DC Animation

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Thad
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DC Animation

Postby Thad » Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:26 pm

Giancarlo Volpe on focus groups.

The highlight is the last page, where Bruce Timm reveals what focus groups had to say about motherfucking Batman: The Animated Series.

I love that Volpe has the perspective he does. He made a show that was special and got cancelled after one season -- I'll take that over a show that's mediocre and lasts five seasons any fucking day.

(I say "five" because children's cartoons almost never get to last longer than that. Because of the exact same kind of network executive conventional wisdom that tried to "fix" Batman: The Animated Series.)




And speaking of Timm and Batman, here's Timm's first Batman cartoon since 2006: Batman: Strange Days, a pretty delightful 75th anniversary short.

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Classic
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Re: DC Animation

Postby Classic » Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:23 am

I wonder if they put all the female respondents in one group because there were too few or if it has been decided that the differences between girls in those age ranges aren't as significant as the differences between boys in those age ranges.

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nosimpleway
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Re: DC Animation

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:03 am

It's because their opinions don't matter, because girls don't read comics or watch action shows.

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Thad
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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:41 pm

I suspect R^2 is right. The 8-12-year-old boy demo is the sweet spot for children's TV.

And the 18-35-year-old boy demo is the sweet spot for adults' TV.

I think things are starting to change -- Hunger Games has finally awakened studio execs to the crazy idea that you can put a female lead in an action movie franchise and still make a buttload of money, and I expect we'll see a raft of imitators in the coming years -- but Timm pretty much nails it: they have preconceived notions and it takes a hell of a lot to get them to consider any evidence or data that contradicts them.

See also: the ostensible failure of the Wonder Woman direct-to-video movie and subsequent scrapping of any sequels/any other female-starring DTV's (such as Batgirl: Year One), despite the fact that WW was actually one of the best sellers of the entire line.

I think the GL cartoon got killed because the movie was considered a failure, and that led to all the other stuff (like it getting bounced around the schedule to guarantee nobody ever saw it). Then again, Beware the Batman received much the same treatment -- or possibly even worse -- and it certainly didn't have a failed film as an excuse.


In happier news: apparently DC Nation will be following up Timm's return to Batman with Cooke's return to Batman Beyond. It seems that the DCAU is finally, slowly starting to make a comeback.

(Which, y'know, actually started years ago. The Arkham series is just Batman: TAS with shitty art and cursing.)

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TedBelmont
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Re: DC Animation

Postby TedBelmont » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:31 am

IIRC, toy sales have a lot to do with whether a show on Cartoon Network lives or dies, and one of the stated reasons why we don't see more female leads is "girls don't buy toys(what) and boys won't buy toys of a female character". The latter of which is ostensibly true, but I think that's a failure of marketing/gender role pressures more than anything else.

Also, a lot of shows get cancelled after five seasons, because that is the magic number of seasons needed for syndication.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:29 pm

TedBelmont wrote:Also, a lot of shows get cancelled after five seasons, because that is the magic number of seasons needed for syndication.


Yes, but children's TV is qualitatively different from adults' TV in that regard, as it's usually either syndicated right out the gate or -- more commonly in today's cable TV world -- tied to a certain specific network (or family of them) and not sold for syndication at all. Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are beginning to fill the role that syndication used to, and they don't require a huge backlog before they'll host a show.

For a prime time TV series, 5 seasons (or 100 episodes, or whatever the magic number may be) might keep a show with mediocre ratings alive just until it gets to the magic number so it can squeeze a little bit more money out in reruns.

In children's TV, it's almost exactly the opposite -- 5 seasons is, almost always, the BEST a show can hope for. It's what a really successful show gets. Because the conventional wisdom is, again, that these shows are for 8-12-year-old boys -- and the kids who were 8 years old when the show started have aged out of that range by the end of 5 years.

Which is, of course, fucking stupid.

Show of hands, who aged out of Batman: The Animated Series? Anybody? Not anybody reading this thread. I mean, there was a period in high school and college where I missed most of New Batman Adventures and Batman Beyond, but that was due to a schedule that didn't leave my afternoons free or my Saturday mornings awake, not a lack of desire to watch them. Hell, I made my way through them all as soon as I could find them online, and then bought them on DVD. And then bought them on DVD for my brother and cousins (which is problem #2 for the idea of fans aging out: even if they do, it presupposes there aren't any new 8-year-olds getting interested in the show and replacing them). And then watched Justice League.

And yeah, I'm aware of two things: first of all, I'm a statistical outlier; second, no matter how much money I've spent on DVD's of the show, I'm not buying the toys. I get that.

But, reiterating the point I made up above, look at the fucking sales of the Arkham games and let's talk about how many people who were 10 in 1992 and are now in their thirties and ecstatic to put down money for something that bears a more-than-passing resemblance to that thing they loved when they were kids.

Anyhow, speaking of the Arkham games:



ComicsAlliance calls attention to Conroy's return as Batman, but I'm at least as excited to hear CCH Pounder back as Amanda Waller. While I think Arrow actually did a pretty great job with its younger, slimmer version of the Wall (the Rail?), nothing would make me happier than to see Pounder play her in live action.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:56 am

And here it is: Darwyn Cooke's new Batman Beyond short. WARNING: The Yahoo TV player is pretty much terrible.

I enjoyed it thoroughly but it would sure be nice to get more than a minute and a half's worth.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:54 pm

Via AV Club's review of "Epilogue", a ToonZone piece on the original pitch, for a direct-to-video Batman Beyond movie that would have followed Return of the Joker.

The final product is much better, as Timm notes throughout; Waller slots into the "cloning Batman" plot a lot more sensibly than Selina (and the one-liner tying the Cadmus technology to Joker's return was an excellent call too). I haven't watched RotJ in a decade but my recollection is that it was far too grim and bleak for my tastes; this pitch sounds much the same, while the realized episode is, ultimately, about hope, inspiration, and fundamental decency.

I also suspect that Adam Beechen followed that road map in his first Batman Beyond comic arc, which has a clone of Dick Grayson killing Batman rogues (past and present).

Also, the not-flashbacks were inspired by Out of Gas, my favorite episode of Firefly.

Also also:

Actually, the almost freakish similarity between the two brothers was what got us thinking about the ‘clone’ thing in the first place, back when we were working on Batman Beyond. We were always amused that Lil’ Matt was an almost exact duplicate of Terry, even down to the hairstyle. Then, the hair itself got us thinking, ‘Huh, Terry and Matt have jet-black hair, dad’s hair is sandy brown, and mom’s a redhead. Hmm…


See, that was the exact reason I assumed, on seeing the episode, that it was part of the plan all along and not a retcon. I figured there had to be a REASON the McGinnis boys looked so different from their parents, from the get-go -- but apparently not.

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TedBelmont
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Re: DC Animation

Postby TedBelmont » Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:59 pm

Banana Grayson

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Re: DC Animation

Postby beatbandito » Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:14 am

I'm probably a little behind on this, but everyone knows that Teen Titans Go is amazing in every respect, right? So far I've seen three episodes and the plots have been:

Robin's perfect sandwich disappears, he travels to the future to find answers and ends up beating up and stabbing himself in front of Nightwing in order to hurt him, who in turns stands there laughing 'oh right, I remember that hurting a whole bunch'.

Robin uses poison on pests, which in turn evolve into super beasts. After partying with and fighting them unsuccessfully the titans use the poison to evolve the pests again, turning them into super intelligent beings that have outgrown violence. The titans use the advantage to beat the tar out of them.

Mad Mod turns everyone but Raven in to old people, which Raven loves. Instead of fighting Mad Mod she takes the titans and leaves, hanging out and listening to long raving stories instead.
Image

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Thad
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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:37 pm




On the one hand, it's sure nice to have Timm back.

On the other, Evil Parallel Universe Justice League is pretty well-worn territory at this point.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:06 am



And my opinion is unchanged by the first short. It sure looks pretty, but it feels dark for the sake of dark, I think Harley's look is unpleasant even by New Harley standards, and I've never liked this sort of mix of violence with cheesecake.

Hall does a solid job, the few lines he's got, and Strong does a close enough impression of Sorkin that I thought it might actually be her.

It's not what I want. But it's what we've got right now, and it's a new DC cartoon by Timm.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Mothra » Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:52 am

Ugh. Haaaate that Harley design.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Büge » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:00 pm

I saw a lot of 'em this weekend.

sigh.

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Classic
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Re: DC Animation

Postby Classic » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:30 pm

Battle panties is very quickly turning into a pet-peeve.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Mongrel » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:39 pm

Oh wow, that outfit is flat-out retarded.
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Re: DC Animation

Postby Brentai » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:05 pm

I was thinking "I dunno, I'd probably like it on a different character" and then I saw the bottom.

Srsly u guys

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Thad
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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:26 pm

Bruce Timm IS a really good cheesecake/Good Girl artist (cover possibly NSFW; covers under "Customers also bought..." may be more NSFW; also it's an affiliate link). It's just, like I said, I think it's a pretty poor fit for a character gashing herself with an exploding chainsaw.

Harley's sexy. Harley's always been sexy. What nobody responsible for any of her designs from Arkham Asylum to present seems to understand is that she never needed a lot of exposed flesh to BE sexy.

Well, I mean, that's not entirely fair, given that the guy responsible for THIS particular terrible design is the same guy responsible for her original, much much better design. But it's still an iteration on the last six years' worth of terrible designs, which are not his fault.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Thad » Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:00 pm



(this one was posted third but it's pretty clear from the dialogue that it happens before the Superman one)



And now I need an Arrogant Bastard more than ever.

Seriously though, I liked both of these a lot better than the Batman one. I thought the Superman one was particularly good, though of course it leans a little bit on both Epilogue and Miracleman.

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Re: DC Animation

Postby Bal » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:34 am

Gods and Monsters is pretty cool. Turns out it's not really about a dark justice league (rightly sited as overdone), it's more about a darker everyone else. Yeah, the JL aren't the JL we know, but they're the least of the problem. I like the universe, and I hope we get a follow-up.

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