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Fandom Rivalry / Western Animation

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  • Hand-drawn/traditional animation fans vs fans of 3D CGI animation. The former feel threatened by the decline of hand-drawn animation for digital forms of animation and will quickly dismiss all shows and movies not animated traditionally as being "lazy", "cheap", and "soulless". Meanwhile, fans of CGI see the traditional animation fans as hidebound fools blinded by Nostalgia Filter and unwilling to accept anything that doesn't fit to their narrow standards. Many a Flame War has been started by traditionalists bemoaning the fall of hand-drawn animation in America and unwittingly arousing the ire of lovers of CGI. There doesn't seem to be much of an in-between for the two sides either. The presence of anime has only further exacerbated this as the traditionalists point to the often more sophisticated storytelling and dynamic animation style as proof of traditional animation's inherent superiority, leading the fans of digital animation to accuse them of being weeaboos who willingly ignore the Japanese animation industry's problems.
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  • On a very general level, every decade in the history of western animation versus every other decade in the history of western animation, with the biggest brawls currently occurring between fans of the The '90s, the 2000s , and The New '10s. Massive flame wars have been started over discussions of which decade is the best, as the worst aspects of Nostalgia Filter start vicious and unflattering comparisons between decades, particularly when it comes to overall quality of writing, animation styles (which creates significant overlap with the rivalry between traditional and non-traditional animation fans), and overall ability to appeal to a Periphery Demographic. And the worst part is that these happen with extreme regularity, especially whenever new works of animation are announced. The only thing these fandoms can agree upon is a hatred of the Animation Age Ghetto, yet ironically, the often juvenile appearance of their rivalries further perpetuates it in the eyes of outsiders.
  • W.I.T.C.H. and Winx Club have this, being Western Magical Girl series starring a Five-Man Band that uses Elemental Powers and debuted in the same year.
    • Though it's not universal among fans, it is official in a sense that an executive who worked on W.I.T.C.H. derided Winx Club for being produced quickly, stealing the spotlight from his own show and leading ultimately to its cancellation.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender fans vs fans of the following shows:
    • Many Avatar fans hate SpongeBob SquarePants and vice versa. Perhaps it's because the two shows air on the same network yet represent the opposite extremes of the approaches one can take in animation. As Master Pakku told a student at the end of the first season of the former, "A couple more years, and you might be ready to fight a sea sponge." Things escalated when Nick developed a bad habit to switch ATLA's timeslot and replace episodes with even more episodes of SpongeBob instead. This naturally irritated Avatar fans, particularly when the powers that be had an even worse tendency to go on several month long hiatuses with no news on when the show could be expected back on - while airing new episodes of SpongeBob! The two fandoms had a chance to be literal rivals in the 2008 Kids Choice Award for Favorite Cartoon; Avatar won, giving SpongeBob its first ever loss in the category, but 2009 just added fuel to the fire when SpongeBob was renominated but Avatar wasn't despite winning the previous year. Unsurprisingly, SpongeBob won and has yet to be defeated again. (Obviously, this looks like the works of the sponge's marketing machine again.)
      • Fans of Invader Zim sometimes have the same attitude towards SpongeBob for similar reasons: IZ's dark comedy is largely contrasted to SB, and IZ got canceled right around the time it was showing signs of developing its own Myth Arc as opposed to its earlier random humor. The Zim fans also seem to hate The Fairly OddParents because it debuted the same day as Zim, and ended up lasting longer (Even though Fairly OddParents was cancelled and uncancelled four times, which is something not a lot of people know).
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    • Avatar The Last Airbender vs. Danny Phantom; maybe because they're the only two Nicktoons so far to focus a good deal on Myth Arc and Character Development. That and the DP fandom are pretty durn vocal.
    • Avatar The Last Airbender vs. Xiaolin Showdown; maybe because they both have similar characters and have characters that have elements. Ironically, Grey DeLisle voiced in both shows, as Azula in the former and Kimiko Tohomiko in the latter, concidentally enough: both characters have fire powers! Avatar fans have even accused Xiaolin of "ripping off" Avatar, despite Xiaolin debuting in 2003 and Avatar debuting in 2005.
    • Avatar The Last Airbender vs. Samurai Jack, likely similar to the above argument in both being Asian influenced and not to mention both star Mako Iwamatsu and Greg Baldwin.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy vs. Evil Con Carne: Both shows were made by Maxwell Atoms and started as a singular one called Grim and Evil before splitting into separate shows around the same time. However, Maxwell Atoms ended Carne on his own accord despite its good ratings, as he felt working on two full-fledged series at the same time was too stressful, and opted to continue working on Billy and Mandy. The rivalry largely stems from which was the better show, and thus which was the one that should have been ended.
  • The Simpsons vs. Family Guy. Although both shows do make fun of each other a lot, Matt Groening and Seth Macfarlane are friends in real life, and have both stated no real rivalry exists between the shows. However, fans didn't get this and took the jokes a little too seriously. This rivalry is later referenced in the Crossover.
  • And Family Guy vs. South Park. There's apparently a friendly feud between the writers of the two shows, but naturally, the fans have taken it way too seriously and way too far.
    • Interestingly, the South Park episode "Cartoon Wars" was inspired by a lack of Fandom Rivalry – Matt and Trey (who openly hate Family Guy) were sick of hearing people say that South Park and Family Guy are the best shows on television. Basically, they were offended that their show was being put in the same category as a show they considered to be vastly inferior. So, an interesting case where the creators actually actively cultivated (and canonized) said rivalry.note 
      • Which is interesting because Seth MacFarlane made a Take That! against South Park during a talk show.
      • There's also a political element to the rivalry. Matt and Trey are card-carrying centrist libertarians while Seth MacFarlane is a liberal Democrat.
    • Fans of American Dad! generally wish Family Guy would just disappear, as the former is seen as a rip-off by Family Guy's fans, and as "Family Guy 2" by Family Guy's detractors.
    • There's sort of a faux-feud between Family Guy and Robot Chicken, as they represent different parts of the adult animation spectrum, but it's only played for laughs, since Seth Macfarlane frequently voice-acts (even cameos) on Robot Chicken and Seth Green voices the eldest son Chris on Family Guy.
    • Any Seth MacFarlane cartoon (particularly Family Guy) vs King of the Hill. Some MacFarlane fans think King of the Hill is boring, while KOTH fans consider Family Guy to be little more than fart jokes, cutaway gags and shallow references.
    • When asked about this exact topic in an interview, Seth explained that the rivalry between Family Guy and The Simpsons has died down, and become more friendlynote . That being said, while he enjoyed "Cartoon Wars", he doesn't understand the personal attacks Matt and Trey make against him, even when its not as a joke.
    • Family Guy also has one with Bob's Burgers, which seems to mostly stem from Family Guy making repeated petty jokes at Bob's Burgers expense (of which includes Peter ranting about the Belchers for a minute, claiming it needed their support for it to keep afloat, and saying somebody should be ashamed when an image of Bob is submitted as an art project), which fans of the latter write off as jealousy over the Bob's doing fine and being a quality show on its own merits without resorting to the often mean-spirited tone Family Guy has.
  • Nicktoons vs. Cartoon Network originals.
    • Cartoon Cartoons (Dexter's Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls...) vs. post-Cartoon Cartoons (Ben 10, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends).
      • Fast-forward to today, post-Cartoon Cartoon like Foster's are often put in the same category as the Cartoon Cartoons. Now, it's "Classic" Cartoon Network vs. "Modern" Cartoon Network.
      • On the subject of Cartoon Network, there is a rivalry between the Ben 10 and Generator Rex fans, mainly because both shows were created by Man of Action. This rivalry is clearly evident in the late Dwayne McDuffie's own forum, and the eventual crossover between the two shows added more fuel to the fire.
      • Then Generator Rex was canceled early in 2012, and Man of Action announced a third Ben 10 Sequel Series, Ben 10: Omniverse. Cue Ben 10 fans happy to see them working on the show againnote  and Generator Rex fans complaining that they'd rather see the time and money go to a fourth season of Generator Rex.
  • A rather specific example between the DCAU and Batman: The Brave and the Bold fandoms: whose version of Aquaman is better?
  • Phineas and Ferb provides an in-universe example in the episode "Nerds of a Feather," where fans of the boys' favorite sci-fi and fantasy movie franchises are at each other's throats. The only representative we see of the creators of those franchises, a special effects guy who worked on both, is actually quite upset about it. And can we say totally awesome fight music?
    • As a real life example though, Phineas and Ferb has this with SpongeBob SquarePants, no thanks to a news article where Disney itself plans to compare it to the latter by trying to turn it into a Cash Cow Franchise. There actually was a Fandom Rivalry between SpongeBob and Phineas and Ferb in the later 2000s reminiscent of the American Dad vs. Family Guy war. Many fans of the Uncancelled SpongeBob episodes hated Phineas and Ferb because they saw its popularity as a threat to their favorite show, while fans of pre-cancellation SpongeBob became fans of Phineas and Ferb because they saw it as a worthy alternative to the newer SpongeBob episodes.
      Phineas: (frantically looking for materials to help the gang escape a desert island) Look! A sponge and a starfish! There's gotta be something we can make out of this! (throws them away) Awww, oh, no, that's ridiculous!
  • Fans of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers will not get along with fans of Bonkers at all, due to CDRR fans blaming Bonkers for the cancellation of Rescue Rangers (when really Bonkers just happened to be the show that replaced CDRR on The Disney Afternoon lineup after CDRR's standard 65 episodes were up). This is a VERY minor example, especially since the rivalry probably toned down after the Disney Afternoon had ended its run.
  • The DC Animated Universe and Teen Titans fans used to NOT get along — then they teamed up on fans of The Batman and Legion of Super-Heroes. When those shows ended, the two fandoms had a rivalry with Batman: The Brave and the Bold that quickly ended due to just how Crazy Awesome TBATB was. By the time Young Justice rolled around, the DCAU, Teen Titans and TBATB fandoms had (mostly) become Friendly Fandoms... and proceeded to direct a lot of hate towards Young Justice and Beware the Batman. Green Lantern: The Animated Series seems to have escaped their wrath, mainly because it's the first DC cartoon involving Bruce Timm in years.
    • The darker, more serious, "down-to-earth" Young Justice with 2D animation and realistic designs have one with the lighter, funnier, space-centered Green Lantern: The Animated Series with 3D animation and Bruce Timm's signature designs. Even when both shows were cancelled and people online were starting to start campaigns to bring them back, more than a few fans were solely focused on bringing back YJ and are more than willing to turn their backs on GLTAS and leave them in the dust, while GLTAS fans tended to be snobby and resentful towards YJ due to higher popularity.
    • The Beware the Batman fans and Teen Titans Go! fans are not friendly with each other, to say the least. This mostly has to do with the contrasting treatment both shows get from Cartoon Network. Beware the Batman got little to no advertising and only aired during its one timeslot on DC Nation. Teen Titans Go!, on the other hand, is advertised to the point where "Adored by the Network" doesn't even begin to describe it, and it also gets a primetime slot on Tuesdays as well.
  • Early South Park vs. Later South Park. Die-hard fans of the early seasons knock the later ones (to the point where they consider the show to have jumped the shark as early as season 3) due to its shift in focus from random small-town antics to dramatic storylines, social commentary and pop culture and current events references. Other long-time fans, embracing the show's more mature, sophisticated directions, consider the show to have found its own voice, and that the first few seasons are a bit clumsy, primitive and dated by comparison.
    • The phenomenon itself is parodied in South Park with Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones fans looking down on Harry Potter and Star Trek fans.
  • For a while, there was a bit of a rivalry between fans of Hey Arnold! and Recess, due to fans of the former seeing the latter as a watered-down copy (despite the fact that the only things the show have in common are that they star fourth graders, many episodes were based around urban myths told by the characters, and they had a similar voice cast). Fortunately, this didn't last very long, and they've become Friendly Fandoms.
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog vs. Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM). Back in the 90's, almost everyone loved SatAM but hated AoStHnote . Then in the mid-2000s, with the rise of YouTube Poop, AoStH became Vindicated by History and wars between which one was better broke out. AoStH fans dislike SatAM for its portrayal of Robotnik as a genuine villain, its Darker and Edgier nature, and Sally Acorn, while SatAM fans hate AoStH because it's completely wacky and nonsensical (and also because of its infamously Off-Model animation).
    • And then there's AoStH vs. SatAM vs. Sonic X. Fans of the former two dislike the latter for its shift of the setting to Earth, Chris Thorndyke, the fact that it uses the Japanese canon (and its Loads and Loads of Characters), and perceived poor voice work. Sonic X fans dislike the two American series for being In Name Only adaptations, episodic plots, Off-Model animation (though one can rebut that Sonic X looks a little too slick), and not being Japanese.
  • 90s Nickelodeon fans vs. modern Nickelodeon fans. Fans of the old shows hate the new shows for being less funny or not as memorable, as well as the network itself for going through radical changes, such as changing the logo, as well as the fans for liking them, and fans of the new shows hate the old shows for being dated or not as accessible/appropriate for younger audiences, and hate their fans because of their aforementioned Nostalgia Filter.
    • With 90s Nick, we have The Ren & Stimpy Show vs. Rocko's Modern Life. Fans of the former accuse the latter of being a watered-down copy while fans of the latter hate that the former relied mostly on shock value (as well as going through Seasonal Rot). This rivalry actually extended to professional critics, particularly Entertainment Weekly and the Los Angeles Times (both of which panned Rocko for the alleged similarities)
  • Grojband vs. Uncle Grandpa. Fans of Grojband are prone to blame Uncle Grandpa for hogging their airtime, causing the lack of reruns of Grojband, and causing the Series Hiatus to get even worse, and what's even worse is that Uncle Grandpa was already Adored by the Network before it even premiered.
  • Teen Titans Go! has a lot of rivals, especially since it has some of the most infamous Take That! episodes against other cartoons.
    • This show, and (to a lesser extent) The Amazing World of Gumball vs. every other show on the network. Both shows get an insane amount of air time combined they take up at least half of it, while other shows including Adventure Time and Regular Show that were once network darlings show up less and less. The announcement that on January 19th, 2015 that Cartoon Network would stop airing Steven Universe reruns and replace them with more Gumball reruns instead just made the rivalry more intense.
    • And then there's the rivalry of the other DC Nation cartoons, especially with Young Justice (See below), against this show.
    • As of late, the Steven Universe reruns have returned, and the rivalry between Other CN Originals vs. Gumball has toned down while the rivalry with TTG! has cranked up, especially due to an increase in the amount of reruns.
    • As of the episodes "Two Partner" and "Truth, Justice, and What?", Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), Justice League and Spider-Man fandom had joined the hatedom, due to the insults direct at said characters.
    • The Sonic Boom fandom also has a rivalry with Teen Titans Go! due to CN screwing up Boom's schedule in favor of more TTG reruns.
    • The fandom of Justice League Action developed one with TTG! right out of the gate when JLA wound up with an unfavorable time-slot almost immediately after it premiered. The fandom was quick to blame TTG! for this and accuse the execs at Cartoon Network of playing favorites with the shows. (Especially since JLA is more action-oriented than TTG!.)
  • Similar to how most of the modern CN shows' fans feel with TTG!, SpongeBob SquarePants pretty much has a fandom rivalry with almost all of the Nickelodeon shows (animated or live action) that been greenlit since the live TV schedule has gotten less diverse sometimes in the late 2000s. Due to this show taking up most of the air time, many fans of those Nicktoons (especially The Legend of Korra and Harvey Beaks, whom both shows got badly Screwed by the Network) would always blame SpongeBob for not giving the rest of the Nick's cartoons a proper chance since most of them were usually shipped to Nicktoons for not passing the "SpongeBob Standard" (the only way a Nicktoon succeed is to have ratings as good as SpongeBob) and they often last one or two season the most. Even fans of the live-action shows can still have this attitude towards the sponge's ongoing Adored by the Network status, particularly Power Rangers.
    • In general, any cartoon that compete with SpongeBob for the KCA's notorious Best Cartoon category is subject to this with very harsh reactions, accusing Nick that the whole thing is rigged. It doesn't help that it had literally won this category every single year except 2008. Regardless of the quality (even after it has improved in recent years), fans of shows like Gravity Falls, Steven Universe, and The Loud House will still hate on SpongeBob for not giving the other cartoons a chance. At least there's the Annie Awards and Emmy Awards for other cartoons to shine in the award show industry.
  • Word Party seems to have garnered an unfortunate one with fans of Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood due to Netflix dropping the latter along with other 9 Story Media Group shows shortly before announcing the former.
  • Fans of Rugrats tend to hold vitriol towards fans of SpongeBob SquarePants, mostly due to public knowledge that Nickelodeon purposely sabotaged their beloved show so the sponge could take over in popularity surveys, which will then give them the convenient excuse to cancel it. The fact that Klasky-Csupo also had a falling out with Nickelodeon towards the end of the show's run didn't matter. The remaining hated the show because they couldn't get into SpongeBob 's surrealist-type humor.
    • And then there's the Rugrats-CatDog rivalry in the late 90s. Granted, CatDog died first, but by the time fans of Rugrats had their way, Klasky-Csupo was already having said fallout with Nickelodeon and the franchise also got screwed shortly after.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine:
    • The series' fandom has a rivalry with that of PAW Patrol, as PAW has beaten Thomas as the most popular preschool brand in both ratings and toy sales. Thomas fans have also been known to take jabs at PAW Patrol and other generic modern preschool shows. It also doesn't help that as of 2018, Thomas now airs on Nick Jr. alongside PAW and that both shows aired on TV Ontario until 2018, when Thomas was moved to Treehouse TV, and Mattel rebranded the series as Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! to compete with PAW Patrol and other faster-paced modern preschool shows on Nick Jr. and Disney. Both series also have the dubious honor of being accused of pro-authoritarian themes, though in Thomas's case, it has to do with the series' age. Big World! Big Adventures! also sees Mattel trying to mooch off of the PAW franchise's success by making wild animals become more prominent in the series, due to kids being more attracted to animals. Due to PAW also taking up shelf space once held by Thomas merchandise, along with heritage railways in the United Kingdom note  scrapping their "Day Out With Thomas" events and replacing them with PAW Patrol events, the fandom views PAW Patrol as a massive Franchise Killer. It's a pretty one-sided fan rivalry to say the least as the PAW fans don't seem to care one bit about the flaming they get from Thomas fans.
    • A milder but longer rivalry exists with Chuggington as well. Mainly because Thomas fans see Chuggington as more "kiddie" and less mature in comparison and while appealing to preschoolers, is alienating to the rest of the family; unlike Thomas which has generally done a good job appealing to young kids but also can be entertaining to older kids and adults. A lot of Thomas fans also criticize Chuggington for being a lot less grounded in railway realism, as the characters literally bounce off the rails. Some fans blame Chuggington for the Thomas CGI-series making the characters more "animated" in later seasons, mainly the "bouncing"-like body language gestures done by the engines and cars which has sparked a lot of controversy within the fandom. Chuggington was also created by former HiT writers and the show also as a strong merchandise presence that rivals the Thomas merchandise line. Fans have accused Chuggington of trying to leech off of the popularity of Thomas since day one.
  • The 2017 DuckTales reboot's problems with fans of the original comics and 1987 series who bemoan its numerous "gratuituous" changes fell back to the more traditional Legend of the Three Caballeros mere hours after its release, seeing as a more "rightful" Duck adventure cartoon that embraces the classic Disney animation style, doesn't have grating reboots of characters like the In Name Only Huey, Dewey and Louie, and doesn't shove Donald Duck to the sidelines. Although there's also a large number of people who immensely love both series.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender:
    • Bounces between this and Friendly Fandoms regarding The Dragon Prince. Many fans who were disillusioned with certain writing choices and the fandom of the former moved onto the latter, particularly those who who sought out Voltron hoping it would be a Spiritual Successor to Avatar: The Last Airbender due to the overlap in staff, and believing Dragon Prince to fit the bill better due to having Avatar head writer Aaron Ehasz at the helm. Active comparisons between the two became a source of ire for both fandoms, although people with less negative opinions towards VLD (especially fans of Lotor) also migrated to Dragon Prince.
    • A few months later, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power became another rival to it for similar reasons as The Dragon Prince: a disillusion with certain writing choices and the fandom of VLD (although in this case, the opposite half of the fandom from those who alienated the fanbase of The Dragon Prince). In this particular case the most glaring issue between these fandoms comes from She-Ra fans contesting the Bury Your Gays undertone that Season 7 of Voltron hadnote , where as She-Ra starts off with strong LGBT representation note .
    • Ironically, this has led to some rivalry between the fandoms of both She-Ra and The Dragon Prince, as each group felt alienated by opposing halves of the VLD fanbase due to the intense Ship-to-Ship Combat that tore that fandom apart, with fans of one ship migrating to She-Ra, and fans of the other ship(s) migrating to Dragon Prince.
  • Tuca & Bertie:
    • A big one with Big Mouth, due to the unfortunate timing Netflix picked to make some decisions. After cancelling Tuca and Bertie right after its first season, despite an overwhelmingly positive fan and critical response, Big Mouth was announced to have earned 3 extra seasons and a Spin-Off. This prompted fans of the former to hate the latter show, believing it didn't deserve that much investment.
    • With its sister series Bojack Horseman, again in part due to fans being bitter over the series being cancelled, often argues with the fans of the latter over which series was the superior one in drama, writing and comedy.
  • Wander over Yonder vs. Disney Channel’s Kid Coms, especially Liv and Maddie, which premiered two days after this show. This is because these shows are given special treatment by Disney while Wander was unceremoniously cancelled after Season 2 for not being a Kid Com.


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