Whether making a political statement or trying to make you chuckle, cartoon pictures can portray anything. Just like any other form of art, the style a picture is drawn in and the color it is given can affect the feel that it gives off. Though thought of traditionally as a childish art form, cartoons have been gaining respect as new shows created specifically for adult audiences are being created more and more and more each day. Nowadays, cartoonists are experimenting with new styles and covering new subject matter. No longer are cartoons designed only for children; there are new cartoons that are artfully drawn and deal with mature subject matter.
Not many would have given a cartoon picture even a second glance a few decades ago. The technology available at the time didn’t help artists; it wasn’t as sleek and visually appearing as current day cartoons are. Around the mid ’90s, Japanese anime started to get very popular in the United States, causing a whole new level of awareness for cartoons in general.
Before the Japanese animation boom, American animation had been crude at best. Japanese animation at the time was leagues above what was being made in other parts of the world. The lines were generally very crisp, colors were very vivid, and the art style was distinctly unique. This boom gave way to a whole new wave of cartoon fans, and opened the doors to a whole new way to draw and perceive any cartoon picture.
Computer animation and design was growing, too, while animation and cartoon styles were in the 90s. No longer needing ink and extensive linework, computers helped cartoon artists draw, tweak, and color their work with utter ease. This really helped the animators out as well, as the frames could be dealt with on the computer after being drawn, getting rid of the need of drawing and scanning each frame one by one. This not only made it much easier to animate, but also made it less expensive and take far less time. Some features that would’ve traditionally taken almost a year or more to complete now only took weeks or a few months. It was quite a big jump.
Today’s cartoon stills, comics, and full-motion cartoon films are much easier to make and are more visually stunning than ever before. Though the main two reasons for cartoons gaining wider respect and more popularity is due to computer technology and Japanese animation, there have been a few other factors.
Many people find it difficult to look at older cartoon pictures because of how much better they are today. At this rate, cartooning is looking to be one of the bigger entertainment and art mediums of this century.