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are we ready for an animated series where the characters age?


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#1 of 27 OFFLINE   EricW

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Posted January 27 2007 - 06:56 AM

just read an article on "King of the Hill" at CNN, celebrating it's 11th season. and Hank is still the same, Bobby is still 11 or 12 and Luanne is still 18. i used to watch this season faithfully on DVD until a couple years ago, when it just didn't seem as funny. still, i remember it fondly and one day i might revisit it.

anyways i was just wondering why they don't make a series where the characters age. yes the whole "if it works, don't fix it" mantra goes, but we've seen the birth (and subsequent stagnation) of serials on prime time (Lost, Heroes, Invasion, Smith, etc); networks seem to want to try something new sometimes. an animated series in "real time" might be a good marketing gimmick. or has there already been one?
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#2 of 27 OFFLINE   Mike~Sileck

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Posted January 27 2007 - 07:27 AM

I think there are a lot more problems associated with this beyond the "will audiences accept it" factor. Learning to draw 100,000 different poses of Bart Simpson is hard enough when hes the same age, height, hair style, etc. Add the infinite multiplier known as "aging" and the artistic part of the show's difficulty would multiply exponentially....


That being said, I'm all for this idea. It gets old watching the Simpsons and Family Guy knowing that no matter what, next episode, everything will be back to normal....
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#3 of 27 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted January 27 2007 - 07:48 AM

The only animated serial I've ever seen where the characters age is "For Better or For Worse"

#4 of 27 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted January 27 2007 - 08:46 AM

was there an animated version of better or worse?

the strip has all the characters aging, and dieing, getting married etc.
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#5 of 27 OFFLINE   Adam Lenhardt

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Posted January 27 2007 - 09:09 AM

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#6 of 27 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted January 27 2007 - 10:38 AM

I think it's a good idea in theory but I don't really think any show that's currently running should try it. Maybe if they do it like South Park and age their characters by one year (and that was done mostly for the joke that animated shows never have aging) but I don't think I'd have wanted to see Bart Simpson age from 10 to 28 over the run of The Simpsons.

All that being said, I think it'd be neat if a new show tried something like that. Although the show would have to run for quite a long time to have any 'growing' occur.

#7 of 27 OFFLINE   seanOhara

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Posted January 27 2007 - 11:13 AM

I'd really like to see the Simpsons have another flashback episode to the early days of Homer and Marge's marriage -- except now the early days are c.1997, and Lisa points out that she remembers stuff that happened that year.
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#8 of 27 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted January 27 2007 - 12:55 PM

Why? I imagine this is one of the things animation frees producers from. If you want characters aging, live action lets you do that without extra hassle.
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#9 of 27 OFFLINE   Arild

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Posted January 28 2007 - 01:20 AM

I don't think it's a question of "being ready for it", but more of a question of "why the heck would you want it??". Really, what's the point? The fact that you can keep the cast consistant with little or no change - aging or otherwise - is one of the greatest strengths of an animated series. You think The Simpsons would have lasted 18 seasons if the characters aged in real time? (Hint: No!) If you want to see aging and progressing, watch any long-running live action show.

#10 of 27 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted January 28 2007 - 02:00 AM

In a similar note. I was involved with a discussion in a comic forum. About whether the heroes (ie-Bats, Supes,etc) should age and eventually new replacements come in. My problem with this. Is that their is something comforting to the fact that my great grandson will still be able to watch and/or read about Bruce Wayne as Batman and Clark Kent as Superman. I am not sure why. I know eventually the Batmobile will be some real futuristic car. Just like the one now might seem to readers back in the 1940's. Who knows Bats may end up like the tech from Batman Beyond. But, he should always be Bruce Wayne...who saw his parents killed in an alley as a child and grew up to stop criminals. And Supes should always be Kal-El the last son of Krypton who was adopted by the Kents of Kansas. Not some clone or son of him and Lois (Or Wonder Woman Posted Image )
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#11 of 27 OFFLINE   RickER

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Posted January 28 2007 - 02:01 AM

I am sure Paramount wishes Shatner and Nimoy were 35 instead of 75.

#12 of 27 OFFLINE   Chris

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Posted January 28 2007 - 03:10 AM

I think having animated characters age isn't something that is a matter of "are we ready for" it almost belies the point. Having characters age in animation instills them with a bit of reality. Animated characters are designed in such a way completely irrational and insane things happen that could not physically happen in the real world. That is to say, I've never seen space aliens come down and debate how to play a jazz trombone. And I don't recall anyone getting radiation poisoned repeatedly and then going home with hands that made everything they touch glow.

We expect animated characters to do the insane - and to entertain us. I want them to be somewhat like us, but the fact that they are clearly not makes it easier for me to buy in and play along.

If characters on these shows started to age, it's not just them who would change, but their surroundings would also have to show impact of time passing, etc. That's the thing with a sitcom or even a drama.. there aren't a lot of sets.

If the Groening's creative vision wants them to age, that's fine.

I know South Park has allowed their characters to grow another year since the beginning.
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#13 of 27 OFFLINE   ChristopherDAC

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Posted January 28 2007 - 03:28 AM

The longest running animated TV programme in the world is surely Sazae-san, the Japanese soap opera, which has been on the air continuously since 1969, and is based on a comic strip which first appeared in 1946. I would find it interesting to see how that show has reacted to changes in the world, considering that the first strips incorporated themes such as food rationing under the Occupation.

#14 of 27 OFFLINE   DeathStar1

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Posted January 28 2007 - 03:53 AM

Lets not forget Dragonball and it's incarnations.

Starts off with just bulma and Goku as kids, then it expands to grandma bulma, grandpa goku and a whole wide range of family b ased characters. One reason why I like the show so much Posted Image.

#15 of 27 OFFLINE   EricW

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Posted January 28 2007 - 04:41 AM

if you go to the Simpsons thread, all you read is people complaining about how the show has lost it, harking back to the "golden years". now i'm not saying the SImpsons should age, since that show is so deeply rooted in fantasy, but a show like King of the Hill, which is practically a live action sitcom that's been animated, might be interesting.

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Really, what's the point? The fact that you can keep the cast consistant with little or no change - aging or otherwise - is one of the greatest strengths of an animated series.

well, that's what art and invention is all about. what you may view as a constraint may be an inspiration. before a series like "24" came along, there weren't really any real-time shows. why? because the video medium's strength is being able to tell as story by jumping forward in time to efficiently make its biggest impact. following a clock would be a huge contstraint and be impractical. yet "24" works because of it, not in spite of it.

you couldn't make a superhero series like Superman or Batman age in real time, which is why you make a series like Heroes. Mika (a kid character) will no doubt age. only because he's played by a human, if Heroes was a serious comic book by Alan Moore or the like, would you fault the fact that he ages, or view it as a weakness to the story?
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#16 of 27 OFFLINE   MishaLauenstein

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Posted January 28 2007 - 06:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike~Sileck
I think there are a lot more problems associated with this beyond the "will audiences accept it" factor.

Also firing all the women in your cast and bringing in all men to replace them is a bit of a bad PR move.
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#17 of 27 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted January 28 2007 - 07:31 AM

what show was that?
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#18 of 27 OFFLINE   Scott_J

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Posted January 28 2007 - 08:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyD
what show was that?
I don't think that's actually happened, but what Misha was probably referring to was the fact that a lot of boys (most, if not all, on the Simpsons; Bobby Hill to name some) on cartoons are voiced by women and if they were to age and become men, they would probably have to have men voicing them, thus replacing the women who current do the voices.

#19 of 27 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted January 28 2007 - 08:32 AM

Quote:
In a similar note. I was involved with a discussion in a comic forum. About whether the heroes (ie-Bats, Supes,etc) should age and eventually new replacements come in.

DC actually does it with some degree of regularity, with Batman and Superman being notably exempt (though, they have been supplanted for brief periods). The main Green Lantern isn't the original, the main Flash isn't the original, and there are others. In both of those examples, the originals are much older now (typically, they have the Reed Richards gray at the temple to show their age).

#20 of 27 OFFLINE   Jeff Jacobson

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Posted January 28 2007 - 11:00 AM

Joseph Gribble has aged on King of the Hill.
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