SDCC 2015: Cartoon Network embracing the weird

uncle_grandpa_group_whiteI wasn’t entirely sure what to expect going into the round table discussions with Cartoon Network at San Diego Comic-Con. I’ve been a long-time fan of a few of the shows represented in the room like Regular Show and Adventure Time, and more unfamiliar with others like Uncle Grandpa and Steven Universe. My era of cartoons as a child featured tamer characters and situations like Doug and Hey Arnold. There were still some more bizarre ones back in my day as well like Cow and Chicken and Courage the Cowardly Dog. Slowly though, cartoons have evolved into its current state.

Being out of the cartoon game for nearly a decade and coming back to watch the current Cartoon Network lineup can be troubling at first. Everything is so bright, the references are totally random, and nothing makes sense like it used to. Why is that gumball machine talking to that Bigfoot? Why are those bears all stacked on top of each other? These are some of the more mild questions you may find your significant other asking you. You can look on Wikipedia for answers or find some fan conspiracy theories, but the correct answer that you have to come to terms with is that there is no answer.

JG Quintel, creator of Regular Show, finds it entertaining that people try to figure out some of his characters. High Five Ghost, for example, is a ghost with a hand coming out of his head and he gives his buddy Muscle Man High Fives a lot. I followed up JG asking him what is the deal with High Five Ghost, and his answer was,” He is just a cool dude.” These are the types of answers you have to get comfortable with and when you finally do it’s totally awesome.

In talking with the creator of Steven Universe and Uncle Grandpa, animation creates a freedom that you just can’t get in live-action films. They are telling stories that are personal and thoughtful to them. If you look beyond the bizarre characters, crazy voices, and outlandish situations, the cartoons today have the same great message that the cartoons of the past few generations. Adventure Time, Regular Show, Uncle Grandpa, and Steven Universe are returning with new seasons and you do not want to miss the brand new series We Bare Bears.

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