From Animation Magazine comes a preview of Cartoon Network’s busy 2013- 2014 TV viewing season. And I have to be honest with you, I’m fighting the urge to take a two-by-four to someone’s head at Cartoon Network. It is… for the lack of a better term… disappointing.
The good news is, if you’re a fan of DC comics, that Teen Titans Go which will will premiere in April of this year, features the return of Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and Cyborg . Sadly, if you’ve watched the DC animation block on Saturdays on Cartoon Network, I suspect we’ve already seen a preview of what you can expect. It will be a superhero series that focuses on “…the funny business that happens between saving the world and living together as teenagers without adult supervision.” There will also be another DC animation series called, Beware the Batman. Supposedly, “…this action-packed detective thriller deftly redefines what we have come to know as a ‘Batman show.’” Forgive me if I withhold judgment on that claim until the premiere which will be during the summer of this year.
The bad news for fans of DC comics is that apparently Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice were not renewed. This is particularly disappointing because these two well written shows, which appeal to older audiences, have an intensely loyal following that made themselves known to Cartoon Network when the shows were pulled off the air during the Thanksgiving/ Christmas holidays. Hopefully, Cartoon Network will allow the two programs to have some sort of a finale episode as opposed to simply pulling them off the air.
And if you’re a fan of classic comic animation you cannot help but be distressed by the fact that there’s going to be a new Tom and Jerry show. You’ll forgive me if I don’t get enthusiastic about this announcement. Over the last 50 years, Warner Brothers and Hanna and Barbera have attempted to recapture the magic of the 1940s cartoon series and have failed miserably each time. The fact is the essence of those cartoons is almost impossible to capture in today’s politically correct, non-violent, Saturday morning TV environment (and we should simply stop trying).
I am heartened that they are bringing back DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk, Ben 10 Omniverse and Scooby-Doo! Mystery Inc. But missing from the list of returning shows is Star Wars: The Clone Wars. While I don’t have any confirmation as to why Star Wars isn’t coming back, I will speculate that Disney’s recent purchase of the Star Wars franchise from George Lucas may the reason. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see future Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes on ABC family or Toon Disney (XD) or some other Disney owned property.
The list of returning properties and specials can be found at Animation Magazine. There are times when I hope that Cartoon Network finds itself and finds the audience that is out there – an audience that is desperate and hungry for the decent Warner Brothers properties. But I don’t think it’s going to be this year or next.