I grew up on Cartoon Network. I laughed so much at Dexter’s Laboratory that I could probably sue the makers for depriving me of oxygen. They gave countless kids shows a chance to be aired where else they would have been shunned by major networks looking in vein for the next Simpsons. But the Cartoon Network kids watch today is a whole new beast. Since taking risks like airing Adventure Time paid off so well they’ve taken a bold edge to their brand identity. This summer it culminated in this stunning idents.
The network drafted in 5 animators and studios to create part of the sequence each. They were given 10 seconds and a colour scheme like a rainbow’s beautiful vomit to work with and the results are nothing short of mind-blowing moments delivered every milisecond of the ident.
All this is the perfect brand exercise to show off how much Cartoon Network love animation. It shows how much they love animators. This is something to really inspire not just the next generation of animators but everyone with a passing interest. It’s an approach which is attracting kids and adults alike. We’re past the He-Man era of shows that come capped with an education message like “Remember kids – always scrub your shoes!” Kids entertainment is so beyond such unsubtle and condascending techniques now.
Rendering out the characters in such vastly different styles and lending each to studios with such unusual styles feels like it encourages the age-old habit kids have of imitating, or twisting fiction to how they want and doodling their favourite characters. Cartoon Network could be my best reference point yet for my final project, as how to encourage creativity in kids. Furthermore it’s a fantastic example of how successful animation still can be on a commercial level. An ident like this is far from cheap, and animation is an immensely time-consuming means of producing entertainment, but somehow it’s clearly feasible. How exactly is what I hope to find out.
And if I have to watch some cartoons on the way that isn’t awful either.
Listening to: Alamanac by Volcano Choir