Animated Trek series coming to Nickelodeon

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by King Daniel Beyond, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    What's wrong with having a show that's just for kids? It's a huge franchise -- it's not like every single installment of it has to appeal equally to every single fan. There are already parts of the franchise I'm personally not that interested in, but I don't begrudge other people the right to have something that appeals to them instead of to me, because there are already other parts that do appeal to me. That's the good thing about the Trek franchise -- that it's large enough and diverse enough to have something for everyone.
     
  2. captainkirk

    captainkirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    South Africa
    Nothing is wrong with appealing to kids, as long as it's done well. I guess for me it's because most of the cartoons I grew up on I still enjoy, so I personally think it should be something that a child can love, and then when they're older it will still hold up.

    It would also be good if it can hook them into the rest of Star Trek, and so you don't want there to be a huge disconnect between the cartoon and the rest.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I think the Trek franchise has limited itself by this insistence that everything be in the same continuity. Most multimedia franchises aren't like that. The animated shows based on DC and Marvel characters aren't in the same continuity as the comics, the movies, or each other. Most animated or live-action TV shows based on movies are set in variant realities that reinterpret the movies' continuities in one way or another. Having multiple continuities frees you to be more creative, to make a given show based purely on what's good for itself rather than hemming it in with the need to be in continuity with other shows.

    True, Star Wars has shown that it's possible to make animated series that are in-continuity with the live-action franchise, but if you think about it, at this point, the animated TV shows represent a sizeable majority of the total screen time of the canonical Star Wars franchise, taking up far more hours than the movies. There are kids who are going to grow up thinking of Star Wars as a mostly animated universe with occasional live-action movie tie-ins. So there isn't that much live-action canon that they need to be consistent with -- and it's a fanciful universe that's always been aimed at kids to begin with, so animated shows fit into it well. Trek's live-action canon is far huger and thus far more restrictive, and it's generally more adult-oriented and grounded, so if a kids' show or a comedy series (i.e. the "Lower Decks" animated show for CBSAA) wanted to do something really wild and silly, that might clash too much with existing canon. It would be more liberating to both animated shows if they didn't have to be in-continuity.
     
    Ovation likes this.
  4. captainkirk

    captainkirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    South Africa
    This I will agree with. In fact, I would not be opposed to the cartoon being a new Kirk and Spock origin story with no attempt at tying it to canon. It could even be the ideal way to do things that mainstream Trek would never do. And I don't mean things like childish humor. I mean something like Big Finish's Unbound audios for Doctor Who where they have a radical new take on everything we take for granted about the characters. Just think of the possibilities.

    What if some of the characters were gender-swapped? What if Spock embraced his human side? What if one of the characters got killed off for good? I think the potential is there for something interesting.
     
  5. Donker

    Donker Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Why would people expect it to have anything to do with canon at all? It's a little kids show, it'll probably be just a dumb kids comedy.
    If it's animated and "canon" I would expect it to be something more like Clone Wars or Anime and aimed at like a teen/ya audience at least.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Your second paragraph answers the question in your first. The Star Wars animated series are canonical, therefore it's possible for an animated kids' series to be canonical within a live-action universe. For that matter, the original Star Trek animated series was never not canonical despite what fans believe (the memo "banning" it was only binding on tie-ins, and the actual shows did make the occasional TAS reference while the "ban" was supposedly in effect).

    Other live-action franchises that include canonical animated productions include Doctor Who (Dreamland) and the Arrowverse (Vixen), as well as The Matrix (The Animatrix) and Blade Runner (the Blade Runner Black Out 2022 short film).
     
    XCV330 likes this.
  7. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    The canon issue isn't really a issue for me. Just whether or not it's actually good children's stuff like Pixar as opposed to bad stuff that liked mentioned above doesn't hold up. I really also don't want it to be just a excuse to sell Trek toys. As much as I loved GiJoe and Transformers as a kid that type of thing is pretty shameless.


    Jason
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    On the other hand, the ongoing lack of Trek toys for kids (as opposed to collectors) is unfortunate. Sure, commercialism isn't great, but toys are a good way to get a new generation interested in a franchise. The success of Star Wars in the '70s and '80s owes at least as much to the Kenner toy line as to the actual movies.

    And the harsh reality is, a kids' show on cable can't survive without toy-company sponsorship. Far too many terrific shows have been cancelled prematurely because they didn't get toy deals -- The Legend of Korra, Green Lantern: TAS, etc.

    But it is possible to do a show that sells toys and is also a smart, well-written story. Ultimately, all commercial television is driven by the need to sell products, one way or another. If that's what it takes to get your show on the air, then you work around it and find a way to tell smart stories within those parameters.
     
    KimMH and Tim Thomason like this.
  9. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    I can attest to that...I missed the movie the first time around, but became the biggest Star Wars fan on my block via the toys and comics.
     
  10. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Depends what that entails, the recent Star wars were aimed at kids, but still had plot twists, real stakes, real drama, etc. It wasn't dumbing down Star Wars for kids.

    I think animation has changed a lot since the 1970s when TAS aired. In the decades since then, we have seen kids cartoons tell more complex stories, with shows like Avatar the Last Air Bender, Steven Universe, etc telling better stories then cartoon series from the past have apparently I heard the new She-Ra cartoon is more complex in terms of characters than the old one that was just designed to sell toys. Then you have something like Teen Titans Go, which is just a bunch of fart jokes. If kids like that, fine, but I know what I consider to be the better show.

    I would rather a Star Trek cartoon be like Star Wars Clone Wars, Steven Universe or Avatar the Last Airbender then Teen Titans Go. I think there is a way to make a Star Trek show that appeals to kids that is not brainless. Put in lots of colors, action, humor and over the top stuff in it, but have real character moments and stakes in it too. Do not put in content that is unsuitable for kids, but do not talk down to kids either.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    In my experience, the ratio of smart to dumb in kids' shows is no worse than it is in adult programming -- possibly even higher, because kids' shows don't have the luxury of assuming that just throwing in a lot of violence and cursing is enough to make a show sophisticated. There is plenty of smart entertainment for children out there -- Star Wars is hardly an exception to the norm.

    And by the way, Star Wars has always been for kids. I'm amazed at how many fans today don't understand that. The opening caption on every movie, "A long time ago" etc., is explicitly presenting the story as a fairy tale. The entire franchise is an homage to the Saturday-matinee adventure serials of the 1930s-40s, which were meant for young filmgoers. The films have hardly any sexual content or profanity and the violence is stylized and sanitized. And as I mentioned before, the toy line was at least as important as the films themselves in creating the franchise's popularity. It was children -- the children of my own age cohort, in fact, since I was 8 when the original film came out -- who were the first generation of SW fans and the ones who created the phenomenon of SW fandom. So it's so obnoxious to me when I see today's SW fans getting all snotty and condescending about "dumbed-down kids' stuff." They sound no different from the movie critics who scorned the original films as dumbed-down kids' stuff when they first came out.
     
  12. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Sunny California
    I personally feel a new live action Star Trek series should be aired on a channel to bring in a new audience, a channel which targets kids. Star Trek can't survive without a younger base, this doesn't mean the material has to be dumb down like what's seen on Disco, but telling compelling stories from the minds of SF writers who had a huge influence on TOS.
     
  13. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Sure, Star Wars is aimed at kids, but ''aimed at kids'' is a wider demographic then first appears. People die in Star Wars, planets blow up, the stakes, are real it's not a franchise where there are no real stakes, its aimed at older kids then something is really kid-friendly, where there are no stakes, no one ever dies, etc. Something aimed at little kids and aimed at older kids are different, those couple of years make a big difference. Clone Wars did get with more violence than other kids cartoons at the time.

    Both Steven Universe and Teen Titans Go are kids cartoons on Cartoon Network, but they are completely different. One is telling a complex story for kids and other is telling fart jokes all the time. That's not saying that cartoons like Star Wars Clone Wars, Steven Universe and Avatar the Last Airbender did not have a lot of humor in them, but they know when to switch from humor to drama and then go back.

    So when we are talking about ''aimed at kids'', are we talking about something that is filled colors, humor, action, drama when needed, over the top visual and fighting Star Trek into the mold of what the best kids cartoons are doing or we talking a dumbed show that treats kids like idiots and just has some fart jokes in it to make them happy.

    I am hoping Frakes was dismissing the show out of hand, making assumptions about it because its a kids cartoon, rather then him having inside knowledge about it and knowing its bad.
     
  14. Jayson1

    Jayson1 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2017
    How does one define something that is "aimed for kids?" I think "Star Wars" was aimed at kids but kids from grade school up through high school and even college. Kids can be a broad term but then you got something that you know even teenagers will look down at as "kids stuff." Something like Teletubbies or Barney from back in the day.

    Also Pixar and frankly the way older people today embrace cartoons I also don't see the reason not t expand your target audience. It makes sense that you don't want a adult cartoon like "Family Guy" or "South Park" but to not do a show where adults can appreciate it and maybe get jokes or stuff that go over the kids head doesn't make sense to me either. If were going by a ratings thing I am thinking something that is more PG than just G rated show in terms of what I am hoping for.

    If the show is aimed at just small kids I do wonder though why they would go with the premise they went with. It's a premise that seems to be built around people already having a working knowledge of Trek. Jokes about who puts in the food disks or however they said it makes me think they will be making fun of trek cliches and tropes. If it was to be aimed at only smaller kids I would think they would be talking up stuff like the action adventure and strange aliens and stuff like that and not the humor from lower decks crewmen.


    Jason
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Which is exactly my point -- that you can't generalize or assume anything based on "for kids," since that encompasses as wide a gamut of different shows as "for adults" does. Category doesn't dictate content or quality.


    Frakes didn't make any such assumptions. Here's what he actually said:

    So he wasn't saying anything negative about the kids' show -- on the contrary, he was including it in his positive comment about the vitality and bright future of the franchise. It was a poster here, captainkirk, who quoted that "little kids" line out of context (see comment #58) and said, for some reason, that Frakes's comment "doesn't sound good." The only negative assumptions are here in this thread.


    Like they say, it's for "kids of all ages." It was meant both to engage children and to engage adults' nostalgia for the things they'd loved as children. That was a key part of its success -- in an age when most science fiction movies were grim dystopian allegories or post-apocalyptic cautionary tales, Star Wars came along and said it was okay for movies and their audiences to stop being grown up all the time and just have fun.


    Oh, teenagers are far more likely to look on things as "kids' stuff" than adults are. Teenagers are self-conscious about proving their maturity and scorning the things they loved as kids, but once you're secure in your adulthood and have nothing to prove, you can embrace your childhood loves again.

    You're confusing the two different animated shows. You're talking about Lower Decks, which is an adult-oriented animated comedy for CBS All Access. At this point, we know nothing about the subject matter of the Nickelodeon animated series.
     
  16. captainkirk

    captainkirk Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    South Africa
    My concern is that he means it is something like Teen Titans Go. However, his comment can also be interpreted to mean that he makes the same assumption that so many people make, that any animation that isn't a raunchy comedy is just for little kids. Now I don't want to put words in Frakes's mouth, but this is a very widespread misconception.
     
  17. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Yeah, that's the point I made as well. For kids could mean a colorful, action-packed, humorous show, but with drama, plot twists and good character moments added in or it can fart jokes for 22 minutes. I would prefer the former rather than latter.

    I can enjoy a kids cartoon that is actually well made, I am not such a snob that I look down on something solely because its aimed at kids. Good storytelling is good storytelling, no matter who it is aimed at. I would look forward to this if it fits the mold of the great kids' action cartoons, rather then the bad ones, even if I am not who this aimed at.

    Fair enough, I got the context of that quotes wrong. Frakes worked on one of the best kids cartoons ever, Gargoyles, so he should know the quality kids cartoons can have.
     
  18. KimMH

    KimMH Vice Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    I’m just as exited about this as the other series and the books. THe bigger the sandbox the more people will come to play- the franchise has a better chance of survival by appealing to as many people as possible. appealing to younglings is pretty vital to that goal. The quality of writing issue reminds me that grown people -mostly men groaned and bitched about the new SheRa ruining their childhoods and evidently being created for children. If it doesn’t please you move along and let the target audience have the same experience of meeting Star Trek for the first time and hopefully creating a lifelong love for it. Star Trek is a business and any business that is not growing is failing. Let Star Trek grow and let people enjoy what they like. And I’m gonna buy a crap ton of the toys and comics and give them to every little person in my life.
     
    King Daniel Beyond likes this.
  19. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    I have heard good things about the new She-Ra cartoon and really given the original She-Ra is a giant toy commercial, the new one would have to be better.

    I personally have no problem with this show being aimed at kids, but ''aimed at kids'' can mean different things, like I said both Steven Universe and Teen Titans Go are both aimed at kids but are wildly different shows. So what does being ''aimed at kids'' really mean in this context?

    I wouldn't hate this show if it was aimed at kids, I wouldn't like it if it talked down to kids. Because I do think it's possible to have a show or movie aimed at kids and still be a generally entertaining (and I personally think those are best kids cartoons), look at the better Pixar films or several kids cartoon that are actually well-crafted pieces of fiction. The alt-right people who complain about the She-Ra cartoon are putting the old cartoon on a pedestal it does not deserve, I am not doing that, I am saying there have great kids cartoons that were great pieces of fiction in the past and I would hope this show fits that mold, rather then the lazy kid pandering mode kids cartoons can go down.

    I think just because something is aimed at kids doesn't mean it has to be bad, it can be great kids cartoon and a great Star Trek show, I think a lot of Star Trek would be suitable for kids, the old shows were PG, I do not think you have changed that much to make it appeal to kids, just punch up the action, humor, and colors, make it Star Trek, but punch up the fun elements.

    If this show is not for me, that's fine, but it panders to kids and dumbs down things, that would be a mistake.

    Anyway, I hope shows off more nonhuman looking aliens, maybe have crew members in the vein of M'Ress and Arex be in the show and if there is a villain, maybe have one of the aliens looking civilizations that hardly ever shows up in live action Tholians, the Gorn or Species 8472 play that part.

    Also, I wonder who they get to do voices for this show, good old stand by voice actors like Tara Strong and Steve Blum, vet Star Trek actors, TV or Broadway actors who do some voice acting on the side?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  20. The Overlord

    The Overlord Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Another interesting question, should this cartoon adhere to or just ditch past continuity, in order to appeal to a younger audience?

    One has to keep in mind, that kids today wouldn't know about some of the stuff we grew up with when Star Trek was really popular, like the TNG Borg stories or the Klingon/Romulan drama stories, the Khan vs. Kirk struggle, etc.

    You can do a Star Trek ''Ultimate Universe'', where you compress some elements and put a new spin on it. I hope they wouldn't just retell the same stories, like an animated version of ''Best of Both worlds'', but take the basic premise of Best of Both Worlds and put a new spin on it. Kids are not going to want a show that makes references to things from 1968 or 1993 all the time. Making it accessible may entail making it less dependent on past continuity.

    You can have Khan and the Borg show up in the same show, if you want.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019