pony&brett

What a time to be alive.

It’s their ability to pull you in. That sort of magic they have when all the elements of the medium come together. Voice acting, visuals, scoring, and stories, when done as right as these shows do ‘em, can create unbelievable experiences.

And what I find so fantastic is just how many cartoons today actually do craft their own worlds and invite you in. They’re not all perfect or even complex, but these are the shows that really make a case for why cartoons are an art form.

While I could do a top 10 here, I’d rather just geek out over what makes each one unique, because in a lot of ways it’s hard to compare them. So instead, it’s probably easier to divide these badboys up by the genre they best portray. 

Now, that doesn’t mean these shows only have one feel to them – in fact a lot of them could qualify for multiple genres – but for simplicity’s sake, let’s do one per show. You’ll see what I mean.

ACTION

Regular Show

Alright, so not all episodes are action-oriented. Not even a majority. Why put in under the action heading, then?

Well, while a lot of the show deals with the everyday happenings of the park and its crew, RS is undeniably a product of the 80s (and 90s sometimes, too, but mostly the 80s). It’s pretty glorious. Not only do a lot of references to the decade pop up, but a lot of the stories are structured like 80s movies, with very clear goals and stakes. They can build up tension really well in a short amount of time because we know what’s going to happen if Mordo and Rigby don’t win the day. So, even when nothing spectacular is going on, it can still feel like there’s something to lose. 

Star v.s the Forces of Evil

This was the hardest one to place. It actually does three things equally well and in pretty much equal proportion: sci-fi, slice-of-life, and of course, action. That said, I went with action for one reason: whenever it does go full-on butt-kicking mode, it kicks serious ass.

This is like if Hotel Transylvania had fighting scenes. The comedy in the show is top-notch, and I always have fun with it, but I so enjoy the idea that a comedy/slice-of-life show like this could also be a magical girl show. That high-octane pace with cross-dimensional battles? It’s the best of both worlds!

SCI-FI

Steven Universe

Now here’s sci-fi done right. The use the big concepts like aliens and intergalactic warfare to tell very simple, yet profoundly meaningful stories. 

Overall, Steven Universe has a very emotional story to tell, and it talks about it all with respect and dignity, but also a tenderness. It’s friggin’ fantastic.

On top of that, the art style – from the flexible character models to the gorgeous colour scheme – sets such a wonderstuck tone for it all. That, combined with the techno/piano background music, gives the show an elegance you might not expect at first glance. It’s heartbreaking, yet soothing. Beautiful, yet light. Just a wonderful world to be a part of.

Wander Over Yonder

This is contender for the most beautifully animated show on television. I have to admit I haven’t personally gotten far into WOY (mostly just because I tend to look for continuing stories in the cartoons I watch nowadays), but the kid in me who used to stay up all night to watch the whole saturday morning line-up on Canada’s equivalents of Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network is screaming with joy.

No matter what age group is enjoying it, I’m so glad a show that’s animated like this can exist for kids. The comedy shines with the fast pace of the movements, the expressions are glorious, the colours are so nice to look at, the character models are cute and interesting, and I’ve always said you could stop the show at any point in any episode and get an amazing screen-shot. It’s just a blast to watch.

What can I say? This is a show that deserves the fandom it has and then some, it’s too freaking beautiful. But, beauty aside, what tone does it set with all this splendor? Well, the show’s largely about space exploration – never stopping anywhere for too long and rarely (if ever) returning to the same location twice. The universe feels neverending, and the lovable excitement Wander brings to this already energetic show give its young target audience a feeling of true space-adventure. There’s always another horizon on another planet to find, and awesome life-forms to meet there.

Gif by Wander Over Yonder Wiki

ADVENTURE

Adventure Time

An obvious pick, but a well-deserved one.

I’ve talked about AT’s world-building before more in depth, so I won’t go too nanners here, but with the constant addition of new characters, settings, ideas, and even animation styles, this show packs a serious punch. It’s really no wonder why it’s gotten as popular as it has.

Yup. From the simplistic, yet hilarious Adventure Time-y lingo to the epic battles with inventive monsters to the AT philosophy, Adventure Time really does feel like the imaginings of a precautious little boy. Like I said for Wander Over Yonder, an expansive world, like the land of Ooo, can really drag you into the show by force.

Avatar: The Legend of Korra

Technically, since it’s finished its run, I probably shouldn’t include Korra, but it’s recent enough to deserve a spot here. Plus, dat unbelievable animation, tho!

Like it’s predecessor Avatar: The Last Airbender, LOK takes inspiration from the more detailed art-styles of anime. So, just like anime, the budget goes into making the world look great, and making sure the battle scenes are well-animated, while keeping low costs on the movements of the characters during most normal talking scenes.

LOK used this to its every advantage. A captivating score and exciting story brought the world of benders back on screen in a satisfying way. Plus, unlike all the other shows on this list, Korra had a higher target audience: teens. That meant a lot of things, aside from the infamous love triangle of the first season. It meant they could tell darker stories, including an entire story-arch where Korra has PTSD and depression, as well as a “tasteful” yet very obvious queer canon couple at the end. Uh, spoilers, btw.

So, while the first show didn’t shy away from darker concepts, either, this one definitely felt like a mature show, while still keeping a feeling of adventure present.

MYSTERY

Gravity Falls

Why watch other shows when you could be watching Gravity Falls? Seriously. This is the question that haunts me.

The most recent episode, Not What He Seems, was so satisfying in everything it set out to do, paced so well, littlenightwing and I absolutely couldn’t believe the run-time was only 23 minutes – it felt like a movie, and a flipping fantastic one at that.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself, clearly, because I should be talking about the enchanting mystery aspect of GF. Like Alex Hirsch, the show’s overlord, once said, it’s a cross between The Simpsons and the X-Files, with one heck of a continuing story that never stops giving us questions to wonder about and conspiracies to sniff out. It even hides codes for the viewers to follow along with, creating a theory-making community that’s just as paranoid, yet intelligent as they come. Its unbelievable how well this show sucks you in.

FANTASY

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

I promise I’ll be quick. I know the fandom makes some uncomfortable, and I apologize, but the show itself is quality and deserves its praises sung, just like the others on this list.

While they’re not always on adventures, it’s almost like if Lord of the Rings had an all-female cast. It’s been called High Fantasy before, meaning it has a huge lore of history along with its fantasy setting (not mention a world filled with creatures from  all sorts of different mythologies, like Greek, Aztec, etc). When it goes big, it feels grand. When it stays small, it feels like I’m in a sleepy town like Hobbiton; with the show entering into its fifth season, it’s getting even more obvious that Equestria is definitely a land worth exploring.

Over the Garden Wall

Short, sweet, and magical: just how I like ‘em. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s only ten episodes, if you have yet to check it out, it’s a story that’s well worth your time.

This one was hard, too, because there’s a very strong mystery element all-throughout that almost made me want to switch its place on the list, but the way the story’s paced – and, I’ll admit it, the fact that Elijah Wood voices Wirt – made it pretty impossible for me to avoid the fantasy category.

The art direction in this mini-series adds so much to the atmosphere it’s stunning, as well as the gentle horns backing it up on the soundtrack. It really feels like you’re venturing into a dark forest, a strange and unknown territory that may very well be dangerous. Even horrifying. 

You’ll have to be patient with it, because it uses a fantasy pace: slow for the journey and building up to more plot-oriented parts. But, with the forest theme, and style choices from Americana folklore, this is a series that screams October, which is ironically when I’ll be screaming Over the Garden Wall from now on.

SLICE-OF-LIFE

The Amazing World of Gumball

Where Gumball shines is where a kids show should shine. It’s comedy. With it’s multiple-art style approach, and wacky, out-there theme song, Gumball sure is an oddball of a show thank I’m here all wekk. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first glance, but a few things have won me over.

First, the the characters. The two brothers and their non-conventional family are what it’s all about, and watching Darwin and Gumball bond is very sweet.

Second, the episode The Shell. ‘Nuff said, because oh my GOD, was that cinematic af and beautiful.

Third, screw your normality, the Amazing World of Gumball does what it wants.

Fourth, the background is done with beautiful photography, and with the cartoons to contrast it, it almost feels like we’re watching home movies.

Clarence

The heart is undeniable. From the get-go, this show doesn’t let up with how charming it is, which makes sense, because pretty much the whole feel of the shows mirrors the feel of Clarence himself.

Clarence’s world is a friendly one. It’s not like things can’t go wrong- I mean they almost always do, but I don’t know, there’s something about the show that feels just as eager to include everyone and have a good time doing it as Clarence is, and let me tell you, that’s a really likable thing to do. Especially when it means including gay couples, because teaching kids about that is just rad. Rock on, little buddy.

Oh, and the simple, yet pleasing art style matches this really well, too. Like Clarence drew it himself.

Oh again, and by heart, I don’t mean heart in the way Steven Universe means heart (this is why I couldn’t make a top ten list). Because the show mirrors Clarence so much, it takes on his attitude toward the harsher realities in his life, and it’s a very innocent and comforting one.

Gif by GrunkleStanBearPig on Tumblr

I have to acknowledge the controversy with the creator, but only to say that the creator has been punished and doesn’t work on the show anymore. The show doesn’t support that type of behaviour, and neither do we, so everything’s good.

Phineas and Ferb

Now, this is an impressive show. Creating new worlds to explore is so imaginative and cool, but writing so many seasons of a show that’s this formulaic, and still keeping it fresh? That takes a lot of ingenuity.Almost Phineas and Ferb levels of ingenuity.

I couldn’t imagine this show as anything but a Disney Channel show. Gravity Falls is it’s own entity, which is rad, but P&F has that classic light-heartedness, that well-meaning goodness that’s just so admirable.

Phineas especially captures this Mickey Mouse-esque spirit. Ferb brings his own brilliance to the show, as do the rest of the cast, but Phineas in particular really gives the show a hopeful feel.

And you know, the art style matches the quick, clever humour with geometric shapes, and the simple colour scheme keeps with that bright atmosphere I was talking about earlier.

Uncle Grandpa

I have to admit, it’s not my personal favourite, but I didn’t want to exclude the fandom.

If I had to guess at the overall feel of a show I haven’t watched that much, (bad idea but) I’d say it’s probably just the goofiness. Maybe there’s something more I haven’t seen, which is totally possible, but that seems about right. Taking everyday problems and looking at them in the silliest, goofiest way possible. Not a bad thing.

Overall

All that said, we have so many wonderful worlds to visit today, so many adventures to have and mysteries to solve and characters to spend time with. 

I feel like we’re in some kind of cartoon renaissance- but that’d probably go to the 90s, huh? Well, then we’re in the cartoon Age of Enlightenment, where it’s the thought and care that these teams put into crafting their worlds that makes the difference. 

4

Doing some drawing and coloring. For the second drawing I attempted to paint it without inking. I don’t think it came out very well, although it is probably because I have no idea how to draw cats. Third and fourth drawings are colored versions of two of my old sketches.

Also, I made a non-pone tumblr here: http://awsdedraws.tumblr.com

There is nothing on it yet but there will be. Follow it if you somehow want to see me draw hands a hundred times.

2

Yep, and nothing beats Aunt Luna’s crazy tales (many involve comebacks at Discord for pranks he pulled on her).

At first when the twins were born she was a little hesitant about approaching them, like “yikes babies! how do you handle them?! Why are they crying?! Make them STAHP!”. But as the weeks passed she became closer to them, and with lots of incentive from Celestia to help taking care of them. It didn’t take long for Pandemonium and Radiance become Luna’s favorite nephew and niece, and whenever Luna can she doesn’t miss a chance to spend quality time with them.

Please don’t repost!

Princess Luna © Hasbro

Prince Pandemonium and Princess Radiance © me

7

I thought he had forgotten that dance we shared…

[[ Thanks to lucky-charm-the-wanderer, lunafun9590, and redventure for the asks this time around! Also seizure warning just in case, for the gif. ]]

Due to how well received my headcanon version of Vinyl Scratch’s parents were, I decided to take a crack at another set of parents for a character character. Everyone, meet  Steel and Ivy Melody, my version of the parents of Octavia and her twin sister, Fiddlesticks. :3 Ivy is a mule if you’re wondering about her long ears, however she’s actually deaf so her family learned hoof-language to make communication between one another seamless. While her deafness doesn’t bother her, nor does it bother her family, what DID bother her was the fact that she could never hear her husband’s or daughters’ voices, her hear either of her daughters’ music. That, however, changed when the family scrounged up the money to get her some state-of-the-art hearing implants as a surprise for her birthday, and the very next day she was able to hear her family for the very first time. Needless to say, it was an emotional day for them. ;_;

As for some background on these two, Steel was once a part of the high class, his parents owning a prestegious gem-mining company with him first in line to inherit the company of his two siblings, a younger brother and sister. He met Ivy around the age of 20,  when she worked at a library. When he first saw her he was intrigued by her and decided to attempt a friendly conversation, only to discover the mare was deaf (since he didn’t know hoof language then she wrote it on a piece of paper). Despite the language barrier, the two of them got to know each other over passing notes back and forth until finally Steele had to leave. He immediately came back the next day. And the next. And continued to do so over two weeks until, finally, her ultimately decided to learn  hoof language so they wouldn’t have to continuously pass notes to communicate. He bought a book, took lessons, and even asked Ivy to help until he could finally communicate with her without stumbling over his signing.

They became best friends for 5 years, something his parents didn’t really approve of due to Ivy being a lower class than them. Their dislike for Ivy grew as Steele began turning down the hooves of daughters of other high-ranked business ponies, instead preferring to spend his time with Ivy. What he didn’t know was that he was steadily falling in love with the mare, until he had an ephiphany of sorts one day. That very day wasn’t all that special, just the two of them getting their routine hot chocolate and dounuts at their favorite cafe when Ivy simply looked up and grinned at him after signing she was happy. His heart skipped more than a few beats, and it was then he found out just how deep he fell. He opted not to say anything at first, scared he’d ruin one of the only true friendships he ever had, until Ivy eventually confronted him about it. Instead of telling her outright he was in love with her, he opted to ask her out on a date instead. One date became two, then five, ten, until eventually the two became a full-fledged couple. At this point Ivy was more than a little smitten with the stallion.

But their relationship with the mare was something Steele’s parents heavily looked down upon, especially since he has been voicing his reluctance to take over a company he never wanted in the first place. The day Steele brought Ivy to meet his family (at Ivy’s insistance) was probably one of the worst, yet best, days of his life. The day started out tame enough; Steele’s sister and brother warmly welcomed Ivy to their home and treated her like any other. His parents were polite, if cold, and despite Steele’s worry it seemed like it’d go fine. It went downhill, however, during dinner.

Despite not being able to hear Ivy could read lips easily, and Steele’s parents made a rather hostile jab at her status as a “commoner”, a deaf one to boot. Ivy signed a polite response that Steele translated (after Ivy insisted he stay his own rebuttals to his parents’ rudeness), but the remarks only got worse from there. It reached the lowest point when his mother called Ivy a “mutt”, which was definitely the last straw for the both of them. Steele got into it with his parents that eventually became a shouting match; Ivy didn’t need hearing to know that it was bad, whatever they were saying (their mouths were moving too fast for her to read at that point). Steele ended the arguement with a biting remark before escorting Ivy out of his home and back to her own, seething over the things his parents said. They spent the rest of their day simply lying together and talking and reassuring one another, until Steele eventually decided to go back and settle things with his parents.

Long story short, Steele basically told his parents he was in love with Ivy and did not want the company. His parents basically threatened to disown him if he remained with the “commoner”, how dare he reject the company for some low life. Steele retaliated by basically saying “Disown me then. Don’t ever speak to me again until you treat my girlfriend and I with respect”.

The two of them got married shortly after and Ivy gave birth to twins, Octavia and Fiddlesticks. Due to him no longer having access to his family’s stiped (aside from the help his siblings game him), Steele took up a job as a postal carrier, which payed well enough to take care of the bills but hard times were still seen. Despite it all, the two were beyond happy with one another, and to this day they still are. C:

Sorry for the long post there though; I kinda got carried away with their backstory. >.>’ I hope you enjoyed it anyhow, and as always, feel free to ask me questions if you have any! :3