An Observation of CN's show art

Rhaynebow

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One of the biggest grievances some folks over on the Ben 10 2016 thread have had have been the art style looking too similar to PPG16's. I noticed the similarities too and decided to look into the designs of other CN shows and noticed a...rather glaring trend in many of them.

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These two shots are from the recently released clip of the Ben 10 reboot.

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This one is from PPG16.

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And this is from We Bare Bears.

The biggest problem that I see here is that the the designs for main characters and supporting/BG characters have no unifying sense of direction. Any characters not the MCs all seem to have the standard 'cartoon human' look with very little variety in shapes.
It almost feels like one could take a BG character from WBB and drop him or her into Ben 10 2016 and they would fit in perfectly.

I can't explain it, but I honestly think this has something to do with CN's artists all being from the same place, working on previous CN shows for years. After awhile, I think having the same artists around creates a standardized BG/Human character look that doesn't mesh well with the MCs. They don't have any new people who haven't worked on AT or Flapjack who could come in with a fresher artistic vision for every character.

When it comes down to it all, CN might have the STORY quality, but Nick and Disney seem to have CN beat in the visual variety department.




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Rhaynebow

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Sorry for the double post, I can't edit my thread. Here's the right second pic for Ben 10:




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Gatordragon

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Hmm! Interesting observation you have there, Rhaynebow.
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The whole different styles between main and background characters thing was neat when it was just We Bare Bears doing it, but now it's losing it's novelty now that PPG 2016 and Ben 10 2016 are also doing it. I wouldn't say the background characters from the three shows are indistinguishable from each other, but maybe it's because of how they're animated.

If it's any consolation, at least Mighty Magiswords isn't following that trend.
 

PapaGreg

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How the hell do the human characters from WBB look similar to the ones in the PPG Reboot or Ben 10 they don't look anything alike

@SmileyToonatic Yeah because Clarence and Amazing world of gumball look basically exactly the same.
 

Rhaynebow

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How the hell do the human characters from WBB look similar to the ones in the PPG Reboot or Ben 10 they don't look anything alike

@SmileyToonatic Yeah because Clarence and Amazing world of gumball look basically exactly the same.


Even if they DON'T exactly look alike, I think it's quite clear how the Powerpuff girls, the Bears and Ben and Gwen don't really fit in with the designs. Especially with Ben and Gwen. There's no sense of a style that we could distinguish by artist like how we could tell the difference between a Genndy cartoon and a McCracken cartoon.


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PapaGreg

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Even if they DON'T exactly look alike, I think it's quite clear how the Powerpuff girls, the Bears and Ben and Gwen don't really fit in with the designs. Especially with Ben and Gwen. There's no sense of a style that we could distinguish by artist like how we could tell the difference between a Genndy cartoon and a McCracken cartoon.


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How Gatordragon could tell the difference just because they use the same idea (mcs that don't fit with the background characters) doesn't mean they look the same Gatordragon could tell the difference. Oh and one more thing Dexters LAb and PPG look kinda similar hell even Samurai Jack looked like he could be related to Professor Utonium
 

Gatordragon

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Come to think of it, haven't the Powerpuff Girls always looked different from the background characters? Even in the original series, their bug-eyes and fingerless hands set them apart from everyone else.
 

Rhaynebow

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Come to think of it, haven't the Powerpuff Girls always looked different from the background characters? Even in the original series, their bug-eyes and fingerless hands set them apart from everyone else.


A good observation, but I think that that was the point. Pan Pizza sort of brought this up in his 'Worst Animated Reboots' list linked here:


He talked about how the PPG were supposed to be cute and soft-looking in a world filled with sharp, pointy characters. And looking at those side characters, many of them DID incorporate sharp angles and squares that contrasted with the PPG's lollipop bodies. I think this may have done to play up the 'cute girls beating up scary monsters ' theme. The show flipped the superhero style on its head by making the supposedly 'soft and weak' ones the heroes and the angular ones the bystanders.

The new show though gives everyone a relatively soft-looking and rounded body, save for the older characters from the old show. The girls still stick out like the old show, but it's a teensy bit less clashing so they fit in with the crowd a bit more. Had the first PPG never existed, I probably wouldn't have minded this as again, the girls DO still stand out. But seeing them fight monsters wouldn't have been as jarring because they all sort of look cute and round.


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90'sKid

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I have always sorta noticed a similarity between CN recent lineup, especially in the BGCs of each show.


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SaneMan

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same happened during the 90s/early 00s
the backgroundcharacters would often re-use the style from the old Hanna Barbera cartoons, while major characters would have a unique style

@SmileyToonatic Yeah because Clarence and Amazing world of gumball look basically exactly the same.

There are actually people who say exactly that
 
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Gatordragon

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There are actually people who say exactly that

Yeah, I've seen people who say that because Clarence and Gumball have similar head shapes, their shows are the same.

Considering the shows' tones, animation, art styles, and expressions are very different from each other, I wonder if people have even watched these shows.

To get slighty off-topic, I've seen people who say that since a number of current cartoons happen to have similar head shapes, that means that current cartoons are artistically stagnant. They use this image prove their point.


On the other hand, I've seen other people counter their point with this pic.


So I guess it evens out.
 

PhineasPines

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I agree that the art designs of CN shows have been getting stale since around 2013. It feels like the channel has no unique designers working on their shows. The only shows that have flavor in their art design are AT, Gumball, SU, Regular Show and TTG (even if the animation itself is cheap). All the other shows look too similar and use too many elements from the shows listed in the previous sentence.
 

PapaGreg

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I agree that the art designs of CN shows have been getting stale since around 2013. It feels like the channel has no unique designers working on their shows. The only shows that have flavor in their art design are AT, Gumball, SU, Regular Show and TTG (even if the animation itself is cheap). All the other shows look too similar and use too many elements from the shows listed in the previous sentence.
What about WBB clarence and uncle grandpa

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jaylop97

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I might not see it yet but to me I really see not to much similarities from designs in shows, they always look different for the most part, but one thing for sure the show revivals such as PPG 2016, TTG, Wabbit and Be Cool Scooby doo do tend to really take a step backwards in design they look a lot more simple and less detailed compared to predecessors that is something I have noticed truly,
 

PapaGreg

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Also how come Disney isn't getting crap for this, seriously at least with CN shows they have background characters and evironments that look different meanwhile you can put Star in Gravity Falls, The 7D, and the new Atomic Puppet and she would fit right in.
 

Red Arrow

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The ONLY shows that have similar art styles are Regular Show and We Bare Bears, which is just a coincidence. We Bare Bears was already a comic book series with the same art style.

I really think everyone is just overreacting. I wouldn't be surprised if people soon start saying Justice League Action's art style looks like Adventure Time, too :rolleyes:
 

SaneMan

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A year or two ago, people on this very site were saying that Adventure Time and Steven Universe look exactly the same

yeah...
 

Master Toon

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I don't get this argument. They don't look all that similar. One thing I find strange is that, a lot of these examples come from popular shows that people love (like SU and GF) yet only the unpopular shows get all the hate.
 

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Found this from Reddit. Had to trim the original a bit. And yeah the guy in the 2nd half of this is the new Sokka actor.
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