The Evolution Of Animation

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Sitting in comfy pajamas with a cup of coffee in hand, the smell of bacon wafting through the family room, the kids sitting on the couch laughing at Saturday morning cartoons. It is a picturesque start to a relaxing weekend. The only problem is you don’t want to admit to enjoying Gravity Falls on Cartoon Network. Animation has been mainly targeted towards children for decades. However, a shift in the content and audience of children’s media is in progress today. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the evolution in the way cartoons are being produced, written, marketed, distributed, and its growing audience. The brief retelling of the history of cartoons and the evolution of its content, as well as the status of cartoons today will…show more content…
It was during the 1900’s when people began to realize the true potential of storytelling through animation. Many amazing people contributed to the process of animation creation as well as finding effective methods of distribution, such as Walt Disney. Animation transitioned into the world of television in the latter half of the 1940s when Van Beuren studios launched children’s programming (e.g. Movies for Small Fry). Disney was one of the first companies to develop a solid relationship with television networks, producing the well known The Mickey Mouse Club series in the mid-1950s. Saturday morning cartoons became popular with The Ruff and Read Show and The Flintstones (1960) becoming a prime-time success. The medium that was stereotyped as kid-oriented began to cater towards adults with shows such as the successful The Simpsons. Today there are many more adult-oriented cartoons being produced, often containing crude, low-brow humour. Once animated cartoons became more established in the television realm, it was being used as a marketing device, basing shows around pre-existing merchandise, such as Strawberry Shortcake toys. Then came along content that became fan favourites because of their memorable content, such as the vaudeville inspired content of Looney Tunes. From that point on, animators began to experiment with the possibilities that lay within the world of animation and began to…show more content…
There is a great deal of conversation around the mysteries and complexities of the characters and worlds. The explicit display of controversial topics such as the LGBTQ garners much hate, but is also the reason for a greater following, a great example of this being Steven Universe. As the generations are becoming more and more exposed to immeasurable amounts of information and opinions from the internet at a younger age, the representation of those topics in cartoons just makes sense. The somewhat simplified display of hot topics in animated tv shows are a great way for children and adults to see a more controlled and digestible perspective. For many adults watching, cartoons are a fun and easy way to escape from the stresses and anxieties of today. Most of the episodes stand alone, but when viewed chronologically a map of the history of the alternate worlds become pieced together and the audience gets to truly know and understand the complexity behind each
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