KH-Vids Podcast Episode #57: Western Animation

Discussion in 'Community News & Projects' started by Misty, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. Misty gimme kiss

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    It's Tuesday and we're back...!

    After a break last week in the podcast, we're back to discuss Western Animation! Joined by @metanoia and @Plums, @Misty, @Llave, and @libregkd first nostalgia trip over some of the cartoons we enjoyed as children, then launch into a chat about what cartoons we're watching today. I spend a disproportionate amount of time expressing my Adventure Time obsession (especially where a certain ship is concerned), but we cover several other shows, including Steven Universe and The Legend of Korra.

    Finally, we discuss some of the differences between western animation and anime, and the place that Legend of Korra occupies between the two.

    We then answer questions from @Graxe and @. : tale_wind and finish off with some community news.

    Please listen, enjoy, and share your thoughts in the comments! Be sure to check out & participate in the Summer Mini Series!

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    Download Episode #57 (MP3)
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    Interested in being a member guest on the podcast? Fill out our form here and we'll be in touch. Ask us a question by visiting this page or sending an email to podcast@kh-vids.net!
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  2. Amaury Chaser

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    (Your tag for Tales is broken.)

    Oh, man! I would have loved to discuss The Legend of Korra!
     
  3. Krowley Super Moderator

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    So sad to have missed this one. I would have loved to have gotten into Gravity Falls.
     
  4. Misty gimme kiss

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    Guest seats might be limited but listening and commenting is open to everyone... ;)
     
  5. Amaury Chaser

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    May we get the player in the OP, please? :)
     
  6. jafar custom title

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    dammit, i knew i was forgetting something.
     
  7. Amaury Chaser

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    @Misty: Just finished this! Great laughs!

    Is it bad that I don't really watch Adventure Time?

    Also, I can't wait until I'm on again to discuss what I submitted. c: I might be next, I think, actually. I vaguely remember being after Rainshine last time, and if you're cycling through people, I assume you go in the same order.

    @Llave: "No one here that I know listens to the podcast when I'm on it?" Ahem! *points to self and others, such as Tales* Also, you better never leave staff or I will kick you in parts that shouldn't be kicked. :D

    Anyway, I did not understand your statement on the whole "weekly releases." Degrassi, for example, airs new episodes every Tuesday, and after the first three episodes of book three, The Legend of Korra has been airing two episodes every Friday and will continue until the end of the book in August. However, you said The Legend of Korra doesn't do that and is therefore not rushed?
     
  8. Plums Wakanda Forever

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    I woke up the minute the podcast started so I was pretty out of it when it came for me to speak when I had, lmao. However, I totally didn't say as much on Avatar as I meant to convey, so for your reading pleasure:

    The period of time in the 2000s were kind of a weird slump in cartoons as said in the podcast, although I think this was the perfect time for Avatar to come when it did. I've been watching it since it had premiered in early 2005, and while I wasn't all that captivated by the first couple of episodes, as time went on and I stuck with it, it has probably become my favorite animated series, up there with stuff like Batman Beyond, Teen Titans, and so on.

    Just like Adventure Time has important cultural, social, and personal anecdotes for both children and adults, Avatar: the Last Airbender had the same magnanimous presence within children's cartoons during the mid 2000s. As a series, it dove into so many heavy and dark topics.

    Within the first three episodes, it brings up the reality of the systematic genocide of the Air Nomads and explores the ramifications that it has not only on the rest of the world, dealing with the disruption in the balance of the Four Nations, but also Aang, who must deal with his survivor's guilt, his loneliness at being the last of his people, and the sheer weight upon Aang's shoulders to hold onto the entirety of his lost culture so he can live to one day, hopefully, revitalize it.

    There's also the exploration of family dynamics, and showing that the nuclear family doesn't have to be restricted to blood, that it can allow and embrace people whom you love and cherish and truly see as familial members. Exploration of systematic abuse and discrimination of various groups of people, from both the oppressors and the oppressed who seek vengeance upon the initial oppressors. Exploration of the entirety of its world, and how there are despicable people no matter where you go. Exploration of dealing with the cards you're dealt in life, that you don't have to be any one thing and how you have the freedom to choose the person you want to become. There's a lot of stuff I can talk about, but that is good enough for an overview, lol.

    On the characters, Avatar handles women so well. They show their flaws and their strengths, show a wide variety of emotions, their ambitions, their fears, triumph and make mistakes, and so on -- whether the women are heroes or villains. ****, a girl single-handedly destroyed the patriarchal notions of her entire nation! Legend of Korra itself, despite its shortcomings in Books 1 and 2, explore Korra's internal struggles to define for herself what it means to be the Avatar rather than allow the title to define her, to find self acceptance and self love within herself, an important message especially for disenfranchised women.

    Likewise, and something I also consider very important for children, is that Aang isn't the typical overconfident, brooding male protagonist that we as media consumers have become accustomed to seeing. Aang is pacifistic, he is against committing senseless violence, he laughs, he dances, he cries -- he is shown to shirk away from his powers and duty out of fear, displays his emotions frequently. He cries when a baby is born before his eyes and is never made to feel 'emasculated' or treated as lesser than more masculine male characters. It's important to let young boys & men know that they are able, can, and should, express themselves and not keep everything holed up inside out of fear, and Aang is such a good example and role model of this.

    Lastly, and of importance again, Avatar & Korra never baby their audience or talks down to them in any way. Even with these concepts and themes explored, it presents them (and even the cultural differences due to the heavy Asian influence) in a way both children and adults can understand and have an active conversation about. When A:TLA still aired and I was 12, I would always talk to my aunt about it, and even now when rewatching episodes, I still find or feel new things that I hadn't even considered or looked at before.

    So yeah. I consider Avatar: the Last Airbender as rightfully one of the best Western animations produced. Legend of Korra, even though its first two Books did flounder a bit with regards to a number of things, still features exploration of these topics, good role models, and with Book 3 currently airing, is returning to a similar feeling & thoughtfulness of its predecessor.

    He meant that weekly releases for anime series are usually produced on a weekly basis. Each new episode is made weekly; in Kill la Kill, for example, the animation for the final episode was finished 12 hours before the finale was broadcast on television. With Westerm animation, the episodes are usually finished weeks or months in advance. Bryan Konietzko, one of the creators of Avatar and of Korra, frequently talks on his Tumblr about the process of making the episodes, and how they were working simultaneously on the animation and everything for Books 3 and 4 while Book 2 was in its later stages. Although, the final episodes of Book 2 are a pretty rare example of cutting it close like Kill la Kill in that they were broadcast on Nick's site the day the animation and everything was finished (although this is mostly Nick's fault since the online thing was a last minute thing the studio came up with).
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  9. Misty gimme kiss

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    TY PLUMS FOR YOUR POST ON AVATAR. MODEL PODCAST COMMENTER EVERYONE
    One thing that I have to acknowledge about Adventure Time is that it really isn't for everyone. It's absolutely immature in humor sometimes (fart jokes aplenty) which some are just turned off by, others don't always get some of the themes in the episodes (and I've been in that camp before) and don't really feel it worth figuring them out. I do think that, if you do want to try it, you should try to stick it through at least the first season and a half because the first season is so different, but if you're not into it you're not into it.
    We don't go in any kind of order for the topic suggestions. If we can't think of anything amongst ourselves for the week, we dip into the suggestions and basically just choose whatever interests us, regardless of when it was suggested.
     
  10. Amaury Chaser

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    I may have to give it a try. I've never really watched it at all. I've seen bits and pieces, but I've never seen it enough to form an opinion.

    Actually, I don't really watch Cartoon Network in general that much right now, except for Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry every now and then when there's nothing on Nick or Disney Channel that interests me (which is really rare).
     
  11. Hayabusa Venomous

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    My podcast thoughts:

    -Eh, I thought the KH2.5 HD ReMIX box art looks neat ._. (Riku looks kinda weird though)
    -HOW HAS NOBODY ELSE HERE WATCHED "BEAST WARS"? THAT WAS MY SH I T. I'M ACTUALLY REWATCHING IT AND IT'S STILL AWESOME.
    -Cartoons I'm watching currently are "Legend of Korra" and, if it counts, "Archer."
    -Rebecca Sugar is a great name.
    -"Legend of Korra," as you guys put it, is a mixture of Eastern and Western animation: Eastern design and themes, Western writing and production (especially in terms of comedy.) Just don't call it an anime...
    -Also neat thing about "Korra"; it's animated by the same studio that animated the excellent "The Boondocks"
    -(absence of comments for "Adventure Time" discussion)
    -OKAY SO THE YUGIOH ANIME WAS BULLSHIT. THEY CONSTANTLY CHANGED THE RULES OF THE ACTUAL CARD GAME.
    -Extra thing: the actual "God Cards" in the Yugioh card game...aren't that good lol, except for Obelisk the Tormentor. Slifer and Ra are nerfed beyond being useful unless you're already got your enemy's field empty.
    -I think that animation is totally accepted in America, but not typically for the same kinds of stories that are told in anime. "Archer" and "Bob's Burgers" are examples of highly succesful animated series, and are quite different from the kinds of stories I generally follow in anime.
    -YO SOUTH PARK CAN ACTUALLY BE GOOD AT TIMES.
    -Western animation doesn't stick to human proportions all the time...if anything, anime is more like that. Most of the western cartoons I watched in my childhood included
    -High Frequency thing: IT'S PRONOUNCED "rye-den" NOT "ray-den." And I'd upgrade a crowbar, because Half-Life Rising mang.
    -I totally remember those Playstation sampler demo things! Xbox did it too , and while I miss them, they don't really have a place in a digital market now ;.;
    -"The Stanley Parable" is a freaking awesome demo for all the reasons discussed.
     
  12. parabola Destiny Islands Resident

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    Late to the party, but I just managed to get this episode on my phone (I don't know if it's an issue with iTunes or my phone or what). I liked a lot of the points, and Korra is an interesting case of a "western anime," as it were. It seems like anime can extend from Japanese animation into Korean animation (also interesting that the first season of Korra was produced in South Korea), but it brings into question series like Aeon Flux (perhaps the first series to really blur the line between Eastern and Western animation): Peter Chung is Korean, but the series was produced in the U.S. Calling it a cartoon seems inaccurate, and calling it an anime is potentially controversial (shameless plug: here's a blog post on a similar subject http://animecriterion.blogspot.com/2014/05/an-introduction.html) I also think a lot of recent films like Frozen have very clear anime influences in the character design, so I think it's interesting that Japanase animation has really started to set a standard for modern animators. Overall, great show.
     
  13. NemesisPrime Hollow Bastion Committee

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    I really hate this stigma that once you reach a certain age you HAVE to stop watching animation "Cause it's kids stuff" Hey um, Disney called and says that you can still enjoy stuff as an adult and oh look at that the lines are being flooded saying YOU CAN STILL ENJOY CARTOONS EVEN WHEN YOU'RE NOT A KID!

    Sorry, but it's that stigma that led me to anime in the first place, an example that cartoons can have adult material and discuss adult themes. Heck I watch Power Rangers and Super Sentai and they can still discuss adult subjects! Whenever someone says that you're too old for something really makes me angry ya know?
     
  14. Misty gimme kiss

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    It wasn't even changing the rules, sometimes they straight up made **** up! I remember an episode in I think the Battle City arc where Yugi has Mystical Elf on the field -- a card he's been using since the beginning of time -- but all of a sudden his Elf has a special effect where it prays the whole time and does something??? wtf
    Disc based games in general are kind of... relics nowadays in general ha. But I'd love to see GameInformer or something give demo keys or beta keys, that would be awesome!
    That was my fault! I fixed it with Episode #58, so those who subscribe via iTunes / XML feed might be late to the last two episodes.
    I'm fairly certain that the Adventure Time crew also has a lot of anime fans. A lot of people speculate that Marceline's outfit in What Was Missing references Monkey D. Luffy's:
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    I feel you! Adult stuff is boring anyway.