Western Animation vs Anime/ read a Ghost in the shell review that pissed me off

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Feb 17, 2020
Okay so I was reading a review for Ghost in the Shell, the 95 film not the series and the review was mostly decent but there was an early paragraph in it that pissed me off and I wanted to get your opinions on it. Here's the link if you want more context: Film Review: Ghost in the Shell (1995)

"In the past, in the West, animation signified one of two things; comedy, and childishness. The Simpsons and Family Guy were merely parodies of old family-focused sitcoms, so though they were ground-breaking, they were still derived from familiar sources. South Park was edgy and different, but it was also kind of a parody of many different movies and Peanuts. There was no Western cartoon that wasn't either comedy or for children, that is, a serious drama brought to life using animation. Or if it existed at all, it was buried. Things like Daria and Bojack Horseman set the stage for a new kind of western animation, but are both tied to parody and comedy tropes. But, kid's cartoons seem to be getting more serious and tackling more adult-world issues, and that may very well be a response to anime."

My response:
"I might have to read your other article Anime vs Western Comics and animation to get your full view point on it but what you wrote about Western cartoons seems very inaccurate.

This could be considered mostly true but not entirely true at all. Kiddie oriented cartoons like Batman tas, batman beyond, superman, Spider-Man, X-Men, which were made in the 90s-00s, all had a bunch of episodes focusing on adult themes and serious plots that played as entertaining for kids but also high brow or serious enough for an adult to understand and enjoy. In Batman TAS there was an episode where Batman and Harvey Bullock broke up a coke deal where you can literally see cocaine and most of the plot of the episode feels like an old noir movie with the central question being who is trying to take out Bullock. Another example, the Batman Beyond Return of the Joker movie, in that movie they have a little kid, Tim who's Robin, turned into a little mini Joker clone, completely hypnotized by Joker and tortured by him for weeks (mind you this was the nice alternative to the Jason Todd outcome) and ends up killing Joker with a gag gun that actually shoots.
There's also things like the Black Cauldron (which is for kids but also extremely dark), Heavy Metal, Fritz the Cat, Rock and Rule etc. Even as far back as the 40s you had cartoons that were at least somewhat dark like Duck Amuck or Book Revue. Swing you Sinners is probably the oldest, darkest cartoon I can think of it and is legit creepy af. I get what you're saying but it seems incorrect, I think you should've added a note that there has been other dark animation in movies and shorts and tv shows rather than just saying all western animation is comedic or made only for kids."

Okay that's the end of my rant though I did want to add things that are considered kiddy cartoons today weren't necessarily just for kids at the time, Steamboat Willie had tons of critical praise from serious critics because of the perfection of synchronizing sound with movement, Looney Tunes is still critically loved by adults, etc etc.... Wondering what you guys have to say on this and if you think I'm incorrect in my assumptions here or if the reviewer seems to have only a general understanding of western animation as they seem to be an anime fan more than into American animation.
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