My Animated Obsession

My Animated Obsession

Blog, Uncategorized
  Animation is everything.   Okay, not entirely, but it definitely means a lot to me and a ton of other people. But what is it exactly about animation that makes it so appealing?   Well, the animation production process literally consists of creating something out of nothing. Creators are only bounded by their imagination, rather than laws of physics or any form of common sense frequently involved in live-action works. The amount of coordination and creativity that this takes is unprecedented. Characters and settings can be dreamt up in any way possible. Just look at the designs of Phineas and Ferb's  protagonists or Star vs. the Forces of Evil's various dimensions.   Rules don't exist.   A character can literally fall off of  cliff that's at least 50 meters high, stand right back up, and it…
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Equestria Girls: Understanding the “My Little Pony” Hype

Equestria Girls: Understanding the “My Little Pony” Hype

Blog, Cartoons, Reviews
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has gained an insane amount of popularity since its release in 2010. With a shocking 143 half-hour episodes (and another 26 scheduled to air starting on April 15th), it's success is among the top in modern-day animation. The My Little Pony franchise began with a toy line in 1981, but expanded into the world of television in 1992. Its target audience has always been young girls; however, the Friendship is Magic series has seemingly opened up brand-new doors in reaching audiences of all genders and ages.   The most interesting element associated with the 2010 reboot, especially to an outsider of the fanbase, are the fandom participants known as "bronies". Urban Dictionary defines this category of fans as: "A name typically given to the male viewers/fans (whether they are…
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Sym-bionic Titan: Why Merchandising and Quality Animation Don’t Mix

Sym-bionic Titan: Why Merchandising and Quality Animation Don’t Mix

Blog, Cartoons, Critical Discussions
Sym-bionic Titan is an American animated series that was unfortunately cancelled before it even had a chance to establish itself. Created by the legendary Genndy Tartakovsky, who is also responsible for the creation and production of Dexter's Laboratory  and Samurai Jack, Sym-bionic Titan was extremely promising. But because it only lived through a short 20-episode run, it wasn't able to establish a strong enough fan base to successfully protest against its cancellation.   The series centers a princess (Ilana) and her two guardians (Lance and Octus) who witness the hostile takeover of their home planet, so flee to Earth for the sake of keeping Ilana's safe. Because they are being hunted by antagonists from their home planet, they decide to hide in plain sight by posing as a human family. What drives the series' premise is that the protagonists are…
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Star & Marco’s Guide to Mastering Every Dimension: Animation & Book Publishing

Star & Marco’s Guide to Mastering Every Dimension: Animation & Book Publishing

Blog, Critical Discussions, Reviews
Book publishing appears to be moving in an upwards trend in relation to animated television. In selling merchandise, but doing so in a "sophisticated" way, book publishing seems to carry more of a favorable connotation than toy production. Star Vs. the Forces of Evil has recently published the title Star and Marco's Guide to Mastering Every Dimension, and in being willing to turn away from children's merchandising in favor of published works implies that the creators are targeting a slightly older audience.   Lets discuss something important before moving on with this topic: Does producing merchandise for animated television series devalue its creative integrity? As mentioned in a past post about the commodification of female empowerment in animation, this isn't necessarily an issue: In order to create content there has to be financial payoff…
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Star Vs. The Forces of Evil: Emotions Done Right

Star Vs. The Forces of Evil: Emotions Done Right

Blog, Cartoons, Critical Discussions
  With only a couple days left until Star vs. the Forces of Evil's season-2 finale, the downpour of episodes we've been spoiled with leading to this two-part television event has come with many interesting revelations. Plot development and character growth are two significant features of the series that places it in the high-quality & must-watch television categories. Season one only began to find its footing towards its last few episodes, but season two has proven itself to be exceptionally enjoyable, to the point where any viewer uncertainty that came about in season one is long forgotten.   As a character, Star has gone through a large amount of change. At the beginning of the series she was simply a naive and destructive princess battling ill-equipped and incompetent monsters. Now she is a queen-to-be who…
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Star vs. The Forces of Evil Review: Raid the Cave & Baby

Star vs. The Forces of Evil Review: Raid the Cave & Baby

Blog, Cartoons, Reviews
The first two weeks of the Starbomb have been incredible. We've never received this many high-quality episodes of Star vs. The Forces of Evil in such a short period of time. Just so you're all up to speed, Dinsey XD is airing new episodes of the series every Monday-Thursday for the entire month of February. Its final air date is on Monday, February 27th, which will consist of two half-hour episodes- the final one being the season 2 finale.   So far, the first two weeks have given us the episodes:     Raid the Cave Trickstar Baby Running with Scissors Mathmagic The Bounce Lounge Crystal Clear The Hard Way     These episodes are amazing! We've been spoiled with huge doses of insight, growth, and plot development- arguably more than any grouping…
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DC Superhero Girls: Capitalizing on Female Empowerment

DC Superhero Girls: Capitalizing on Female Empowerment

Blog, Cartoons, Critical Discussions, Featured Posts
A/N: When speaking about DC Superhero Girls in this article, I am referring solely to the webseries. Cartoon Network has recently announced that Lauren Faust is developing a full-length edition of the series for the network which, to anyone who is familiar with her work and her stance on progressive female characters, is incredibly promising.   The concept of female empowerment in modern-day media is slowly becoming a central theme within many Americanized animated works. Both Steven Universe and Star vs. the Forces of Evil are presently-broadcasted highly-rated animated series that portray female characters in both a positive and powerful light. In this sense, we can argue that a portion of recent high-status animated series support feminist perspectives.   The title under the critical telescope in this article is DC Superhero Girls, a webisode series…
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Where are the Girl-Crazed Boys in Animation?

Where are the Girl-Crazed Boys in Animation?

Blog, Cartoons, Critical Discussions, Featured Posts
  Western animation does this all the time: It gives female characters a "boy-crazed" trait. And it's not just treated as a minor characteristic. Typically, its a defining element of their personalities. Western animation seems to carry the impression that young females are constantly engaged in high/middle-school crushes—and it can be quite humorous. But more importantly it begs the question of: Where are the girl-crazed boys? Let's start off by looking at Disney Channel's longest-aired television program Phineas and Ferb. This series stars two young boys who decide that they want to create the most spontaneous summer ever by building daily wild contraptions. The series was quite male-led, which was obvious in its premise. And adding to the heteronormative perspective from which its story is told, the two most significant female characters, Candace Flynn-Fletcher and Isabella Garcia-Shapiro, are…
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X-Men Evolution: When “for kids” and Complexity Meet

X-Men Evolution: When “for kids” and Complexity Meet

Blog, Cartoons, Critical Discussions, Reviews
X Men: Evolution (2000-2003) is the long-forgotten animated series that was known to be either a hit or miss among young viewers and long-time X-Men fans alike. As the successor of the highly-rated 90's X-Men cartoon, many people were upset at how Evolution strayed away from this series and, consequently, the original comics. Targeted towards a much younger audience, the latter show placed more focus on developing the social dynamic of the X-Men as high school youth over their lives as mutant superheroes.   Despite the series' stray from its origin, its premise was refreshing in the world of animation at the time of its broadcast. Characterization is very strong, especially for having such a large ensemble of protagonists- each character managed to get their turn in the spotlight. And because the series…
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Star Vs. the Forces of Evil: Subtle Feminism

Star Vs. the Forces of Evil: Subtle Feminism

Blog, Cartoons, Critical Discussions, Featured Posts
Star vs. the Forces of Evil is a DisneyXD animated series about a young princess named Star Butterfly who inherits a magical wand on her 14th birthday. If this doesn't sound random enough, the story follows her as she moves from the alternate dimension of Mewnie to present-day Earth. Although this cartoon's first impression is that of a casual watch targeted at kids, the perspective the story is told from feels surprisingly unique. The series has a subtle charm that is lacking in a lot of modern animated series. But what makes it really special is it's background progressiveness. Characters and scenarios stray far from common television tropes; characterization, even of background persona, is in-depth, especially throughout the second season; and most significantly, its dialogue incorporates subtle messages in support of feminism (Feminist: "Someone…
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