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Scenery Porn: Western Animation

  • Beautiful background art was practically mandatory in cartoons from The Golden Age of Animation, so there are literally thousands of examples to choose from. To help give an idea, there's an entire blog dedicated to recreating backgrounds from these old films.
  • The Fleischer brothers were absolute masters at this. They had little 3D model sets that fit perfectly into their cartoons. This was long before computers, mind. See Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor for example.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has plenty of pan-shots of huge and largely detailed locales. Ba Sing Se is a goldmine for this kind of thing. Sokka once took some swordsmanship lessons that included landscape painting of a valley anda waterfall (based of a real one in Iceland)... that he got to look at for all of three seconds. His picture was not very good. The Fire Nation royal palace is pretty nice, too.
  • The Legend of Korra follows up well, even moreso with an Animation Bump. Oh yeah.
  • Batman Gotham Knight did this with the first of its six shorts — the backgrounds are very beautiful and detailed, in contrast to the character designs, which are very simple and jagged.
  • In Star Wars: The Clone Wars the enviroment of every planet, as well as the ships are lovingly detailed, to the point where they look as realistic as any modern cinematic All-CGI Cartoon movies.
  • All Steven Universe episodes have beautifully designed backgrounds.
  • In just the second episode of Futurama, they managed to do this with the Moon.
  • Code Lyoko should be the posterchild for this trope. The lead background painter by the name of Frédéric Perrin created meticulous backgrounds which were utilised in almost every scene in the non-3D sequences of the show; Indoor, Outdoor, Industrial, Urban, Nature, you name it. Check out his work for yourself.
  • The animated series Dungeons & Dragons features quite a bit of Scenery Porn, especially when showing what formidable landscape the teens had wandered into that week.
  • Though some of it hasn't aged amazingly, both Beast Wars and Beast Machines deserve mad props for this.
  • Ōban Star-Racers is recognizable for its stunning, picturesque backgrounds. Special note must be taken of the alien vistas in the Oban arc.
  • The animated series Samurai Jack indulged in this on many occasions. Special mention should go to the episodes "Jack and the Three Blind Archers" and "Jack Remembers the Past".
  • The Tom and Jerry theatrical short Mouse in Manhattan.
  • Hanna-Barbera might've had low budgets for their cartoons but many of their late fifties early sixties cartoons have beautifully painted backgrounds. John Kricfalusi talks about the paintings here.
  • The cartoon To Spring, which also has lots of Technicolor Porn with all the garish paints.
  • The Simpsons: "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson" has a few examples of this, including the obligatory leaving-Manhattan-via-a-bridge ending (and "camera" zoom out).
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) episode "The Ancient One" is full of these, once Leo arrives at the hidden land, where the backgrounds, instead of being in the series' usual style, are painted in a manner reminiscent of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • The backgrounds on Chowder look like they came out a Moroccan and Indian influenced Dr. Seuss book. The end results are gorgeous, as shown in this opening shot from the Knishmas special.
  • While not exactly unimaginably detailed, the backgrounds from the Looney Tunes Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner shorts were very, very pretty and had gorgeous colors.
  • The House of Mouse Prop Room (an extremely large basement that's supposed to house different props and backdrops for (almost) every animated Disney movie ever made), which for some reason, looks like something drawn by Mike Mignola of all people! Guess which Disney movie Mignola was involved in!
  • The French animated series Wakfu takes a few cues from anime... including gorgeous artwork. While this devArt page offers more characters than background, those backgrounds you do see with the characters are the barest sample.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, particularly in the first five seasons.
  • Of all shows, Family Guy can do this when they want to. It's usually when they're trying to make the setting romantic or just pretty, for whatever reason. A more specific example would be the walk on the beach Adam West had with Lois' sister.
  • Thundercats 2011, is flush with many exquisitely rendered, unique environments jam-packed into each episode, detailed (and spoiled) here.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic manages to pull this off in its Sugar Bowl of a Flash cartoon (take these two shots for example). The color, fluidity and amount of tiny details crammed into general shots are impressive. Some episodes use backgrounds that have never been seen before and are unlikely ever to be seen again, like the Training Montage in "Call of the Cutie", the fall foliage in "Fall Weather Friends", and the Wild West scenery throughout "Over a Barrel". There's also the pegasus city of Cloudsdale, an entire city made of clouds and rainbows. Its a pretty Sugar Bowl! In fact, Cloudsdale looks very similar to Mount Olympus from Disney's Hercules (which also falls under this trope).
  • Motorcity manages to make a desolate, run-down, subterranean Detroit look absolutely gorgeous.
  • South Park, of all cartoons, manages to do this with its minimalist art style beginning with Season 7.
  • Sym-BionicTitan does this with certain shots of the city of Sherman, the woods surrounding it and of Galaluna.
  • Coupled with a kickass Instrumental Theme Tune, Gravity Falls has one of the most beautiful animated intro themes for any cartoon show in recent memory, especially considering that it's from the Disney Channel. Even the animation within each episode conveys the show's setting in the Oregon countryside to a tee.
  • Skyland has to be one of the most beautiful After the End television shows out there. Most of the set pieces for the Floating Continent world they live in are rendered in exquisite detail.
  • Strangely enough, [adult swim] has recently spiced up its bumpers with spectacular scenery.

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