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The Most Viewed Cartoon Brew Posts of 2013

A few days ago, I shared some of my favorite Cartoon Brew posts from the past year. Today, we reveal the top 30 posts of 2013 based on the number of pageviews each post received. In other words, don’t blame us—you clicked on it!

The top three most-clicked posts of the year suggest the unpredictability of the animation community’s tastes: business, sex, and high culture, one right after the other. The overall list, however, is a surprisingly well-balanced portrait of Cartoon Brew’s content, and includes coverage of new animated projects (The Wind Rises, Wander Over Yonder, Frozen, Steven Universe), issues related to artists’ rights, historical finds, industry/business commentary, and some geeky cartoon kerfuffles. And one post made both our favorites and most-trafficked lists: “Max Headroom and the Strange World of Pseudo-CGI.” It’s from our thoughtful British correspondent, Neil Emmett.

And now, let’s begin our peek into the hive mind of the animation universe:

1. “Disney Just Gutted Their Hand-Drawn Animation Division”

(Note: With 308 comments, it was our most-commented post of the year. It was shared 2,296 times on Twitter making it the most tweeted Cartoon Brew post of the year, too.)

2. “SpongeBob XXX Parody”

3. “Listen to This Tom and Jerry Music Performed Like You’ve Never Heard Before”

(Note: This was shared over 36,000 times on Facebook making it our most Facebook-shared post of the year.)

4. “Rapunzel Cameo in Frozen Surprises The Director of Tangled

5. “Max Headroom and the Strange World of Pseudo-CGI”

6. “The Rise and Fall of the Funny, Sexy Cartoon Woman”

7. “PREVIEW: 2013 Animated Features”

8. “Breaking: Pixar Canada Just Shut Down; 100 Employees Let Go”

9. “James Baxter Teaches The Internet How To Draw Croods Porn”

10. “Disney’s Paperman Full Short Now Online”

11. “Fox Cancels The Cleveland Show

12. “First Look: Steven Universe by Rebecca Sugar”

13. Frozen Head of Animation Says Animating Women is ‘Really, Really Difficult’”

14. “Disney Is Producing New Mickey Mouse Shorts and Premiered the First One Today”

15. “Watch the Wander Over Yonder Title Sequence”

16. Family Guy Accuses Bob’s Burgers of Being Poorly Drawn”

17. “Big Layoffs Looming at DreamWorks”

18. “Stephen Silver: ‘Stop Working For Free!’”

19. “Lost Disney Gag Drawings of Snow White Artist Discovered”

20. “Disney’s Crankiest Veteran is Still Cranky, And Thinks Walt Disney Was ‘A Shit’”

21. Kairos is the Most Exciting Hand-Drawn Animation You’ll See Today”

22. “Why Foodfight! Cost $45 Million And Was Still Unwatchable”

23. “Disney Will Release Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises

24. “First Stills From Disney’s Frozen

25. “Disney’s Princess Makeover of Merida Leads to Uproar and Petition”

26. “Sneak Peek: Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe by Rebecca Sugar”

27. “Rhythm & Hues To File For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Today”

28. Dexter’s Laboratory: ‘Rude Removal’”

29. “Did Disney Steal Alice in Wonderland Artwork from A College Student?”

30. Boats Explains How Animation Blockbusters Are Made”
  • jonhanson

    The secret of a successful blog post is clearly including porn references in the title.

    • AmidAmidi

      And how would you explain the other 28 posts that don’t have any porn references?

      • jonhanson

        A history of quality blog posts?

    • JukeboxJT

      I’ll admit that the Croods post is the only headline I clicked on, but I actually did it because I’m a huge fan of Adventure Time. “J-a-a-a-a-ames Baxter.”

  • Ignoranimus

    I really disagree with the post “The Rise and Fall of the Funny, Sexy Cartoon Woman”. In the post, you write that it’s a shame that this trope is mostly gone, but I think it’s a sign of maturity (not that there’s a lot of that in the industry, especially on the subject of women). For one, I disagree that there’s anything inherently funny about these women, pretty much all the comedy is derived from the male characters’ objectification of them.

    Another thing, there was almost no variation with female characters back then. They were almost never the protagonists of animated shorts, always the vapid object of the male character’s desire (unless they were too young or too old to be sexualised). Nowadays, we actually get a little variety. Not as much as many people would prefer, but we’re making progress.

    Also, I’m not sure which angle the quote from Bob Scott was meant to be taken (“The way women are drawn in our business today, one would assume all the artists are fags”), but I don’t think that female characters looking sexually “unappealing” is a bad thing. If anything, it’s a positive thing that children can get an exposure of unconventional female role models. Too many kids (myself included, when I was younger) just see the same types of female characters over and over, and it subconsciously affects them on some level leading them to think “okay, I have to be like this”, when in reality there’s an endless amount of choices when it comes to personality or appearance.

    • kaleid

      I agree, that whole article was extremely sexist. Why would we want to go back in time, when women were more literally second class citizens and mere objects for men to drool over?

    • Funkybat

      I like that there is a range of personalities and types of physical appearance for female toons today, but I also understand the lament that the 40s-style sexy dame who can still sometimes be nutty or crack wise seems to be defunct. The “sex object” women of today’s animation are usually given much more flat and frankly un-sexy personalities, as if they were some kind of 10-year-old boy’s idea of how a woman would act sexy. It’s as if they were sex bots, or maybe just bad fanfic. When’s the last time we’ve seen a character even as “well-rounded” as Jessica Rabbit? There was more to her in the film than just serving as eye candy.

      There are many fantastic comedic female toons these days, but many of them are child-age characters, and mostly on TV series rather than features. I liked Anna in Frozen because she had some of that spirit, reminiscent of the female lead in a 30s-40s madcap live-action comedy. Lucy in Despicable Me 2 was also great, though probably would be considered “sexy” only by a minority of guys.

      I don’t feel like every animated woman needs to be a vamp or a brick house, but it is also possible to have a funny toon gal who isn’t gangly or odd-looking.

      • Roberto Severino

        I think the main issue is having to adapt more modern day caricatures of female personalities into cartoons rather than constantly (and possibly nostalgically) lamenting for hopelessly outdated stereotypes that used to have context and relevance 60-70 years ago to return in today’s cartoons. I’d say the same thing for male characters too.

        That’s one of the biggest problems in animation now is figuring out how to still be inspired by the high standards of much older animation while not blatantly just copying everything they did and having some realization that you also have to appeal to a modern audience. Otherwise it’s just going to become a relic of the past and an otherwise dead language akin to Latin.

        It doesn’t mean that you can’t make them “sexy” from time to time, but there’s just so much variation in real life and other kinds of media that should really be taken advantage of to add more variety to female characters in animation. It also doesn’t mean that drawing badly and coming up with lifeless character designs should be an excuse. As you said, there are plenty of examples of interesting, funny female cartoons today, but the majority of those are on TV right now.

        • Funkybat

          I think the slavish emulation of animation’s Golden Age tropes and personality types was a big problem 25-35 years ago. Animation in the U.S. was adrift for the most part, it fell to rebels like Bakshi and Bluth to bring any kind of freshness to the art of animated cartoons, and neither of them were really trying to do super-comedic material.

          I’d say things really turned around when John K. and the WB TV animation team got going. That may seem like an odd statement, since even though Ren & Stimpy. and Tiny Toons/Animanaics were vastly different from each other in many ways, they were all “inspired” by older cartoons. But there’s the rub; with Ren & Stimpy and Animaniacs especially, there was finally movement away from simply echoing the classic toons, but paying homage to the visual style, music, and timing of older cartoons while at the same time creating something original & fresh. After that, we got the 90s Renaissance of Nicktoons and Cartoon Network originals, and by 2000 things were light-years from where they were a decade earlier.

          Many of today’s most popular kids cartoons are very different in tone, timing, and characterization than anything from the 30s-50s. I could see people in the 50s “getting” 70s and 80s schlock, or even early Renaissance cartoons like the first Disney Afternoon shows. But Steven Universe? Adventure Time? Gravity Falls? Those shows would seem profoundly weird to viewers in the 50s or 60s. The only thing “missing” from many modern cartoons is the classic character construction approach, a lot of simplified, less volumetric designs and of course limited animation, but certainly FAR less limited than the 60s-80s!

          I realize I drifted off the topic of funny sexy females, but I felt this tangent was at least related to where the discussion was going.

    • K

      “he way women are drawn in our business today, one would assume all the artists are fags” was probably one of the most offensive things I’ve read in any CB article in all the time I’ve been keeping up to date with this site

      the implication that women in cartoons have a purpose there to be sexy, and that drawing them outside of what they offer sexually and/or without a male gaze, and simply drawing them as characters, is not just a bad thing but an ill omen for animation as an art form, which implies that animation deserves to be stuck in the era in which such cartoons were made, offended me on several levels, and I’m still disgusted that that entire thing was even considered to be published. CB should be a place for animation news, not a rag of gossip and conclusion-jumping negativity and cynicism. I’m annoyed just having read it again.

      Cartoons like that were what made people like him think it was okay to think things like this. That alone should tell you that they belong in the past.

      • Roberto Severino

        Agreed. It was a terrible defense of having sexualized characters in animation and didn’t offer much in terms of how to go beyond what the greats of the past had already established in developing female characters for animation. It’s very easy to get trapped in nostalgia and not understand how much the world has changed since that time period.

        Seems some people are full of negativity and this holier-than-thou attitude but offer no solutions to the problem themselves and I’ve noticed that become more prevalent in some circles of the animation community. It’s just a shame really and why sometimes I question why I even bother to keep reading this kind of stuff. I guess that’s one of the reasons why many animation blogs began to have much less activity in addition to the stronghold that social networking has had, though it doesn’t seem to have negatively affected non animation related blogs I read nearly as much.

        Anyway, I’m not watching cartoons to get sexually aroused especially if the female character itself offers nothing to the table in terms of entertainment, personality and humor. The funny part about those cartoons that were cited in that piece always came from the lustful reaction of the male character.

        There’s a reason stuff like Playboy exists if someone’s really that desperate in addition to all the adult oriented programming, media, and countless websites out there to facilitate that outlet.