austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

There's a little queen of the animated screen

An amusing little ``yeah, fanboys are like that'' thing. Last week's Disappointing Futurama was less disappointing than average, as it ran an Anthology-Of-Interest format with stories done in different animation styles: one vaguely 1930s black-and-white cartoons (including a beautiful replica of the old Fleischer stereoptic three-dimensional set thing, one of the few animation things of the 1930s that always impresses whatever eye beholds it), one mid-80s eight-bit video game, and one gloriously-badly-dubbed Japanese animation thing.

Tolerably good fun, even if the targets didn't really need mocking or the jokes weren't generally imaginative (except one connecting gag, that each segment had something of incredible beauty which the characters saw but the animation style prohibited the viewer from possibly seeing). And it was a surprisingly enjoyable kick hearing that ancient Voltron music going again, particularly since I didn't watch the show that much or enthusiastically.

Here's the anime fanboy reaction that amused me: grumbling and sulking that yeah, they did nice pastiches of 80s Voltron and stuff like that (even tossing in some Speed Racer because you apparently have to), but, like, that's not what anime is, it's totally different now. Some counter-reaction argued that yeah, but who in the audience would recognize modern shows, whatever they are?

What I find delightful is that American cartoons aren't black-and-white things with bouncing-hold animation and everything-is-alive designs even down to buildings and fingers, or that video games aren't still trying to compensate for the odd decision of whoever designed the CGA card to make it able to render only the most eye-blindingly useless colors of the spectrum. I don't doubt there are fanboys afraid that the average Futurama viewer might form an outdated impression of anime from this. I'm just entertained by the fear.

Trivia: Annabelle Little, one of the early voices for Betty Boop, broke into show business in the 1925 ``Greenwich Village Follies'', with the stage name of Little Ann Little. She was 4'10" tall and weighed 76 pounds. Source: The Fleischer Story, Leslie Cabarga.

Currently Reading: Logos Run, William C Dietz.

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