Modern day American production designers don’t believe in adding character details and flamboyance. They believe simpler the character design, less work for the animators. Because “adding some extra details and actual work might be overworking the Animators and we’re not the Japanese who over work animators to death!”The art has grown crappier over the years for two reasons: increasing costs and declining artistic skill.
Animation is a labor intensive, expensive business. An episode of your average anime can be produced for a fraction of what a western cartoon is produced for, so costs have to be cut where possible. This leads to animators getting paid peanuts while still being expected to churn out animation. As such, shortcuts are taken- reduced ranges of motion, less detailed drawing, recycled shots, and so on.
Second, artistic skill has declined over the years. As I said, animation isn't profitable, and the good animators aren't willing to work for peanuts for established companies when they can make more on Patreon (Patreon also gives them more artistic freedom to work on their own ideas, rather than on someone else's ideas). This leads to subpar artists being hired, and subpar work being produced.
But don't just take my word for it. Below is the production art of the female lead for three shows: Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop, Kim Possible from Kim Possible, and Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time. You tell me which show had the subpar artists.
"Less is more" has been the mantra of American animators for decades. Compare the design of early Bugs Bunny to, say, Akira. But then compare classic Bugs Bunny to the current CalArts style.Modern day American production designers don’t believe in adding character details and flamboyance. They believe simpler the character design, less work for the animators. Because “adding some extra details and actual work might be overworking the Animators and we’re not the Japanese who over work animators to death!”
That’s why I find it hypocritical when some animator says less is more and then overwork the animators. Japan has the same problem but at least the Japanese puts a certain touch to it."Less is more" has been the mantra of American animators for decades. Compare the design of early Bugs Bunny to, say, Akira. But then compare classic Bugs Bunny to the current CalArts style.
Besides, they do overwork the Korean sweatshops that animate their shows. The art and animation style might be simple, but at any given moment the sweatshops are working on at least a dozen different shows at a time.
I’d laugh if one of these modern CN Cartoons gets like anyone from Studio Trigger to animate an entire episode.IIRC, Steven Universe doesn't even bother with consistency in storyboards " so long as you can tell everyone apart", so whenever they have a guest animator, the jump in quality is very noticeable.
I agree, those are lousy cartoons from the days animators were paid with pure cocaine instead of money- but the animation is still head and shoulders above almost any modern cartoon (which is what the OP was talking about).I think people forget how many shit cartoons there were in every age since there have been cartoons.
80's cartoons? Yeah, plenty of bad ones.
Money is a huge reason, I agree, though there's also the very intense attitude of getting the projects done fast rather than done well. Seasons are made well in advance from random episodes slapped together with a very small amount of time between production dates. This also results in the previously unheard of longevity, seasons extending past 3 which used to be the cutoff for even popular cartoons/shows. The profits are great and can sustain the show, but personal burnout can kill it when nobody is motivated enough to keep going. A movie is one thing; a cartoon that's been going for five, maybe ten years? Eating caviar every day for ten years gets old really quickly.I think it's more to do with there not really being a lot of demand for it in the west and as such a lack of appeal or money to reward talented people.
Talented people will go wherever the money is, and if that's in CGI or independent work than so be it.
There just isn't the funding these days to attract the artists with the skills for these productions anymore; should anime become mainstream in the west we might see a resurgence of talent in western studios.