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Quotes: Animation Age Ghetto
When are you too old to be watching cartoons? Answer: whenever I feel like! I deserve to watch whatever I feel like. You know why? Because this, it's just a TV show. Maybe you'll learn something from it, but just for enjoying a TV show, game, movie, song, in the privacy of your home doesn't define you. It won't make you an inferior or superior person. You say cartoons are for kids because of that age rating in the same way a PG-13 movie is made for 13-year-olds and no-one else is allowed to watch them, no-one. The age rating doesn't mean it's made for kids, it's that it's appropriate for kids. Choosing to only enjoy stuff rated for an older audience doesn't at all make you more mature, it just means your insecure about what others think of you over such trivial things. If it was any good, it shouldn't matter the age rating. The adults who make these cartoons typically write them based on what would interest them.
Pen Ward: We just write it to make us laugh, and luckily, other people laugh at the same things we do.
J. G. Quintel: We're makin' it for ourselves, like, everybody on the show, we're, like, a fan of the show and we just, like, try to make each-other laugh.
When you write what you think is funny or interesting, someone out there is bound to feel the same.
Craig McCracken: We never really made the show for kids. We always made it for us.
John Lasseter: But you never know whether it's gonna hit or not. We just trusted our own instinct, and made the kind of movies we wanted to see.
Interviewer: Why write for children?
Maurice Sendak: I don't write for children.
Interviewer: You don't?
Maurice Sendak: No, I write, and somebody says, "That's for children."
From the beginning, cartoons were always made for everyone. Since The Twenties through Sixties, animated shorts like the Looney Tunes were played in movie theaters and drive-ins before films. Generally, it was for all ages. Occasionally, inappropriate stuff was snuck in. TV later became more prominent. Hanna-Barbera's studios made animation more and marketable towards children, since they felt adults wouldn't get past their more Limited Animation, and that's were the stigma came to be. Multiple attempts have been made to make more mature, theatrical animation, but never did that break into mainstream success. At most, people accept animation as comedy, and they think there's only comedy in animation. It's, it's not. No. Stupid.
Then there's people who think a cartoon can't have a good story. If a story was good, it shouldn't matter if it's animated. Stupid. If anything, that should value it more. Can you do this? I don't think so! Hang on let me push the "Make a Cartoon" button on my Mac Intosh. Animation is a massive group project. Every single object has to be designed. Basic stuff you take for granted requires far more effort than you's expect. People spend their whole life learning to art. No-one's born being a good draw-er. Animation is for everyone, sometimes not appropriate for everyone. So, hopefully, this video changed someone's minds. If not, then they're stupid.
Cartoon Network Promo: The cartoon audience is a whopping 44.6% adults, and why not? We grew up on cartoons! These characters are like members of our family.
Animation is art. If someone makes you feel bad solely for watching cartoons, it just means that person thinks he's superior because of the TV shows he watches, and that means he ain't got nuthin' worth bragging about!

"Do you see any Teletubbies in here? Do you see a slender plastic tag clipped to my shirt with my name printed on it? Did you see a little Asian child with a blank expression outside in a mechanical helicopter that shakes when you put quarters in it? No? Well that's what you see at a toy store, and you must think you're in a toy store because you're here shopping for an infant named Jeb! Now one of us has made a gross error, and wasted the other person's valuable time. This is an art gallery, my friend, and this is a piece of art."
Elijah Price on comic book art, Unbreakable

Calvin's Dad: How can you stand these cartoons? They're just half-hour commercials for toys. And when they're not boring, they're preachy. And these characters don't even MOVE. They just stand around blinking! What kind of cartoon is THAT?
Calvin: Meet my dad, the Gene Siskel of Saturday Morning TV.

"OK, we're back. You grown-ups can leave the room."
Curtis Williams of The Parent 'Hood in a commercial bumper from Kids' WB!'s first season

CNN and news media in general... if you're going to write a story titled "Biff! Bam! Kapow! Comics aren't just for kids anymore!" please rename it to "Patronizing Thoughts On A Medium I Only Know Stereotypes About Which I Happened To Acquire Decades Ago".

Mr. Nick! What are you doing watching Kids' Masterpiece Theatre? You should be watching shows for your own age!
Pearl Fey (Age 9), Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All

You're dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.

"I do not make films primarily for children. I make them for the child in all of us, whether we be six or sixty. Call the child innocence, although buried deeply it might be. In my work I try to reach and speak to that innocence, showing it the fun and joy of living; showing it that laughter is healthy; showing it that the human species, although happily ridiculous at times, is still reaching for the stars."
—- Walter Elias Disney to people who miss the point of Classic Disney films

"We knew adults really didn’t care about the quality of animation. With children, if you had something brightly colored and moving, you could make it go. But with adults, they become bored pretty quickly with the dancing brooms unless it’s exceedingly well done. From the start, words were more important than pictures."
Mike Lazzo; Cartoon Network executive who is in charge of [adult swim], which sort of explains why CN underwent its decay during the late 2000's.

"Animated movies are not just for kids — they're also for adults who do a lot of drugs."
Paul McCartney, presenting the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature. This also has not passed without comment.

"Critics who treat "adult" as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adults themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence....When I was ten, I read fairytales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
C. S. Lewis, On Three Ways of Writing for Children

"A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest."

"Both those who make cartoon films and those who love them tend to have a certain immaturity to them"
Hayao Miyazaki, Thoughts on Fleischer

Animation and film in this country really started back in the day with two different styles of performing: Melodrama (if you look to your classical black-and-white silent films, The Birth of a Nation, D.W. Griffith stuff) and vaudeville (Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin); and if you look at animation, it's pretty similar. The Warner Bros., Looney Tunes stuff tends to be the vaudevillian, Daffy Duck-fall-on-his-face kind of thing, and Disney tends to be the melodrama. But Disney was obsessed with doing childhood fantasy, and that became sort of the dominant theme for animation. So, animation in this country sort of got equated with one genre; the entire medium of animation in America kind of got associated with this one genre- "for children," and that's pretty much because of Disney. The only alternative, then, is the Looney Tunes sort of "irreverent animation", which then turns into South Park, Family Guy, and The Simpsons, where it's going to be very adult, Satire sort of storytelling, and there's a wasteland in the middle.

"There has been a notion in recent years that animated films are only for kids. But why? The artistry of animation has a clarity and a force that can appeal to everyone, if only it isn't shackled to a dim-witted story."

"I know in Hollywood there is a perceived hierarchy of movies and doing something live-action is somehow better than an animated movie. It is why AKIRA can never be left alone and every year we get the "AKIRA is being made live action!!!" news headline. But in an age where movies like Finding Nemo are crushing other live-action movies (or in the case of an already existing franchise, The Simpsons animated movie) I don't get what the fetish is. People just haven't learned. There are things you can get away with in cartoons that you just can't in real life. The real life Scooby gang looks friggin' stupid, The Flintstones looked hideous, and a real life Homer Simpson would be a wide-awake nightmare."

"This isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened. People or properties more commonly associated with famous movies, books, birthday card messages, et cetera, decide to grace the video game industry with their presence and everyone's all like, "Oooh! Show us how it's done, great sensei, because we've honestly been guessing up until now!" It belies not only the endless disrespect video games receive, but also gaming's collective self-esteem problem."

"Saying that anime is for kids because a lot of animated movies are made for kids... is like saying that the entire state of California should be given to children because there are a lot of children in California."
C7DBA, IRC OPer, Playful Hacker, and animation student

Cartoon Network. All cartoons, all the time. The TCI survey notes that the channel offers "the best-loved cartoons for kids of all ages." Translation: Adults watch this stuff. In fact, a third of the audience is over 18. They think they're over 18; they ran out of fingers to count.
John Carman, in a San Francisco Chronicle article on a survey by cable provider TCI

"Grownups — and this includes those of you who work as film critics — must stop watching children's movies and pronouncing them entertaining for adults as well."
Daniel B. Kline, on Pixar's Up. Thankfully, this has not passed without comment here in Troperville (including this very article).

"When people make an animated movie, they know that they're making it for kids. They wouldn't be making an animated movie otherwise, because they know adults wouldn't see it. So obviously they are aiming for a young audience."
Michael, an interviewer over the movie Tintin in this article.

"There are shackles with the budgets and the profit margins. You want to compete with what they’re doing at Pixar and DreamWorks. There’s a price tag with that just in terms of achieving that quality level. What happened to the Ralph Bakshis of the world? We’re all sitting here talking about family entertainment. Does animation have to be family entertainment? I think at that cost, yes. (...) What I’m saying is we could make animation that’s not for the kids to see, too. I don’t think you want to say, “Hey, bring your family to this movie that’s inappropriate.” But animation can be so much more if we let those boundaries loose."

"The thing I really hate the most is the total immersion that some anime fans get into — "dedicating" every corner of their lives to it by buying all manner of posters, books, magazines, studying Japanese just to be able to read the comics or understand the videos, buying Japanese versions of popular video game systems just to play anime-oriented video games, and intellectualizing the plot of a cartoon as though it had some deep, heady philosophy imbedded into it. If you are doing almost all of these things listed, and not just one or two, you have a serious problem. I can't stand people like that, because being around them is like being around a mentally ill person who is trapped in their childhood.
Let's face it. Japanese animation is juvenile, insipid, and endless in it's [sic] artistic, thematic, and storyline incestuousness. Every character looks like they came from the same artist - an artist who himself is obsessed with impossible body figures and puppy-dog eyes. The plots are always borrowing from each other — I swear I saw over 100 different anime shows that had the same plots, characters, and sound effects. I mean, what makes a 35-year-old adult want to watch shows that are intended for a 12-and-under audience is beyond me..."
— some guy named Phsycho Dave in an article called Dave Dumps On Japanese Animation Geeks

"Honey, they didn't have any Digimon stuff, so I got this thing called Legend of the Overfiend. Is that okay?"

"The site prides itself on covering as broad a range of fiction as possible, emerging as a sometimes fascinating form of populist, open-access media scholarship. In theory, this would make it the perfect place to cover lost gems of animation, but in practice it has many blind spots. There is little discussion about (Jan) Svankmajer or Yuri Norstein, while juvenile mediocrities such as Disney’s Gargoyles are treated as masterpieces on a par with the television dramas of Dennis Potter and David Simon. TV Tropes has a page devoted to what it calls the Animation Age Ghetto, which gives a reasonable if scattershot overview of the subject. The page’s “examples” section, however, consists in large part of people filibustering about how their favorite superhero cartoons never caught on. The main reason that most of these cartoons never attracted adult audiences, of course, is that they are simply not for adults. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with having guilty pleasures. The humorist Stephen Fry summed things up well: a fan of Doctor Who, he commented that “every now and again we all like a chicken nugget.” As he continued, however, "If you are an adult you want something surprising, savory, sharp, unusual, cosmopolitan, alien, challenging, complex, ambiguous, possibly even slightly disturbing and wrong. You want to try those things, because that’s what being adult means." The ever-enthusiastic geek demographic certainly does not see animation as being merely for children. But it suffers from an inverted snobbery, with more inventive or experimental animation dismissed as “pretentious” or “arthouse”, and from a view of the medium that is built largely on nostalgia for beloved childhood cartoons. Even dedicated animation enthusiasts can overlook much of the best work which is out there: perhaps it is in human nature for audiences to stick to the films which they think they might enjoy rather than try anything new."
Cartoon Brew writer Neil Emmett, during his post "How Can We Make Adult Animation Truly Adult?"

"We showed them five of the old 'Tom and Jerrys' and they laughed so hard, they had tears in their eyes. Then they said 'We can't use them. If we put those on, we'll get killed.'"
Joseph Barbera, speaking about the watering-down of Tom and Jerry for the 1975 cartoon show

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