"You'll also notice that the designs of many of these characters is much more simpler than ones of the past. They do this 'cause it gives way to faster animation, while also allowing more time to focus on color, backgrounds, and of course, the story."Thin-line animation or "Cal-arts Style," a stylistic trend that has emerged in The New '10s based more around thinner lines and rounder shapes while still being distinctively western. This style may have emerged for a number of different reasons. The emergence of anime and their influences on western cartoonists have made them focused less on detail. Different coloring techniques with digital art may have removed the need for thicker lines, and thus it only remains when it's a stylistic choice. The need for quicker, cheaper animation after the economic downturn may also drive the desire for more cheap, yet still pleasing animation styles. Some bemoan the style as a lazy derivative of Adventure Time, as many current animators with the style have worked on the show. Others say that the style is just another periodic style that has dominated in a time period, like John Kricfalusi's influence in the early 90s, Thick-Line Animation of the late 90s, or the animesque shows of the mid 2000s. Despite this, the style has endured and is used during more quiet atmospheric moments. In a way, this trope (or at least its base principles) is actually Older Than Television, since many cartoon shorts during The Silent Age of Animation (especially those made by Disney) featured rounded ball-and-noodle art-styles and thin outlines, also due to the need for simplistic designs to make things easier on animators. Compare Puni Plush and Animesque, contrast with Thick-Line Animation.
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- Many of the earliest animes from the 60s, such as Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion, featured this type of style. Justified, in that a lot of these works were influenced by cartoons made during the Silent and Golden age of animation.
- One Piece is one of the few modern animes to use this trope, thanks to its art-style which, while far from simplistic, is more cartoony and relies somewhat on Toon Physics. Its lessened over time, however, as the art style started becoming less rounded and more on par with modern anime.
- Kirby: Right Back at Ya! combined rounded designs (Dedede, Escargoon, the citizens of Cappy Town, and Kirby himself) with angular designs (the humanoid characters and most of the monsters).
- Adventure Time: Probably the one that singlehandedly popularized the modern trend in animation.
- The Amazing World of Gumball: Certain characters, such as the Watterson and Fitzgerald families, are drawn in a rounded style. The change in art style between the first two seasons made several character designs more round and less rectangular (particularly with the Wattersons), though it also made the outlines thicker.
- Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!:
- Ben 10 (2016)
- Billy Dilley's Super Duper Subterranean Summer
- Bob's Burgers
- Bravest Warriors: The show was created by Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward, and shares the same art-style.
- Breadwinners: While it does have a rounded art-style, the outlines are more thickish.
- Chowder is considered a pioneer of the style, despite the characters having slightly rougher lines than the others on the list.
- Clarence: The episode "Goldfish Follies" highlights this style's inherent similarity to the Inkblot Cartoon Style.
- The works of Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show) use a less noodle-y but still simplistic and rounded art-style.
- Gravity Falls: The art-style is rounded, but compared to Breadwinners above, the outlines are more in between thin and thick.
- Harvey Beaks
- Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh
- The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: The show's staff, in fact, included Alex Hirsch, Pendleton Ward, and others as storyboarders, who would all later do their own shows.
- OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes
- Over the Garden Wall
- The Powerpuff Girls (2016) uses this style in sharp contrast to the original's more angular thick-line art-style. Notably, the Powerpuff Girls in the original series had a Non-Standard Character Design that could be considered a prototypical version of this style.
- Regular Show: This is more straight in later seasons when the outlines became thinner.
- Rick and Morty
- The 7D
- The Simpsons is considered the Ur-Example of this style.
- Star vs. the Forces of Evil: The outlines started off thick but became relatively thinner following the change in animation studios in the middle of the first season.
- Steven Universe: Compared to some of the other shows listed here, the outlines for Steven Universe remain consistently thick.
- Sanjay and Craig: Features character designer Jay Howell, who also worked for Bob's Burgers.
- Uncle Grandpa: Again, rounded art-style but with relatively thick outlines.
- We Bare Bears: It's mostly with the Funny Animal characters. Humans have less noodle-y proportions.
- Welcome to the Wayne