I thought I'd show you the kind of art and writing that I would use for animation projects I would work on. This is about my dream career and what kinds of work I would do and I'll get to doing influence maps on comics, games, and movies too. This is how it works:
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (1), Wolverine and the X-Men (2), and The Spectacular Spider-Man (3) are the three cartoons that have the most influence of writing action cartoons based on comics and 80s properties. The Avengers: EMH included costumes, continuity references, adapted storylines from the comics, and homages to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (like shots of Iron Man's face inside his helmet). Also, TSSM had shots taken directly from the movies as well as shots as well as one moment from the comics (when Spider-Man breaks free from chunks of metal on top of him). Both had PHENOMENAL portrayals of the characters and had good voice choices. WATXM had the different approach to modify their universe with character relationships changed and Wolverine being the leader, but it was overall very honest to traditional X-Men storytelling. If I wanted to do a different version of any comic or 80s property, the approach used for WATXM and GI Joe: Renegades (where GI Joe was a team of fugitives trying to clear their name) would be my preferred choice.
The Batman (4) is just one part of my art style influence for animation (the others being the previous three). Really, I'm into modern non-anime-influenced animation art styles. This and the previous three shows are my major art influences as far as animation goes.
I haven't really gotten to studying CGI animation, but as far as CGI cartoons on TV are concerned, Transformers Prime (5) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012 (6) are my shows of choice for my influence on my art. There's a good shape variety in both shows as far as I've seen, and TMNT2012 has a good influence on my writing of action/comedy hybrid shows. It's smart and (mostly) cute humor with the chibi expressions only the Turtles make and the image and sound effects used.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) (7) and TMNT2003 (8) are a good influence for how I'd design darker cartoons (preferably those based on early Image comics, if the time comes). The things in each show that stand out is all the detail in MOTU2002 and the dark shadows in TMNT2003. Put that together and you'd get a visual style as close to comic books as possible for traditional animation.
For animated movies, I would count Aladdin (9), Hercules (10), Mulan (11), Tarzan (12), Shrek (13), and Madagascar (14) as good reference for making animated features. This is mostly due to the clever humor from Shrek and Madagascar with pop culture references and hip tone and mature tone of the other four. The ideal animated movie I'd make would feature a combination of both formulas with celebrity guest stars voicing sidekicks, original or licensed background music, and original stories (not based on legends or fairy tales). For making adult animated movies, there's no better inspiration for me than Heavy Metal 2000 (15). In general, this, the original, and other animated sci-fi/fantasy movies were not for kids and had many creative ideas thrown in. This is what I know for these kinds of movies in general, and this is overall a crucial part of my influence in animation in general, especially making mature cartoons; my goal in animation with my works (and mostly one of my original works) is to cement the fact to the public that animation is not a kids' medium. I would make TV-PG and TV-14 shows that pushed their ratings so hard it would get shocking, maybe controversial, and overall extremely popular.
Now when it comes to comedy cartoons, I like the ones that offer unique situations, and crazy, over-the-top moments that on top of being funny are exciting. Nickelodeon shows like Invader Zim (16), My Life as a Teenage Robot (17), The Fairly Oddparents (18), The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron (19), T.U.F.F. Puppy (20), and SpongeBob Squarepants seasons 2-3 (21) have such moments. Others from Cartoon Network include The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy (22), Dexter's Laboratory seasons 1-2 (23), and Johnny Bravo seasons 2-3 (24). Each has their own tone and style from Zim's and Billy and Mandy's dark humor to Fairly Oddparents' pop culture references and smart humor mixed with heart. As far as I know and have seen, TUFF Puppy and Teenage Robot have light-hearted humor (though TUFF Puppy's humor is more silly and overblown) and Spongebob has so much innuendo and zany humor and visual effects (like the fish reporter) that it's really enjoyable. Jimmy Neutron, Johnny Bravo, and Dexter's Laboratory have entire segments that are parodies of famous movies as well as references to significant topics not known universally (like the Justice Fruit Pies being a parody of Marvel and DC Comics pastry ads in the 70s and 80s), and crazy moments of funny and awesome. For all that they offer, these shows are all the big influence for writing animated comedy.
Finally, there is Megas XLR (25). This is THE ideal action-comedy hybrid. The particular thing I liked the most about its humor was the cutaways. They're clever, they're awesome, and they show the personalities of Coop and Jamie so well (from Coop wanting to play arcade games in Vegas to Jamie enjoying being with women as a tentacle mutant). And of course, they both get in trouble sometimes.
More influence maps are to come for other mediums, so stay tuned.
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