The Animated Series

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by EnriqueH, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    So I'm seeing TAS in production order, and I've seen the first four up to The Survivor.

    It's entertaining, though a little weird too. I think it's the transformation of live action to animation? I can't put my finger on it, but one thing is for sure, it's great to hear the actor's voices and the writing is strong.

    Yesteryear was a strong episode. I-Chaya dying was tough. I can't imagine little kids watching some of this stuff.

    Beyond the Farthest Star with the alien being stranded alone was also a bit sad for kids.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, it was intended for families not kiddies, which is great but I wasn't expecting it to be this adult oriented. Great stuff.

    Has there ever been talk of updating the animation similar to what they did for TOS?

    I'd be curious to see what they could do with this show.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    TAS was actually intended and promoted as the first Saturday morning animated series made for adult audiences, though of course it had to be suitable for younger viewers as well. Aside from toning down the sex and violence, they wrote it the same way they approached TOS.


    There's no good reason to do that. The only reason the effects were redone for TOS-R was that they didn't have the original FX elements and thus couldn't recomposite them in high definition. It wasn't about updating things just for the sake of updating them. On the subsequent TNG remastering project, they've striven to preserve the original image elements and shot compositions as completely as they could.
     
  3. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree with christopher that there's no need to update TAS. However, I wouldn't mind seeing new stories done in the kind of CGI/animation style as the Clone Wars series used. you could do pretty-much anything you wanted with it, given the right voice-actors - TOS/TAS, TNG, DSN, etc. In some cases you might even get some of the original actors to do voices for their characters. But any era could be in play from episode to episode if you wanted. Or you could just focus on one ship/crew and have a consistent ongoing story-line, with maybe the occasional era-jump to the past or future.

    Wonder how much it't cost to lure Dave filoni away from Lucas... :)
     
  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But even TNG-R has fixed obvious errors, such as the phaser/torpedo goof in "Darmok". There's no reason TAS-R couldn't do the same.

    For example, characters wearing the wrong uniform colors (yes, yes, I know, Hal Sutherland was colorblind, but it's still fixable), or the Enterprise flying sideways. Those can be fixed, I should think.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  5. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    One of my favorites is when Uhura is moving her arm to open a door, her sleve is blue. Not the whole uniform, just the moving arm's sleve. :lol:
     
  6. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Or, in another shot, the head of M'Ress was placed upon the body of Uhura, so she went from being essentially "flat chested" to a "D" cup! Probably not as absurd as having uhura turn "white" one time.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Ohh, please, no. 3D computer animation is trendy these days, but it's hard to do well, and only really looks good if you can put a lot of time and money into it. So unless you have a Lucasfilm-level budget, you can't really do it as well on television as you can in movies. A lot of the 3D-animated shows that are fashionable today look a lot cruder than their 2D counterparts. Compare something like Green Lantern: The Animated Series or Beware the Batman to something like Young Justice and it's clear that the 3D just does not measure up in quality or richness. Every single background character or object has to be modeled individually, unlike in 2D where you can easily draw a bunch of extras, so 3D animated series tend to be set in unnaturally empty worlds and tend to recycle characters and locations. Basically a lot of present-day 3D shows are under the same kind of budget limitations that TAS was under in its day. The state of the art of 2D animation on a TV budget is much more advanced today and the shows are much better-looking as a result. But unfortunately fashion trumps quality, and it's increasingly hard to find 2D shows anymore. (Though 3D shows like Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles try to keep 2D alive in dream and fantasy sequences -- and the first season of TMNT featured a fantastically authentic-looking TAS parody show as a running gag, followed by a less accurate Voltron parody in the current season.)
     
  8. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Are you thinking of that shot in the rec room/"holodeck" in "The Practical Joker" when they painted Chapel in place of Uhura?
     
  9. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    I thought there was an instance of Uhura sitting at her comm' station of the bridge with the "camera" positioned overhead with a "fisheye" lens view of the room. She wore a red uniform and had black hair, but only her skin suffered the "goof".

    But I could easily be mistaken.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  10. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No, I realize that. But it's more adult oriented than I expected. I'm glad. Very good first four episodes.


    Well, what I love about the remastering project is that they made both the original and remastered versions available in the same set, which is what many think George Lucas should've done with the Original Trilogy.

    Anyway, the only reason I mention updating the effects is that I've heard the criticism of the show is primarily due to the animation being rather limited.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    By the standards of Saturday morning television animation in the early 1970s, it was actually pretty well-made. Animation is an art form/technology that's advanced considerably over the decades, and TAS is simply a representative of the state of the art for television of that era. Would you want to refilm a Buster Keaton movie with color and sound?
     
  12. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not necessarily, no. And I agree with you about the animation. It doesn't look unlike animation of Masters of the Universe, which I did watch back in 3rd grade. So I have no problem with it.

    But again, I've always heard/read criticisms directed at TAS based on its "lackluster animation".

    In fact, my whole life---I don't think I've ever been part of a discussion involving TAS that doesn't have at least one person dissing the animation.

    So I'm just assuming from life experience that a lot of people have problems with the animation. Therefore, I'm just wondering aloud whether enhancing the animation has ever been a discussion.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Both shows were from Filmation Associates, so that's not surprising.


    Just because a lot of people say something, that doesn't make it objectively correct. Heck, it's the Internet -- mention anything and you'll draw in people who only want to complain about it.


    On the Internet, it's been an ongoing discussion to the point of tedium. I doubt it's ever been seriously considered by Paramount or CBS, though, since it would be a very expensive undertaking and probably wouldn't draw in a large enough audience to justify the cost.
     
  14. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yep. And Hal Sutherland not only directed TAS, but he also directed an episode of He-Man as well.



    Who said it made it correct? All I said is that my whole life, I've always heard criticisms, so it made me wonder if it generated talk of enhanced versions.


    Hmmm, I wonder. You might be right. I know Shatner said Paramount laughed him out of the office, or something to that effect, when he mentioned doing a director's cut of Star Trek V.
     
  15. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Christopher is correct that technically TAS is typical of the state of the art in TV animation of the period.

    It's true that "Animation is an art form/technology that's advanced considerably over the decades", but, for those unfamiliar with animation history, it's worth pointing out that what pre-CG TV animation represented was the "state of the art on the super cheap" as opposed to the state of the art in animation in general. One look at the truly fluid animation in a theatrical short from 30 years earlier than TAS will prove that out.

    In short, TV budgets were typically very low, so the animation studios compensated via shortcuts. The most common was focusing on dialog instead of action, which typically meant spending some of the limited funds on lip-sync rather than other animation (director Shamus Culhane once experimented with the opposite approach, dispensing with lip sync in favor of shifting the person-power to the animation). This resulted in a reliance on static ("held") poses where the only parts of the character that move are the mouth, eyes, and maybe a hand being raised for emphasis. Other shortcuts included recycling animation cels and even completed shots. (And Xerography eliminated the need for inkers.)

    Ever wonder why every Hanna Barbara funny animal wears a collar and has a distinct muzzle line? Yep, so they can redraw only those parts when needed and hide the "seams" at those junctures.
     
  16. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Didn't they accidentally give Scotty a mustache in "More Tribbles, More Troubles?"
     
  17. EnriqueH

    EnriqueH Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think that was Kyle.
     
  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Mr. Kyle, voiced by James Doohan, had a mustache in TAS. From Memory Alpha's article on "More Tribbles, More Troubles":

     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, which is why I explicitly specified "Saturday morning television animation." I don't see the point of comparing that to an animated feature; that's like comparing the production values of TOS to a movie like 2001. It goes without saying that television production quality will be lower than feature film quality. That's why, as I said above, 3D computer animation rarely works as well on TV as it does in movies, because the 3D animated shows don't have a fraction as much time and money at their disposal, and 3D computer animation is not something that looks particularly good unless you really have the time and expertise to compensate for its intrinsic limitations. In short, even today, CGI cartoons on TV look cheap compared to movies. (Although there have been 2D-animated shows sporting nearly feature-quality work, like Young Justice. It's easier to get that level of quality in 2D using modern digital techniques which make drawing, painting, animating, and editing faster and more efficient.)


    On the other hand, Filmation's extensive stock system, their heavy and well-organized reuse of existing character poses and movements, freed up the animators' limited time to devote to other things like the lush, gorgeous alien landscapes and wildly imaginative creature and technology designs that made TAS one of the best-looking TV cartoons of the '70s and one of the most visually imaginative iterations of the entire Trek franchise. Look at the work of Hanna-Barbera (Filmation's main rival) in the same period, and while there wasn't so much recycling of poses and movements, the artwork in general looked a lot more sloppy, rushed, and error-prone.
     
  20. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Even as a kid I didn't like Hannah-Barbera cartoons, for the reason you cite.

    I also don't think, as noted, that re-animating the animated series is a good idea. As I get older, I dislike more and more the whole idea of replacing 'updated' versions of anything. Let history be what it was. The idea alone that the possibility exists in theory is good enough for me, somehow.

    Now if we're talking about a all-new animated series, well that's a different story! :)