The Future of Star Trek - Animation?

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by milojthatch, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. milojthatch

    milojthatch Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Now, I need to say before I go too far into this, I fully understand that there are a number of Star Trek fans, especially those of the older generations, that have some issue with the idea of Star Trek being animated. There are various reasons for this, I get that, just please hear me out.

    I think that the best way for Star Trek to come back to tv is via an animated show or two. I realize that some have a bad taste in their mouth from the original Star Trek: The Animated Series. Let me just say this about that: TAS was produced in a different era of animation. Had it been animated even a decade earlier, I have no doubt that the production values would have been improved. When you get past the weak animation however, the writing was actually really good, especially for a 1970's Saturday morning cartoon.

    I feel that animation has come a long way, and despite the view that prime-time animation has to be funny (thanks a lot Simpsons and Family Guy), I feel it is possible to have a slightly more dramatic prime-time animated show that could be geared for both adults and older children.

    Part of the reasons why Enterprise was taken off the air was due to the high production costs that an average Star Trek episode costs. The powers that be finally felt that the ratings just could not justify the production costs that frankly every live-action Star Trek show dealt with. While it would still cost money, a good quality animated show could cost a lot less than a live action show would.

    Further, an animated show may literally be the only way we'd ever "see" the TNG cast or other Prime Universe actors reprise their roles again. Think about it: most of the TNG cast, besides being fine actors (or directors), have also done a lot of voice acting. All of them came back for Family Guy, and a number of them, including Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner, have done other recent voice acting roles. I really don't think it would be such a stretch to get these guys, or the living cast members from TOS, DS9, Voyager or Enterprise, to come back as a voice actor for an animated Star Trek show.

    Yet, despite the lack of live-action, as TAS showed us, there can still be really interesting Star Trek stories told with the right writers. If it's intresting enough, even some of the most anti-animation fans might find themselves forgeting they are watching a cartoon and get lost in the World of Star Trek.

    With animation, we could also finally see a show that explores strange new worlds like no live-action show could ever properly show us. With the animation medium, the sky really is the limit when it comes to imagination.

    Such an animated show could be aired as a prime-time show or on a cable network such as Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon. Or maybe it could even skip traditional tv and air on NetFlix!?

    Lastly, an animated Trek show, if done right, could help make the case for why CBS TV should invest in a new live-action show without the cost of making a live-action show. It could also be used to help transition the fans from the characters that we all know and love to whatever the new characters are that would star on a new live-action show.

    There, I've made my case, what do the rest of you think?

    Some thoughts on setting for possible Star Trek animated shows:

    -The post-Enterprise era
    -The Romulans Wars
    -The Capt. Pike era of the Enterprise
    -The TOS era between the show and the films
    -The era between the TOS films and TNG
    -The post-Nemesis era
    -Something taking place between the TOS films or between the TNG films
     
  2. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In a word: Yes. the current state of animation offers almost endless possibiities.

    Look at what they did with The Clone Wars animated series. IMO, they really did a good job of expanding upon the live-action movie series. The same thing could certainly be done with Trek.

    An animated Trek series could be set in any era, with any characters. You could have stories set in any of the series, or veer off into new characters and situations. With the right voice actors, you could even do TOS episodes.

    It could even be an "anthology" type series that so many folks seem to advocate (but couldn't really work with a live-action format).
     
  3. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think the best chance of a commercially-viable animated property would be a Kirk/Spock show - most likely taking place during the five year mission.
     
  4. milojthatch

    milojthatch Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Just a little something to wet the animated Star Trek appetite...
    [​IMG]
     
  5. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I'd love to see a Trek animated series aimed at a younger crowd (6-13) with all the toys and other related merchandise (video games, books, apparel, etc.) associated with it. Set in its own continuity, it could take a few cues from the current movies however.
     
  6. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    I would soo watch that milojthatch.
     
  7. Taranis

    Taranis Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I have no problem with seen a Star Trek animated show.

    I am more partial to
    -The TOS era between the show and the films-
    or
    TNG before the destruction of the Enterprise D.. I am not that hot on the E.. personal preference.
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A young Federation series might be damned interesting.


    :)
     
  9. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    I think animation is the future of Star Trek, but it's going to be -- and should be -- a reboot. Berman-Trek is done.
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Okay, reboot to where in your mind? All the way back to The Cage? How much or little would you want to keep?


    :)
     
  11. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    To the source material -- Kirk and Spock on the Enterprise exploring strange new worlds.
     
  12. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    Holy shit, that looks just like the DCAU animation style (Batman: The Animated Series, Superman; The Animated Series, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, The Batman, Batman Beyond
    , etc. Maybe CBS could set up its own animation studio and hire away Bruce Timn and Paul Dini as showrunners. :cool::techman:

    Only one problem, though, for the show shown in the picture, would the cast members want to do voices of the characters, especially considering that Stewart and Spiner basically said good-bye to their roles with Nemesis? If they don', other actors might have to be hired to do the voices of Picard & Data, or all of the characters if the originals don't want to come back (although this might solve Michael Dorn's problem of coming back as Worf.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  13. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm all over the idea of an animated series. And actually... a TNG animated series might be interesting. Though I'd be fine with an animated series in a TOS continuity too.
     
  14. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe they can hire that guy why does the voice overs for those Car Rental commercials to voice Picard, he does sound like Stewart.



    :)
     
  15. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'd be OK with voice actors, I don't need the originals. Makes everything easier to produce.
     
  16. milojthatch

    milojthatch Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    As a pointed out in my original post, both Stewart and Spiner are also noted voice actors. I'm not saying they would, but if they ever were to come back to the Picard and Data roles, I'd wager this is the only way it would happen.

    Based on what I've read from interviews with both of them, I don't think they would be against such an idea. Keep in mind back in 2002, they were both giddy about the idea of one more film. I think in 2014, the issue for both isn't so much a desire to move on from Trek so much as Trek seems to have moved on from them and it's a lot of hard work making live action Star Trek.

    I mean my gosh, Brent Spiner had to wake up at some ungodly hour of the day for weeks, even months to put on the Data make-up and he had to keep it on the whole day. Even while he ate or went to the bathroom. Now compare that to coming to work for an hour or two in your pj's if you so wish to do voice acting work. Now seriously, which one would you want to do?

    First off, NO MORE RE-BOOTS! And I say that fully expecting we'll be seeing a re-boot of the current re-boot in a few years.

    As for Roddenberry/Berman-Trek (The two versions are in fact, one in the same), it may be done, and if it is, I personally feel I'm starting to come to peace with that sad fact. However, never say never. Clearly, I'm not the only fan who misses the so-called "Prime" Universe. Nothing wrong for having hope. Frankly, that's what's wrong with the World today, not enough hope! We are all so cynical and brooding. In the case of Star Trek, the show is all about hope. That is one of the big themes that attracted me to the franchise in the first place. I can't understand why so many of her fans seem to lack it. *sigh*
     
  17. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Berman-era Trek languished a long, long time in comparative mediocrity (and worse) before the end came with Nemesis. It's been a long road, so to speak, gettin' from there to here. :shifty:

    It may also be that the core concept of Trek is just harder and harder to square with our times. The original show after all was essentially about the adventures of Horatio Hornblower in the American space navy, and about using that concept as a framework to tell a variety of stories in an SF setting. This concept gave it most of its major strengths, but a lot of the cultural backdrop that made it resonate -- the presumption that it was possible to succesfully idealize the age of tall ships (or gunboat diplomacy), the belief in uncomplicated American exceptionalism, the audience that was widely-acquainted with military men and military ideals, America's real status as a titan of economics and statesmanship which was expressed in the future "Earth" or "Federation" -- is just gone or vastly changed now. So updating it does become a real challenge.

    But I got hope.:bolian:
     
  18. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    * shrug *

    It's arguable that the Abrams movies are more like the third or fourth reboot - it's just that the other reboots were a lot softer.

    However, to your point - I think at this time it's pretty clear that the "iconic" version of Star Trek in the minds of general audienced is Kirk/Spock, which leads me to believe most further film and perhaps television are more likely to feature their adventures - so I'm betting you're "re-boot of the re-boot" will happen after the current Bad Robot series ends.
     
  19. captainkirk

    captainkirk Commander Red Shirt

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  20. milojthatch

    milojthatch Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    As much as I may hate to admit it, you may have some truth there. Maybe our current society has changed too much to accept something like Star Trek. And I say that not just based on the JJ-Trek films, but the more dark and gritty versions of a lot of beloved characters from the past. Man of Steel comes to mind instantly, but there are others. Personally, I strongly dis-like the path we as a society have taken post 9/11 in the way we've changed and embraced the newer versions of classic literature, film and tv characters, many who easy can be said or prat of American myth and legend. I personally feel we are in a dark time period and I really hope it ends sooner than rather then later.


    Personally, I feel Star Trek is bigger than Kirk or Spock. However, as much as it may annoy me a little, I'd have to agree about them being the center of the Star Trek world to general audiences.


    It looks great, but personally, I either want to see a hand drawn show or if it must be CG, I say it's better to go for a more realistic look.

    You know, if it looked realistic enough, maybe some fans who don't care for animated Trek might give it a try anyway? That said, that pesky "Uncanny Valley" might get in the way!