Animation style characterized by visible heavy black borders around characters and objects. This style began being used by a few animation companies in the early 1950s (mostly UPA, of Gerald McBoingBoing and Mr. Magoo fame), and became dominant in American TV animation during the '60s and '70s, eclipsing the more naturalistic style used in most animation during earlier decades. It was phased out during the early '80s, when more naturalistic styles again became dominant in American animation, but then became the standard yet again
(on television at least) during the late '90s, and so it remains to this day. Shows animated in Flash
tend to look good in this style.
This is sometimes considered to be among the most defining traits of modern day American animation, mostly when contrasted with the similar "anime
=big eyes" notion to emphasize the differences between U.S. and Japanese animation.
Compare and contrast Limited Animation
, Web Animation
Anime and Manga
- A Jell-O commercial featuring Alice talking with the Griffin and the Mock Turtle used this. The animation recycled from Alice's movie even had the outlines thickened to match.
Western Animation - Television
- Penny Arcade used to have thick outlines (especially in the 2000-2003 strips), up until about 2008-2009, in which the outlines slowly became thinner.
- 2004-2006 VG Cats comics. Almost nowhere to be seen in later comics.
- Hanna-Barbera's resurrection after several years in the wilderness in the '90s led to the renaissance of the style and its increased use in modern animated series.
- Clerks The Animated Series
- Duck Dodgers
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars
- The Fairly OddParents
- The Venture Brothers
- Danny Phantom
- Atomic Betty
- Kappa Mikey: Played with, where only Mikey is drawn this way; his Japanese costars have thin outlines and are Animesque.
- The Henry and June shorts on Ka Blam! (though more often in later seasons)
- Xiaolin Showdown
- Yin Yang Yo
- Wow Wow Wubbzy.
- Class Of 3000
- The Replacements
- Spongebob Squarepants (Normally only Squidward)
- Wayside School
- Mucha Lucha
- My Life as a Teenage Robot went out of its way to look like 1940s animation as much as freakishly possible.
- Kim Possible
- King Arthur's Disasters
- Teamo Supremo
- Total Drama Island/ Action/ World Tour/ Reloaded
- Batman The Brave And The Bold
- Blazing Dragons (The cartoon, not the video game) Season 2 had thick lines (along with some radical changes in character design) that was a sharp contrast to the cleaner look of season 1.
- The Secret Saturdays
- Jimmy Two Shoes
- All of the marine animals from Fish Hooks.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic uses a variation with colored outlines instead of plain black.
- Symbionic Titan
- Invader Zim, uses this in a few episodes; Zim's antennae are noticeably thicker than usual in them.
- The Looney Tunes Show
- Phineas And Ferb, slightly.
- Almost Naked Animals
- Some of the 2D-animated characters from The Amazing World Of Gumball
- Clone High almost looks like it shares the same character designers as Dexters Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls.
- Any season one episode of Tiny Toon Adventures animated by Wang Film Productions and—due to inconsistency—Kennedy Cartoons.
- Good Vibes
- 101 Dalmatians: The Series, moreso in the episodes by Sun Min Co, Walt Disney Animation (Japan), Sunwoo Entertainment, and Ko Ko Enterprises.
- An odd variant with Nelvana's futuristic shows Blasters Universe and Cyberchase: The animation of the characters and objects tends to have black bold outlines, but the backgrounds are so heavily vectorized and detailed that they feature no outlines whatsoever, making it seem that they don't match with the actual animation.
- Esurance insurance commercials.
Western Animation - Television
- Ditto for later installments of the webcomic Mac Hall.
- Faye's flashbacks in Questionable Content.
- The entire run of Garanos.
- Cast of Homestuck is normally represented by chibi-like "sprites" with outline, but lose it and gain normal human proportions when in Hero Mode.
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Despite being a cel-shaded game, there are no outlines whatsoever, adding to the uniqueness of the particular style of cel-shading the game uses.