Sunday, April 17, 2016

The PPG Reboot Article in AniMag April 2016 is a Bit Embarrassing

If you want to see how achingly hard I’ve been trying to be positive and open minded about the new series, just check my review of the “first” episode. I really am trying to believe in it. I plan to get caught up with the show when I have a chance because I’m aware one episode isn’t enough to make a judgment call. 
But I just read the feature article about the show in Animation Magazine and I’m more than a little stunned. 

It's one thing for some poor quality stills to exist.
It's another for them to be included in the press kit.
AniMag doesn’t do reviews in their physical magazine, and tries to write about new projects with a positive attitude - it’s an article about uplifting its industry and supporting it. I appreciate that. Really, I do. But there’s nothing AniMag could have done to save this article from its own quotes. What the staff of the show told AniMag simply doesn’t match up with what we’re actually seeing out of the program.
Adventure Time Art Director Nick Jennings and Clarence supervising producer Bob Boyle, are in charge of the new PPG and - according to the article - their views on what the project even is couldn’t be more opposite. Boyle’s quotes all convey an attitude of ‘If it’s broke, don’t fix it - just update it a bit. But the original show was already great.’

Jennings, on the other hand...
“In general, the way we tell stories now, we tend to be more character driven. The original show, you could only dig so deep with the characters and then you didn’t really get to know them more than Blossom is the leader, and Buttercup’s the angry one.”
“We wanted it to feel like an original, but we also wanted to expand it and make it feel a little more as if you could connect with it as an audience.”
...states in the first section of the article that he is a big fan of the original PPG and then spends the rest of the article subtly saying their version is better. (There’s a world of difference between putting a new spin on a reboot and talking like you’re polishing up the original version because it somehow hasn’t aged well and needs fixing.)
Towards the end of the article, Boyle also mentions rather vaguely how McCracken has been in favor of the reboot. 
“I told him we were doing different things, it’s different times, a different crew, and he was on board.”
I wish more of the article had been dedicated to telling the story of that conversation because that’s the vaguest thing I have ever heard about when a show is in the hands of a new team and the original creator has an opinion.

Between the lackluster promotional material, a slew of animation errors in the show that are visible to the naked eye without pausing, and a lack of concrete understanding of what the show even is being displayed by the staff, it's getting harder and harder to defend the reboot or expect it to improve anytime soon. 
Hopefully, the show receives a second season and The Powerpuff Girls goes on to fall in line with many other shows that spent their first season unsure what to make of themselves before finally figuring it out and seeing a massive increase in quality, but that's a long time to wait and a lot of season one to watch without much to hang my hopes on. Maybe if CN wants fresh content, they need to take a queue from Nick and open up to fresh creators instead of mashing the staff from their increasingly homogenous looking lineup together and hoping it somehow explodes like a pot full of Chemical X.

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