Mar 29, 2006

Quick Show of Hands: Who Knows What's On Saturday Mornings THIS Weekend?

As I was writing an article for my main site (look out for Who Killed Saturday Mornings? on The X Bridge in a couple of weeks), I found myself scratching my head.

I know that Saturday mornings is a dead institution, but find myself wondering what's actually on this weekend. I'm not talking about the cable networks, because everybody knows what's on. Reruns on Nickelodeon, new stuff on Cartoon Network, premieres on ABC Family. However, what if, on the rare occasion, I want to know what's coming on, say, 4KidsTV on FOX or Kids' WB? I could go three different routes: I could check out the television listings either in the papers, cable grids, or on the interweb, go to their online sites and see what's on, or actually wait until Saturday comes to see what's on and hope the morning isn't clogged with more reruns.

But the average person has better things to do rather than ponder what's coming on this weekend on broadcast television, like count the tiles on the bathroom floor (I have 1152 small tiles on my floor). There used to be a time when kids could see what was coming on that Saturday with much excitement and joy without having to actively search for what's on as if it was a high-school term paper.

And that time was 2005, the last year a broadcast network had a weekday lineup. Once Fox Kids ceased operations, its' biggest broadcast competitor, Kids' WB, began operating like the WWE after they bought out WCW. They grew lazy because they were the only broadcast game in town, so they aired reruns with glee, growing complacent and arrogant because they felt that, well, if they weren't looking at Kids' WB, they weren't looking at television.

That's the same kind of arrogance they displayed when they created that fake Toonami block back in 2001. You guys and gals remember that, don't you? You remember how much of a colossal failure that was, correct? Well, now that there wasn't any need to even try to program a watchable lineup, Kids' WB enjoyed a virtually competition-free broadcast existance. By strangleholding Cartoon Network's programming department, they felt that they were the only game in town. Meanwhile, in New York, Nickelodeon has not only overtaken the Saturday morning ratings, but has also taken over weekday afternoons. Nick tried something new yet familiar.

They didn't clog the lineup with reruns of toyetic/card-based programs every day. Kids' WB aired these type of shows on a daily basis while Nickelodeon was driven by comedic shows, which was, ironically, THE cornerstone of Kids' WB's programming schemes before they picked up Pokemon. Yeah, I remember a time when The Bugs and Daffy Show and Animaniacs were seen on weekday afternoons. On broadcast television. On an outlet people can actually turn to without resorting to broadband or a channel your cable operator will never get.

The fact is the weekday afternoon broadcast blocks was, for an entire generation of viewers, the cornerstone of the success of Saturday mornings. Since Kids' WB gave up earlier in the year, that fabled legacy is gone on broadcast television. Broadcast executives, scared of cable companies their parent companies own, felt that weekday programming was just a waste of time. What they didn't know is that what they gave up can never be recovered - - - the viewer's trust.

Mar 23, 2006

Fun With Anagrams #1

Did you know that the anagram for pornography is "horny pop rag"?

A little deviation from the norm here before I think of something new to write about is something I'm calling "Fun With Anagrams." It's a fun little mind game to see what kind of readers I have checking out the site. What are anagrams? Anagrams are words that, when letters are shifted, can become another word.

Kind of like how Bart is an anagram of "brat" or how Torchwood is an anagram of Doctor Who (as well as a darker spinoff coming soon).

Ahead are six different anagrams. This week's topic is network names. I'm sure you know I know cable and broadcast networks inside and out. Now, see what I can see, if only for a minute.

Play along. (I'll even give you a hint or two) No prize nor reward, just a bit of respect from me. It's not much, but it's worth something.

Let's play:

switcheroo twinkle event (clue: future smooshed channel, full name of channel, four words)

I, novelistic muse (clue: known by three letters, often deviates from the format, two words)

link code one (clue: this one's easy, they even used it on-air in a bright promotion, one word)

hobo coffee mix (clue: known by three letters, it's not really TV, three words)

atom ion (clue: well-known block, but not a channel stateside, one word)

sweet banker clown (clue: known by three letters, a somewhat respected info outlet, three words)

Chef Lennox Swan (clue: the more arrogant and uptight competitor to the Sweet Banker Clown, three words)

mango robe (clue: once a classic, now seen by a select few as a retirement home, one word)

mortal decency (clue: a lot funnier than its anagram, two words)

wise moth (clue: little-loved competitor of the hobo coffee mix, one word)

Duck logo (Good luck).

Mar 18, 2006

From One Jeff To Another

"There doesn't seem to be any clear data that anything would be better off separate than together."

Jeffrey Bewkes said this not too long ago in light of the would-be coup of Carl Icahn. For those that don't know, Mr. Bewkes is the President and COO of Time Warner. He's the boss of the guy who's the boss of Cartoon Network, just so you know. His quote is nice and true. There isn't any proof that anything would be better off separate than together.

If only he wasn't a hypocrite.

I have a problem with people who say one thing and do another, and Bewkes isn't adhering to that sage statement he said because, believe it or not, Time Warner is the most separate conglomerate on the planet. They're not united in any way nor do they try to work together to help each other out. They're still acting like they're separate entities rather than a united corporate entity like, say, Viacom.

Seriously, the best-run entertainment conglomerate out there is Viacom. Even after the CBS dimerger, Viacom units work well together, sharing properties and developing new ventures together. Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, MTV, BET, Spike TV, and all the units still work together on various endeavors. Their properties are distributed together. Their digital services are joined together (when my local cable company added a new Free View On Demand tier, they didn't just get a Nickelodeon or an MTV channel, they added all the availiable MTV Networks to the tier). Their broadband endeavors are developed together (you think it was just a coincidence that Comedy Central's Motherload and MTV's Overdrive debuted within a month of each other?). Viacom is the definition of unity.

Time Warner is the antithesis of unity.

Warner Bros.-made sitcoms and dramas are on (or will be moving to) TV Land, Nick at Nite, ABC Family, American Life, and In2TV. New Line's Blade is going to air on Spike TV. And the last cable home of Animaniacs, Tiny Toons, and Pinky and the Brain was Nicktoons Network before moving to In2TV.

In2TV? What's that?

I'll tell you why they're doing In2TV.

Jeffrey Bewkes doesn't like Turner Broadcasting and they would rather experiment with broadband television rather than, god forbid, create a new general entertainment network housed at Turner.

As In2TV has proved, Warner Bros. has enough shows to program an entire TV Land-like network. The problem is that to do that, they would have to rely on Turner Broadcasting to manage it. Afterall, the basic cable network unit of Time Warner IS Turner. Realizing that would give the Turner unit more power, Bewkes (who is the only member of the Turner coup of '01 still at Time Warner and in a position of power) would rather shell out a lot of resources to an untested format like broadband entertainment, still unaccessable by a large segment of our country, than spend money and actively create a cable network, something Time Warner hasn't done in this country in over five years.

Icahn was right. Perhaps Time Warner would have been better off if they was managed by a new group of individuals. After all, there doesn't seem to be any clear data that anything would be better off separate than together. Perhaps somebody should remind Jeff Bewkes about that.

The Peacock Ain't Proud No More

Speaking of network indifference . . .

Remember when NBC actually had a successful Saturday morning lineup? If you do, chances are you're old enough to vote now. Until Fox Kids came around in fall 1990, NBC OWNED Saturday mornings, airing most of the highest-rated shows on Saturday mornings with the exception of the number one show (that would be The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show, which aired on ABC before it became Disney's programming zombie slave). Since pressure from fundamentalist parental television groups forced them to get rid of animation, not to mention the fact that Fox Kids was kicking their butts, NBC changed formats to a teen-oriented live-action lineup preceeded by a Saturday edition of their Today program.

They set a trend that would follow in the years to come as CBS and recently ABC followed that route. Meanwhile, Fox Kids continued to dominate the Saturday morning lineups until Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and a newcomer, Kids' WB took over the spotlight. Nick had Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Catdog, Spongebob, and Fairly Oddparents beginning to take over Saturday mornings away from their traditional Sunday morning premiere block (where they killed the much-loved USA Cartoon Express). Cartoon Network also had their Cartoon Cartoons as well as Looney Tunes dominating Saturday mornings until 2001 when idiots took over and began to migrate older programming (read: anything made before 1995) to an unseen network I think is called Boomerang (it's been around since 2000, and I still can't find it). Those same idiots also ran Kids' WB, which did the unthinkable and killed Fox Kids with a powerhouse of toyetic properties like Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh (ironically produced in this country by 4Kids, who took over the Fox lineup). As the years progressed, CBS and ABC became slaves to their cable counterparts, Nickelodeon and Disney Channel/Toon Disney, respectively.

What did NBC do?

They killed two birds with one stone by hiring Discovery Communications to program their Saturday morning lineup and fulfilling the ridiculous educational mandate with actual educational programming (contrary to what ABC will tell you, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, That's So Raven, and their other live-action fare are NOT educational, and shows based in that magical, wonderful kids' favorite hangout known as school are universally a joke). Yeah, NBC had programming in place and earned numerous accolades during the years Discovery Kids on NBC was on.

But accolades don't mean scat unless you have eyeballs tuning in, which they weren't.

So, it comes as no surprise that Discovery Kids and NBC agreed this week to mutually end their partnership effective this fall. Discovery Kids programming will be completely exclusive to Discovery Kids, and NBC programming will be . . .

Oh, crap! They don't have any!

The Peacock is screwed! They're messed up. They have to scour for a production company to scab on to like everybody else since every other network is directly linked to another studio either by corporate blood like ABC or by freelance labor like Fox and soon CBS.

NBC is the network that pretty much invented the Saturday morning industry as we know it. Afterall, they aired the first Japanese-animated series Astro Boy predating other opportunists that feel that foreign animation and labor is cheaper than domestic products by decades (I'm looking at you 4Kids Entertainment). They helped make Hanna-Barbera and sibling studio Ruby-Spears superstar studios throughout the 70s and 80s, even though most of their product at the time were Scooby-Doo and Smurf ripoffs on that network and the lame Flintstones Family shows.

But now, NBC is 20% owned by a company whose primary business was sewer systems until they decided that entertainment is where the money is (see here). NBC Universal isn't known for kids' entertainment, except from those lame Land Before Time movies (and Cartoon Network is airing the series version this winter, *sigh*). They haven't really set out a plan for what they're going to do this fall as this announcement caught many by surprise.

But I can tell you this.

Whatever NBC puts on the air isn't going to be watched by a lot of people. They're watching Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, ABC Family, 4Kids TV on Fox, ABC Kids, and whatever the hell Kids' WB is going to be called in the fall. I think more viewers will be watching that Slumber Party DiC block on CBS than whatever NBC is planning (unless DiC double-dips and plans a boys-based block on NBC). Regardless, NBC realizes that they've already lost the battle before they've even started.

The once-proud network is now eighth-best, and it's a crown they're doomed to keep for the forseeable future.

Mar 16, 2006

John K. Invented The Internet (Cartoon)

2000. The last sane year in our nation, back when a lot of stuff made sense. The last year when Looney Tunes could be seen on broadcast television.

Remember Al Gore?

He was the Vice-President of the United States and the Democratic candidate for President. At the time, everybody skewered everything he and his opponent, whatshisname, said. One of the things Al Gore was repudited to have said was that he invented the system that would become known as the Internet. Yes, he may have been present during the formulative years of ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet, but that doesn't mean he invented it. The Internet grew, evolved, and expanded into the chaotic mess you see today.

Now, I'm not comparing John Kricfalusi to Al Gore, but he has made a similar claim recently. On his blog, he claimed that he was responsible for three of the animation industry's biggest innovations in the last 15 years and all that read him should grovel to his feet, soaking them with bucketfuls of saliva. Okay, he didn't say THAT, but he basically wants credit for these innovations. John K. actually has given me reason to give him some of the credit, but that's all.

SOME of the credit, not all.

I'll break down the innovations as he pointed them out:

CLAIM #1: John K. created the original cable TV animation industry and inspired networks to develop their own television studio system.

Betty Cohen and Geraldine Laybourne.

It's been a while since we've heard those names. Both women are now at two rival women's networks (Lifetime and Oxygen, respectively) A little over 20 years ago, they both became the architects behind revamping Nickelodeon, transforming the Young People's Station into The First Kids' Network and creating an image that is one of the most recognized brands on the planet. Laybourne managed the network while Cohen managed the on-air look of the network, including the idents, promos, and the logo still in used today. They also created Nick At Nite, a network block that became home to television nostalgia. Cue to 1988. Ralph Bakshi, one of pioneers of the modern era of animation that a lot of people tend to not give enough credit to, was approached by the ladies to produce a pilot for a concept he originally planned for a comic strip.

That concept was Tattertown.

Created and co-directed by Bakshi, this was the first original animated project made in America to air on Nickelodeon (earlier that year, Nickelodeon aired its first original series, Count Duckula, produced by Cosgrove Hall but making its world premiere on Nickelodeon). By the way, the co-director was Bakshi's protege, John Kricfalusi. Around this time, Cohen and Laybourne were determined to make more original cartoons for the network. Tattertown was supposed to become a series, but after a boycott call from a fundamentalist television watchdog group for Bakshi's other co-production, Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, Nickelodeon scrapped plans for the series. Only the pilot, Christmas in Tattertown, aired. Of course, around the same time, the protege, behind Bakshi's back, sold a solo concept that the network chose instead of Tattertown. That series was Ren and Stimpy.

Seems like John K. pulled a "Camp" now, doesn't it?

In theory, John K's studio system was inspired by Ralph Bakshi's studio system and had many of Bakshi's former employees as some of the members of Spumco. History (and John K.) have forgotten about that. Hmm. So, that would mean that a studio system that many current cable networks have installed were a ripoff of a studio system that was a ripoff of another studio system, right?

Of course cable animation didn't really hit its stride until they actually took on Saturday morning institutions, and became of three factors for the death of Saturday mornings. The other two factors were the FCC's three-hour mandate of educational children's programming and the conglomeration of broadcast television which led to limited choices and a period of indifference on the network's part. They really didn't take on Saturday mornings until long after Ren and Stimpy left the network.

I'm just saying.

CLAIM #2: John K. reignited the shorts system of animation, inspiring a generation of cartoonists in the process.

Scriptwriters are the devil when it comes to animation. They write because they cannot draw, so therefore, they're not to be trusted in animation. That's the credo of the anti-writers field of animators. In this claim, John K's playing the role of instructor to the head of Hanna-Barbera, a studio he had publicly ridiculed and scorned. So, during this age of renaissance, John K. enlightened Fred Seibert, a guy who was MTV's first creative director (who engineered the feel of the young network), about "real" animation, free from the wordiness of scripts, and told him to revamp everything.

Of course, Seibert was determined to bring in young creators and animators to let the develop their own products and bring their own creative vision to others. The Tom and Jerry Kids Show was the first of the new crop, but it was 2 Stupid Dogs, which many had written off as a Ren and Stimpy-esque series, that allowed them to become really creative. The animators on both shows became the backbone of the What A Cartoon! project at Hanna-Barbera and a few of them became the backbone of the Oh Yeah! Cartoons project at Frederator, his own studio.

Seibert deserves a LOT more credit than he gets. It's like John K. painted him as a kid listening to an old man for advice.

CLAIM #3: Bored and frustrated about the direction of television animation (the medium he revolutionized), John K. finds a friend with a new untested medium format and creates Flash animation before anybody else.

Okay, congratulations. One of John K's claims is not totally unquestioned. He created the first Flash animation series. But just because his was the first doesn't mean that he was the best. Being the first doesn't always mean you're going to get all the accolades you feel you deserve. I remember seeing the Goddamn George Liquor Show way back when, and I thought it was okay to say the least.

But I've seen better uses of the vector animation format over the years. Mucha Lucha, Foster's, and 6Teen use vector animation to its highest potential, and I've seen a few others online that kind of outshine them. And a lot of it are scores better than George Liquor in visuals, plot, and voice acting.

I'm not even saying that John K. doesn't deserve some credit for the direction of 2D animation in this country because he does. However, I think he's asking for credit where credit isn't due. It's like the guy who told Betsy Ross to use a blue field for the stars instead of green, the guy who said "Hey, let's change the flavor of Coca-Cola," or the junior House congressman who is in the room when a communications tool was in development. Some ideas are good, some ideas are bad, but one person can't take credit for EVERYTHING.

Blame The Builders

Once upon a time, namely five years ago, Looney Tunes could be found on television on a daily basis. Unless you live in America, that statement is still true. For some odd reason, Looney Tunes has disappeared from the Boomerang lineup. The classic Leon Schlesinger/Vitaphone shorts that revolutionized an entire industry and inspired generations to become animators (or at least write about them) are no longer on the air in the United States.

Deservedly, Cartoon Network, the overall broadcaster of all Looney Tunes products, gets the blame from fans of classic animation. Since the creation of Boomerang almost six years ago, all Looney Tunes have migrated to that outlet. Haven't heard of Boomerang? It's alright, a lot of us don't have it. Turner Broadcasting hasn't really pushed the network to cable operators like they've done to their other networks. However, be fair, you can't totally blame the management of Cartoon Network for the shabby treatment of the Looney Tunes library.

I mean, yes, they've done a poor job of managing the property on television. A really, REALLY pisspoor job of managing them. A colossal failure of a job of promoting, airing, and managing them on television. But to solely put the blame on Cartoon Network is like blaming a nail company for a building's collapse. Afterall, Cartoon Network didn't create Looney Tunes nor do they own them (well, the post-48 ones anyway).

Warner Bros. does.

Warner Bros. owns the Looney Tunes characters, elements, and shorts. Warner Bros. is directly responsible for the direction of the characters throughout the world. Warner Bros. has other outlets they could air them, including a broadcast channel in The WB (soon to be The CW). There's no excuse why there isn't a place for Looney Tunes on Kids' WB. There's even an extra hour on the block, so why waste it with reruns that people don't want to watch?

Warner Bros. also could have easily sold broadcast rights to other broadcast outlets, particularly Nickelodeon or even Nicktoons Network. It's funny that of the three major animation outlets in this country (for the record, the three major outlets are Cartoon Network, Toon Disney, and Nicktoons Network and the four minor ones are Boomerang, Animania, Animax [formerly Locomotion in Latin America and some sections of Florida], and The Anime Network), Nicktoons Network is the only one that is 100% animation. They call themselves the Animation Capital of the World, but with the addition of Looney Tunes, that title could easily become a reality. Plus, it's already obvious that Warner Bros. loves Nickelodeon because, well, they're the network they foolishly gave up in the 80s.

Warner Bros. makes "updates" to keep the Looney Tunes characters in the public eye like Duck Dodgers, Baby Looney Tunes, and Loonatics Unleashed. They made a movie featuring the Looney Tunes and did little to nothing to promote them on television aside from the usual commercials (okay, part of that was Cartoon Network's fault too; there could have easily been a marathon the weekend of the premiere). They put them in commercials from time to time to keep nostalgic folks' memories of them alive.

But to actually air them? That's silly and unnecessary. Afterall, they have Loonatics. Isn't that enough?

No, it isn't. Loonatics aren't Looney Tunes. The whole premise of Loonatics is that these are the descendants of older, legendary characters. However, there's an entire generation that doesn't know who these older, legendary characters are. Five year old children today, the post 9/11 generation, are witnesses to a time where Looney Tunes aren't on broadcast television nor even know who they are.

It is kind of sad (at least for Americans) that one of the only places you could see daily showings of Looney Tunes cartoons is on Teletoon in Canada and on Fun Farm on Black Family Channel in the US (weekdays 4 PM EST/PST after The Underdog Show) in a low-res, public domain format. Turner doesn't know how to program, manage, nor market Boomerang, and that's, sadly, the only major outlet that would air them.

I guess they would rather show Baby Looney Tunes instead of grown-up ones.

You can't totally blame the nails. You got to blame the builders too.

Mar 15, 2006

My Space? Me?

Well, I managed to do something I thought I'd never do . . . I followed a crowd and decided to make a MySpace account. I rarely follow the crowd, but something told me I had to do it sooner or later. It really is a good networking place, even though it is owned by a strange Aussie dude.

I'm there. I'll probably be stuck there for a while. But I don't want to be stuck there by myself. So, visit me at and give me a holler.

Mar 7, 2006

The Golden Half-Naked Baldheaded Man Awards 2006

The Golden Half-Naked Baldheaded Man Awards, better known by its official name (the Academy Award) or its nickname (the Oscar) has come and gone, and no big surprises, save the Best Picture, the racially-driven Crash.

Like the years before it, everybody more or less knew who was going to win (they all have been winning awards for two months now), and everybody knew what to expect. Jon Stewart, the venerable host of Comedy Central's popular "fake newscast" The Daily Show, emceed the event.

Did the viewers watch?

Yeah, but not so much, and not for the reasons many "legitimate" media critics would surmise; i.e. Jon Stewart. Considering that the Academy knew exactly who Jon Stewart was and what he did, what the hell were the media expecting to see at the Oscars? Were they expecting him to sing and dance like Billy Crystal? Did they want him to just spout out anti-administration jokes left and right (um, well, right)? This is the Oscars, not The Daily Show. Two entirely different things. One that takes itself too seriously and one that knows and acknowledges that its a fake newscast.

The Oscars are the second dullest, most pretentious awards ceremony out there (sorry Academy, the Grammys still have you beat). The Academy honors movies that they like
So, the Oscars' ratings were down this year . . . except for males 18-35 and urban audiences, surprisingly two groups that aren't really known for watching these award shows.

But the reason I feel for the decline in viewership is one that, apparently the Academy must have oversighted.

Nobody saw these movies.

Can I say that again, because I don't think they heard me.

Nobody saw the movies nominated for the Golden Half-Naked Baldheaded Man Awards. Sure, some folks may have checked out Walk The Line, Hustle and Flow, and Crash, but a bulk of the nominated movies weren't seen by a mass number of people.

Brokeback Mountain was perhaps the most lauded movie in award season, but do you know at least five people who saw it? Same for Capote, Good Night and Good Luck, Syriana, The Constant Gardener, Transamerica, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Munich, The New World, or June Bug. That's not me saying that they aren't good films, because a handful of them probably are.

I'm just saying that nobody saw them.

I wasn't expecting to see a Batman Begins or Revenge of the Sith to be nominated for best picture or anything (though I did felt that King Kong was at least worthy of a nod in that category since it was a beautifully-made and well-written movie), but I think that some of the movies that at least a handful of eyeballs have seen should have been nominated. I know they call them "popcorn movies," but at least people go out of their way to see them. "Popcorn movies" don't win the Academy Awards because, well, they're for peons, people beneath them, in short, you and me.

Speaking of you and I, one theme I noticed was the "return to the theaters" one aimed towards the viewing audience. The Academy don't want you renting and buying DVDs (we already knew they didn't want you BitTorrenting them either), but they want you to enjoy the theater experience. They want you to buy a $10 matinee ticket, a $7 tub of popcorn, a $5 soda, a $3 candy bar that would cost about a buck in a regular store, watch a barrage of commercials, and endure ignorant people that interrupt everything with cell phones and loud talking. Per person. In short, spend about $80 to see a movie on average, not including the price of gas to get there and back. Meanwhile, you could rent a movie or two within months from its theatrical release (or, if you're willing to wait a couple of weeks, watch it on demand), pop a bag of popcorn, and sit back and watch a movie over and over again for a tenth of that price.

It's not that people want to wait until a movie comes out of DVD to see a movie. It's just that people don't want to waste their time and money to go out of the house to see something that they're not going to like. Last year's theater receipts were the lowest in a long time for one reason and one reason only. There weren't that many movies that people actually wanted to watch. Every other movie was either a remake or a sequel, and half of the other movies were abysmal comedies, horror movies, or lackluster dramas. Not really anything to spend $80 on.

Perhaps more people would go to the movies if studios would create movies that people would want to go see, and not just another tv show-turned-movie franchise (though Serenity was an AWESOME movie that you should buy or rent right now if you haven't seen it). People want escapeism from the norms of reality. People want to see the fantastic, the strange, and things that could never ever happen in real life. We see reality every day around us, and we want to escape from that. Why do you think the highest-grossing films were the highest-grossing films? You're not going to see an intergalactic rebellion, a candy-maker torturing naughty kids, a man dressed in a black, bulletproof bat costume, giant wererabbits, alien invaders, a wizards' tournament, or a cabinet that transports kids to a mystical land in real life. Heck, you're not even going to see a psychotic killer who torture folks with death games for fun either (at least, I hope not).

When it comes to movies, reality is overrated. When it comes to award shows, so is the Oscars.

By the way, notice I didn't talk about the animated awards. Well, that wasn't worth talking about to be honest. The Best Animated Movie category is a joke and has been a joke since it was created. Aside from segregating animated films from live-action films in the best picture category (Beauty and the Beast really scared the Academy when it was nominated for Best Picture, and The Lion King, which was scores better, and future titles to come began outdoing live-action fare, yet they were being kept down because animation "ain't acting," which is why you don't see voice actors getting nominations in the four acting categories), they only honor three films, which is insulting to the entire animation industry. I'm not saying that I wanted to see Robots or Madagascar in the category as well, but at least it would have been a more balanced movie selection.

The Best Animated Film category is a joke, and it should either be outright abolished or actually doing something constructive and giving the category a greater strength with the addition of three more categories:

- Best Actor in an Animated Film
- Best Actress in an Animated Film
- Best Character Animator

Then, and only then, will I give the Best Animated Film category more reverence.