Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Pros and Cons of Canadian Animation (and everything in between)

Hi there.  You see, Stefan and I have a lot in common, we fight for the rights for all animation and put those you use who use Executive and/or Corporate Meddling for their base ends in their place.  But, there is one thing that I am having trouble with is animated shows from north of the border and that is Canada.

For the past several years, when it comes to animation, Canada is getting a bad reputation, but it's not their fault.  I know most of their cartoons today are mostly comedies, which should be on Comedy Central.  The reason these cartoons are that bad is because their are aired on the networks that have since lost their way, when it comes to demographics.

For example, Cartoon Network, they use to do cartoons at their studio, no matter what money they got.  But when Stuart Snyder was put in charge, they decided to cut back on their studio, not only relying on live action shows, but also having imports like the newly-vamped but overly milked Johnny Test.  My brother use to call Jonny Quest, "Jonny Pest."  Forget Quest, Johnny Test is the new Jonny Pest, cause he has overstayed his welcome.  Now, Disney, under Robert Iger, are now doing the same thing CN is doing other that depending on Teeny-Boppers, pushing Mickey Mouse aside and giving Ariel and the entire Little Mermaid franchise a bad reputation by fans who love it as kids, now hated it as adults.

But, not all forms of animation in Canada are bad.  Don't believe me?  As Peabody would say, "Sherman, set the Way Back Machine to the 1980s." There are few things I like about Canada, Maple Syrup, voice actors equal those to FUNimation and pro-wrestling legends like Bret "Hitman" Hart.  Anyway, as you know, I grew up in the 80s and they have great cartoons, and some of them are from Canada.  If you recall, there was an awesome cartoon called The Raccoons, which I saw when I was a kid and I saw it the later years in Disney Channel's golden years.  Here is a interesting fact on that show;  Melissa Raccoon was voiced by none other than Susan Roman, who later became the voice of Sailor Jupiter in the English dub of Sailor Moon and to this date, the only voice actor in the dub who was there from the very beginning and was never replaced.  Then, there was the Care Bears, and of course I was talking about the Nelvana cartoon.  Although it wasn't great, but I enjoyed it, especially with the Care Bear Stare and all that.  And just like Susan Roman with The Raccoons, before becoming the heart and soul of Sailor Moon, Terri Hawkes did voice work in Care Bears as one of the villains, Shreeky.

Even though some Canadian cartoons are great, but some of them are not so great but we watch them still.  Like the two Star Wars cartoons, Droids and Ewoks.  The animation in both shows were done by Nelvana, who did the animation for the god-awful Star Wars Holiday Special and to make it clear, Boba Fett first appeared in this one, not The Empire Strikes Back.

I do agree that the Canadian cartoons of today are terrible, the only exception is Rescue Heroes.  I know it is based on the children's toy, but the reason I like this cartoon for two reasons.  Reason 1; some of the voice actors did voice work on other animated shows.  Billy Blazes, Wendy Waters and Rip Rockefeller were voiced by Norm Spencer, Lenore Zann and Cal Dodd, who voiced Cyclops, Rogue and Wolverine respectively from the 90s X-Men cartoon.  As for Sam Sparks, another firefighter like Billy and Wendy, he was voiced by Vince Corraza, who was the third voice of Tuxedo Mask in the Sailor Moon English dub.  And Reason 2; like I said, I grew up in the 80s and some of the cartoons I watch had PSAs at the end of every episode and it continued into the 90s, before the Educational/Informational mark was slapped on by the FCC.  If I ever do a Top 10 or 20 countdown video involving cartoons with PSAs, I will add Rescue Heroes to that list.  I mean, who does not like the phrase, "Think like a Rescue Hero, think safe."

One last thing before I log off, even Canada had a shot with doing voice overs, but in Japanese anime.  There was this voice acting group called Ocean Group.  In the beginning, I was skeptical on what they do when they dub an anime, especially doing the first dub of Dragon Ball Z. But after all these years, I got use of them and they deserve to be FUNimation's equals when it comes to dubbing anime.  My favorite voice actors from this group of Canadian voice actors are;

Scott McNeil
Michael Donovan
Lisa Ann Beley
Garry Chalk
Richard Newman
David Kaye
Ward Perry
Matthew Smith
Ian James Corlett
Venus Terzo
Paul Dobson
Terry Klassen

and my personal favorites;

Matt Hill (Ryo of the Wildfire)
Mark Gatha (Domon Kasshu and Megaman X, too bad he's a doctor now)
Lucas Gilbertson (Zero, he is a better voice than Wayne Doster)
Nicole Oliver (Princess Celestia; always write letters of friendship to her, always)

Ocean Group is a way better Canadian dubbing studio than Nelvana, who did bad with Cardcaptors, the pooly done English dub of CLAMP's Cardcaptor Sakura.

Bottom Line, even though Canada may have bad cartoons that got worse by airing on both Cartoon Network and Disney Channel.  But, we should look at the good, too, especially looking back on the past like The Raccoons and Care Bears and not to mention the voice actors who did anime and are equal to FUNimation.  So, don't blame Canada, blame Corporate Meddling who forsakes the fans for their base ends and sees American animation as obsolete and That's NO Good.

Until next time.  Stay Gold and Godspeed and remember, when in Canada, always bundle up.

*Run With Us - The Theme of The Raccoons play

*Fade Out


Stefan said...

Executive Meddling is the problem, not Canada. Now that that's settled. Keep on posting regularly and help keep this blog alive

RekkaDragonJay said...

Don't worry. I will, Stefan. American, Canadian, no matter. All animation must be safeguarded.

(thumbs up)

Stefan said...

Mainly American. We need to compete with Japan. Oh and Paul and Michael Dobson are great too