Hollywood is in utter chaos right now with 2016 having helmed so many movies that either bombed (Ghostbusters 2016, TMNT 2, Alice: Through The Looking Glass) or performed below expectations (X-Men Apocalypse (or rather X-Men Age of Ultron edition), Warcraft, Star Trek Beyond), showing how oit of touch Hollywood is becoming with the modern world. Meanwhile Television has not only been growing and growing but also has been more consistent in success rate while allowing for more creative freedom thanks to platforms like Netflix (with Daredevil, Sense8, Voltron: Legendary Defender, and the upcoming Series of Unfortunate Events reboot) and HBO (with Game of Thrones) and even other cable channels producing their own high brow and memorable content like Breaking Bad. While a lot of these successes are for the most part long-running shows, one thing I have started to notice is a rise of more miniseries.
And the thing about miniseries is that they tend to be able to not only be a lot more complex in nature but also be complete stories, without having to worry about throwing in a billion mysteries only to fall flat on their faces (looking at you LOST). Not to mention they tend to allow for more experimentation.
And it’s not just with live action, as Cartoon Network had released the 2014 miniseries Over The Garden Wall that was well received.
And not only that but Samurai Jack is coming back, but not as a TEEN TITANS GO-esque low brow comedy reboot but rather a 12 episode miniseries to bring the series to a full conclusion. Not to mention it will be airing on adult swim.
And to some extent the same was applied to Gravity Falls. Granted it had 2 seasons of 20 episodes each, but rather than milk the series to death the creator of the show wanted it to end with 2 seasons as a complete story with likeable characters that change though the course of the series. With this into consideration, including a brilliant Gravity Falls analysis video from SaberSpark, I am wondering if there should be more animated miniseries for television.
I think this because I have a feeling that the miniseries format would allow animators to tell more intricate and mature stories. In fact I know so having watched this 12 episode anime masterpiece by one of my favorite anime directors, Masaaki Yuasa, KAIBA.
In the West animation has been under this stigma of being just “dumb kids’ stuff”, with some people thinking of animation as a “genre” rather than a medium. And not only do the big animation studios further encourage that bandwagon with their safe and calculated movies (looking at you Illumination), but the cartoon channels encourage this too. Granted Cartoon Network has actually helped with shows like Adventure Tim, Regular Show, and Steveb Universe showing that animation can discuss more mature topics than “FART JOKE, HA HA”, however they have been starting to show signs of falling back with their recent attempts to reboot everything into a TEEN TITANS GO wannabe but also their questionable business practices as of late…
However there is still hope with Samurai Jack getting revived for a proper conclusion and being placed on Adult Swim so that the animators can have more creative freedom (for instance now they can have blood instead of worrying about soccer moms having a motal outrage and screaming, mostly). Not to mention Netflix has already had it’s own popular animated series, Voltron: Legendary Defender, not to mention it has prompted the development of a season 3 of Young Justice thanks to the popularity of the show on Netflix.
With this in mind along with Television’s growing power, I think that the miniseries format had potential in the Animation medium, to not only allow new innovation and variety within the medium but also Animation to become taken seriously as an art form.
What do y’all think? And what kind of animated miniseries would y’all like to see.
Matthew Gafford (AKA Fredryk Phox), creator of A Fox in Space, said something in an interview along the lines of that miniseries is a “British standard” that’s working its way into American television. I think a miniseries run is more efficient for today’s audience since they are bite-sized (we live in a fast-paced society filled with short attention spans) so they may be more effective (holds an audience’s attention) and efficient (may be cheaper to produce in the long-run and easier to write).
That’s just my theory.
I actually would like to see an animated series that has similar pacing/themes/moods of something like True Detective Season 1 (without it actually being an animated adaptation of TD). I don’t think its been done before (at least on American TV).
But hey, sounds like something I’ll get around to doing in the future 😉
Rabid ecstasy, 1997
That sounds cool. I haven’t seen True Detective but I have heard good things about it.
As for me, I think I would like to see an animated miniseries that is somewhat like Bruce Timm’s Batman The Animated Series, but also similar in terms of plot and themes to OLDBOY.
However I think it would be cool to see some animated adaptations of certain books, like maybe an animated miniseries based off Never Let Me Go a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro.
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