Why Action Cartoons Are Not On the Verge of Extinction

Yoinked from The Mary Sue
Yoinked from The Mary Sue

Action cartoons have been around since forever, and despite efforts in the 70s to kill them off, they managed to survive and even prosper. Apparently the ‘golden age’ of the action cartoon is now over, at least according to one of the producers of the latest Batman series. Over on Screen Rant, Mitch Watson had this to say:

To be perfectly frank with you, the action genre of television cartoons right now is sort of on the verge of extinction, so I’m really hoping that if people like Young Justice and people liked Green Lantern, that they’re gonna give this show a chance, because quite honestly, if they don’t go for this kind of show… and you know what? If they don’t like it, they don’t like it, but give the show a chance, because we really set out to make something that was gonna appeal to both fans and new people, and to pull back in the Green Lantern and the Young Justice people.

There’s a good bit going on there, but it can basically be split into two parts: action shows are about to disappear, and we had to compromise when it came to our show.

Ignoring the latter aspect (because it refers to his own show), it’s quite a statement to say that action shows are on the verge of “extinction”. Besides being here before, this time around the supposed culprit is purely commercial in nature. Depending on who you talk to, Young Justice and Green Lantern were canned for various reasons, but the common reason given is that it didn’t flog enough merchandise.

Now you could argue that it was a repeat of the Sym-Bionic Titan saga from a few years ago when not enough toys were sold for the simple reason that not enough were produced in the first place. However, that simply isn’t the case with the likes of perennially-popular Batman.

So are action cartoons really dying or is Wilson making an inaccurate (if impassioned) plea for his preferred genre of cartoons?

Honestly, there is little to back up his claim that action cartoons are about to bite the dust. Legend of Korra isn’t even halfway through it’s total run on Nickelodeon and since Disney bought Marvel, there’s been a ton of shows based on their properties too. If you wanted to stretch things a bit, you could say that there is also no shortage of action-packed anime emanating from Japan either.

Action Cartoons Will Never Die

Action cartoons are too important of a genre too disappear. In all likelihood, Watson is aiming his ire at Warner Bros, Turner and parent, Time Warner for their collective failure to get co-ordinated and synergized when it comes to their DC subsidiary and animating their comics.

Outside of the comic bubble, action cartoons continue to flourish and given past experiences, there will always be a demand for it. Where action cartoons could improve, is their inclusion of more female characters, but that’s a topic for another day.

Should Comic Films be Animated Rather Than Live-Action

A really quick post because I’m literally getting ready to head out the door for New York.

Just throwing out the question, but does anyone else think that the upcoming Scott Pilgrim movie could have been animated instead?

I know I am perhaps jumping to some conclusions here seeing as the film isn’t even released yet, but I seem to have an affinity for comics done as animation rather than live-action. I feel animation retains more of what made me like the comic in the first place you know what I mean?

Sure live-action movies have been made of comics for years, Superman, Batman, Spiderman, all the usual suspects. Some have been good, some not so good. However, dare I say it, I would rate Batman: The Animated Series higher than say the Batman movie by Tim Burton. On a side note, that movie was far closer to the comic than the Dark Knight. That move (good as it was) was pretty much just a guy running around Chicago in a bat suit. Burton on the other hand, made Gotham out to be the dark, foreboding metropolis that its supposed to be.

That’s all I want to write for now. I’ll bide my tongue until the film comes out. Who knows, maybe it’ll change my mind.