The Future of Star Trek - Animation?

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

  1. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I hear you on that one. But I think there are some bright spots:

    - We live in an era of genuinely international achievement. Watching the Chinese space program and economy take off is cool as hell, for instance, though of course no such development comes without its dangers.

    - We live in an era when, dysfunctional as the politics of the West (hell, of much of the world) might be, more and more previously marginalized people are finding a way into the mainstream. The transition of gay marriage from taboo to acceptance in the space of just a few years is itself practically science fiction. The pervasive sexism and racism that was normal in the Sixties is receding (though perhaps no age will ever totally banish either ill).

    - For all the (well justified) apocalyptic anxieties of the age, we also live in an era where the solutions to problems like climate change are in easier reach than ever... and even in an era where NASA is seriously studying warp drive and we're seeing the real-life fruition of things that Sixties SF just speculated about.

    So there are lots of ways to re-anchor and re-conceive something like Trek and lots of positives to draw upon.
     
  2. milojthatch

    milojthatch Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I have to disagree with you on one of your points that I'd rather not say (on this thread at least). For me, the point in question is actually a big part of the dark times. *sigh*

    But yes, I agree not everything is dark. I believe that there is as much good as there is bad. The bad just likes to shout more to get attention.
     
  3. milojthatch

    milojthatch Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Here is a different concept of what an animated Star Trek: Deep Space Nine might look like:
    [​IMG]
     
  4. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, even there -- and I will resist the temptation to ask -- that's the kind of disagreement that can be fodder for interesting conflicts in the setting, and used right can deepen its realism. One of the problems Trek has had in the past has been a suspicious lack of controversy in the setting about what really constituted progress, or who was really best qualified to lead the society of the future.
     
  5. captainkirk

    captainkirk Commander Red Shirt

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    Thanks. One other problem with a more realistic style is that it takes much longer to animate well. Even if it's not something on a Tintin level, just something like the humans in Toy Story or Finding Nemo it's a lot harder to animate than if it's more stylized.

    I do also love the look of good hand-drawn animation. But the problem there is that most people try to do it as cheaply as possible and it shows in the final result. A lot of the time they just use 3D rendered as 2D and that rarely looks good.
     
  6. Saito S

    Saito S Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What I'd personally want to see: not a reboot. Whether one qualifies the previous new shows following on from TOS as "not reboots" or "soft reboots", those are fine. All they really did was take the existing universe and create a new story IN it set farther ahead in time. I'd much rather see something like this, where we run with a brand new set of characters and ideas, than creating the third version of the Kirk/Spock/Enterprise story. I'd be more enthused about a TNG animated reboot than a TOS animated reboot, partly because it hasn't been done and partly because I prefer 24th century Trek anyway, but my #1 choice is still something entirely new in terms of the characters and stories. The only "reboot" aspect I'd want to see is perhaps making a clean break in terms of the setting - rebooting in the sense of what nuBSG did, where there is no in-universe connection to the old setting. They are too entirely different entities spun from the same base concepts. But, unlike with nuBSG, I still prefer the idea of the characters in a new Trek series being entirely new (and the ship not being "Enterprise", while we're at it).

    Animation-style wise, pretty much a semi-realistic look would be my first choice, either as full CG - i.e. something along the lines of FFVII: Advent Children - or a kind of CG-with-cel-shading-so-it-looks-like-2D look. I think the tech and capability to create high-quality CG animation for a weekly show is already here, as evidenced by stuff like Transformers: Prime (which is also a good example since a lot of the main visual content is sci-fi in nature): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXxmMW5USHg

    Personally, while I'm certainly not trying to impugn their quality simply as art (they're definitely well drawn and are obviously intentionally very stylized), I'm not as much a fan of either of the examples posted by milojthatch, when thinking about the kind of look I'd want for an actual Trek show.

    I would combine a brand new set of characters with animation like I described above in a serialized, arc-based story with a very serious, modern treatment of the Trek setting - more DS9 crossed with some stylistic and tonal elements of STID, and less TOS or TNG, in terms of the overall tone and feel.

    What is most likely to even be made, let alone be successful: something else. :lol: I fully acknowledge that what I'd personally be most interested in seeing (or would make, if given the opportunity) and what is most likely to be made and succeed as a Star Trek production, are two different things. While I generally like the Abrams films for the most part, I'm tired of Star Trek "being" Kirk, Spock, and the Enterprise. Yeah, it's the most popular part, I'm not saying I don't understand that, just that I think it's a shame that - outside the novels - this whole huge universe is being ignored in favor of obsessing over this one set of characters over and over. I also feel that another Trek series that examines politics, morality, war, and other such weighty subjects to anywhere near the level that DS9 did is a near impossibility, despite that it's what I'd most like to see.
     
  7. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Commodore Commodore

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    The price is definitely right, compared to doing a Live Action STAR TREK! Animation may be the best bet of seeing STAR TREK return to the small screen ...
     
  8. milojthatch

    milojthatch Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I'm sure it has been talked about on this forum, but I thought the ideas for the aborted animated web series Star Trek: Final Frontier sounded interesting. I wasn't a big fan of their design of the futuristic Enterprise per say, but I thought they had the right idea in how to keep Star Trek going.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    If you have not done so yet, check out their Facebook page!
     
  9. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    This is the Star Trek animated series I want to see.
     
  10. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    ^^
    I'd watch that. If the storytelling could match the visuals (and the visuals could hold up in motion) it would be great.
     
  11. milojthatch

    milojthatch Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    ^^

    I've seen those pictures before. A lot of the visuals look awesome, but I don't want to see a JJ-Trek show. I personally would much rather it be placed in the pre-Abrams universe. Due to quarrels Abrams has had with CBS TV, I'd wager a JJ-Trek cartoon is unlikely anyway.

    However, a thought I did have to make JJ-Trek fans happy, why not animated the IDW comics? Marvel's been doing this motion-comic thing for a while, why not adapt the JJ-Trek comics to that? If I was a fan of JJ-Trek, I'd want to see that.
     
  12. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Markowski's working is amazingly badass.
     
  13. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ What's there looks OK enough, but there are no treatments of the characters, besides the (itty-bitty) thumbnails, and obviously no treatment of motion, so I can't say whether I'd like Markowski's take. There's just insufficient data. :shrug: Too bad we can't see a demo reel!

    By the way, in case it hasn't been mentioned already, what's killed Cartoon Network shows like Young Justice and Green Lantern (in both cases, very unfortunately, I'll add) has apparently been that, for whatever reason, the tie-in toys didn't sell well enough. Point being, it seems that completely unsubsidized quality animation is too expensive these days for the outlets that'll air it! The Clone Wars was obviously an exception, but that really shouldn't come as a surprise (even if the precise manner in which it was paid for is a mystery).
     
  14. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    One would probably not at any rate want a Trek animated show to be entirely based on selling toys to kids. Fortunately there's a reasonably robust animated market today that goes beyond that. (As to what exactly pays for that -- wouldn't that be advertising?)
     
  15. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    The tie-in angle was based on articles that have gone under discussion in the various threads on YJ and GL. IMO, the discussions we've had regarding CN would seem to indicate that CN botched their marketing, though honestly I've no idea what their finances look like or what bills they have to pay.

    As for a robust animation market, what are you thinking of in particular? If it's on premium cable, then subscriptions would be generating income in addition to advertising, yes? (Though, to be honest, I have no real idea how that breaks down.)

    Yes, I wouldn't want a Trek show to depend on selling toys, either. That would almost certainly generate episodes that I would not enjoy watching. GL and YJ were very good, though (but they were apparently financial failures, and I wouldn't expect a new Trek series to be ordered under similar conditions).
     
  16. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, me neither. I have in mind shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender and its spin-off (kid-friendly, but as I know from trying to find toys based on them for my niece, they definitely weren't running on toy sales), or in a different register, shows like Archer or The Venture Bros..
     
  17. milojthatch

    milojthatch Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I'm sad to admit it, but you have a good point there. However, cartoon shows being tied to how well toys sell is not a new issue. In fact, it goes back to the same era the original Star Trek animated show was made in. An animated show based on or depended on toy sales can still attract a larger audience than just the 6-10 crowd. Take a look at something like Batman The Animated Series from the early 1990's. I gurantee toy sales from that show were being look at. Yet, that didn't end up affecting the quality of the show. And it's not alone. My point being is that it can happen, but the stars have to be aligned just right and the powers that be from the studios have to give some leeway to the creative forces.
     
  18. Caretaker

    Caretaker Commodore Premium Member

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    I always thought an animated TNG series in the animation style (characterwise) of the 1990's Batman animated series would be fun - focus on adventures in the time period between "All Good Things..." and Generations. I'd still like to see something like this and am surprised CBS has sat on the idea.

    After the success of The Clone Wars, I'd love to see an anthology animated series for the Trek franchise. Cover a wide variety of time periods and eras, get (many of) the original actors back and appeal to young and non-so-young alike.
     
  19. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Well, I could easily have overstated things somewhat. You're quite right that shows can be well-written and still be financially supported by tie-in products.

    I was reacting, though possibly overreacting, to the cancellation of Young Justice and Green Lantern. Both were good, well-written shows. However, YJ in particular suffered production delays and consequently, I presume, cost overruns. That wouldn't be allowed to happen again on a production, so I was assuming, rightly or wrongly, that that would imply that quality would be compromised in some way; production issues on YJ are something that can be blamed for its failure, even though the tie-in marketing end of the enterprise probably wasn't well thought-out either.
     
  20. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The only cartoons that do that are those based on card games and interactive toys (Pokémon, Beyblade, Tenkai Knights, etc.), and even then they're not that different from shows which just introduce new characters and story arcs along the course of their run.

    A new Star Trek animated series could be (if not likely be) more along the lines of the original as far as its writing is concerned, but with a toyline and other product lines attached to maximize its merchandising potential. In that sense, it'd be totally no different from the live-action shows as they all had toylines.
     

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