Do you think CN is due for a new "aesthetic" in its shows?

TheMisterManGuy

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With the success of Adventure Time and Regular Show, the vast majority of Cartoon Network's in-house productions from that point all cut from a similar aesthetic mold of those two shows, likely because many of the creators, writers, and character designers of these shows got their start on those two titles. If you look at any CN produced show currently running, 90% still have the visual and writing DNA of AT or RS in some fashion. A lot of this I think, is thanks to Rob Sorcher, former Chief Content Officer of Cartoon Network and former president of Cartoon Network Studios.

But a lot has changed within Cartoon Network over the past couple years. The network is now under the jurisdiction of Warner Bros.' Global Kids & Young Adults unit led by Tom Aschiem, leading to Sorcher promoted to a higher position within WB Television. Amy Friedman took over as the new head of programing for CN/HBO Max Kids and Family, and WB Animation President Sam Register, also took over Rob's role at Cartoon Network Studios as well.

With the new creative management, I think CN is in for a big shift in the visual and general design language in its shows, especially with HBO Max's Kids and Family programing now also being under WB Kids & YA management. For example, CN might now be able to do 22-minute format shows more often in the future. The network leaned too heavily on 11-minute shows under Sorcher's later years, and the streaming nature of HBO Max could be more conducive to longer-format shows. Perhaps the new management may want to move away from shows always being made by made by former staff of Adventure Time and Regular Show, and find more outside talent. This could also lead to more visual and thematic variety for CN and HBO Max in the future as well. CN may also start taking in more originals from studios outside WB Animation and CN Studios again as well like they did in the past (Codename: KND for example, was produced by Curious Pictures in New York).

It'd be a big change from what CN had been for the past decade or so, so it'll be interesting to see. I think the upcoming Unicorn: Warriors Eternal will probably be one of the first true tastes of the "New" Cartoon Network in the future.
 
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JMTV Studios

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With the success of Adventure Time and Regular Show, the vast majority of Cartoon Network's in-house productions from that point all cut from a similar aesthetic mold of those two shows, likely because many of the creators, writers, and character designers of these shows got their start on those two titles. If you look at any CN produced show currently running, 90% still have the visual and writing DNA of AT or RS in some fashion. A lot of this I think, is thanks to Rob Sorcher, former Chief Content Officer of Cartoon Network and former president of Cartoon Network Studios.

But a lot has changed within Cartoon Network over the past couple years. The network is now under the jurisdiction of Warner Bros. Global Kids & Young Adults unit led by Tom Aschiem, leading to Sorcher promoted to a higher position within WB Television. Amy Friedman took over as the new head of programing for CN/HBO Max Kids and Family, and WB Animation President Sam Register, also took over Rob's role at Cartoon Network Studios as well.

With the new creative management, I think CN is in for a big shift in the visual and general design language in its shows, especially with HBO Max's Kids and Family programing now also being under WB Kids & YA management. For example, CN Studios shows might now be able to do 22-minute format shows more often in the future. The network leaned too heavily on 11-minute shows under Sorcher's later years, and the streaming nature of HBO Max could be more conducive to longer-format shows. Perhaps the new management may want to move away from shows always being made by made by former staff of Adventure Time and Regular Show, and find more outside talent. This could also lead to more visual and thematic variety for CN and HBO Max in the future as well. CN may also start taking in more originals from studios outside WB Animation and CN Studios again as well like they did in the past (Codename: KND for example, was produced by Curious Pictures in New York).

It'd be a big change from what CN had been for the past decade or so, so it'll be interesting to see. I think the upcoming Unicorn: Warriors Eternal will probably be one of the first true tastes of the "New" Cartoon Network in the future.
Very interesting insight. We'll see how it pulls off.
 

JTOONSAnimation

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Jul 24, 2016
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They kinda are. We got Elliot from Earth, Unicorn: Warriors Eternal, We Baby Bears (in an anime style), Gross Girls and more, and from their initial looks they all have pretty unique and distinct art styles.
 

harry580

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I think it could interesting to see what Cartoon Network doing, I mean rebranding its lesser known europe studio to Hanna barbera, and new cartoons coming, I can see Cartoon Network doing something aesthetic for its shows
 
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The original CN was just about Toons. Funny toons, action, anime, etc. It was just about a variety of shows.

But CN was the true successor of the Hanna Barbera and the Looney Tunes early era of Cartoons. Cartoon-Cartoons was just a fun vibe. They felt like an ensemble of toons that fit together. Johnny Bravo, Dexter, Cow&Chicken, Courage, and PPG all felt like the modern incarnations of those old brands.

I think there was a good transition to the next era when KND, Foster's, Lazlo & Billy & Mandy became the top shows of the mid 2000's. It was a great next era. It was fun. It felt like they were one of us, they weren't outsiders.

But CN got greedy....because Spongebob changed EVERYTHING. They wanted their own cash cow. The Powerpuff Girls failed to reach those levels...so they tried at all costs to find a new cash cow. They couldn't. Disney was killing it with young girls and their shows. Disney kept their brand and did a good job of transitioning to the next thing.

CN to me died in 2007. Not because of the new shows, as there have been many great shows...but they killed the brand. Fridays were no longer the showcase. They slowly moved all the old shows off the network. The bumps felt like it was a new network. The blocks were gone. The noods made it feel like an entire new network.

Nick & Disney never really changed their formula too much.
-SNICK was refreshed into Teen Nick over time....moved to Keenan & Kel to Drake & Josh to iCarly. All That to the Amanda Show. Rugrats & Hey Arnold to Spongebob & Fairly Oddparents. Nick became the biggest thing...but it was because they understood their brand and did small tweaks over time.

-CN just changed too fast. It went from The BEST place for Cartoons to ???
1. They did it right over time...moved world premier toons that eventually became CCF.
2. Toonami underwent changes over time, but still felt the same. Even when moved to Saturday...they replaced it with Miguzi.
3. 2004-05 CN went from Powerhouse to the City era...but it was the right level of change. The logo changed, but the type of shows changed. CCF was gone...but Fridays was a good refresh. Bravo, Dexter, PPG were on the way out...but they transitioned the new shows in just fine.
4. But then from 2006-2009 it just got too crazy. 2006 YES era still felt like CN...but you noticed the lineup changes were getting crazy....still had classic shows. 2007 Fall era happened...still had some good shows but they were forcing out things quickly. Then by the nood era...everything felt like a reboot. The old shows were gone...it wasn't even the same network. Then CN Real...gross. Overrun with Canadian imports....Johnny Test anyone?

5. By 2010, I think CN rebounded but it wasn't close to the same Network it was in 2005. CN in 2005 still felt like it was the same as CN 2005...heck it even resembled CN 1995 in some ways. They brought in some good shows like Adventure Time & Regular Show. The new rebrand was ok...but its felt cheap and without a soul the last 10 years. Just missing an edge. Imagine if they had a lineup built around AT, Regular Show, Chowder, Flapjack, Gumball & Johnny Test. Then Ben 10 & all the other good action at other times? Maybe actual blocks and bumpers? There could've been more variety...which is what CN was known for...

6. The last decade, they found their niche and maintained consistency over that time. I think kids today that are in their teens & early 20's (Gen Z) probably have a good idea of how they view CN and it feels the same. I think they kept the formula and went on autopilot. While I can turn on Nick & Disney...they still still feel like the same channel some sorts like the were years ago....CN is another entity IMO.


I guess it all depends on if AT&T sees Cartoon Network's brand as powerful....or will they just use WB Animation on HBO Max from now on? Cartoon Network itself was a product of Ted Turner's love and he allowed them to be free. But as the corporate culture took hold, it was drained of all that made it great. Linear TV is dead...so maybe as it becomes more of a streaming app...maybe they'll have more freedom?


If it was up to me...I would have the Adult Swim guys run CN...they honestly understood what a brand is and how to build it up.
 

flashfunk03

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Jun 4, 2021
Messages
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The original CN was just about Toons. Funny toons, action, anime, etc. It was just about a variety of shows.

But CN was the true successor of the Hanna Barbera and the Looney Tunes early era of Cartoons. Cartoon-Cartoons was just a fun vibe. They felt like an ensemble of toons that fit together. Johnny Bravo, Dexter, Cow&Chicken, Courage, and PPG all felt like the modern incarnations of those old brands.

I think there was a good transition to the next era when KND, Foster's, Lazlo & Billy & Mandy became the top shows of the mid 2000's. It was a great next era. It was fun. It felt like they were one of us, they weren't outsiders.

But CN got greedy....because Spongebob changed EVERYTHING. They wanted their own cash cow. The Powerpuff Girls failed to reach those levels...so they tried at all costs to find a new cash cow. They couldn't. Disney was killing it with young girls and their shows. Disney kept their brand and did a good job of transitioning to the next thing.

CN to me died in 2007. Not because of the new shows, as there have been many great shows...but they killed the brand. Fridays were no longer the showcase. They slowly moved all the old shows off the network. The bumps felt like it was a new network. The blocks were gone. The noods made it feel like an entire new network.

Nick & Disney never really changed their formula too much.
-SNICK was refreshed into Teen Nick over time....moved to Keenan & Kel to Drake & Josh to iCarly. All That to the Amanda Show. Rugrats & Hey Arnold to Spongebob & Fairly Oddparents. Nick became the biggest thing...but it was because they understood their brand and did small tweaks over time.

-CN just changed too fast. It went from The BEST place for Cartoons to ???
1. They did it right over time...moved world premier toons that eventually became CCF.
2. Toonami underwent changes over time, but still felt the same. Even when moved to Saturday...they replaced it with Miguzi.
3. 2004-05 CN went from Powerhouse to the City era...but it was the right level of change. The logo changed, but the type of shows changed. CCF was gone...but Fridays was a good refresh. Bravo, Dexter, PPG were on the way out...but they transitioned the new shows in just fine.
4. But then from 2006-2009 it just got too crazy. 2006 YES era still felt like CN...but you noticed the lineup changes were getting crazy....still had classic shows. 2007 Fall era happened...still had some good shows but they were forcing out things quickly. Then by the nood era...everything felt like a reboot. The old shows were gone...it wasn't even the same network. Then CN Real...gross. Overrun with Canadian imports....Johnny Test anyone?

5. By 2010, I think CN rebounded but it wasn't close to the same Network it was in 2005. CN in 2005 still felt like it was the same as CN 2005...heck it even resembled CN 1995 in some ways. They brought in some good shows like Adventure Time & Regular Show. The new rebrand was ok...but its felt cheap and without a soul the last 10 years. Just missing an edge. Imagine if they had a lineup built around AT, Regular Show, Chowder, Flapjack, Gumball & Johnny Test. Then Ben 10 & all the other good action at other times? Maybe actual blocks and bumpers? There could've been more variety...which is what CN was known for...

6. The last decade, they found their niche and maintained consistency over that time. I think kids today that are in their teens & early 20's (Gen Z) probably have a good idea of how they view CN and it feels the same. I think they kept the formula and went on autopilot. While I can turn on Nick & Disney...they still still feel like the same channel some sorts like the were years ago....CN is another entity IMO.


I guess it all depends on if AT&T sees Cartoon Network's brand as powerful....or will they just use WB Animation on HBO Max from now on? Cartoon Network itself was a product of Ted Turner's love and he allowed them to be free. But as the corporate culture took hold, it was drained of all that made it great. Linear TV is dead...so maybe as it becomes more of a streaming app...maybe they'll have more freedom?


If it was up to me...I would have the Adult Swim guys run CN...they honestly understood what a brand is and how to build it up.
They did crossover City era-esque bumpers in 2012.
 

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