Some of My Favorites: Nine Western Animated Movie Specials!

Does anyone remember those hour-long movie specials for cartoons, back in the day?

Yeah, you know them.  The over-hyped specials that would be advertised at every opportunity, the ones that Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, and of course, Nickelodeon were notorious for.  But did we, as viewers, really expect anything amazing from the newest Spongebob hour-long special, or the newest Fairly Oddparents movie?

No, of course not.  But that being said, there were several gems among them–special stories that really took advantage of the extra time, to create something that really stood out from the rest of the series.

I’ve been feeling a little bit nostalgic as of late, so here’s a quick top ten for you–my favorite movie specials of Western Animation!  To qualify as what counted, the series had to be generally advertised as a special event.  Even if there were technically separate episodes, or if it was just a singular movie, it doesn’t matter–so long as they were aired together at some point, telling a single narrative–season finales, TV movies, whatever!

And yes.  Nine.  I couldn’t think of a tenth, sue me.

Continue reading “Some of My Favorites: Nine Western Animated Movie Specials!”

My Top Ten Story Arcs in Western Animation

Western Animated shows, on the whole, are fundamentally different from anime in a number of ways.

The tropes they employee, their general reputation, the style they use–it all combines to create a more lighthearted, comedic atmosphere in comparison to the Japanese medium many know and love.  This has led to a format where most Western cartoons tell their stories sporadically.  With lots of independent, unrelated stories in between, compared to anime, which continue a single plot without interruption.

However, there are times when these shows choose to focus on a single story, over the course of multiple episodes.  These are the episodes that get plot-heavy really quick–the ones that oftentimes are responsible, for creating the most high-stakes, memorable situations of a show.   And today, I’ll be talking about my top ten favorite story arcs!

I tried to stick to two criteria for this list.  First, only one story arc per series, and second, the arc has to last at least five episodes, or at least be addressed over the course of a series.   This was to rule out those hour-long specials, which are so common in Western cartoons.  That said, let’s get to it!

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Crafting The Perfect Story: The Three Elements of Storytelling

Everyone looks at stories differently.  It’s why people have differing opinions when it comes to stories that we enjoy.  Some of us like anime, manga, or other similar Japanese stories.  Others enjoy the attachment of watching actors on the big screen, or experiencing stories first-hand through a video game.

Stories are universal, but as we all know, every story won’t work for everyone.  Knowing that, I’d like to introduce you today to what I consider my Three Elements of Storytelling–the three factors, that I believe makes a story great, from an objective point of view.

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My Top Five Western Animated Movies

Haven’t talked about animations in the Western world in awhile.

Movies in theaters tend to have many more advantages than other, less popular animations.  These movies have the benefits of directly leading to revenue, of being advertised everywhere, and satiating a need for cinematic entertainment.  Western animated movies are popular on a level that is far above anime, manga, or even basic western animations.

That being said, these movies are restricted, and often end up as part of a predictable genre, that can get stale.  Oftentimes, with the same humor, the same general plot twists, and the same insistence on a happy ending, these movies are interesting and entertaining, but ultimately similar.  It takes something exceptional to stand out in the world of Western animated movies: but there are certainly some out there that  and, knowing this, I’d like to share some of those movies that stood out to me.

Continue reading “My Top Five Western Animated Movies”

My Top Ten Stories of All Time: 7-6

Moving down the list, we’ve got my 7th and 6th favorite stories of all time!  Displaying some of the most thematically powerful storytelling I’ve experienced in my life, we’ve got some stories that, in my mind, have very undeniable quality, yet aren’t quite the things that have touched me on a personal level.  They’re wonderful stories, that I’ve loved to analyze and enjoy, and as such, have distinguished themselves as a cut above the rest.

And well, here they are.

Continue reading “My Top Ten Stories of All Time: 7-6”

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