YMMV / Don Bluth

  • All Animation Is Disney: The most prominent victim of this trope. He started with Disney before going independent, so it's only natural. And of course, it didn't help that he attempted a Disney-esque flavor with later films such as Thumbelina and Anastasia. But his films became Disney clones because that's what studio heads wanted. That happens when you aren't in creative control of your own movies, unfortunately.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: You need only look at the contemptible cover art for the N.I.M.H. DVD. Bluth has stated that he would have preferred that the original poster art be used for the DVD cover.
    • NIMH wasn't the only movie this was done to either. It seems MGM and Universal Studios don't think anyone over the age of five watches his films.
  • Awesome Art
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: All Dogs Go to Heaven is the (indirect) Trope Namer, though there are plenty of other examples throughout his films.
  • Dork Age: Beginning with Rock-A-Doodle, Bluth cracked under the pressure of heavy competition from other animation studios and Creative Differences with funders who, unlike Steven Spielberg, who gave him the space to do his job properly, pushed him to do more marketable films, none of which were at all successful (tellingly, these and Titan A.E. are is only films not to get direct-to-video sequels). Arguably ended with Anastasia, but his career didn't last much longer afterwards.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: Woe to the poor fan who mistakes any of his works for the works of Disney.
  • Fanservice: In pretty much all of his works that have a female love interest, whether human or animal, she's never anything less than above average in the hotness department.
    • A Ho Yay example in the Rapunzel animation he made for Scissor Sisters would be a scene that features the Prince in nothing but his underwear.
    • In the Dragon's Lair games, Princess Daphne is this, but for a very interesting reason: Bluth apparently had to use poses found in Playboy magazines to use as a model for her animation. This would explain why a lot of her posing is rather... flirtatious for someone being held by a fire-breathing dragon.
    • Masterfully averted with The Secret Of NIMH, where none of the characters, especially the lead female one, are deliberately sexualized in any way as a means of keeping complete focus on the drama. Though Justin appearently was designed to be somewhat handsome, according to production notes.
  • First Installment Wins: The Secret Of NIMH is almost always regarded as his best film.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: An American Tail and The Land Before Time were not the only movies about Jewish suffering and dinosaurs that Steven Spielberg made.
  • Hype Backlash: While he's widely credited for pushing The Renaissance Age of Animation towards what it would eventually become, certain animators (namely Ralph Bakshi and Kirk Wise) don't like how much his work resembles Disney, and that his solo career was a wasted opportunity to overthrow Disney as the standard for feature animation. The younger generation of animation fans who didn't grow up with his movies have criticized his disregard for story in favor of pretty animation and often accuse his fanbase for watching all of his movies with Nostalgia Goggles.
  • Memetic Mutation: A Bluth-esque rendering of the characters from Five Nights at Freddy's by DeviantArt user Kosperry, known for her uncanny ability to ape his style, has led to a joke about Bluth having directed a family-friendly version of the characters in a cheesy 90s film. She's since done several more.
  • Mis-blamed: See Sequelitis, below. A lot of people blame Bluth for the bad quality of the sequels to his movies when (it cannot be emphasized enough) he had no involvement with any but one of them. This works the other way around for An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, probably the only sequel to a Bluth movie that people generally like, with some people praising the "good job" Bluth did on it.
    • He often suffers from Type 5 misblaming, the "Single Person Fallacy". And, as has been mentioned, many of the things that were wrong with his 90's films were more a result of Executive Meddling. And as was also mentioned on the main page, in many of his films he wasn't the actual creator per se, only the director of animation (leading to both misblaming and miscrediting).
  • Nightmare Fuel: He had his one damn category for a while. The man himself got one during his cameo in The Nostalgia Critic, where he gives the Critic a long, unbroken and completely silent Death Glare.
  • Popular with Furries: Not just popular among them, but they even birthed a few! The Secret of NIMH, All Dogs Go to Heaven and, to a lesser extent, An American Tail are frequently listed as a furry equivalent of a Closet Key.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Easily the trope that ruined him. His selling point when he first started making independent features was to do the kind of movies Disney should have been making at the time. For better or worse, Disney listened to him, leaving Bluth with heavy competition and little voice of his own.
  • Sequelitis: Bluth's first four movies are notorious for the countless sequels their parent studios have churned out, all without his involvement and almost entirely Direct-to-Video (Bartok the Magnificent was the only sequel he oversaw, but he had been offered first crack at a few of them, all of which he turned down to work on other projects). While opinions on them range from passable to awful, Fivel Goes West being a major exception, none of them are considered to being even close to as good as the originals. And yes, Bluth himself has made it clear on several occasions that he hates them too.
  • Tear Jerker: There's a good reason why he has his own category.
  • True Art Is Angsty: His darker films of the eighties are much better received than his sillier works of the early nineties. However, this is justified in that the latter suffered from Executive Meddling, and thus couldn't reach the same level of potential as the former. Part of this meddling involved forcing Bluth to tone down his trademark darkness (and weirdness) in favor of a Lighter and Softer tone.
  • Ugly Cute: Nearly all of his character designs that aren't Ridiculously Cute Critters.
  • Unperson: The descriptions on the back of his two books list six of the ten films he's directed. Guess which four didn't make the cut?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/DonBluth