I got into a conversation with my supervisor yesterday about wanting to get into animation and taking fine arts during my brief stint in college 20 years ago and how the landscape of animation has changed a lot since those days. How back in the 80s and 90s, there was a mix of good and bad animation, but how some cartoons existed that were written for all ages, but could still appeal to adults because they were written to be serious and sincere. I explained that after the Anime wave hit and cartoons transitioned to CG for most of their content, every animated series either became a comedy or had been dumbed down for little kids. Stuff that used to be for grade school kids, teens, young adults and straight up adults are now revisioned for 3 or 4 year olds.
And it leads me to wonder… do any sincere animated shows even exist anymore that are serious and earnest in their attempt to simply tell a story? I know DC puts out animated films all the time, but are there any actual shows left?
And as far as dumbing down stuff for 3-4 year olds (and I know this is a comic and not an animated series), here is an example of something…
This is The Rocketeer, by the late Dave Stevens, created in 1982. A decade later, Disney got the rights and made a rather entertaining film out of it, all things considering.
This, apparently, is The Rocketeer NOW, which I just discovered existed this week.