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Old June 21 2013, 03:24 PM   #76
Therin of Andor
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Re: Is TAS worth watching in my complete Star Trek marathon?

Shawnster wrote: View Post
What I don't understand is why nobody seems to notice that TMP stole just as much from TAS One of Our Planets is Missing as it did TOS Changeling. A large space cloud threatens to destroy a Federation planet. The Enterprise flies to the center of the cloud where Spock mind melds with the intelligence behind the cloud.
Actually, readers' letters in "Starlog" (and "The Best of Trek"?) in 1980 certainly did discuss how TMP seemingly lifted story material from TAS's "One of Our Planets is Missing".

Marc Daniels already had a TOS script sitting in the slush pile when the series ended, and it may have made it into a Season Four (along with Alan Dean Foster's double-length Klingon episode, which was mined for "Star Trek Log Seven"). Daniels' one-hour script was called "The Beast", and I'll bet it was retooled as the TAS episode.

Not to mention the giant planetoid in orbit of Vulcan (not a moon because Uhura was told in TOS that "Vulcan has no moon"). And the second turbolift on the bridge! And the location of Klingon ships' torpedo tubes!
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Old June 21 2013, 04:24 PM   #77
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Re: Is TAS worth watching in my complete Star Trek marathon?

Christopher wrote: View Post
And while we're at it, let's take down all the old paintings in museums and replace them with photographs and CG animations. Let's forget there's such a thing as history and pretend the world was created ten years ago.
Hyperbole...much? TAS in its original form is already out there on home video. And TOS Remastered allows you to watch the original FX if you want. Just because I'm suggesting redoing the visuals for TAS doesn't mean I want to erase the history of Filmation. I just don't have a lot of sentimentality for that artwork. It looks okay in stills but in the context of watching episodes, it comes across as flat. I think anyone with any appreciation for animation as an artform wold concede that there wasn't a lot there to appreciate.

TAS is remembered for the writing and the fact they got most of the original cast back to do the voices, not because the art was so great.
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Old June 21 2013, 06:32 PM   #78
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Re: Is TAS worth watching in my complete Star Trek marathon?

mos6507 wrote: View Post
I think anyone with any appreciation for animation as an artform wold concede that there wasn't a lot there to appreciate.
You think wrong. I'm a lifelong animation fan, and it's because of my early love for Filmation's work. Yes, it was limited animation, which was a matter of budgetary necessity, but they did the best they could with the limited resources and techniques at their disposal. Their artwork was better than any of their contemporaries'. Their background paintings were gorgeous and rich, their cel art was clean and slick unlike the sloppier work of a lot of Hanna-Barbera's contemporary output, and their designs for the aliens, ships, and exotic landscapes of TAS were wildly imaginative. There were superb artists working for Filmation; they just had to work within a set of budgetary and logistical limits which were actually quite routine for the industry and the era.

Indeed, many of the creators who elevated TV animation to new heights in the '90s, such as Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, got their starts at Filmation, though that was later than TAS. Lou Scheimer was the Roger Corman of animation, giving many future greats their start in the business.


TAS is remembered for the writing and the fact they got most of the original cast back to do the voices, not because the art was so great.
Absolutely wrong. The art was fantastic, as good as anything you'd find on TV in the '70s. It just didn't move much.
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Old June 22 2013, 07:36 PM   #79
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Re: Is TAS worth watching in my complete Star Trek marathon?

I think they got a little better at character movement in their own Ghostbusters cartoon--the one with the Gorilla and Larry Storch
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Old June 22 2013, 08:32 PM   #80
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Re: Is TAS worth watching in my complete Star Trek marathon?

^Definitely Filmation had improved its work by that point in a lot of its shows, not just that one. They'd gone from using the same stock poses over and over to using the same stock rotoscoped movements over and over, redrawn for different characters, but the movement sequences were often very well-animated. And particularly toward the end of their tenure, they were moving away from limited animation to fuller animation. You mention Filmation's Ghostbusters, but the more impressive one from around the same time is BraveStarr, which occasionally incorporated some fully animated sequences alongside the more conventional limited animation. (Also, as with Filmation's Flash Gordon, BraveStarr began with a fully-animated movie, so the series benefitted from using stock sequences and cels made for the movie.)

And Larry Storch and Forrest Tucker were in the original, live-action The Ghost Busters from the '70s. Filmation's Ghostbusters was about the sons of their characters, and the original characters did appear on a recurring basis, but they were played by Pat Fraley and Peter Cullen (who also played their sons) rather than Storch and Tucker.
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Old June 24 2013, 08:29 AM   #81
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Re: Is TAS worth watching in my complete Star Trek marathon?

Christopher wrote: View Post
Their background paintings were gorgeous and rich, their cel art was clean and slick unlike the sloppier work of a lot of Hanna-Barbera's contemporary output, and their designs for the aliens, ships, and exotic landscapes of TAS were wildly imaginative. There were superb artists working for Filmation
Totally agree. I sat with friends a few years ago, watching them discover the episode "Bem" for the first time. As silly as parts of that episode are, the background visuals are often breathtaking. On DVD, they were even better than I remembered; they were stunning!

The art was fantastic, as good as anything you'd find on TV in the '70s. It just didn't move much.
Agree!
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Old July 2 2013, 07:17 AM   #82
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Re: Is TAS worth watching in my complete Star Trek marathon?

mos6507 wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
And while we're at it, let's take down all the old paintings in museums and replace them with photographs and CG animations. Let's forget there's such a thing as history and pretend the world was created ten years ago.
Hyperbole...much? TAS in its original form is already out there on home video. And TOS Remastered allows you to watch the original FX if you want. Just because I'm suggesting redoing the visuals for TAS doesn't mean I want to erase the history of Filmation. I just don't have a lot of sentimentality for that artwork. It looks okay in stills but in the context of watching episodes, it comes across as flat. I think anyone with any appreciation for animation as an art form wold concede that there wasn't a lot there to appreciate.

TAS is remembered for the writing and the fact they got most of the original cast back to do the voices, not because the art was so great.
Agreed. This is why there needs to be a new show, with new or original characters, and why I've been a staunch supporter and booster of Star Trek Aurora despites its being made with DAZ Studio, because despite being made with that program, the show works quite well. Just writing great stories isn't enough for an animated science fiction series if the animation is poor.

Sometimes, I wonder and wish that Roddenberry had taken a look at Japanese studios and had the show be animated in Japan, either in the anime style or in a Western style based on the design of the original cels; we might have gotten a better show that way (I'm thinking in particular of the style used on Gatchaman: Science Ninja Squad [aka Battle of the Planets outside Japan], or the style seen on Space Battleship Yamato, aka Star Blazers.)
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Old July 2 2013, 05:36 PM   #83
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Re: Is TAS worth watching in my complete Star Trek marathon?

Shaka Zulu wrote: View Post
Agreed. This is why there needs to be a new show, with new or original characters, and why I've been a staunch supporter and booster of Star Trek Aurora despites its being made with DAZ Studio, because despite being made with that program, the show works quite well. Just writing great stories isn't enough for an animated science fiction series if the animation is poor.
A new show, fine. But not a wholesale replacement of the artwork in the original show, certainly not if it's motivated by a rejection of its design sensibilities.


Sometimes, I wonder and wish that Roddenberry had taken a look at Japanese studios and had the show be animated in Japan, either in the anime style or in a Western style based on the design of the original cels; we might have gotten a better show that way (I'm thinking in particular of the style used on Gatchaman: Science Ninja Squad [aka Battle of the Planets outside Japan], or the style seen on Space Battleship Yamato, aka Star Blazers.)
In 1973, Japanese animation was barely on the radar of anyone from America. There had been a few imports up to that time, like Speed Racer and Astro Boy, but it wouldn't be until the late '70s and the '80s that anime (or "Japanimation" as it was then known) would begin to become a prominent part of the US television landscape. And it wouldn't be until the '80s that American studios would begin subcontracting their work out to overseas studios. In '73, there were still plenty of domestic animation houses to choose from, so why look elsewhere?

Anyway, I think it would've been the animation studio's decision whether to do the animation domestically or overseas. The production/writing/acting/design/storyboarding/layout end is still done here in the US, most of the time; the actual frame-by-frame animation is subcontracted out because it's more on the technical side of things than the creative side (although good animators do bring their own style and creativity to the work within the parameters defined by designers, storyboarders, layout artists, background designers, etc.). So even if overseas subcontracting had been done at the time, Roddenberry would still have been choosing between various American production companies.

And Japanese TV animation was cruder then too. I recently rewatched Star Blazers and was struck by how poor its animation was compared to more modern anime. Sure, it had more movement and variety than Filmation's '70s work, but the art was much sloppier with lots of dirty/scratched cels, and there was plenty of recycled animation and stock footage just as there was in Filmation shows.
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Old July 3 2013, 05:24 AM   #84
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Re: Is TAS worth watching in my complete Star Trek marathon?

I always enjoy watching it, mostly for nostalgic reasons I guess, but if you've not seen it's worth giving it a look.
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Old July 4 2013, 06:05 PM   #85
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Re: Is TAS worth watching in my complete Star Trek marathon?

I've watched 2 episodes so far: one where Bones is accused of bringing a plague to an alien planet & one where Kirk, Spock, and Bones are put in an alien zoo. Both were enjoyable enough but seem lacking from only being 1/2 of the length or a normal TV episode.

I can take the bad animation and not very appealing character designs but the bad voice acting is the worst. It's great they got the original actors but it feels like they are reading from a script not acting. It's actually pretty distracting for me.

I do like that for the most part the animated version has a serious tone. In fact it feels more serious than a lot of the 3rd season.

I do think it is nice to have more stories with the TOS characters but in the end it makes me wish they could have had more seasons of the original show instead (and better scripts overall in the 3rd season of the series).

On another note even if you don't have Netflix all the episodes are also freely available on Cbs.com.
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Old July 13 2013, 10:42 PM   #86
Robert Comsol
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Re: Is TAS worth watching in my complete Star Trek marathon?

Kinokima wrote: View Post
I can take the bad animation and not very appealing character designs but the bad voice acting is the worst. It's great they got the original actors but it feels like they are reading from a script not acting. It's actually pretty distracting for me.
If I recall correctly, some of the original actors criticized that they were just recording lines without context and interaction but the original voices helped immensely to add authenticity to TAS.

I just finished rewatching TAS. What seemed to be like a mandatory burden on behalf of my TOS Enterprise deck plan project (to cover new locations from TAS) turned out to be a truly rewarding Star Trek experience.

From today's and a spoiled point of view the animation sucks (well, those redundant monsters they often encountered already sucked when I saw TAS in the 1970's...).

The overall presentation has a certain naiveté where the target audience are obviously kids of the 1970's and therefore the series also attempts to convey positive morales and ideas to this audience.

But if you can ignore these shortcomings and superficialties you may agree that the series' heart and soul is essentially what Star Trek was and should be about (and makes me wonder how Gene Roddenberry could have ever wanted to distance himself from the series).

The protagonists solve problems by using their heads, and not their weapons! If this isn't one of the assets what Star Trek was about, then I don't know.

Frankly, I rather prefer rewatching a couple of TAS episodes over a couple of Star Trek movies. They may not appeal to my intelligence, but at least I don't find these insulting!

And you really have some true gems here. "The Slaver Weapon" written by Larry Niven (!) is a perfect example for logical deduction with a twist at the end of the story that blew me away (...).

"Bem" was a great morality play at the core and featured one of the first visualizations of the concept of dinosaurs that had evolved into sentient bipeds I'm aware of! (because apparently no asteroid hit their planet 65 million years ago).

As in the original series you have some very good stories but you also get your share of bad ones.
Lowering my expectations beforehand definitely helped me to enjoy the TAS experience.

If it's story telling you're interested in, go for it.

If you have to have an appealing box for the content, YMMV.

Bob
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Old July 14 2013, 01:00 AM   #87
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Re: Is TAS worth watching in my complete Star Trek marathon?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
and makes me wonder how Gene Roddenberry could have ever wanted to distance himself from the series.
In 1989, several things were happening: Filmation was being sold off (and the entire backstock had their ownership rights thrown into flux); DC Comics had added Arex and M'Ress to their movie-related comics (ordered to be dropped); Larry Niven was attempting to sell the rights for "Ringworld" (and the kzinti) to a RPG company; Pocket Books had proposed a Trek novel, "The Captains' Honor", featuring kzinti (changed to M'Dok); there was a writers' strike threatening to truncate Season 2 of TNG; and TAS showrunner, DC Fontana, and prominent TAS writer, David Gerrold, were suing Roddenberry for co-creatorship of TNG (resulting in their out-of-court non-disclosure settlement).

In such turbulent times, stepping away from something is easier and cheaper than wading through the red tape. Saying that TAS was no longer "canon" was... efficient.
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