Copyright Shmopyright and 90s Kids’ Lust for Nickelodeon Nostalgia

If the events of the last 15 years have taught us anything, it’s that young people in particular, really don’t give a damn about copyright. What it stands for, why it exists, and the purpose it serves are so lost on the youth that they often act as if it isn’t even real. Unfortunately for one upstart streaming website, the corporate parent of Nickelodeon begged to differ, and wasn’t afraid to sue to remind them either.

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Boomerang Relaunch is Too Little Too Late

Cartoon Network was the original home for the vast library of Hanna-Barbera and MGM cartoons that Ted Turner had at his disposal. It soon outgrew that purpose as original content began to be broadcast on the channel and eventually banishing them altogether to a new network: Boomerang. To say they languished there is an understatement, but Turner’s attempt to make amends comes too little, too late.

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Are Studios Missing An Opportunity With Their Cartoons?

The impetus for this post is this chart, which I found over on 9Gag the other day (just for a few minutes as I needed a quick wind-down from work!).

What’s the most interesting thing about this graph? Why it’s the slump in the teenage years of course!

What’s really interesting though, is that as far as the studios are concerned, once someone goes over that cliff at the age of 12-13, they never come back. The truth is a bit different though, and it’s perhaps something that studios could do better to market.

We’ve seen the likes of some Nicktoons getting onto DVD/Netflix, but Disney and Cartoon Network are hopelessly behind. We’ve got the PowerPuff Girls and a few single discers from the latter and nothing at all from the former (where’s Kim Possible?).

Some marketer somewhere should be able to come up with the ideal formula for when to re-release older cartoons and cash in on the nostalgia kick.

So The Lion King Topped the Box Office Again

What does this prove? That a 17 year old movie is better than the current offerings? That it’s actually better in 3-D than we ever thought possible? Or is it that because it’s aimed at families, you know they’re selling more than two tickets at a time?

It’s hard to say. It would be nice to think that The Lion King succeeded because it is a really good movie that outshines whatever was offered this past weekend. However, the truth is probably not near as exciting.

First of all, at 17 years, The Lion King is bordering on nostalgia at this point. I was 10 when it came out and I’m 26 now (thanks to the ever-present international delay, the numbers don’t quite add up). So it is surely ripe for claiming a whole new generation of kids and re-capturing their parents.

Secondly, the box office really does mean squat in the grand scheme of things. Saying that such and such a film is top of the box office is really only saying that it sold more tickets than the others. It is not a reliable indicator of tastes or indeed quality as The Smurfs so perfectly illustrated.

Naturally this will be trumpeted by various marketing departments as a sign of the Lion King’s strength and quality as a film. Yes, this might be true, however it is alarming that we are not seeing a re-issue of other films from the same period. While they obviously do not meet the same lofty status of The Lion King, they were certainly just as popular at the time and have not dated as badly as other films the same age.

Couldn’t all the effort that was put into 3-D-izing The Lion King have been better used to clean up and re-issue some other films?

The point is that the Disney Renaissance films were all spectacular when they were released and they are still spectacular now. Making them 3-D is not going to increase their appeal. I’m willing to hazard a guess a that most people simply wanted to see it on the big screen again and nothing more.


Should You Trust The Mainstream Media When It Comes To Animation?

 Via: Times Union Online

The quick and dirty answer is no, you shouldn’t. Over the years, I’ve found that animation is, in fact, located in quite a niche of the media and entertainment landscape. Plenty of people know what it is, they can name their favourite examples and they can also rattle off a few of the larger studios. However, when it come down to details, most people are helplessly lost and/or ignorant.

Unfortunately, what I’ve found is that the [mass] news media is no different. While it is easy to understand that they must cater for the lowest common denominator, that is not a particularly compelling excuse for laziness or just plain poor journalism.

An example popped out at me yesterday, but now is as good a time as any to bring up an appearance on FOX News back in 2009 by Amid Amidi (of Cartoon Brew) and Michael Sporn (of, y’know, Michael Sporn Animation). ostensibly. they were discussing the rivalry between Pixar and DreamWorks however calling it a discussion is perhaps taking things a bit too liberally.

I think the best way to describe it is that Michael was waaaay over-qualified to be there and poor Amid was simply trying to get the presenter to understand the real differences behind both companies. Either way, neither of them could compete with her as she clearly had no interest in discussing the facts of the situation for the benefit of the viewers.

Anyway, the second example was yesterday. Now this is by no means an isolated example nor does it represent the standard of the animation presence in the media. However, when one sees the title “How cartoons ruined our lives” they are apt to sit up and take notice.

Well, you would think so, except this is a fluff piece from the Times Union of Albany, NY. It’s not so much how cartoons ruined our lives as it is about philosophically trying to find the hidden messages that cartoons appear to send out.

Example 1: Wilma Flintstone

I remain frustrated that I can’t find a substantial beaded necklace for outfits that call for bold statement jewelry. Damn you, Wilma.

Example 2: He-Man

Spent childhood thinking She-Ra was He-Man’s girlfriend. Learned in adulthood that they’re twins. Trying to decide if I just wasn’t paying close attention or if growing up in the sticks gave me a warped perspective on relationships.

Example 3: Josie & The Pussycats

I still wish I were in a girl band. Also, taught me to dress inappropriately. What, you never wear a tail?

So, as you can see, it’s not a particularly interesting or funny piece, yet it was still published on the Times Union website. I’m not ragging on the author, God knows the papers have it tough these days, but why would you even allow something like this to be published?

It’s just somewhat disappointing to see animated TV shows and films treated with such disdain compared to live-action films, which are almost revered by the media as the bastion of American culture.

It partly goes back to the whole “cartoons is for kids” attitude but even the success of The Simpsons, Family Guy, etc. have done little to improve the impression of animation among middle America.

Thankfully, the proliferation of the internet means that you can read about animation all you want from the people who are actually involved in the industry as well as fans, voice-actors and one civil engineer.

This Video Has 7 Million Views for a Very Good Reason

Fireman Sam is just one of a long, long line of children’s shows featuring respectable members of the community who serve as a role model for kids. I was always more of a Postman Pat kind of kid, but Sam is pretty much the same, except he’s a fireman.

Why does the opening title have over 7,000,000 views? Well, a lot of kids grew up watching Fireman Sam and watching it pretty regularly too. The opening is a connection to the their childhood in more ways than one.

The episodes themselves mean far less than the title for the simple reason that it was consistent across all the episodes. The title signalled that a good time was about to be had and watching it again as an adult brings up all those happy feelings from years ago. With 60 million people living in Britain alone, it’s easy to see how the this video could get to 7 million views just on nostalgia.

Things are no different for today’s shows. In 20 years time there will be plenty of adults out there who go all soft at the theme tune for SpongeBob SquarePants.

Why Old Cartoons Bring Out The Nostlagia In You

Via: TV Rage

As I’ve gotten older (26 as of midnight by the way) I’ve found that the nostalgia for all the shows I watched as a child have gotten ever stronger. I don’t consider myself ancient by any stretch of the imagination although sometimes I really do have to take a second and remind myself that I was watching kids shows literally 20 years ago. That shock never gets any smaller.

I have a fairly decent memory and I’ve found it rather interesting that over the years, I have a pretty hard time remembering the live-action TV shows I watched when I was young. Sure, I remember Sesame Street without bother, but other shows not unlike the kid-coms we see plastered all over the Disney Channel.

However, when it comes to the cartoons, I memory is still quite vivid. I can remember the themes tunes, the characters, plots, enemies and of course who produced them all, including the one below, which I can say I thought was a pretty decent show at the time. Only later did I discover the truth (apologies to Fred!)

Perhaps I watched a few more cartoons than the average kid (yeah right) but it would seem that I am not alone in how I have fond recollections of all of these cartoons, even the stinkers that RTE put on.

I would like to think that most of us have fond memories of our childhood and it certainly seems that cartoons played a fairly large part in that childhood. Besides bringing up the old images of that far away time, old cartoons serve as a great reminder for other happy times from that bygone era.

I can tell you right now that the Pink Panther show brings back a very vivid memory for me of that show being cut right in the middle of an episode for the government’s budget. I was quite disheartened to learn that the budget was not a 5 minute gap in the schedule.

I could leave you with ton of videos of the cartoons of my childhood, but you already know where to look for those. Instead, I leave you with the opening to Superted, a cartoon that used to be broadcast rather randomly on Channel 4.