Thursday, January 23, 2014

Post 90s Animation


The first episode of the full series of the Simpsons was broadcast the Christmas of 1989. The series gained popularity and is now one of the most famous cartoon series in the world. It is best known for it's adult humor which makes it appeal to teens and older. In 2007 a feature length movie was produced and coaxed the production of the series into using digitally drawn cells instead of the scanned plastic cells they had insisted on using prior, when most other cartoon series had moved onto digital such as Futurama and Family Guy, which were also produced by Fox and both were aimed at an adult audience.

Family Guy was aimed at a much older audience. It started as a couple of pilots called Life of Larry and Larry and Steve which were broadcast on Cartoon Network in the mid 90s. Family Guy was first shown on TV in 1999 and has since been one of the most successful shows made by Fox - in the UK, it is constantly the most watched programme on BBC3. Unlike the Simpsons, it focused mainly on adult themes and references, though the plot-line often remained simple and light - often evident in it's somewhat childish characters.

Futurama was produced by Rough Draft Studios, one of the first major computer based cell animation companies to produce a long running series. Futurama began in 1999, the most notable aspect of the show is it's use of 3D animation which is used in such a way as to replicate 2D animation. The original run was cancelled but a number of straight to DVD and later broadcast movies were produced and it still has a strong audience.


The company was founded in 1972 by Peter Lord and David Sproxton. The company rose to fame when they animated the character: Morph for the Tony Hart show, HartBeat. In 1989, A Grand Day Out; the first WallaceRex the Runt, this is a claymation aimed at teens and older which is made to look two dimensional despite the 3D characters and set, it also features numerous comedic references to other Aardman animations which is sometimes evident in their other films.


Cartoon Network launched in 1992, after 4 years of development following the success of Nickelodeon in the late 70s and 80s. To start, the network mainly broadcast repeats of old Time & Warner cartoons and MGM cartoons, having bought out Hanna-Barbera. It started out producing it's own shows when Nickelodeon began commissioning series like Rugrats and Renthis would eventually spawn the Adult Swim channel - which was entirely devoted to cartoons for an older audience, like Family Guy and Futurama which featured when Fox cancelled their original run, along with it's own content like Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

Cartoon Network (particularly more recently)
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