True Or False: 2004 Was The Peak Of Cartoon Network As An Animation Network?

True Or False: 2004 Was The Peak Of Cartoon Network As An Animation Network?


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ZHDBZ1994

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If you say false and disagree, what year was the peak of Cartoon Network for you and why?

I'd say true because I was 9 years old and because of all the variety that year had for Cartoon Network and that was the year the City Era started which was so cool, futuristic, creative and innovative at the time. You had so many classic Cartoon Network shows at their peak or still airing with new episodes and reruns like classic Scooby-Doo, Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, The Powerpuff Girls, Johnny Bravo, Ed, Edd & Eddy, Codename: Kids Next Door, Justice League, Teen Titans, Code Lyoko, The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy, etc...you had Yu-Gi-Oh at the height of it's popularity, Dragon Ball/Dragon Ball Z was still popular and still had reruns on the network, Dragon Ball GT, Mugazi had just debuted, Toonami was still great and in it's prime, Adult Swim was at it's peak, etc.
 
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JMTV Studios

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Well, it depends on which era you grew up with. For me, even though, I grew up with the Noods Era and Check It Era as a kid, but personally, I think the Powerhouse era was the peak of CN around the early 2000's. It had everything for both kids and adults can enjoy from the Cartoon Cartoons, anime, Hanna Barbara, WB, the blocks, special events, and so much more.

While the CN City era was good era for it's time, but it wasn't necessary my favorite, IMO.
 

ZHDBZ1994

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Well, it depends on which era you grew up with. For me, even though, I grew up with the Noods Era and Check It Era as a kid, but personally, I think the Powerhouse era was the peak of CN around the early 2000's. It had everything for both kids and adults can enjoy from the Cartoon Cartoons, anime, Hanna Barbara, WB, the blocks, special events, and so much more.

While the CN City era was good era for it's time, but it wasn't necessary my favorite, IMO.
But not everybody liked all those classic Hanna Barbara cartoons and classic 60's and 70's cartoons and that 's one thing I hated about the 90's and very-Early-2000's Cartoon Network was the over-reliance on reruns of stuff like Yogi Bear, Rocky & Bullwinkle, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Speed Racer, etc and much less original programing.
 

JMTV Studios

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But not everybody liked all those classic Hanna Barbara cartoons and classic 60's and 70's cartoons and that 's one thing I hated about the 90's and very-Early-2000's Cartoon Network was the over-reliance on reruns of stuff like Yogi Bear, Rocky & Bullwinkle, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Speed Racer, etc and much less original programing.
Well to be fair, that was the days before the What A Cartoon Show came along and we got more originals as the years progressed, so you kinda had to be expected.
 

Daikun

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But not everybody liked all those classic Hanna Barbara cartoons and classic 60's and 70's cartoons and that 's one thing I hated about the 90's and very-Early-2000's Cartoon Network was the over-reliance on reruns of stuff like Yogi Bear, Rocky & Bullwinkle, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Speed Racer, etc and much less original programing.

They really had no choice in the matter at the time. Turner had just purchased Hanna-Barbera and they were busy hiring staff and preparing production for new original shows. It would be a while before they had anything ready at the time, so old reruns were really their only option till they could have something substantial.
 

Pooky

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In terms of brand recognition it probably peaked around 2001 when The Powerpuff Girls was a merchandising juggernaut. Although you could say the same thing with Adventure Time 8-10 years later.
 

SportyBoss

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I was only a year old in 2004, but according to my cousin who's born in '99, she loved Cartoon Network, specifically that year. She loved how all her favorite cartoons could interact with each other in the City Era. Plus, they had a lot of variety in the schedule from what she told me, at least compared to what happened on Christmas of 2017....
 

TheMisterManGuy

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False. I'd say that goes to 2000-2001. That was the era where Cartoon Network was at its best in terms of programing, variety, and branding. The channel during that period truly felt like an animation channel for kids and adults, compared to 2003 onward where it became more of a kids-only network with an animation focus.
 

JMTV Studios

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False. I'd say that goes to 2000-2001. That was the era where Cartoon Network was at its best in terms of programing, variety, and branding. The channel during that period truly felt like an animation channel for kids and adults, compared to 2003 onward where it became more of a kids-only network with an animation focus.
THIS! 100% THIS!
 

wonderfly

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False. I'd say that goes to 2000-2001. That was the era where Cartoon Network was at its best in terms of programing, variety, and branding. The channel during that period truly felt like an animation channel for kids and adults, compared to 2003 onward where it became more of a kids-only network with an animation focus.

Not quite: in 2003 and 2004, Cartoon Network still had afternoon Toonami that appealed to older kids (and when it did switch over to Saturday nights, Toonami was still popular, at first).

And Adult Swim was still was part of Cartoon Network (it didn't become a "separate" network officially until March, 2005) and Adult Swim still appealed to older kids in that era (remember, they tried to air anime during weeknights for 2003/2004).

So....I can kind see "2004" as the peak of the network, if you tie in Adult Swim as part of Cartoon Network (which it technically was).

But I could also see saying 2001, or maybe 2002 (or maybe 2000), as the peak of Cartoon Network. Depends on how much you want to factor early Adult Swim into this discussion.
 

Darklordavaitor

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I feel like by the start of the City era, especially around the time Looney Tunes shorts were being phased out of the network would be when Cartoon Network stopped attempting to appeal to older viewers. Moving Toonami to weekends was another factor, as well as letting Samurai Jack, easily one of their biggest cross-generational hits, end early.

Although I have seen it suggested before that there were earlier attempts to change the dynamic of the network, and the signs do add up. Craig McCracken has posted before that there was a change of executives in between production of The Powerpuff Girls Movie, where the newer members didn't like the tone of the film. That may explain why the marketing for the movie always seemed a little off, such as the "That's What Girls Do" music video, and the weird decision to only have matinee screenings for it in a lot of markets. The Powerpuff Girls was a big hit with all ages, but even at the time, I could tell that this was them trying to make it seem like it's only for little girls, which resulted in a poor turnout for the movie.

I'd also argue that Kids Next Door was one of the series to usher a change in attitude for the network. While it's never been a favorite of mine, I can see that it's not a bad show, but it always seemed to skew a little younger than most of their other more popular shows at the time, which I felt CN doubled down on right around this time. Dexter's Lab, Johnny Bravo and Powerpuff Girls always had older fans, while it took some time for Ed, Edd n' Eddy, Courage, and Billy & Mandy to find an adult fanbase, but they did. KND, meanwhile, was purposefully meant for teenagers at the oldest, and it started to show.

Sure, Toonami was still around, and some of their shows from this time had appeal for all ages (besides the shows I mentioned above, Foster's was also a big deal online), but I definitely think there was a change by 04 at the very latest.
 

5YearsOnEastCoast

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I feel like by the start of the City era, especially around the time Looney Tunes shorts were being phased out of the network would be when Cartoon Network stopped attempting to appeal to older viewers. Moving Toonami to weekends was another factor, as well as letting Samurai Jack, easily one of their biggest cross-generational hits, end early.

Although I have seen it suggested before that there were earlier attempts to change the dynamic of the network, and the signs do add up. Craig McCracken has posted before that there was a change of executives in between production of The Powerpuff Girls Movie, where the newer members didn't like the tone of the film. That may explain why the marketing for the movie always seemed a little off, such as the "That's What Girls Do" music video, and the weird decision to only have matinee screenings for it in a lot of markets. The Powerpuff Girls was a big hit with all ages, but even at the time, I could tell that this was them trying to make it seem like it's only for little girls, which resulted in a poor turnout for the movie.

I'd also argue that Kids Next Door was one of the series to usher a change in attitude for the network. While it's never been a favorite of mine, I can see that it's not a bad show, but it always seemed to skew a little younger than most of their other more popular shows at the time, which I felt CN doubled down on right around this time. Dexter's Lab, Johnny Bravo and Powerpuff Girls always had older fans, while it took some time for Ed, Edd n' Eddy, Courage, and Billy & Mandy to find an adult fanbase, but they did. KND, meanwhile, was purposefully meant for teenagers at the oldest, and it started to show.

Sure, Toonami was still around, and some of their shows from this time had appeal for all ages (besides the shows I mentioned above, Foster's was also a big deal online), but I definitely think there was a change by 04 at the very latest.

Wasn't KND also the first original CN show that Jim Samples greenlighted under his presidency?
 

Neo Ultra Mike

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Honestly a thought occurs to me about the specific TITLE of this thread: ZHDBZ1994 meant it as the "peak" yeah of the network as in the one you most personally preferred and enjoyed. Which honestly can mean a lot of things to a lot of people mostly revolving around their favorite shows and progam. Honestly IMHO the mid to later 2010's was also actually a really strong time since despite the still overexposure of stuff like Teen Titans Go the actual original line up was perhaps at it's strongest ever with Adventure Time, Regular Show, Amazing World Of Gumball, Steven Universe, We Bare Bears and others running that line up with some of the best shows the channel has produced. And all still really going strong while by 2004 Powerpuff Girls had gotten to it's pretty meh 5th season (yeah the back half of PPG was pretty bad but not really the thread for it) Johnny Bravo had ended (it's last season being of also debatable quality) and even newer stuff like Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends or Megas XLR though very solid ideas were of debabtly shaky quality each and every episode as people always forget those were series with as many cons as there were pros. Still, that's a matter of taste though which to many is debatable. But I think one thing should be pointed out if we are to take the title of this thread literally;

2004 is NOT The Peak of Cartoon Network as an ANIMATION Network.

Never mind that is the period of Cartoon Network Fridays which had live action interstials and segments as a part of it as well as the network showing more movies with live action bits in them like Osmosis Jones (which is better then just plain outright showing live action films like Small Soldiers or 1989 Batman like you got in the later 2000's but still more live action then the network really had before) but yeah by 2004 CN was really phasing out a lot of the acquired and syndicated shows and segments of golden and silver age cartoons. Granted it wasn't totally gone like it has been the last decade from the network but it wasn't really properly balanced like you got in the later 90's through say 2002 which to me is when Cartoon Network was it's peak as an animated network. Because it was the only network to show ALL eras of animation be it the early fleding start of the shorts (well usually not of the 20s but at least the 30s through 50s) as well as their own original current programming. And yeah CN at the start due to being an acquistion done on the cheap and not having the money for years to even make their own original content (that's why the first CN shows even BEFORE Dexter's Laboratory were stuff like Moxy that was 90% recycled content 10% new flashy CG bumper character dialogue, Space Ghost Coast to Coast with live action guests and recycled animated hosts and What a Cartoon a pilot dumping ground of shows essentially) thus why it had shown so much older animation but that still represents a part of the identity for me of a CARTOON Network; a network that would be able to show all kinds of cartoons from every era. Where yeah there would still be a preference for the newer stuff but the old wouldn't be forgotten. That was shown incredibly with the promos and bumpers done at the time mixing the older and newer characters which yeah was not something they did in the City Era. Yeah the City Era had great bumpers and good crossovers but again only of the original shows or newer programs not a place where any cartoon character could bump up and meet another. A merging of both older and newer cartoons that at times could even compete with one another but still were under the same channel that yeah felt like it was fine having all eras of animation history represented. You don't really get that now and I get why but to me THAT was Cartoon Network best as an animation netowrk; one that was fine promoting all eras OF animation not just only favoring or even playing one.
 

ToonsJazzLover

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CN City was definitely the channel's peak before the YES! Era which wasn't bad, but it wasn't as good as CNC as it lead to the unfortunate decline in the late 2000s. It peaked again during 2010-2013 before going to another relapse a few years later.
 

wonderfly

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Okay, yeah, upon thinking it over more, if you want to go by when Cartoon Network was at it's peak as an ANIMATION network....you have to give it to 2000, or 2001....maybe 2002. The live action "Fridays" kicked off in 2003, and yeah...that set things in motion for what would eventually become "CN Real" in 2009/2010. So from 2003 onward, Cartoon Network didn't feel as wholly dedicated to animation as a entertainment medium.

Still, in the question of "When was Cartoon Network at the peak of it's popularity?" Or possibly: "When was Cartoon Network at the height of it's creativity or awesomeness?"

.....well, in that regards, 2004 is the possible winner, IF you include Adult Swim (which you should, as Adult Swim was part of Cartoon Network until 2005).

But every year from 2000 to 2004 have aspects that make them all good candidates for the "Peak" year of Cartoon Network. That's my thoughts, anyway.
 

TheCartoonRailfan

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I would say that 1998-2004 (Powerhouse) were the peak years for Cartoon Network. There was a massive amount of variety: the Cartoon Cartoons, anime on Toonami, the Hanna Barbera, MGM, and Warner Bros shows, and other acquired programming. Many special events occurred during this time along with regulars such as Cartoon Theatre and Cartoon Cartoon Fridays. You could further break down the peak into 2000-2003.

The City Era was amazing since it still had some variety, but it didn't use the classic logo that defined Cartoon Network during the 90's and early 2000's. 2010-2015 was another peak with the removal of the live action content and Toonami's comeback on Adult Swim.
 
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