Deader Than Disco / Western Animation

These cartoons used to be quite popular in their heyday, but these days their original fans and the general public have turned against them.

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    Genres & trends 
  • Ethnic and gender stereotypes or caricatures (along with cartoon violence) were very prevalent in old cartoons made in The Golden Age of Animation. However, starting in 1968, these were increasingly censored in TV re-airings or the cartoons were banned altogether, like the Censored Eleven first to go were gags about Black people, then one by one jokes about Japanese, Native Americans, and Mexicans received informal bans. Today, the only cartoons that still use ethnic jokes, albeit under a satirical hood, are adult cartoon series.
  • Not too long ago, it was extremely popular for animation companies to outsource voice acting to Canadian studios. While Toronto and Montreal were used somewhat in the 1980s, it really took off in the 1990s when people were contacting Vancouver studios for shows from both sides of the Pacific. Guys like Scott McNeil and Brian Drummond became well known to anime fans, and whenever Dic Entertainment did a show, chances are it was recorded in Canada. This even led to hybrid casts of Canadian-American talent. Times have changed, however. These shows had a reputation for having a limited pool of actors. The unions improved and the recession hit, removing the main reason people used these guys, and tainting them as poor man's voice actors. Canadian animation entered a dork age (spearheaded by Johnny Test), further tainting their reputation. The final nail in the coffin was Cookie Jar Entertainment (now part of DHX Media), which absorbed DiC in 2008 and decided to limit their shows' casts to Canadian talent. While it may be making a comeback (with Dreamworks Animation outsourcing the cast of Dinotrux there in 2015), nowadays chances are if the actors are Canadian, the show is Canadian, and very few are as popular as American VAs, and most of the ones that are moved.note . Case in point, Trevor Devall, despite having an impressive resume, is better remembered as Rocket Raccoon, and that was after he moved.
  • Grossout cartoons were absolutely huge in the early-mid '90s. At a time when the more saccharine cartoons of the previous decade were starting to phase out, the surprise success of shows like The Ren & Stimpy Show and Beavis And Butthead had networks scrambling to get their own piece of the pie. This led to a large amount of similar shows. In fact, it was hard to think of a major channel that aired cartoons that didn't have at least one show of this variety. As the decade wrapped up, however, and some of these shows ended, the appearance of newer cartoons of this ilk became much rarer. When John Kricfalusi tried his hand at two new shows in the millennium (Ren And Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon and The Ripping Friends), they were rather big duds and soon cancelled. Although some modern cartoons have the grossout element intact (such as SpongeBob, to the dismay of fans), it's doubtful that this genre will be as heavily popular as it was years back.
  • Children's cartoons that are based on R-rated film properties. The '80s and The '90s had several of them: Police Academysee note , Rambo, Highlander (The Animated Series), Robocop, Toxic Avenger, and Conan the Barbarian all had heavily watered-down and sanitized children's animated versions. This will not gain them viewers with the audience old enough to see the film versions. And children will only get too confused about why they aren't allowed to see the films on which these cartoons are based.

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    In fiction 
  • Discussed in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, which actually used the line "Deader than Disco" in one of the episodes.
    Cobra Commander: As of now, your little project is deader than disco!
  • The Simpsons also parodied this trope
    • Gabbo in "Krusty Gets Kancelled". When he debuted, he was popular enough to bury Krusty in the ratings and drove him to cancellation. Not even Bart's attempt to destroy Gabbo's reputation by broadcasting his obscene remarks about the children of Springfield worked. After the big success of Krusty's comeback special, Gabbo was quickly forgotten. It didn't help that Krusty managed to get many A-List celebrities while Gabbo could only get Ray J. Johnson.
    • "Bart vs. Australia" discussed the American fascination with Australian culture in The '80s, including such works as Crocodile Dundee, and Yahoo Serious' films such as Young Einstein, the latter prompting Lisa to say, "I know those words, but that sign makes no sense."