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  1. #1
    Uh, Hugh Jass? Welcome to Moe's's Avatar
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    Question Is The Simpsons animation today TOO perfect? (Kindly read through before adding your response)

    Ok so in the Simpsons Roasting thread @Treehouse of Spoopy mentioned how it's a little shaky in quality but still a fun watch each year, which got me thinking about something I wanted to ask you guys in regards to The Simpsons which is

    Is the animation in The Simpsons TOO perfect in today's episodes?

    I know we've had many discussions before about the animation so this isn't a rehash of that as I wanted to talk more so in regards to the animation being perfect or not? Maybe some will disagree that it's not and still has it quirks, maybe some will agree or have a different take on it but that's the beauty of discussion here to see what others think and to also see if we can take on board people's different thoughts on this.

    For me, I have to say yes, simply because one of the initial charms with The Simpsons WAS their quirky animation and how it did, even when more established in later seasons have that kind of free flowing and rough edged animation where as now everything is perfect and that's not really what The Simpsons was about.

    I'm pretty sure the writers feel this also with the digital animation as I know on one of the DVD commentaries Matt Groening says something about how they really didn't want to switch to the digital animation but they had no choice because the animators pretty much refused to animate hand drawn anymore which is understandable but it has made The Simpsons look like a pretty perfect cartoon, which they're not really supposed to be.

    It's kind of hard to explain but the lines are perfect, like before they would have weird looking characters randomly, take this for example, look at the background characters in the original opening orchestra intro and look at it now.



    We've lost a lot of this too as all the characters look perfect now, something The Simpsons didn't have before, if you look at a crowd scene today we don't get these little quirks we used to.





    And then they would do little things like this, which we also don't get no more.



    I know before the digital era they did do less of these at times but it was still there in regards to so many things, not just how characters looked, also the way they are painted, I do love the vibrancy but they do look too perfect too if that makes sense.

    If you look at this picture here, the colours are better, the backgrounds, the bendy lines, the thickness of the lines etc... it's all better when it's NOT so perfect as it did for me make it much better with much more charm.

    Look at the Santa picture in the corner and the background frames, the light shade, the Christmas lights, the way Bart's head is shaped, where as now it's all perfect.



    They all look like little Matt Groening drawings which is cool! Don't get me wrong, I know things evolve and things are more vibrant now (The Simpsons Movie looks awesome when you watch it on Blu Ray) but I do sometimes wonder if the animation looks TOO perfect, not just with The Simpsons this can be applied to any really.

    However I did kind of wonder if maybe The Simpsons animation is TOO perfect now, what do you think?

    I look forward to hearing from you guys


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  2. #2
    One of you Financial Panther's Avatar
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    I like the animation today, its crisp cleanness and sharp colors. I do miss the creative-looking background characters, but overall, while many people say the current animation is lifeless and sterile, I think it’s very good.
    Favorite and least favorite by season
    1. Krusty Gets Busted There’s No Disgrace Like Home 2. Bart Gets an F Dead Putting Society 3. Homer at the Bat Like Father, Like Clown 4. Brother From the Same Planet Krusty Gets Kancelled 5. Cape Feare Lady Bouvier’s Lover 6. Homer Badman Another Simpsons Clip Show 7. King-Size Homer Lisa the Iconoclast 8. Homer’s Enemy El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer 9. Bart Carny The Trouble With Trillions 10. Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo Homer Simpson in: “Kidney Trouble” 11. Guess Who’s Coming to Criticize Dinner? Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder 12. HOMЯ Tennis the Menace 13. Tales From the Public Domain She of Little Faith 14. The Dad Who Knew Too Little Helter Shelter 15. I, Annoyed Grunt)-bot Bart-Mangled Banner 16. A Star is Torn On a Clear Day I Can’t See My Sister 17. My Fair Laddy Bonfire of the Manatees 18. The Haw-Hawed Couple You Kent Always Say What You Want 19. Funeral for a Fiend All About Lisa 20. Gone Maggie Gone The Good, the Sad and the Drugly 21. The Bob Next Door The Color Yellow 22. Donnie Fatso Love is a Many Strangled Thing 23. The Falcon and the D’ohman A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again 24. Hardly Kirk-ing Moonshine River 25. The War of Art What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting 26. Sky Police Let’s Go Fly a Coot 27. Halloween of Horror Lisa With an ‘S’ 28. There Will Be Buds Moho House 29. Springfield Splendor Throw Grampa From the Dane


  3. #3
    Uh, Hugh Jass? Welcome to Moe's's Avatar
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    There's no doubt it is good but it is also too perfect from when you think what The Simpsons initial appeal was, obviously the appeal is different for everyone but as a general consensus the appeal wasn't just in the story lines and episodes but it was how the characters looked and moved, how they were drawn and the creative looking background characters which a lot of this has been lost due the the animation being pretty much perfect now.

    I mean, we have every other cartoon that's got this perfect look now and I do agree it's crisp and sharp colours are really good (I've mentioned a few times how much I love the movie on Blu Ray due to this) but there is so much Simpsons appeal that's not really shining through with the perfect lines, perfect colouring, all things like that

  4. #4
    One of you Financial Panther's Avatar
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    I never actually paid much attention to animation, which I know means I’m missing out on a lot, but it was just never a thing I really noticed. People often point to early animation as an integral prt of the show’s “charm” at that time, but I was more focused on other things in the episodes. The current animation feels more crisp and pleasing to the eye for me for what I do notice.

  5. #5
    Uh, Hugh Jass? Welcome to Moe's's Avatar
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    Nah, I wouldn't say you were missing out for not paying attention to the animation, you enjoy the show in your own way so no right or wrong There is of course that charm with it when you do, it's hard to explain but there's something about it that's really special with the original animation, it's like when you have a quiet night and you're relaxed with The Simpsons on when it's like this it's really nice but of course if it's not something you've ever really taken any notice or interest in, it's fine as we all enjoy the show in different ways.

    The current animation is as mentioned above really, as nice as it is because of how perfect it is there is a lot that can't really translate through it which The Simpsons brought and made them unique, I mean, I love and enjoy the new seasons massively and the same with the movie but when you look at it in regards to how perfect it is, something about The Simpsons not being perfect and being animated the way they were is what (for me) also added to how special the show is, which as I say doesn't translate with this perfectly animated, shaded, digital animation.

    It's definitely nicer and brighter and more crisp, no doubt, but I do wonder if it is something that has made a difference for people in regards to it being pretty much perfect.

    There's a lot of things in classic Simpsons we're not going to get now other than just the writing which I do feel these kinda things are quite an aspect of it.

    I mean, you have to bare in mind I love and adore the first season and one of the reasons for that is how raw it is, the mistakes etc... there's something special about that and it's imperfections, so this no doubt plays a part in it for me when you consider that compared to what we get in season 30, though I do wonder how it is for other Simpsons fans.

    It's interesting either way but as I say, there's no right or wrong really.

  6. #6
    الذهاب المغيرين CNN sucks!'s Avatar
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    the animation is still pretty fluid, on another forum I'm on where the animation of the show is discussed there is a guy who likes to post gifs from the recent episode where the family goes to Boston as a demonstration of this, but the big problem is animation rarely goes off model, which is by design. Matt Groening was never satisfied with the early animation because he wanted it to be as realistic as possible(you know, despite the fact the characters are yellow and all suffer from garish overbites and other unrealistic qualities). There's the famous bit of Matt disliking the rubbery slamming of the doors in the early animation for Some Enchanted Evening. The early episodes had instances of off model animation, but as the show went on and especially after they dumped Klasky Csupo as the source of animation for Film Roman, this was eradicated more and more. Yes, the animation is neat and clean, but it is too neat and too clean to me. The show lost a lot of character as a result, but at least it does fit in perfectly with other shows like Family Guy, who have even more rigid and on model(or as some might say "lazy") animation.

    I dunno I grew up with off model animation influencing my tastes, I loved watching Chuck Jones/Bob Clampett/Tex Avery directed Looney Tunes characters fly out of model only to snap back in a blink of the eye. It just gave the character more life, more bite, more edge to see Bugs Bunny temporarily go outside of his defined boundaries, only to snap back to his defined character design. Even contemporary cartoons to The Simpsons, like Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, and Ren and Stimpy, this was always a quality I enjoyed, it just brought Buster Bunny or Yakko Warner or Ren Hoek more life.
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  7. #7
    الذهاب المغيرين CNN sucks!'s Avatar
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    on the other hand The Simpsons always excelled at another aspect of animation I always enjoyed, angles. Two of my favorite scenes that demonstrate this are when Lisa is having a sleepover and Bart is running from them, and he runs into his room and slams the door and leans against it, only for the girls to start taking the rivets out of the door frame. both the angles and lighting/shading of the ensuing shots before Bart flees as his door comes crashing down are really good. The other instance that comes to mind is that Treehouse of Horror where Lisa has the mini civilization, after Bart crushes parts of it with his finger they send out fighter jets while Bart is sleeping. Everything from the launching of the jets to them flying around his head shooting at him, again from the angles and shading/lighting, is so good.


  8. #8
    Uh, Hugh Jass? Welcome to Moe's's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CNN sucks! View Post
    the animation is still pretty fluid, on another forum I'm on where the animation of the show is discussed there is a guy who likes to post gifs from the recent episode where the family goes to Boston as a demonstration of this, but the big problem is animation rarely goes off model, which is by design. Matt Groening was never satisfied with the early animation because he wanted it to be as realistic as possible(you know, despite the fact the characters are yellow and all suffer from garish overbites and other unrealistic qualities). There's the famous bit of Matt disliking the rubbery slamming of the doors in the early animation for Some Enchanted Evening. The early episodes had instances of off model animation, but as the show went on and especially after they dumped Klasky Csupo as the source of animation for Film Roman, this was eradicated more and more. Yes, the animation is neat and clean, but it is too neat and too clean to me. The show lost a lot of character as a result, but at least it does fit in perfectly with other shows like Family Guy, who have even more rigid and on model(or as some might say "lazy") animation.

    I dunno I grew up with off model animation influencing my tastes, I loved watching Chuck Jones/Bob Clampett/Tex Avery directed Looney Tunes characters fly out of model only to snap back in a blink of the eye. It just gave the character more life, more bite, more edge to see Bugs Bunny temporarily go outside of his defined boundaries, only to snap back to his defined character design. Even contemporary cartoons to The Simpsons, like Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, and Ren and Stimpy, this was always a quality I enjoyed, it just brought Buster Bunny or Yakko Warner or Ren Hoek more life.
    Yessss, pretty much my feelings on it too! I agree with the off model animation, I mean when you say about The Simpsons fitting in with shows such as Family Guy, do we WANT it to fit in with all the other shows? (for me personally, I'd rather it didn't).

    I was going to mention Ren and Stimpy and another show I absolutely adore is Beavis and Butthead, some of the early animation in that is very sketchy but it's great, when they brought the show back in 2011 they also had to have the clearer and crisper digital animation simply because that's how animators work now and it's hard to find an animator that won't work outside of that, however they DID for the couch scene's animate Beavis and Butthead exactly the same way they were in the 90's, so when they were slamming Jersey Shore etc... on the latest season, if it wasn't for the show being new they were slamming you would have thought it was something from the 90's and I think Mike Judge realised that when he brought the show back (hence doing this specifically for the couch scenes).

    King of the Hill is also great with the animation, I suppose if you like Ed, Edd n Eddy this is also something that is known for it, my point is, these shows having their own style of animation is what made them different, unique and what people found appealing about each show individually where as now, every show more or less looks the same other than maybe the initial style/look of the characters but beyond that, they don't have as much individuality (animation wise) anymore for their shows.

    Doug is another that was unique, in fact, most shows were in some way or another, I'm pretty sure one of the things people love about South Park is the way they're animated also.

    Of course as I say, there's no right or wrong, it's all down to individual preference and what we prefer/appeals to us but I do feel that with this whole digital animation phase we're in now, although it may look crisper, clearer etc... a lot of animation creativity and unique has gone now from each show, I feel they're becoming more alike than they are individual when it comes to their animation look and style because of this digital animation era.

    You pretty much nailed it there in regards to this.

  9. #9
    Have Brain, Will Travel Wile E. the Brain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CNN sucks! View Post
    I dunno I grew up with off model animation influencing my tastes, I loved watching Chuck Jones/Bob Clampett/Tex Avery directed Looney Tunes characters fly out of model only to snap back in a blink of the eye. It just gave the character more life, more bite, more edge to see Bugs Bunny temporarily go outside of his defined boundaries, only to snap back to his defined character design. Even contemporary cartoons to The Simpsons, like Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, and Ren and Stimpy, this was always a quality I enjoyed, it just brought Buster Bunny or Yakko Warner or Ren Hoek more life.
    Yeah, totally agree with that. The animation of the modern era, while I can't say it isn't good and neat, seems more "static" to me with some exceptions (The Town as you mentionned it). And I have more tenderness for the off model kind of animation, that gives characters more life such as in Animaniacs or Bob Clampett's cartoons.
    Last edited by Wile E. the Brain; 11-06-2018 at 11:55 AM.


  10. #10


    The old animation had a lot of charm. I loved the weird background people, best shown when the Simpsons watched "people who look like things" and the pumpkin head man wanted to be treated with dignity and a new candle now and then.
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  11. #11


    I used to think that. I remember watching "I Won't Be Home for Christmas" and thinking the animation was way too clean. Eventually, I got used to it.

    It's just a shame that the show's best days were when animation was much less advanced than it is now. Some of those old Treehouse of Horror episodes would probably look fantastic with digital animation, while they were already great to look at in the 90s.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wile E. the Brain View Post
    Yeah, totally agree with that. The animation of the modern era, while I can't say it isn't good and neat, seems more "static" to me with some exceptions (The Town as you mentionned it). And I have more tenderness for the off model kind of animation, that gives characters more life such as in Animaniacs or Bob Clampett's cartoons.
    Yeah, there's no doubt it's definitely cleaner, crisper, neater, more vibrant etc.. but is all that a good thing? That's what I mean about The Simpsons and the animation like is it too perfect? I mean, there's nothing wrong with it but just when you think of why we fell in love with The Simpsons a lot of it was to do with it's animation, quirks, little things etc... as well as of course the fantastic writing.

    Quote Originally Posted by GlitterCat View Post
    The old animation had a lot of charm. I loved the weird background people, best shown when the Simpsons watched "people who look like things" and the pumpkin head man wanted to be treated with dignity and a new candle now and then.
    I thought about that scene too when I was linking the pics lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Nihilistic View Post
    I used to think that. I remember watching "I Won't Be Home for Christmas" and thinking the animation was way too clean. Eventually, I got used to it.

    It's just a shame that the show's best days were when animation was much less advanced than it is now. Some of those old Treehouse of Horror episodes would probably look fantastic with digital animation, while they were already great to look at in the 90s.
    I actually think that's a good thing, it means we get the best part of show within the best part of the animation. I still do love the show today and do feel they still bring it, they get way too much stick for being around so long but they're still one of the greatest shows on TV, of course this is just my opinion on it

    But yeah, I hear what you're saying with the THOH too, though for me personally, I kinda like it as it is




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