Hello everyone. With the Tangled sequel to the TV series premiering, it inspired this post. So what do I think of it? I liked it overall, though I could not help but make comparisons to the Aladdin sequels and the TV series. A lot of conveniences (like the hair, and the villain) took place, but the songs, animation, and the older characters captured my interest enough (though it might have been the voice acting). I didn’t really get why Rapunzel was complaining about travelling for adventure when there is so much to look at around Corona and the castle. Nothing unwatchable or bad, but there is a lot of potential. I doubt I will be doing weekly recaps, but I will most likely post an end-season recap. Now onto the main topic of discussion.
During the height of the Disney Renaissance, Aladdin turned out to be a huge hit, and for the first time, the studio wanted to build a mega-franchise with one of their films. This led to the idea of the direct-to-dvd sequel saga that took over a decade. The first one was The Return of Jafar, where it was a pilot to introduce the television series. It ran from 1994-1996, and it ended with the series finale that turned into the second direct-to-dvd sequel called Aladdin and the King of Thieves.
There was another TV series that took place before the Aladdin series, and it was The Little Mermaid series, which is a prequel to the movie. It took place when Ariel was still a mermaid (probably because her life as a human is not that interesting, especially in comparison), and aired from 1992-1994.
Honestly, I did not even realize there was another show until I looked it up. The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (which is obviously based off The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh), and it aired from 1988-1991. Now that I think about it, it makes sense that this would be the first show, especially with how large the Winnie the Pooh franchise has grown from the 70s, and this show was before the plethora of direct-to-dvd sequels.
There were shorter television series that came in the late 90s, like 101 Dalmatians (1997-1998), Hercules (1998-1999), Timon and Pumbaa (1995-1999), and The Legends of Tarzan (2001-2003). Most of these shows came from the Disney Renaissance films, but others came from films released in the 1960s and 1970s. This trend continued in the 2000s, with The Emperor’s New School (2006-2008) and Lilo & Stitch: The Series (2003-2006); the only two films that were received well in the Post-Renaissance era (canceled series included Atlantis: The Lost Empire). There was also a canceled Beauty and the Beast series as well.
When Lasseter entered the fold, these television shows (as well as the sequels) were put to an instant stop, and for almost a decade, we have not received a television show or a sequel based on their WDAS output. As many have noticed, there is a change back to the older form, with Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen receiving sequels in the works, while Tangled and Big Hero 6 receiving television shows that are being released this year. The only show connected to Pixar is the Buzz Lightyear of Star Command series, which lasted from 2000-2001.
I know that there has been a lot of animated shows and movies, but most of the others go from animated shows to animated movies, and not the other way around. One other animation company has been as famous as WDAS for this, and that is DreamWorks animation. The first show that came from a movie in DreamWorks was Penguins of Madagascar, which aired from late 2008-2015. The second show that they launched was Kung Fu Panda: Legend of Awesomeness, which aired from 2011-2016. Monsters vs Aliens lasted a year from 2013-2014, and DreamWorks Dragon started in 2012, but was moved over to Netflix in 2014.
Speaking of Netflix, they have played a vital role in DreamWorks shows within the last 3 years. Because of them, they are able to make a tv show out of almost anything (even if the films were flops), which now include Turbo FAST, All Hail King Julian, The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Mr. Peabody and Sherman show, Dawn of the Croods, and Home; The Aadventures of Tip and Oh, with the Spirit show premiering sometime this year.
So…… why is this trend of animated films getting their TV series a reviving trend?
If anyone has some brief knowledge on animation history (which I assume you do if you are reading this), than you would know that animated television shows and animated films have their peaks and downturns. The Renaissance Age of Animation took place in the late 80s, after animation in both regards suffered since the 1960s, which lead to a lot of good-quality films and shows being released in the 90s. The Millenium Age of Animation was another downfall of the medium in general for the 2000s, but as we know, things have been at an increase both in film and television since the 2010s started. Social Media is partially the reason why this increasing interest in animation has taken place, since people do not have to feel bad about still supporting animation to others. Studios are picking up how profitable animation is becoming, so they want to capitalize it in television as well.
It would be interesting if the trend on making shows based on their older movies (like with Spirit) continued with both companies, especially since most of the movies would have been better as shows to begin with. And with Disney especially, one of their most successful animated shows (Phineas and Ferb) ended a while ago, and the animated show department is overshadowed by interchangeable live action sitcoms.