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The Future of Story-Driven Cartoons

Throughout the twenty-first century, there has been an increase in the number of children’s cartoons with complex storylines that unfold over multiple seasons. The episodes of this show format are intended to be viewed in a specific order, so that audience members can fully understand the show’s continuity-driven story. Popular examples of this format include Avatar: The Last Airbender, Steven Universe, and The Owl House.

The proposed article would discuss the future of story-driven cartoons in light of current industry trends. The writer could discuss factors such as: new technologies (eg. streaming services), broader entertainment trends (eg. mass TV show cancellations, resulting in rushed/unfinished stories), and competing forms of entertainment (eg. children spending increased time watching videos on tablets instead of TV). The article would explore whether story-driven cartoons will continue to rise in popularity or if it will be difficult for this format to thrive in the current animation industry.

  • In the case of Steven Universe, it's probably important to note how awful the airing schedule at CN was. Some of the most major plot developments happened during the "Steven Bombs," which were these airing blocks where a new episode would be aired a day for a week straight. There would be such large gaps between these little events, so it was a bit frustrating to follow – Justinv2552 4 months ago
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  • The Owl House in particular provides an opportunity to further explore what happens when a streaming company (Disney, in this case) cancels a season when there was clearly more that the creator had planned for the story. – Siothrún 4 months ago
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  • I like this topic - as someone who grew up watching Avatar it's been interesting to see this style become more popular! It possibly could also be worthwhile mentioning the impact that anime has had on animators and/or the preferences of kids, as many of the anime targeted at younger audiences have had story-driven structures as well. – AnnieEM 4 months ago
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