, which uses Marvel’s Spiderman as its keystone superhero series, Stretch Armstrong offers…
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Miraculous Ladybug — What Season 2 is Doing Right

Miraculous Ladybug — What Season 2 is Doing Right

Blog, Cartoons, Reviews
Miraculous Ladybug is one of the most popular Americanized cartoon series that is presently being broadcasted on an international scale. It features the kindhearted and clumsy Marinette Dupain-Cheng as she transforms into her crime-fighting superhero alter ego, Ladybug. She works alongside her partner Cat Noir—who, unbeknownst to her, is also her classmate and crush Adrien Agreste—to track down and defeat the dark magic that is plaguing Paris.   A/N: The use of the term "Americanized" refers to how the series targets and complies with U.S. styles of storytelling and marketing, not a description of where the series originated, as Miraculous Ladybug was created via a collaboration between French and Korean production companies.    The premise of Miraculous Ladybug follows the format of a typical Japanese "magical girl" anime, being a known genre to anyone…
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Mysticons Revisited: Updated Review 2018

Mysticons Revisited: Updated Review 2018

Blog, Cartoons, Hidden Gems, Reviews
Back in August 2017, I published a first-impression review of the Canadian animated series Mysticons. At the time, I had some critiques that still stand to this day; however, I have come to realize that I vastly underestimated the quality and potential of the series.   Synopsis: Produced by Nelvana and Corus Entertainment—two Canadian production companies specializing in children’s programming, specifically animation—has created a series that could potentially become a hit in this day and age online cartoon fandoms. The show surrounds a group of four teenagers, Arkayna, Piper, Emerald, and Zarya, who are brought together through a acquisition quest of the “Dragon disk”, an ancient artifact that is held in the royal ranks of Drake City. This artifact has caught the eye of evil perpetrators who would like to…
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Kyoko Mogami, Skip Beat — Female Representation in Anime & Manga

Kyoko Mogami, Skip Beat — Female Representation in Anime & Manga

Anime, Blog, Reviews
Skip Beat is an amazing manga and anime series that has stolen many readers' and viewers' hearts alike. The story centers 16-year-old Kyoko Mogami, who drops her entire life in Kyoto to shadow her childhood friend and lifelong crush, Sho Fuwa, in his pursuit of becoming famous Japanese vocalist. In being consumed by love, of the unrequited variety, Kyoko works 3 jobs just to pay for her and Sho's living expenses; however, it doesn't take long before she discovers that Sho doesn't have the slightest romantic inclination towards her, and instead treats Kyoko as his personal gopher.   Skip Beat, whether taking on its anime or manga form, has everything anyone could ask for; from humor to drama, to even a sprinkle of romance, Skip Beat incorporates multiple genres while maintaining seamless switches…
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Selling Out?: Hasbro’s Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters

Selling Out?: Hasbro’s Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters

Blog, Cartoons, Reviews
From My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (2010 – present)  to Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015 – 2017)  Hasbro Studios has been behind the production of a wide variety of animated television and web series. As one of the largest toy-manufacturing companies in the world, it’s no surprise that the creation of its sudio’s series are directly tied to merchandising.   Hasbro is not the first production company that uses merchandising as a way to justify the hefty financial investment that corresponds with animation. In fact, Disney has used this business strategy for decades in order to increase its project’s revenues outside of the big and small screen. The difference between Disney’s production however, is that storytelling is of upmost priority, while toy sales only follow. On the other hand,…
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Existentialism in Cartoons: Bojack Horseman and Rick & Morty

Existentialism in Cartoons: Bojack Horseman and Rick & Morty

Blog, Cartoons, Critical Discussions, Featured Posts
To the average person, cartoons are viewed as a form of stress-free entertainment targeted at children. This category of television is rarely expected to dive deep into philosophical concepts centering reality as we currently know it. And it is most definitely not synonymous to an immersive vehicle that evokes thought-including questions about life, death, and existence as a whole. However, the series Rick and Morty and Bojack Horseman have truly altered the way in which many people view television animation, in that they have introduced an abundance of blunt self-awareness which centers many plot points and character qualities within the two programs.   More importantly, these elaborate series have showcased the fact that animation as a genre can have a relatable layer of existential complexity within its storytelling.   Existentialism is the philosophical thought that "existence…
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Mysticons: New Series, Great Potential?

Mysticons: New Series, Great Potential?

Blog, Cartoons, Reviews
As of August 2017, Nickelodeon has added a brand new animated series to to its roster of hosted content. Mysticons emerged quietly into the television scene without much of a heads up, but has been gaining plenty of online attention as of late. Produced by Nelvana and Corus Entertainment—two Canadian production companies specializing in children's programming, specifically animation—has created a series that could potentially become a hit in this day and age online cartoon fandoms. The show surrounds a group of four teenagers, Arkayna, Piper, Emerald, and Zarya, who are brought together through a acquisition quest of the "Dragon disk", an ancient artifact that is held in the royal ranks of Drake City. This artifact has caught the eye of evil perpetrators who would like to use it's power to revive…
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Cartoon Network’s Scheduling Woes

Cartoon Network’s Scheduling Woes

Blog, Cartoons, Uncategorized
Recently, the "Big Three" animation television networks—Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Disney XD—have been relentlessly targeted for their less-than-favorable program scheduling. Cartoon Network specifically has been receiving quite a bit of cyberspace hate from grieving animation fanatics for months on end. Cartoon Network is being accused of selling-out creatively, for profit—two elements that are, by nature, polarizing. But ever since the release of Teen Titans GO! the checkerbox network has been coming under relentless fire.   Let's take a look at this week's schedule. Out of all of the series that Cartoon Network currently airs, 46% (164 episodes) during the second week of August was occupied by Teen Titans GO! reruns. Now anyone who has seen a video of why Teen Titans GO! is an absolute disgrace is aware of the complaints plaguing the series and…
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OK K.O.! Let’s be Heroes: Surprisingly Endearing

OK K.O.! Let’s be Heroes: Surprisingly Endearing

Blog, Cartoons, Reviews
In 2013, the pilot for OK K.O.! Let's be Heroes was created and released through Cartoon Network's Summer Shorts program. Despite its positive reception, the now hugely popular series Steven Universe was, unregrettfully, chosen from the pack instead. However, 4 years later, OK K.O.! finally earned its long-awaited chance to shine. On August 1st, 2017, Cartoon Network released four 11-minute episodes followed by multiple more during the days following, granting the series its starting momentum to reach potential heights. Ever since this K.O.! bomb, the series has been receiving plenty of hype throughout various online platforms and is starting off with a 8.4/10 rating on IMDB.   OK K.O.! is an episodic series told from the perspective of Ko—a young boy who tags along with his mother to work at the Lakewood Plaza Strip Mall. While his…
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