Some TVTropes and effects on Sonic

Posted: September 2, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

After talking with a few other folks tome time ago, some pages from TVTropes were brought to my attention. It seems that there always seems to be a problem with animation that takes itself seriously and a combination of moral guardians and executives who either get the shows flipped up or outright cancelled, which bothers me that shows like Family Guy and American Dad are able to exist, though, we still have some good adult cartoons, most of them are just on adult swim and more about satire then action, not that it’s a bad thing of course(Boondocks, Black Dynamite, Venture Bros.), but worth noting. The thing about this is how it’s effecting the Sonic franchise, in a very negative way, but it’s not even parents, but other gamers, mainly Nintendo fanboys, at this point they’re the main group of gamers who don’t like dark or serious content but claim gameplay is most important, meaning that content is still important in how the judge games they may now have played, as shown here….

Gameplay vs. Mature

There’s more to this here: http://psyco-the-frog.deviantart.com/art/Gameplay-vs-Mature-460815727

I mean come on, the Ratchet and Clank fanbase actually demanded a more serious Ratchet game and they got it with Into the Nexus. It was short but sweet, and half the price of most AAA titles. In any case, the Nintendo fanboys/drones/corporate slaves, not the whole fanbase, just many that claim to be sonic fans, with Sonic games, replace the moral guardians in Sonic’s situation when it comes to people not being able to handle him being dark or serious, much like adults who don’t like this in animation. However, executive meddling still comes into play here, at least if you count Izuka’s decision making since SA2, and how much control Sega of Japan may have over the series, like the constant worshiping of Mario.

Getting back on other shows, it seems that for a long time, we’ve been having people decide our content for us when it comes to TV(Which is probably why Video Games probably come under fire so much since they have almost total freedom to do whatever and are easily accessible), while the fans of the shows in question have no say in the matter. The tropes I’m posting here are some of the more glaring examples of the negatives, Sonic SATAM even getting in on the action. There’s a lot here, and I didn’t want this article being too long, I just wanted this to be brought to peoples attention and show how it’s effecting Sonic, but it also goes to show why we don’t have many good cartoons on these days. Consider my article over from this point on, the rest are just the tropes. I may elaborate more on this at some point.

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What Do You Mean Its Not For Kids: Western Animation:

According to Todd McFarlane, when he first started pitching an animated version of Spawn, the networks he talked to wanted to make a Saturday morning version. Right down to talking animal sidekick, though at that point he may have been being sarcastic in his recollections. It seemed none of the big-wigs realized that a character whose name was short for “Hellspawn” and who was horribly burnt head to toe and fought against multiple angels and devils across Earth, heaven and hell itself wasn’t a good fit alongside the light-hearted fair common to those slots. Then again, when he finally got the nod from HBO, airing past-prime-time with numerous warnings of its content, people still complained that this ‘kiddie cartoon’ was so graphically violent and sexual, leaving him feeling like he never should have bothered in the first place.

 Young Justice. You’re telling me the concept of a covert team of vigilante child soldiers fighting a super villain Illuminati while slowly but surely crossing whatever lines they have to (up to and including faking the death of one of their own by another member so she might be planted as a deep cover agent in said organization) slowly being torn apart on a psychological level by all their secrets is supposed to be an innocent adventure in the DC universe? Also, the whole show had pacing that was much more deliberative than most children would be used to. Given its time slot, god only knows who it actually was for.

    The complex story and good pacing had nothing to do with the target audience. It was indeed made for a young audience, just older children (8-14 year olds). This is more of a case of What Do You Mean It’s For Kids? It just had a lot of Parental Bonus that older viewers enjoyed.

Animation Age Ghetto

SWAT Kats jumps to mind. Running from 1993 to 1995, It was among the earlier western attempts at breaking the ghetto, and, in spite of the many problems that popped up because of that, the series went on to become a hit and garnered high ratings.
(From their main page)
Unfortunately, SWAT Kats’ attempts to break out of the Animation Age Ghetto came too soon for many people, and the series took criticism for its violent content. Even before that, the show underwent extensive Executive Meddling during its first season, forcing the creators to insert several inherently silly and “kid-ified” stuff aimed at younger audiences (which clashed horribly with the show’s dark premise). This changed in the second season, since the first season’s good ratings enabled the series to get an Animation Bump (and a slight makeover) that resulted in a Darker and Edgier style which proved to be a better fit for the show.

The show was cancelled after its second season, passed over in favor of Turner’s “What A Cartoon!” project (which gave birth to future Cartoon Cartoons such as Dexter’s Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, and Johnny Bravo). At the time of its cancellation, SWAT Kats was one of Hanna-Barbera’s highest rated syndicated shows, and there were three unfinished episodes in production (as well as established outlines for up to seven more episodes), which all got left hanging. While Turner is often quoted as saying that Hanna-Barbera had plenty of other cartoons which didn’t “encourage kids to shoot people”, it’s a leap to deduce that he cancelled SWAT Kats, as he was actually referring to Beavis And Butthead. note  Christian Tremblay, co-creator of SWAT Kats, denies Turner had anything to do with the cancellation: “We have respect for Ted Turner, because of him, we got the show financed back in 1993, and I like the guy. The decision to stop the show was not his but more executives way below him.”

A similar occurrence took place to a much greater extent, especially in the later seasons, of Static Shock. The Milestone Comic on which it is based can be best described as an Amazing Spider-Man with a black hero, twice as much angst, and 10 times more contemporary content (sex, gay-bashing and visual gang warfare were but a few of the series’s recurring focal points). While the beginning of the animated series is close enough to its source material, it became more and more child-oriented as time went on. Family-Friendly Firearms was in full effect by the middle of the series even though real guns were seen and used in the series’ premiere. There is another example of a non-laser gun when a bullied kid steals his father’s gun with the intention to kill his tormentor; he ends up being knocked to the ground by some students with the gun going off and hitting his friend Richie in the leg. Richie doesn’t bleed, but you can tell he is in serious pain. Later on, we find out he could’ve died if the bullet struck any higher.

Exact same time period, the Saturday morning version of Sonic the Hedgehog (known by fans as SatAM to differentiate it from the syndicated The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog) similarly subverted the ghetto. Unfortunately, it fell victim to the decline of Saturday Morning Cartoons in general; many markets pre-empted it from the start in favor of Saturday morning local news. A third season was in the works, but would never see the light of day.

Executive Meddling: Western Animation:
(With all the Moral Guardians and people who want to milk money from franchises, Western Animation is rife with Executive Meddling. )
^I had to throw that in…. now to get to the stuff:

Disney during the last decade of Michael Eisner’s reign was this trope in motion. It came to a head in 1999, when Peter Schneider left his job as chairman of Disney Feature Animation. Eisner told Sharon Morrill (head of Disney’s direct-to-video department) and newly installed Feature Animation head Thomas Schumacher that he no longer wanted to be beholden to filmmakers – from that point on, executives would be making all of the creative decisions. What resulted were seven years of the company spiraling out of control, burning bridges with nearly everyone in Hollywood (including their most valuable partner Pixar), infuriating their stockholders (who revolted after Walt Disney’s nephew Roy resigned from the company in protest), and ultimately costing Eisner his job and Disney its reputation. Thankfully It Got Better, but those last few years are probably the reason that his successor Bob Iger has been the most hands-off CEO that Disney has ever had.

Word of God says that the Earthworm Jim cartoon was made to boost video game sales and that Doug TenNapel wants nothing to do with the show (despite that it’s considered one of the best cartoons of the 1990s).

”Gargoyles suffered this during its final season, The Goliath Chronicles. Executives wanted more lessons crammed in, resulting in a Full House moment at the end of every episode. Unsurprisingly, both the fans and the creator don’t consider the third season as part of canon, save for the first episode.

This is the EXACT reason Sym-Bionic Titan was cancelled, apparently because the higher ups at Cartoon Network wanted toy companies to make toys for the series, but failed to get licensers for it.

    Now it seems that there actually were several toy manufacturers who wanted to take on the show but Cartoon Network never contacted any of them and the show was murdered because of a personal falling out between executives at CN and Genndy Tartakovsky, the former of which wanted the show to go in a more Ben 10 direction.

 In October 2012, DC Nation was set to air the third new episodes of Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series since they came back from hiatus… only for them to be hiatused again ten hours before airtime and told they’d be back in January. Many rumors came about, including the lack of shorts and the fact that the episode of Young Justice to be aired has Stephanie Brown, the poster child of DC’s Executive Meddling in the New52 era. Current theory is that there were licencing problems involved with YJ using Milestone-based characters like Icon, Rocket and Static— which still doesn’t explain why Green Lantern: The Animated Series and the shorts were pulled, too. Whether it’s Executive Meddling or Screwed by the Network is still unclear.

    Shortly after the shows came back, Cartoon Network dropped the revelation that both would not be renewed for more seasons. The two series had been quietly cancelled back before the hiatus, although the creative teams were not allowed to state it until the network made it official. The apparent reasoning for the schedule change and cancellation was that network higher-ups felt that the shows did not perform well enough, due to their lack of toylines. According to Jerome K Moore (character designer for Young Justice), WB Animation was willing to go through with a season 3, but the network’s lack of renewal put a halt to the idea.
    Recently, an interview with Paul Dini by Kevin Smith laid out a big bombshell: that Cartoon Network is in the mindset that not only do cartoons just sell toys, but also that cartoons are only for boys. Many of the cartoons were being enjoyed by girls and, as such, Cartoon Network has deemed them “failures”.

 Sonic Sat AM The series was cancelled because of meddling, not from Sega, but from ABC – a new president came in and declared that he was sweeping out the old and bringing in new stuff. That, coupled with the fact that the show’s ratings suffered as a result of its competition with Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, resulted in its cancellation.

    Some of the second season’s alterations were a result of Executive Meddling too. The creative team were asked to balance out the gender ratio with another female character, resulting in the creation of spotlight stealer Dulcy the Dragon. Similarly, executives also asked for more comedic material, the infamous Antoine-centered half-hour episodes being part of that request. 

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