the animators have certainly not been getting lazy, and the example provided in the article is baffling, to lay the least (seriously, TMAR's party scene is everything but lazy). Background gags may have taken a backseat, the animation quality sure hasn't.
I think that's the point that was being made. All the focus of the animation team has been on the foreground, or the immediate action. Look at the party scene again, and you'll see that there are relatively few characters not endlessly repeating the same limited range of motions, and that the palette is severely limited by the choice of lighting effects. Liberal use is made of blurring the background and using low-detail and/or largely static character models for the mass of partying characters.
The backgrounds are somewhat sparser in general, free-er of background jokes and the small details that characterised the early seasons. Take a look at screengrabs from season two, and you'll see not just a wealth of detail in crowd scenes, but smaller details in establishing shots (WMIBACIL and Xmas Story come to mind as good examples here) that show a dedication to packing lots of detail into a small amount of space and time.
Whilst I agree there's only been a minor drop in quality and it's mainly characterised by having poor layering (look at any of the goofs threads for examples from the new run), I can see why the accusation of laziness has been made.
With all that said though, I do think that the show looks better overall, in crisp HD and whatnot.
Snakey, get ready to retract your response to MuchAdo and agree that I'm a horrible bully, because I'm about to disagree with you. Please don't take this personally, but I think that your post was a little confused (and I'll attempt to show that without resorting to image macros).
His complaints are utter bullshit. Especially the "Wild Green Yonder Ending was beautiful", and give no credit to anything else beyond that.
But ITtWGY did
have a great ending. It's not that no credit is given to anything beyond that point, either. The article even states that there were "a few hidden gems" in the new run of episodes.
He's sitting there, complaining out Pop Culture references/jokes on the show that have always been around. I mean back in the Original Run, they referenced people like Christina Agulara, and other forgotten celebrities. And now he wants to complain about it?
Back in the original four seasons, Fry didn't reference anything past 1999, and the other references to the 20th Century (let's not forget that they didn't reference the 21st Century or even current events much at all until they got well into the fourth season, and I think that
was a mistake too) were usually from heads in jars, or characters who had a reason to be able to make the comparison. The reference you brought up, incidentally, is one that was widely-disliked when the episode BitW aired. It's hardly something that passed by without complaint.
However, the article is mainly complaining about "obtrusive and illogical use of references to contemporary culture", such as the slew of comments regarding Facebook, the eyePhone, lines referencing the Kardashians, etc. Whilst there was the occasional joke from the original run aimed at the 20th Century, it was all stuff that Fry, at the very least, would understand and had been around for. The new run's contemporary references are just cheap, lazy, and out of place. That's
what's being complained about.
Then he goes onto telling us that the animation is under-funded and lazy... It's a fucking television show, who incidentally, has a pretty reduced budget than in the old days.
So, you're slamming the complaint that the animation is under-funded, whilst admitting that their budget is significantly lower? You can't disagree with somebody effectively if everything you say is actually supporting their case.
The animation budget is lower. The animators are getting less money. Of course it's under-funded compared to the old run. As for laziness, I might not personally agree with that accusation but I can see why it's been made (as I've said, I think that a lot of the article's points are based around a seed of valid criticism that's been blown up a little because it appears that to write for a popular entertainment website nowadays you must either be devoted to the idea that there's no such thing as hyperbole, or you must speak entirely in memes. It appears that this author chose the former path).
And the show is in HD now, which actually does make the animation models look better, and probably takes a big enough cut out of the animation budget.
Yes. Because of the extra pixels that the animators have to use to make their drawings viewable when broadcast in HD, this costs more.
HD is simply a film and broadcast standard that allows an HDTV to display a crisper picture, with sharper definition and colour. It's got nothing to do with the animation. That's still done the same way as it was before. The way that this is translated into a picture for transmission and decoded by your television has changed, but the way that it's animated hasn't. Some of it's done by hand. Some of it's done by computer. Some of it's a mixture of both. Some of it's printed on traditional cels, some of it's entirely digital. That's the way it was back in 1999, and that's the way it was done for the new run.
Then he goes onto saying it lost it's cult status. That's kind of dumb, but actually true.
Make up your mind. Is it dumb, or is it true? Futurama has become a lot more "mainstream accessible" in the new run. Therefore it has lost some of the cult status that it had pre-cancellation (of the original run). What's dumb about that?
Something this guy isn't really getting though, is that the same people can't dedicate their whole lives onto this one show, that they'll follow it to hell and back.
You appear to be contradicting yourself here. Are you saying that people can't dedicate their lives to a TV show, or are you saying that Futurama fans are so dedicated that they'll follow it no matter what? People do
dedicate their lives to TV shows, which is both sad and creepy, and Futurama's lost plenty of fans thanks to the new run (as it did when the DVD movies came out, too). I'm sure that you're trying to make a genuine point, but I can't tell what you were going for there.
Some fans like the people of PEEL did, but most people probably just watched it for the bright Sci-Fi references/plots. And still don't even know it came back, because of how little 20th Century Fox/Comedy Central advertises for the show.
I think that more people are aware of the new run of Futurama than were aware of the previous run, to be honest. It's managed to become pretty culturally pervasive.
As for people watching it "just for the sci-fi references", I think that's one of the things that drew
plenty of people to the show, but that's hardly the sort of thing that makes somebody keep watching a show - they'll find something else they like about it, resolve to catch the next episode, and become gradually hooked. If they see one episode that they only keep watching for the sci-fi references, they're just as likely to go watch something else that sounds intriguing as they are to hunt down the next episode. People don't tend to obsess like that over something that they found to be merely casually entertaining.
the New Run... it is far from perfect. But it's not as bad as others may turn it out to be.
That's the most sensible thing you've said, and I agree. Yes, the new run has problems, and they need to be acknowledged as such
. But it's also far from a complete shitfest, and I for one am glad that the show has bowed out on a relatively high note, compared to what it could have become if left to go on and on and on like The Simpsons has.
You say my assumptions on a fucking cartoon are god awful and I should feel dumb?!!?!
They are, and you should. That's not a "personal attack", I'm just trying to encourage you not to be stupid. If anything, I'm trying to be helpful.
Totalnerduk and his assumptions are utter bullshit... [he] is a cyber bully
Please point out the following from this post
An assumption that I have made. Please note that any logical reasoning based on evidence is not necessarily an assumption, and should be termed a "deduction" or "conclusion" unless there's a large part of the logical process missing.2.
Exactly what evidence you have, or logical reasoning that shows this assumption (assuming for the moment that you have managed to find a genuine assumption made by me) is bullshit.3.
Where I have made a personal attack on you (and no, the image macro is not a personal attack).
If you can't do that, then I shall expect a full, sincere, and grovelling apology. Otherwise, prepare for an in-depth analysis of the merits (or rather, the lack thereof) of your every word from now until the day that your computer implodes in protest at the sheer volume of jackassery that you insist upon forcing through your keyboard (yes. That
was a personal attack).