the best part of gumball is the plots are always something so simple like “gumball’s family is losing money!” but that slowly becomes “gumball’s family has no money so the whole universe loses it’s whole animation”
and then like, ANYTHING can happen inbetween, is there gonna be a scene animated by a professional anime company this episode? sure
are gumball and darwin gonna find a void where forgotten boring background characters and mistakes go and crazy frog is there? sure
is gumball gonna realize there’s more shows within his own show and try to become part of that show? sure
is a character who appeared in 3 episodes as a background character in the first season who had like 3 lines total gonna come back as the main villain of the show later? sure, why not
Steve Universe is a children’s animation that has themes of mourning, identity, romance both straight and lbgt, representation, a predominately female group in a scifi/fantasy setting
Gravity Falls is an enthralling mystery with suspense, horror, strained relationships within a family, having a positive outlook on an uncertain future. Also a children’s animation
Avatar the Last Airbender is an Asianic inspired adventure where an eclectic group of protagonists, powered and non, all under the age of 15 are responsible for ending a 100 year war. Is nonspecific oriented in terms of age demographic
The Amazing World of Gumball uses an eclectic array of animation/art styles, has genuine humor and toys with trope expectations, but also deals several heart warming moments. Definitely intended for children, but has a few more adult jokes.
Clarence is a light hearted look into the almost idealistic world of childhood memory and experiences. Once again a Children’s animation.
Regular Show is, while intended for children, a stoner comedy with themes of growing up and dealing with relationships romantic or non, particularly moving on.
Adventure Time, despite in my personal opinion straining under its own weight in recent years, delves into aspects of depression, nurodiversity, responsibility, themes of growing up, accepting mortality, morality is a grey area being a reoccurring theme. Also a children’s animation.
Star VS the Forces of Evil, a children’s animation with a female protagonist and a Hispanic male lead, is a subversion of the magical girl genre in anime with unique style and humor, deals with the aftereffects of colonialism(both from the oppressed and the descendants of oppressors)
Bojack Horseman, an adult animation, delves into the psychosis of an alcoholic struggling with depression and self loathing, toxic relationships, the effects of having and loosing fame, has an asexual supporting character, and heavily deals with the consequences of our actions for better or for worse.
The Adventures of Rick and Morty, another adult animation, deals with existentialism, depression, surviving an attempted sexual assault, sacrificing your freedom for your family, and much, much dark humor.
Meanwhile Seth Macfarlene is still swimming in the stagnate pile of decaying fecal matter and vomit that is his three series, Family Guy being the worst offender. Littered with horrible messages, shock humor that tries far too hard and is pathetic to watch, and completely insulting to everyone. Hell, even the Simpsons are still fresh and interesting after a decade on the air. And the remakes of Teen Titans and Power Puff Girls are an insult to the original series, and are peddled off as for children.
Animation is in a really fantastic place right now isn’t it!
Shows like Steven Universe and Wander over Yonder are creator driven and given ample support from their parent studios to help them be as successful as they can be. While Steven Universe may seem trapped in an endless hiatus while Teen Titans Go airs non-stop, the Steven bombs are planned and promoted events that the studio counts on to be successful because they trust the show.
‘Adult’ animation has become the home for some of the best jokes with the age of Mcfarlen-style humor on the decline and the rise of great shows like Rick and Morty, Bob’s Burger and Archer. With “Sausage Party” we’re getting our first rated R mainstream feature animated film. Critique it all you want but this is opening the gates to more adult oriented animated content which is great because animation is not a genre, its a medium.
Established properties like Powerpuff Girls and Samurai Jack are being given a new treatment with a new generation of talented artists. People who love the old shows and are excited about continuing them and trying something new with them.
Shows like Spongebob and Fairly Odd Parents soldier on and continue to be popular well beyond their expected lifetime. Established long running properties bring home the bacon for a studio and help to pay for those shows that the studio is willing to take a chance risk like Avatar the last Airbender. There are shows that are made with an ending in mind like Gravity Falls that are given the creative freedom to tell the story they want to tell.
Storytelling is healthier now than it ever has been. It is becoming the selling point as series like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead continue to out perform traditional television. New and exciting opportunities for cross platform storytelling are coming with shows like OK KO which started as a show and became an awesome game! The people making animated content now grew up with great shows like Batman, Gargoyles, X-Men, The Simpsons, the list goes on and on!
It feels like everyone is just sort of…getting started :)
I’m an animation professional and I get frustrated when I see stuff like this.