Wednesday, December 17, 2008

ARTSO: Western Animation

Action League NOW

Aeon Flux
Watch This Opening. (Yes, those are the opening credits, even though it feels more like a trailer.)

By the way, MTV has all the episodes for free online. Check it out.

Visual: It's kind of mixed. There are some very great images in the credits, but there are times when the camera work seems too jerky or the animation is a little bit off. There are some pretty nice images, though. Aeon's silhouette as she closes the door is nice, as is the shot of the bug caught in the eyelashes. 9/15

Audio: A bunch of pseudo-philosophical babble. Considering the idea behind the series, that probably fits. What's being said really doesn't make a lot of sense though. 8/15

Mood: Since the show is supposed to have make you think and half screw with your head, the credits seem fitting. 5/5

Information: So the world is far from being a utopia. It seems that the two characters, the blond man and the purple woman (I assume those are their voices) have a rather complicated relationship. I can't really tell if they're enemies, friendly rivals, or romantic interests. Obviously the purple woman is an Action Girl. You see her punching out somebody and doing acrobatics as she falls. The blond man is in some position of power. 7/10

Want to Watch: It might be interesting. I'll give it a chance, but I'd like to see how the episodes play out before I make a solid decision. 4/5

Overall: 33/50

Watch This Opening

Visual: Mostly clips from the show, but this clips they showed had quite a bit of action in them. However, the nature of the credits means that there really any images that stand out. also there really isn't a framing device to connect the images. 7/15

Audio: Arabian Nights is a well known song from the movie. The version used in the credits has some new lyrics that fit more closely with the series. 9/15

Mood: It's an action-packed Aladdin cartoon, right? 4/5

Information: Well, really if you know about the movie, all you need to know is that the cartoon is about Aladdin. Most people watching would have heard of the film. It looks like Aladdin is still getting into a lot of trouble. This seems to be a Monster Of The Week based series. For those who don't know about the movie, it really doesn't give much information about the character. 7/10

Want to Watch: You know, the credits are probably not what will draw people to the show. 3/5

Overall: 30/50

Alvin and the Chipmunks
Watch This Opening

Visual: Well that was fun. The chipmunks have a botched concert and maybe a few hallucinations along the way. There was a nice flow to the proceedings. The animation possibly could have been better or cleaner, but it was probably the best they could do on their budget. 9/15

Audio: It's a fun song sung in the Chipmunks style. Very memorable. Easy to connect to the show. There were a few times when the sound effects got a little bit distracting, though. 10/15

Mood: It's a fun show about three kids who are a little too rambunctious. Also it has singing. 4/5

Information: You get to see the chipmunks performing on stage. They are also named at the very end. Alvin, Simon and Theodore. Behind the scenes is a man, who seems to be more worried about the way their concert is going than the chipmunks themselves. When you see them playing instruments, Alvin has the guitar, Simon's on piano and Theodore is playing drums. That probably gives a small look into what their personalities might be. 8/10

Want to Watch: Could be fun. 4/5

Overall: 35/50

American Dad
Watch This Opening

Visual: Well, it was made by the same guy who made Family Guy, and it shows. The only person who's really animated is the father figure. Everyone else kind of sits there, even when he's hugging his family, they just kind of sit there frozen. However, the way the shots are set up shows that they put some effort into providing interest. I just think the animators could have done more to make it look natural. 8/15

Audio: It's kind of catchy. I like it. 9/15

Mood: If you go in expecting something like Family Guy, you'd probably be right. 4/5

Information: So the father is hopelessly upbeat and works for the CIA. He is also living with a Roswell Alien and possibly a talking fish (even though I don't see it talk, so I shouldn't assume). We don't really get to learn much about his family, they just get a couple of quick shots. 7/10

Want to Watch: eh, I think I'll stay away from this one. 2/5

Overall: 30/50

American Dragon Jake Long
Watch This Opening

Visual: Looks like clips from the show. To be honest, there isn't really anything attractive about the animation here. I don't know if it's cut corners or what, but I don't like watching it. 5/15

Audio: There's a small hook with "American Dragon", but really it's not memorable, distinct, or interesting. 5/15

Mood: Probably fits. It's one of those "kid picks up ancient powers" shows, right? 4/5

Information: This kid is a dragon who's being trained by his grandfather. He still has a lot to learn. 6/10

Want to Watch: I'm going to say "no." 1/5

Overall: 21/50

Angry Beavers

Animals of Farthing Wood
Watch This Opening

Visual: It's a limited animation style, but it's used real well. There' s sort of a strong language there with very little movement. 9/15

Audio: Orchestral soundtrack. Probably not memorable, but it fits very well. It's nice every once in a while to break away from theme songs. 9/15

Mood: Sort of a look at the world from the animals eyes. They are going to act like animals. 5/5

Information: So there's this group of animals that have been kicked out of their home because of pollution. I'm guessing that they are going to be traveling to find a new home. 8/10

Want to Watch: Might be interesting. 5/5

Overall: 36/50

Watch This Opening

Visual: The visuals are suitably frenetic. There is a sort of disconnected quality to them. You can tell by watching that the show has strong expressive characters. 10/15

Audio: That theme is incredibly catchy. It will get stuck in your head. Besides that it has the characters singing, which always does a good job of connecting the theme to the show. 13/15

Mood: A zany show deserves zany credits. It fits. 5/5

Information: Tons. On top of introducing the characters and giving small personality shots, it sets up the idea that there are multiple stories which may or may not be connected. Plus if you listen to the lyrics you get the entire premise of the show. 10/10

Want to Watch: It seems like fun. I may take some time on a Saturday Afternoon to enjoy it. 4/5

Overall: 42/50

Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Watch This Opening

Visual: Treated kind of like a dance session for a rap video. The animation is very limited here. 7/15

Audio: So it's a rap. It's kind of interesting, and easy to connect to the show. It still kind of suffers from the same problem as most raps. 8/15

Mood: The opening credits are the most exciting part of the show. Really. 3/5

Information: So these guys are based off a happy meal, I guess. There's a shake, a pack of fries and a meatwad. The fries can fire eye beams and the meatwad can shape shift. I'm not sure if the shake has any powers. I have a feeling this is a comedy series if the last shot of the credits is any indication. 6/10

Want to Watch: Why? 1/5

Overall: 25/50

Watch This Opening

Visual: Arthur is in a story book that's being read by his sister. Kind of meta. The characters look a little bit off from being attractive. The animation is simple, which works at times. Other times it seems to get in the way. 7/15

Audio: A Jamaican sounding tune. Kind of catchy, with a hook in the credits. It's easy to fit with the show. 9/15

Mood: It's a kid's show and it feels like a kid's show. 5/5

Information: Arthur has many friends, and he makes mistakes sometimes, but overall he's a pretty cool guy. Just don't ask him to take pictures for you. 7/10

Want to Watch: This might be fun, even if it is for kids. 4/5

Overall: 32/50

As Told by Ginger

Atomic Betty
Watch This Opening

Visual:Mostly done in the same style as the show. There's a little bit of action in the opening sequence, but besides that it's nothing amazing. It looks like the characters are well made, though. 8/15

Audio: "Atomic Betty, 'tomic Betty, 'tomic Betty" It's got a pretty good hook, and it's quite peppy. 10/15

Mood: Yeah, it fits. 4/5

Information: So this Betty goes out and kicks alien butt with the help of her green friend, who seems useless, and a robot. 7/10

Want to Watch: Maybe. 4/5

Overall: 33/50

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
Watch This Opening

Visual: I'd say it's average. It didn't completely wow me, but it did it's job. 7/15

Audio: By the end of the credits, you will know the name of the show. 8/15

Mood: The tomatoes are attacking, but they're mostly cannon fodder. 4/5

Information: An evil scientist bred killer tomatoes. Why? For Science, that's why. Either that or World Domination. Fighting against him are a pizza delivery boy with a skateboard, and a girl dressed in red. The girl is carrying a tomato. 6/10

Want to Watch: This is either going to be So Bad It's Good, or it's going to suck. 3/5

Overall: 28/50

Avatar the Last Airbender
Watch This Opening

Visual: It looks very polished. The animation is well done, with the martial arts moves and such. It's also designed quite well. There are good transitions and effects, like the map changing to 3d, then fading into the world. There's an attention to detail here that's not often seen in American images. Also, there are quite a few strong images, such as the back shot of Aang. I also find it quite humorous that Aang runs into that rock every single week. 13/15

Audio: The music is not memorable, but it's more meant to set a mood than to be hummable. The monologue has information and flow as well as a few soundbites for viewers to latch on to. 9/15

Mood: Serious storytelling with a little bit of humor injected. 4/5

Information: This show is about elemental based martial arts. There are four nations in the world, and I guess their societies are based around the elements as well, considering one's called "The Fire Nation." The map they show seems to be color coded. Water is obviously blue, so the Water Nation is at the north and south poles. Fire is red and is in the rest. Going off the symbols in the corner, green is Earth Nation, which seems to have the most land. Air Nation is just scattered throughout the world. Fire Nation are the obvious enemies here. They are the group attacking everyone else. Obviously the Avatar is a Messiah or great master of some sort; the person who will bring peace to the world. He hasn't been around for 100 years, though, and is now resurrected or reincarnated as a young boy, who seems a little too carefree and spontaneous. This will either be a growing up story for the boy, or just following his adventures. 8/10 (a bit taken off because they don't bother to introduce any characters besides Aang, and it's the characters that make the series shine.)

Want to Watch: It's a rare treat in Western Animation to get a show that is willing to tell a serious story. 5/5

Overall: 39/50

The Batman
Watch This Opening

Visual: They made a great effort to make this show stylish. Zooming in and out of the Batman signal gives some continuity to the credits. It feels like clips from the shows, but they're put together in a kind of interesting way. It looks like they decided to make the villains grotesque, and is Catwoman Batwoman now? 9/15

Audio: A sort of lazy rock rhythm, used more for ambiance than memorability, but there is a melody there that kind of sticks. 8/15

Mood: Are they trying to be more serious and less action oriented? 4/5

Information: That guy is Batman. Batman beats people up. Hopefully they are evil people. 7/10

Want to Watch: If it's on. I don't think I'll go searching for it. 3/5

Overall: 31/50

Batman: The Animated Series
Watch This Opening

Visual: It's nice. Rendered mostly in silhouette, Batman takes out a couple of bank robbers, and leaves them for the police. There are some good images here, the Warner Brothers symbol growing headlight eyes for example. All of this provides a sense that this is Batman's town, and you don't mess with Batman's town. (thunderbolt). 12/15

Audio: An altered version of the soundtrack from the movie. The movie soundtrack was great. no complaints here. 11/15

Mood: Here Batman is a very straightforward hero. He does his job and that's that. 5/5

Information: Gotham City has a large police force that's mostly ineffectual. Batman does their job for them. 6/10

Want to Watch: Looks cool. 4/5

Overall: 38/50

Batman Beyond
Watch This Opening

Visual: A bunch of random images thrown together in a way that looks cool. There's a flow to this although at times some images seem out of place. 10/15

Audio: An industrial techno beat. It's a little bit hard to remember. 8/15

Mood: So this series is a little bit darker. 4/5

Information: The world has gone down the plug hole, but there's hope. He fights for justice; he dresses in black, and he's a really good dancer. 7/10

Want to Watch: Maybe if it comes on. 4/5

Overall: 33/50

Beavis and Butthead

Ben 10
Watch This Opening

Visual: There are some points of interest, but nothing really jumps out at me. It looks okay, but it doesn't pop. 8/15

Audio: Why do I feel like I'm going to watch a spy series. The song doesn't fit at all. In another kind of series it would be just fine. Here it seems out of place. 9/15

Mood: See Audio. 2/5

Information: Ben gets a wristwatch that allow him to turn into aliens, each with their own powers. There's a speedster and a flame thrower at least. Some of the others are a little harder to tell. 7/10

Want to Watch: Maybe. 4/5

Overall: 30/50

Biker Mice from Mars
Watch This Opening

Visual: It seems like typical Saturday morning fare. There are quite a few obvious shortcuts taken. 7/15

Audio: I can't really remember it. I don't think there was much of a track to speak of. 5/15

Mood: A Totally Radical series about Biker Mice From Mars. 4/5

Information: These mice are from Mars, and the fat guy is evil. Also, it appears that implied bestiality is alive and well in cartoon land. 7/10

Want to Watch: I'll say "no." 2/5

Overall: 25/50


The Boondocks
Watch This Opening

Visual: So they decided to show something that wasn't at all related to the show. It's about two kids, right? There are some fun images, but mostly it was okay. 8/15

Audio: Seems like a generic rap piece. I've heard better raps on the radio. 5/15

Mood: Boondocks is a social satire, so I guess it fits. 4/5

Information: There are two kids who I guess have overactive imaginations. Is the old guy one of them's grandfather? 5/10

Want to Watch: Not especially. 1/5

Overall: 23/50

Watch This Opening

Visual: There's nothing amazingly super duper fantastic, but it gets the job done. There aren't any points where the animation looks wrong or where I'm distracted by the shortcuts that are taken, so that's good. 8/15

Audio: "Bravestarr" I remember watching this cartoon when I was five. Haven't seen it since, but still remember the tune. That's staying power. 10/15

Mood: One good guy against the world. 4/5

Information: A man with the powers to call on the abilities of animals fights for justice on a planet that's overflowing with outlaws. 8/10

Want to Watch: Maybe. 3/5

Overall: 33/50

Buzz Lightyear of Star Command

Camp Lazlo
Watch This Opening

Visual: The animation just looks ugly. It looks like they were trying to be ugly. There is nothing really attractive there at all, not that there's anything bad with ugly, but it needs to be used to an effect. It can't just be ugly for ugly's sake. 3/15

Audio: Right, cause I need kids' nursery rhymes to be slammed into my head and made even more annoying. Thanks a lot Camp Lazlo. 4/15

Mood: As far as I can tell, the intro fits the show perfectly, which isn't a compliment. 4/5

Information: It takes place in camp, but the campers run amock and the counselor can't do anything about it. This is treated like it's a good thing. 6/10

Want to Watch: Do I even need to say it? 1/5

Overall: 18/50

Captain N the Game Master

Captain Planet
Watch This Opening

Visual: There's not much to say. It's animation like the animation for the show. They did use new scenes rather than just show clips, but there's nothing that stood out. 7/15

Audio: Monologue monologue. At least I know the entire premise behind the show. The only thing I can think of that distinguished this monologue was the last phrase "the power is yours" which is cliche in itself. 6/15

Mood: Saving the planet with a positive message. 4/5

Information: The goddess Gaia gives the powers of earth, wind, fire, water and heart to five different children from around the world. When they combine these powers they can summon a superhero named Captain Planet. 9/10

Want to Watch: I'm not sure. 3/5

Overall: 29/50

Care Bears
Watch This Opening

Visual: This show looks a little darker than I remember it. They showed more of the action oriented stuff than the cute stuff. The cuteness was still there, but it's not all. Other than that, nothing really stood out. The animation style seems to be about the same as other shows from the same time. 7/15

Audio: The song feels incomplete. They started with a melody, but didn't go far enough to make it stick. 7/15

Mood: Care Bears will be okay. 3/5

Information: They are called the Care Bears, but not all of them are bears. There is a lion and a raccoon at least. They have magic that comes out of their stomachs. 6/10

Want to Watch: I'm not sold yet. 3/5

Overall: 26/50

Watch This Opening

Visual: This is the opening I remember more. The care bears playing in their cloudy home. It seems to hold together more visually and is much cuter, to the point of being saccharine. 9/15

Audio: The song has a memorable melody and fits the cuteness of the show. It would be bery easy to hate, though. 9/15

Mood: Tastes Like Diabetes. 5/5

Information: The Care Bears are these bears that live on a cloud island. They have different emblems on their stomachs that reflect their personality. They may be clumsy, but they are incredibly happy. 7/10

Want to Watch: I can see people being turned off by this. Kids might not, though. 3/5

Overall: 33/50

Casper the Friendly Ghost

The Centurions
Watch This Opening

Visual: Saturday Morning Cartoon fare. Nothing impressed me that much. 6/15

Audio: Monologue! Monologue! THIS IS THE GREATEST MONOLOGUE EVER!!! Not really, but that guy doing it was very enthusiastic. Too enthusiastic. 5/15

Mood: I saw explosions. 4/5

Information: This opening doesn't give you information. It spells it out for you in excruciating detail. I now know everything I need to know about the show, so watching it isn't really that important anymore. 10/10

Want to Watch: See above. 1/5

Overall: 26/50

Chalk Zone
Watch This Opening

Visual: Clips from the show. It's okay, but nothing spectacular. 7/15

Audio: Even though it's more of a beat than a melody, it's quite catchy. 9/15

Mood: Maybe more hip than the actual show. 3/5

Information: Rudy has a piece of chalk that allows him to draw things in another dimension called chalk zone. There are three characters who say "Rudy's got the chalk," who might be important. 8/10

Want to Watch: Maybe. 3/5

Overall: 31/50


Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers
Watch This Opening

Visual: Clips from the show. At least there was quite a bit of action in those clips. 7/15

Audio: Very catchy. This is a song that stick with you and relates to the show very easily. Disney was very good at making these kind of songs around that time. 11/15

Mood: It's fun for the whole family. 4/5

Information: Well, you see, sometimes some crimes go slipping through the cracks, but these two gumshoes are picking up the slack. There's no case too big, no case too small. The Rescue Rangers will do them all. 8/10

Want to Watch: Yes. 5/5

Overall: 35/50

Watch This Opening

Visual: All the action takes place outside the window while two blobs play cards. It's a good concept. The characters are weirdly designed, but there's a charm to them. 12/15

Audio: It's okay. It's got kind of a melody that will stick with you and it's easy to connect to the show, I'm sure. Anyone who fondly remembers this show will probably fondly remember this song. 9/15

Mood: The show seems kind of wacky. 5/5

Information: We see the main characters and get a small look at their personality. The purple person with red hair is probably the main character. Seems to still be a kid, or have the mentality of one. The blue guy is a father figure and the pink girl has a crush on him. I'm not sure whether the blobs are important. 8/10

Want to Watch: Yeah, I'll give it a try. 5/5

Overall: 39/50

Class of 3000
Watch This Opening

Visual: The visuals don't flow well. They just seem to be thrown together rather than having a logic and order. It's bright and colorful, but it's also a mess. 6/15

Audio: What did I just listen to? Like the visuals, this is a random mix of playground songs without any sort of transition between. Again, it feels thrown together. 4/15

Mood: I'll give them this. I can tell the show is trying to be hip. 4/5

Information: A bunch of kids learn about music. They seem to play different instruments/have different skills. 6/10

Want to Watch: No. 1/5

Overall: 21/50

Clerks the Animated Series

Clone High
Watch This Opening

Visual: Well, it's not much to look at, but there is a sort of visual storytelling there that makes it work. 8/15

Audio: This song has a slightly different feel, which I enjoy. 9/15

Mood: Teen drama with clones, except it's more of a parody. 4/5

Information: The government made clones, who are now in high school and learning about life, the universe, and the pursuit of happiness. 8/10

Want to Watch: Yes, actually. The premise sounds weird. 5/5

Overall: 34/50


Code Lyoko
Watch This Opening

Visual: Clips from the show. There's an effort to make it a little more, but in this case, I think it fails. Throwing a bunch of images together doesn't make things interesting. Sometimes it's better to make things simple and easy to understand. 7/15

Audio: It's catchy, but I know after watching this series for a while that it starts to become grating. 8/15

Mood: If fits, but mostly because they use that song as if it's the only song in their repertoire. 3/5

Information: I'm sure the lyrics have a few hints. There also seems to be two styles of animation in this show, and maybe a bit of action. 6/10

Want to Watch: Well, I did for a while. 3/5

Overall: 27/50

Code Monkeys

Codename: Kids Next Door
Watch This Opening (The spanish isn't part of the opening)

Visual: The kids are introduced one by one in reverse order, making the logo for the show in the process, which is a pretty cool logo. 11/15

Audio: Was this taken wholesale from a James Bond movie. If not it's a very good facsimile. 9/15

Mood: Kids Next Door is a parody of spy conventions with children. 4/5

Information: You can see the different characters and get a feel for their personalities and abilities. 8/10

Want to Watch: I might. 4/5

Overall: 36/50

Count Duckula
Watch This Opening

Visual: I don't really care much for the animation or character models. They seem a bit stocky. That said, the set design is quite nice, and I think this series could have looked amazing with a little more time or budget. 8/15

Audio: The song was okay. It's easy to connect to the show, and it tries to have a hook. Not sure if it succeeds, though. 7/15

Mood: Wacky Duckula on madcap adventures. 5/5

Information: A clan of vampires can be resurrected by use of an ancient ritual. However, the people performing the ritual this time switched blood for ketchup, so Duckula likes vegetables. 9/10

Want to Watch: Could be fun, I guess. 4/5

Overall: 33/50

Courage the Cowardly Dog
Watch This Opening

Visual: The animation is limited and there are a few too many still images. Still there is a kind of charm to the way the opening is put together. 8/15

Audio: A normal speech. It's more about getting information out than being catchy, and it does that. 7/15

Mood: The show is a mix of horror and humor. 4/5

Information: We have the entire premise of the show and a small show of the personalities of the characters. 8/10

Want to Watch: Sure. 5/5

Overall: 33/50

Cow and Chicken

The Critic



Danger Mouse

Danny Phantom


Darkwing Duck

Dave the Barbarian

Dexters Laboratory


Donkey Kong Country

Dora the Explorer


Drawn Together

Dr. Katz

Duck Dodgers


Duck Tales

Dudley Do Right


Earthworm Jim

Ed Edd n Eddy

El Tigre


Fairly Odd Parents

Family Guy

Fantastic Four

Fat Albert

Felix the Cat


Flash Gordon


Flip the Frog

Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends


Fred the Monkey

Frisky Dingo


Garfield and Friends


George of the Jungle

The Get Along Gang

G. I. Joe


Goof Troop

The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy



Gummy Bears


Happy Tree Friends

Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law


He Man

Hey Arnold

Hi Hi Puffy Ami Yumi


Home Movies

Hong Kong Phooey

I Am Weasel

Inspector Gadget

Invader Zim


Jackie Chan Adventures

The Jetsons

Jimmy Neutron

Johnny Bravo

Johnny Quest

Johnny Test

Josie and the Pussycats

Justice League


Kim Possible

King of the Hill

The Life and Times of Juniper Lee

Lil Bush

Lilo and Stitch

Looney Tunes


The Magic School Bus

Magilla Gorilla

Megas XLR

Men in Black


The Mighty Ducks

Mighty Max

Mighty Mouse

Mission Hill

Moral Orel

Mucha Luca

Muppet Babies

My Life as a Teenage Robot

My Little Pony

The Oblongs

Pac Man

Pepper Ann

Phineas and Ferb

The Pink Panther

Pinky and the Brain


Pound Puppies

Powerpuff Girls

The Proud Family

The Real Ghostbusters



The Ren and Stimpy Show

Road Rovers

Robot Chicken

Rockos Modern Life

Rocky and Bullwinkle


Sam and Max

Samurai Jack

Schoolhouse Rock

Scooby Doo

Sealab 2020

Sheep in the Big City

She Ra

The Simpsons

The Smurfs

South Park

Space Ghost

Space Ghost Coast to Coast

Spectacular Spiderman

Spider Man

Spongebob Squarepants


Star Wars Clone Wars

Storm Hawks

Strawberry Shortcake

Super Friends

Super Man

Swat Kats

Tale Spin


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teen Titans

Thunderbirds (I know puppets aren't technically animation)


The Tick

Time Squad

Tiny Toon Adventures

Tom and Jerry

Top Cat

Totally Spies


Twelve Once Mouse


Veggie Tales

Venture Brothers


Wacky Races

Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego


Winx Club

Wochenend Kids

Xiaolin Showdown

X Men

X Men Evolution

Yogi Bear

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