symbionic-drawing symbionic-drawing

“Sym-Bionic Titan” Pushes TV-PG with “Sexy” Scene

Last night’s episode of Sym-Bionic Titan is causing a mini-uproar on the Internet because of this sequence:

Many commenters, including the popular blog Super Punch, are questioning why Cartoon Network showed something so suggestive on a show that is rated TV-PG. Do you think this went too far for a TV-PG show that airs at 8pm? And while we’re at it, here’s another question: does nobody on the Sym-Bionic Titan crew understand how to draw a foreshortened pose? Not that there was much sexiness to begin with in this stiffly posed and animated sequence, but drawing a character so poorly so that she appears to have a leg tumor surely doesn’t help.

Sym-bionic Titan

Pardon me while I revert to old fogey mode, but it’s sad that after decades of progress in this art form, today’s television artists can’t animate anything nearly as appealing or sexy as work created eighty years ago:

  • Monika G.

    Haha, I love the “poor draftsmanship” tag. But it’s true, unfortunately, this cartoon is very poorly executed and I was disappointed that Genndy Tartakovsky worked on it.

    But yeah, this is kinda too suggestive. But who cares? I’m just cringing over the ugliness of this sequence, rather than the radar abuse.

    • Tee

      I have to agree. This whole show is a little too far across the “fugly” line to engage me. Both of these characters are incredibly unappealing shapes. Her design is just bland “first pass” work, and he looks immobile, like a snowman.

      • DonaldC

        I don’t see it.
        I mean, the designs make sense, they complement their personalities. And it’s not like he’s a normal guy, he’s a robot disguising himself as a human.
        It just works for me.

      • Monika G.

        Okay, but they could’ve designed him so much better. They can’t even move this guy around without it looking like something’s gonna fall off of him in a minute.
        Their faces are too simplistic, like some creepy dolls that can’t even form an expression. Not the simplistic Adventure Time-style, where they constantly remind us that the artists have actual talent and knowledge of the human face, just… ugly-simplistic.
        And what the heck do people find appealing about poor, stiff, dollhouse-like 3D backgrounds mixed with 2D animation?
        On a side note, the only part the girl’s dance looks half-competent is 0:28 – 0:33.

      • Willy105

        Because it looks and moves awesome. The designs are incredibly appealing because of the emotive simplicity to me, and the pacing and movement of the characters give it a great sense of style and storytelling.

        Also, it’s the whole point with the character. Did you know he is an actual robot? The rest of the characters actually move and have facial expressions. The whole point about the robot is that he doesn’t show the expression, it’s what makes the whole dance hilarious.

        But it’s all really about taste. For example, in my opinion shows animated in flash are almost unwatchable for me, not because they are ugly, but because the way they move really takes me out of it. It looks fake and restricted.

        There’s a difference between trying to move but being restrictive and being able to move and choosing to be restrictive for artistic and visual effect.

  • Scarabim

    That was surprisingly explicit. I wonder what Genndy and Co. were thinking. Was the idea to lure in older teen boys or something? *scratches head*

  • David

    Really Amid , Really? There was nothing appealing to the betty boop scene to me(in a sexy dance way). but in the Genddy one i love the way the girl’s hair moved, the character design was fantastic and sorry to say but i didnt notice any flaws untill you pointed this out. I’d like to see you animate something this good. And on the topic, yes this shouldnt be on kids tv, it’s closer to what’s on adult swim

    • David, pulling out the ol’ “I’d like to see you animate something this good” card doesn’t really help your argument.

      • Anymouse

        On the other hand the argument on the leg wasn’t that insightful to begin with so they are rather equal observations don’t you think? Doesn’t take much to shoot down a complaint about leg art.

        As for the main point of this article I don’t see this as a big deal myself. Its not going to have any adverse effects on kids and any too young to get it will think its funny, while those that do…Have probably already made out behind their parents back before. Its hardly worth the argument its generating but then i think its helping a show I like anyway, so its all good.

      • Actually Ward, it does. Assuming someone like Amid actually had a career in animation at some point, who I believe worked at Spumco of all places, the roughest cartoon critics tend to be those who are afraid of enduring the same wrath they dish out on everyone else.

        In any case, Cartoon Network seems to be blurring the line between their family content and their adult content with some of their recent shows. Given how most current family shows tend to suffocate from multiple forms of dilution, which is largely what has troubled classic cartoons on TV for decades, that’s a minor sign in the right direction. Not to say that stuff like the scene in question should be in every family show, but you don’t want your programs to be the kind of mush that shuts out all but one demographic.

        I’ve gotten past any problems I’ve had with the character designs where I’m trying to tune into this show regularly. Genndy Tartakovsky appears willing to try different things with his shows, even if we don’t all agree with them.

      • So, basically, anyone who criticizes a film or animated show shouldn’t be allowed to give their opinion on it unless they themselves have actually animated and/or worked in the industry?

        It’s the same as the silly “id like to see you do better” argument – irrefutable and not worth a retort. It doesn’t do anyone any good and definitely doesn’t support that particular person’s argument.

      • amid

        No need to worry about it, Ward. “Why don’t you do better” is an argument of last resort for the weak and feeble-minded who don’t have the capacity to actually argue the points being made. It’s usually brought up at least once in every major thread, often directed at other readers who disagree. It’s annoying to see these kind of playground tactics, but thankfully, they don’t have the power to distract from the real discussion.

      • What Amid is doing is frustrating those who ARE working hard to make a decent product. By using a minor nitpick to throw this series under the “nothing will ever beat the classics” bus.

        It’s one thing to speak up against poor decision-making that does prevail in the industry, and another to complain just for sport.

      • The Gee

        The problem always seems to stem from when blanket statements are tucked into posts like these, Amid.

        In this post, you wrote: “…today’s television artists can’t animate anything nearly as….”

        you know full well that all you need to do is put the words “some of” in front of that. Instead of qualifying what you wrote, you just expanded a pot shot to a scatter shot. But, that’s how these threads start, isn’t it?

        I agree that the foreshortened thigh looks horrible and should have been corrected….heck, it could have been corrected, simply and quickly. But, hey, you found the needle in the haystack. I won’t try to recreate the feat by scrubbing through a YouTube clip to analyze the rest.

        Instead of picking apart things you think are crap, why not put up some items of things you thing are superb, the cat’s meow….and recent. If the qualification of recent doesn’t work then go back as far as takes, I guess.
        Highlight some of that quality you seek and may you’ll find the comments are additive instead of combative. Though, I’m sure, negativity can drive up more comments and pageviews….

        (Again, w/o the sound on, it doesn’t seem miserable; w/o knowing the exact context until I read the subsequent comments, it still doesn’t make a lot of sense as a scene goes. But, this is all I’ve ever seen of that show. )

      • Kieran Pertnav

        Well, to be fair, they DID devote an entire post to praising Adventure Time…

      • Rob

        I’m sure its been mentioned but I have to point out that this show is on at 9:30 at night. Granted, its risqué for Cartoon Network primetime, but considering its only about an hour away from family guy, I think its fine. If kids are up that late, they’re either old enough to get that a young woman dancing is appealing to young men, or (their parents are bad and they’d find out elsewhere).

        Take a look at a show on at the same time, only on Monday, Mad. That show isn’t overly adult, but its very obviously skewed for an older audience, spoofing movies and tv that younger viewers would never be familiar with.

        Regarding the ‘anatomy’ I have to defend about half of the show. The backgrounds are jaw-dropping, beautiful paintings, with visible brushstrokes and effort you don’t see almost anywhere else. And I think the main characters have fantastic designs, the big robot being the best. But I have to agree, yes all the secondary (non-alien) characters look like scooby-doo knock offs. As far as the incorrect anatomy goes, i’m sure its not easy to animate a formless character doing such a intricate dance.

  • Surplus

    I personally liked the stretch they took, it intrigued many of my friends and I to continue watching this show and all of us have found it to be a wonderful show.

    As for the ‘leg tumor’ we could sit here and argue all day that that’s just how the animating style is and the clothes folding a certain way. I’m in college learning 2D animation and I understood her knee was bent.

    When i watched this clip I couldn’t stop laughing and well that’s just what cartoons are suppose to make you do, laugh. I found it clever and well, very up to date with kids these days. While parents are offended, kids see this as nothing new, therefore I see no problem with it.

  • Really? This strangely robotic dance that elicits no sexual response is explicit?

    If this turns you on, you should see what my Roomba can do.

    I think Americans need to stop being so damn prudish and stop getting their panties in a bunch over….crappy ass animation.

    • Nice Guy

      Crappy animation? that sounds like a person that says I only like photo realistic art and everything else is crap. It’s a DIFFERENT MEDIA. If everything needs to be the same ole hand drawing thing, then let’s take it a step further and just get rid of cartoons altogether and have some more good ole CN Real all the the time. The show has tons of great ideas so lets please focus on equaling out the good with the bad instead of bashing it completely.

  • suggestive? Maybe it was suggesting that people have some odd ideas of what may be sexy. Shaking your arse about to some proper dodgey music then doing a flip over a coffee table is not what I would imagine could be interpreted as sexual even to a particularly jumpy puritan. Sounds like a storm in a teacup to me

  • erveek

    Let’s be fair here. Betty Boop was rotoscoped in that sequence.

    • Mr. Critic

      I’d say it’s a fair comparison when the same tools are available to cartoonists today.

      If viewer response is the final yardstick, I’d say the Betty Boop clip is far more effective.

      Especially when the modern day version of rotoscope, motion capture, still fails on all the same levels the Symbionic Titan clip does.

      • Stephan

        Here’s the thing, the Betty Boop clip is OLDER. That’s why nothing will ever top it. Better plays have been written since the works of Shakespeare and better poems have been written since Dante Alghieri’s Inferno, but after so many books have been written on the subject, how can anyone over the age of 25 accept a new classic into their heart.

        Anyway, I think Amid’s comparison is completely meaningless. Betty Boop’s dance was suppoused to be charming and innocently sexy, while the robot’s dance was suppoused to be offputting and slutty. And IT WAS. Its like comparing Blazing Saddles to Stagecoach.

  • that betty boop seq is roto’d live action, pretty impossible to compare. i’d assume today’s television artists could trace over sexy hula-lady footage if you put it in front of them.

  • I think it was more “obvious” than “suggestive”. Isn’t it completely obvious what’s she’s doing?

    What I couldn’t figure out is what she saw in him. Why was she even trying? That must be some context omitted from this excerpt.

    Well, give them credit for doing something in TV animation that was visual rather than verbal.

    • NC

      She was trying to get him to do her homework. Which is why he said “No!” at the end.

      Second, I’ve seen much worse on shows rated TV-PG.

      Third, poor draftsmanship is what you get for outsourcing work to people doing it at the tenth of a price of a REAL artist.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        I would blame the outsourcing alone for this anyway. They could’ve found someone competent in-house to at least put some effort into this clip to make it work effectively. I guess they don’t have the wad for that.

      • derpderp

        re: “REAL artist”

        While I agree with your larger point, that’s pretty, uh, dehumanizing language, there.

      • NC

        What’s dehumanizing is how poorly treated some of these people are. And yeah an “artist” cramming out drawing after drawing for a few dollars isn’t going at it with the same, love, passion or skill as someone like Bill Plympton, the Nine Old Men, or even a TV animator from the early years and it clearly shows.

      • hi nc,

        i consider myself a real artist and i have the huge school debt to prove it. i also have 10 seconds a day to animate. i have scenes like this coming up next week to work on. high action and no library drawings to help me out, new bodies to draw.

        so generally the rule of thumb that comes down from high above is to keep it flat, ‘on model’. it’s next to impossible to rotate, properly, a flat DESIGN and not have it go off model.

        so when the board artist/director/producer goes all crazy with a huge action sequence and ties your hands to a design and needs it tomorrow…well, you get what you pay for.

        this was probably done in house (or remotely) in flash or toonboom and the artist was probably paid ‘the going rate’. they also managed to feed their family that week.

  • Alison

    Rotoscoped or not, Betty Boop is infinitely cuter. Shame.

  • I never gave this sequence a second thought. It didn’t seem out of line to me. I’m surprised anyone took issue with it. ADVENTURE TIME, CHOWDER, FLAPJACK and SPONGEBOB have more risque stuff. The dance animation bothered me a bit. It wasn’t good in a lot of shots. Overseas inbetweens, I suppose. I like the show, though. It’s always interesting even when it’s a little “off”.

  • John A

    Sexy? Only if you like your women flat and weightless.

  • I too wondered if the episode was in any way “provocative,” and also couldn’t help but question if the song they used is an actual/licensed track or not. But I let it go… we have to remember this is a product of the new Cartoon Network.

    Yeah, it insinuates a lot, but given the context of where it happens in the episode, it’s actually quite funny. Newton/Octus is a pretty unflappable guy.

    SYM-BIONIC TITAN has a pretty heavy emphasis on developing the connection between its characters, and has succeeded pretty well since it premiered. I think there’s still a balance they’re feeling out with the action sequences and the character drama, but I haven’t seen anything egregious yet. It’s still a good series. A week or two ago, there was an entire episode that was a flashback of Lance’s youth… no fluff, and it was solid.

  • Darkblader

    The only reason she did that dance was to get that guy to do her homework for her. While I’d admit its a cool dance, there was a good reason why it was added(I think). Genndy said that he wanted this to be different from a kids cartoon, so I take it what he meant by that was to aim for the 12 year old with a PG cartoon. In other terms. I’ve seen worse.

  • Lucky Jim

    There are many things to describe Betty Boop as, but “sexy” is certainly not one of them. The hula dance is fun and appealing, but I can’t imagine anyone being turned on by it.

  • The “leg tumor” is a knee drawn with not especially good foreshortening.

  • Thomas Hatch

    Works for me!

  • Wayne

    Oh yeah, Betty boop is so sexy.
    I love women with jowels, flipper hands and clearly rotoscoped bodies.

  • I’m calling bullshit. Sure, I’ll agree that this sequence was incredibly suggestive, but I will not agree that this show is poorly animated and ugly.

    Sym-Bionic Titan is by far one of the most beautiful shows on television right now, and the animation is beyond fantastic when compared to other stiff or digital puppet shows running on the network right now!

    And seriously, this sequence aside, it was by far the best episode yet, and if all you can do to promote the show is complain about one sequence then you probably should be watching it at all.


    I think this is amazing. In fact it is hilarious! Cartoon Network is awesome for doing this. It cuts to the chase of what Nick and Disney are too afraid to do with all their shows that sometimes tip toe around teenage sexual tension. Here is an honest dose of it. Almost as to say “Oh! Is this what you guys mean!?” So over the top that it can’t be taken so serious. Relax it’s funny.

    Not that all cartoons should now have booty bounce dances. It’s awesome to see at least one be a little more bold. Go ahead and try to do this now, all you’ll get is “Oh that’s like that one Symbionic Titan.” They claimed it. Good for them :)

    We need more of this willingness in animation. Cartoons seem too afraid. There is no reason to be afraid here. Kids know about booty bounce dances. The audience may not be conditioned to something like this because it has never really happened in a cartoon. Well now it has, and they’ll be a little more educated. The more we educate audiences the more cartoons can say and do.

    All you animation buzzards talking about the leg tumor cracks me up too. I guess the booty bounce made you all so nervous you had to find something wrong in the art for comfort. Nice observation though. Still, the pose reads.

    This is a little step up for animation. Cherish it. Thanks for shocking the world Genndy and crew and flicking the teen culture vein right in the eyeball. Thank you Cartoon Network for being bad asses :)

    • Mr. Critic

      Stick figures drawn by children “read” but if that’s the standard you’re using to judge the quality of a professional cartoon, perhaps that is why this problem exists in the first place.

      “Good enough” is no way to advance an artform.

  • Gray64

    Sorry, but Betty Boop is too eerily reminiscent of one of those creepy kewpie dolls to be sexy to me. And, to be fair, the folks at Fleisher Studios couldn’t animate a competant dance sequence either…which is why they rotoscoped it.
    Also, I don’t think the scene on Symbionic Titan was SUPPOSED to be sexy. I think it was supposed to be a manipulative cheer-leader TRYING to be sexy.
    I’ll agree that the character design of the show takes some getting used to, but it’s pretty consistant with Tartakovsky’s other work. I actually like it, but I’m afraid it’ll probably go the way of Samurai Jack.

    • Luke

      Exactly how much do you know about the Fleichers? They invented rotoscoping, and were by far better at it than any other studio. I think it’s very unfair, and quite infactual, to say that they couldn’t animate a “competent” dance sequence without rotoscoping.

      Anyway, as for this clip, eh, the animation is horrible, in anywhere in the show. But the backgrounds are gorgous. This scene was more obnoxious than suggestive

  • Sat

    Well at least something is happening in a animated tv show, right

  • Mara

    “Panties in a bunch?” I’m sorry, this really should not be in a show that was “made for kids.” It is a bit suggestive. I’m actually more surprised people didn’t take issue with any episode of Total Drama W/E or Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated (there was an episode where Daphne was singing with the Hex Girls, super short skirt and all, with worse animation and it was a bit sensual). However, I do not think that this bit you showed was “poorly” animated.

    • kazzer

      Ahh, I can just see the FAA/MPAA recommendation list for this cartoon: “lengthen skirt? less booty? a bit sensual….reduce sensuality by 30%”.

  • Upstanding Citizen

    I’m not sure who asked for an animation analysis, but your point is made problematic by comparing two totally different sorts of animation with different production and technological methods. More line-of-action might have helped this equal the sexiness you found in the Betty Boop cartoon (which I didn’t find) but it’s hardly a bad scene. That roughness has always been a part of what I like about the animation in Genndy’s work.

    That red herring aside, I actually found this scene quite funny, and have to applaud the crew for not skirting the issue. This doesn’t even come close to the lewdest content I’ve seen in a children’s cartoon. That probably explains why internet fans, not parents, are up in arms about this. At a younger age, I saw vastly worse sexual content in the English release of Dragonball, and that was rated Y7, so I’m not sure what’s wrong with this in a TV-PG cartoon when shows like Futurama and The Simpsons have also gotten away with worse.

  • is popeye with betty boop and small mickey mouse more provocative?

  • Johnny Johns

    Let me get this straight. Western animation message/imageboards are in uproar over a minute-long dance sequence featuring a fully-clothed woman shaking her booty, an animated sitcom where a raccoon and bluejay say the word “pissed”, and a cartoon about little ponies. The closest thing we have to mature mainstream animation are the dead baby comedies like Family Guy and the tragically castrated Moral Orel. Is that about right?

  • Steven M.

    I can definatley see some of the stiffness you mentioned in that dance.

    I also noticed on some parts of that clip, the girl doesn’t make eye contact with the guy. Just some more ignorance for common-sense.

  • “Call me old fashioned, but movies were sexier when the actors kept their clothes on. Vilma Banky could do more for me with one raised eyebrow than an entire..”

    Meanwhile: Airbender. Beach Volleyball. Nickelodeon. Foreshortening.
    look it up.

  • Dave

    Don’t be a tool, article writer man. This sequence was lovely and smooth, as is the entirety of the series, and comparing it unfavorably to an ambiguously racist eighty year-old Betty Boop short doesn’t make you come off as wizened animation vet, just as a humoreless bore. And there’s nothing wrong with it being aired on what was technically “daytime” Cartoon Network. The show is responsibly rated PG, which has that kind of thing totally covered, and I think it’s great that cartoons are starting to bravely push the envelope as opposed to staying restricted within the glass box built around them by Disney and their imitators. Kids aren’t the pillars of innocence that will be frightened and confused by the stuff going on here. They’re smarter than that, and they like fanservice, too. So chill the hell out, you guys. Stop picking at threads, and either enjoy the show or stop crapping in the punch bowl of those of us who want to.

  • The girl is cute but the fridge guy is boring as hell!

    • He’s a robot, posing as a human.

  • La Pulga

    Yep, Genndy’s hit bottom

  • I’m just happy people are tuning in.

    As for the dance, like it or not, it’s a giant step towards human/robot relations…

  • David Davidson


  • Damo

    You aren’t pardoned.

  • What you SHOULD be talking about is how the writer Darrick Bachman was able to get CN to use Flock of Seagulls in that brilliant fight montage at the end!

    • Talley T.

      For Sure, That sequence was at the end was excellent. The use of the right song, the timing and the juxtapositioning of the cheerleader with the fight was so good it left my mouth hanging open….

      • Punx

        YES! I actually liked the sequence so much, I had my brother’s girlfriend come in and use that song ID app on her phone to find the song and I was shocked that it was a song I probably heard back when it first came out (yes I am that old LOL)


        BTW, Fuck anyone who thinks this show sucks….until I get my hands on the Supernatural anime coming soon, this is one of my few animation mainstays, and I honestly didn’t think it would be before I saw it.

        (/soapbox ;) )

  • I kinda have to give you the “leg tumor” thing. I’m not the best artist, but even I know that the foreshorting with her leg is pretty wrong. But since it’s only on screen for a second, it isn’t that big a deal personally.

  • Argent

    I’m surprised people think that’s sexy, the character designs in that show are atrocious. It’s not like she’s some big buxom anime babe or something

  • Tom Pope

    Where’s Preston Blair when you need him? Sexy girl dancing AND singing.

  • JuJu

    It’s only season 1 and they’re jumping the shark. In a way I like it because it reminds me of the 90’s cartoons that weren’t afraid to push the limits. However, the overall execution was just plain awkward and a bit stupid. It could have been pulled off alot better.

  • This dance was SO AMAZING!!!

    • Rebecca Sugar, you are my hero.

  • The way people hate on this show truly baffles me. I feel like I’m in some bizarro universe where nobody can see the amount of good work that went into a sequence like this. Some of the movements are a little awkward, which is to be expected as a lot of this action is a little sophisticated for an overseas studio to interpret. None of that awkwardness comes from the timing which completely nails it.

    Also, posting just this clip robs this sequence of its context. Inshow this dance was treated as being humorously out-of-place, not alluring.

    People endlessly complain about television animation not being creative, and when a show tries something ambitious they do nothing but trash on it. To the point where people are nitpicking what’s obviously a cleanup error.

    What the hell

    • Corey

      “People endlessly complain about television animation not being creative, and when a show tries something ambitious they do nothing but trash on it.”

      Just quoting this for emphasis because it’s so true.

    • Paul K.

      Exactly! Sym-Bionic Titan is one of the best shows on television.

      Although, I don’t think all the scene’s awkwardness originates in poor timing from outsourced animation. Kimberly (the cheerleader) is supposed to be more awkward than “sexy” in her clumsy/hasty attempts to seduce Newton to complete the homework– she’s just a teenager who makes bad snap decisions and has poorly conceived ideas of how to get her way. I’m positive the writers and director had this in mind regardless of how well the perceived draftsmanship was executed.

    • Stephen DeStefano

      Ian Jones-Quartey, you are my hero.
      Rebecca’s my other hero.

    • Cody

      I also think it’s important to note the industry as a whole when commenting on the animation itself. Sym-bionic Titan is – after all – a basic cable animated television show; not a feature. In almost every interview with Genndy I’ve read about the show he’s mentioned how limited they are on both time and budget – but that they’re striving for a bigger picture than you’d expect from the shows around it.

      Personally, despite some clunky sequences and a bizarre character design here and there, I’ve always appreciated the larger scope of the series thus far (color design, backgrounds, etc) – and am more than happy to deal with ‘leg tumors’ if it means the time and effort can go into stretching themselves into an area that hasn’t been tread by countless animated shows before it.

    • Luke

      The key word there is “creativity.” We want creativity, not lifelessly “animated” models choreographed to horrible music.

  • J. W.

    I don’t really think the comparison to that Betty Boop clip was fair, due to its heavy rotoscoping.

  • MailOrderClone

    I discussed this with my little sister, who is solidly in the demographic that the show is aiming for, and she came to the conclusion that I was being way too prudish. This sort of thing is commonplace in this day and age, and even more outlandish and sexualized dances not only exist, but are regularly used. Highschoolers dance like that often, so much so that they are unphased by the sight of it, and it is the adults that tend to get upset when they see this going on.

    It’s an evolutionary thing, I think. Parents are wary of things that they find strange, or frightening, or that they find unpalatable, and instinctively try to protect their children from it. It’s sort of a knee-jerk response really, when shielding children from something like this has the exact opposite of the intended effect, making it something of a forbidden fruit.

    But of course, people in large enough numbers are invariably stupid. This show may have, by depicting something that enough parents find unfavorable, picked a battle that will leave it worse off as a result.

    • Just wait until you have your own daughter.

    • Luke

      evolutionary? I’m pretty sure you mean deevolutionary. Nothing about that is adaptive.

    • Funkybat

      It wouldn’t surprise me if this is a common dance style among 8-12 year olds, but it would disappoint me. I would like to hope people at least wait until puberty hits to start shakin’ their moneymakers like they’re working a stage in a strip club….

  • Amigo

    I will admit they could have gone with out the scene and nothing of value would have been lost. But its not all that provocative compared to what kids actually watch cough cough *MTV, internet porn, R rated movies* cough cough

  • Stephen DeStefano

    I like it, and frankly, am surprised it looks as good as it does.

  • JEV

    I think some people are forgetting that “PG” is parental guidance suggested, not “pretty good for kids.”

    Also, rotoscoped dance for comparison? Really?

  • Corrine

    I don’t think it was poorly animated; the show has a unique style of art that purposely creates oddities.

    I was surprised when I saw this scene but in context of the show it is purposely over the top. The robot’s reaction is hilarious. I am 17 fyi and I have to say I am happy that a animated show wasn’t afraid to do this. Like other have said, it isn’t too much for TV-PG; it is a joke not sexy.

  • Mr. Critic

    I thought “PG” stood for “Parental Guidance” as in it’s up to the parent to decide whether it’s safe for the kids to watch as opposed to “G” which is aimed as general audiences.

    The very fact that this scene is controversial in concept (and not execution) is exactly why it’s rated TV-PG and not TV-G.

  • Call me whatever you will, but why was I the only one impressed with the sequence?

    Okay… not the obvious reason that I’m a dude who would boink a cartoon character (I need help!).

    I found the animation very impressive from the other shows you find on CN. These people were working with a budget, and for what I saw it looked like they worked with it pretty well. I haven’t seen this show and I watched this out of context. But from what I saw, it was good!

    My only complain is the chick’s bodonkadonk. Too big. I’ve said enough and I’m bound to endure a lot of criticism!

  • Rufus

    It’s true that the foreshortened pose isn’t anything hot, but it’s also true that Amid probably couldn’t animate a bouncing ball right. And it’s also true that although Betty Boop’s topless in that scene and her tiny little breasts are covered by nothing but the orchid neckleace, it’s not hot. The Sym-Bionic Titan scene is much closer to hot, though I really don’t feel turned on by it.

    The check is, if you feel like watching porn after, it’s hot. Jk. :D

    But really, I think you kinda traditionally missed the mark with this post….again. :) No offense. Though I did enjoy finally seeing some SymBionic Titan, never seen any before.

  • Purin

    Well, I would have pointed to Red Hot Riding Hood, myself, but…

    It’s impressive as far as TV quality animation goes. “We spent the whole budget on booty shaking!”

    Actually… How does the booty-shaking in Squirrels in my Pants compare to this?

    • Exactly! Red Hot Riding Hood is dripping with way more sensuality than this! Not to mention Jessica Rabbit.

  • The Gee

    After watching both clips, what’s the big deal again?

    Defending or condemning one for being risque is kind of silly.
    Like someone wrote above, kids have seen worse and probably at really young ages. Most parents of young kids, after all, are young themselves.

    Now, admittedly, I watched both clips with no sound. That shouldn’t have mattered and I doubt hearing the music makes it worse.

    You know what I’d really like though? I’d like the main meaning of the word “really” back. I’d like to see it corralled within a sentence instead of standing alone posing.


  • The Gee

    Oh. Please don’t get me wrong.
    Neither is great.

    However, one is funnier than the other. Oddly enough, the dance moves in that one are rather subdued. The rest of the clip is funny though.

  • Grimmy

    HighFive! wrote “Thanks for shocking the world Genndy and crew”
    Genndy and crew may have shocked some tight-ass folks who still haven’t overcome their Puritan heritage, but “the world”?
    Get out more

  • Why is there the constant need to compare classic animated shorts to TV animation. They had more time per footage, all artists in house and no corporate notes in those days. It’s the same as comparing Wolfgang Puck to KFC.

    • amid

      Bob – When the earlier animation was made, it was not “classic.” It was simply the mainstream commercial animation of the day, just like today’s mainstream commercial work is Sym-bionic Titan.

      Comparing today’s animation to work done eighty years ago provides valuable context. The lack of draftsmanship quality in that Sym-Bionic Titan sequence is evident even if you don’t see the Betty Boop cartoon, but placing them alongside one another helps to show just how far standards have fallen in terms of drawing and animation quality. Despite your contention that the Fleischer artists had it better, the fact is that those artists were paid far less and worked with far less resources than Genndy and his crew have at their disposal today. With Genndy’s experience, there is no excuse for his work to look like KFC, as you put it.

      • I like how you choose to respond to this remark instead of all the people that call bullshit on your terrible comparison between Betty Boop and this. Zero Fun SIR

      • Amid,

        I didn’t say they had it better – said they had more time. If you animated, you would know you could execute draftmanship better if you were given more time.

        This isn’t the first time you’ve compared golden age to TV animation. Try comparing early TV animation to modern TV animation.

        Do you know for certain that this is the handiwork of Genndy’s team or an animator from a different studio and/or country?

      • Luke

        Just because they have less time and a smaller budget, doesn’t mean they couldn’t have made the models appear allive. The Boop sequence may have been rotoscoped, but it still took ALOT of drawing skill to pull it off. Gendy easily could have better

      • Rufus

        Do you have any figures for us to look at, or are we expected to believe Genndy & Co are blowing half the production budget on coke & whores?

        I watched a couple of episodes today. I think they’re stretching the budget just right – creating nice compositions each shot, lighting scenes etc. I don’t see any value separation indicating light on the betty boop piece. Not saying that the betty boop designs aren’t far more appealing than the ones of SymBionic Titan, but I think it’s still far better than 80% of other mainstream TV animation. I certainly prefer SymBionic Titan to the horrific crap that calls itself Family Guy and any spinoffs thereof. Anyone doing anything better than McFarlane should be congratulated. Besides, these “classic” cartoons as people refer to them had pretty poor story/character development/cinematography. This isn’t the case with Titan, it’s actually pretty well developed.

      • K. Ewing

        As an animator I have to agree that the motions are stiff and a little lifeless. This may have to do with the fact that the animation is outsourced. As far as the controversy this animation is neither sexy nor over the line. I have seen stronger lines crossed in Looney Tunes. If anything I commend the show for having the male character have a response of “no” supporting the idea that attempting to be sexy is not the way to accomplish goals.

        As far as the comparison of Sym-Bionic to Betty as proof that there is not quality in cartoons on television I think it is a bad example. If you want to see poor stiff animation that is just constantly recycled just go watch an old episode of Scooby Doo.

      • Funkybat

        I can understand why some may see the motion in Sym-Bionic Titan as stiff, but I would say that the animation is generally far more fluid and dynamic than almost anything in most “H-B” cartoons. And I LOVE old Hanna-Barbera cartoons, but as an experienced artist, I can now see them for what they are.

        In this case, I chalk it up to the anime influence. Intentional, selective rigidity is more or less par for the course with both Genndy’s work and most anime in general.

        BTW: using Betty Boop as a comparison, especially if she’s rotoscoped, is kind of apples and oranges. Tex Avery’s “Red Hot Riding Hood” would have been a better example of a sexy human dancing that was traditionally animated.

  • Ad

    Whats the big deal? It’s just like something you would see in a rap video airing at 9am

  • I watch this show with my kids (10 and 6 yrs old) and we love it. This sequence always gets a big laugh because of the “booty dancin'” moves – they know it’s played over the top and they think it’s funny. When they slow the action down on some of the shots, like the strap off the the shoulder, I do shudder a bit because there’s a part of me that doesn’t want my 10 yr old daughter to witness a teenage girl trying to get her way by using her sexuality. It’s definitely too soon for me to worry about such things with my daughter.

    But it’s okay because we just laugh it off. The rest of the episode is pretty good. No sense harping on this one particular scene.

  • I’m sure someone said this already, but Betty Boop wasn’t sent to Korea.
    Hmmmm… Can we use your comments to bring work back to the States? Will quality animation sell more toys?

  • Jabberwocky

    I have no knowledge of the current show; I don’t have TV. The animation sequence appeared rather stiff to me and the character designs not particularly appealing (I have more or less hated every “adult” cartoon style I’ve seen) but not necessarily provocative. Just… non sequitor. He’s talking about triangles and she randomly gets up and dances? What? Maybe there was important context I missed, I don’t know.

    Anyway, the kids in Glee did a much more provocative and obvious dance to “Push it” in one of the early episodes, and I think Glee runs in a similar or earlier time slot, so the content didn’t bother me.

  • Michael F.

    Eesh, this is supposed to be around the buffer zone between the general audience CN and the adult-specific AS blocks. Of course you should not be expecting little kids to be watching this stuff. The PG rating is a very fair warning to me.

    I’m surprised people are not getting this much of an uproar over Regular Show, especially after last week. (“Boys, you can both be turds!” you’ve got to love Pops)

  • lola

    It’s not so much the dance that bothers me (well the unimpressive animation, yeah; not the actual dancing) but those gross and overly stiff character designs do. I mean, I know that he’s supposed to be a robot and she’s supposed to be trademark-sexy-redhead but it seems like they didn’t put very much thought into either of them.

    I’ve watched a few random episodes of this show. I don’t see the appeal at all.

    Sure, Betty Boop is cute but she’s never done anything for me either.

  • Arthur F.

    I happened upon that cartoon towards the end as I zapped around, and I was more impressed with the fight sequence in the air, with that male character (don’t know the name, don’t care) who was essentially protecting that girl. In a way she was being seduced by his act and visually the residual fall-out of the fight above matched with the 1980s music accompanying it, was so much more sexy than that clumsy scene. Which leads me to wonder, who is the audience, what age exactly, because that fight scene was conceptually much more a combination of Venture Bros 1980s references and visuals while this is more like bad Teen Titans…It seems design by committee, like that scene you show seems in terms of drawing strengths.

  • JMatte

    It’s kind fo sad that this scene is presented out of context of the whole episode. I thought it was funny, even though I could see why a few prude parents may be jumping in surprise. PG rating is there for something.

    And yes, that fight sequence at the end was very nicely handled.

    I think Symbionic Titan is a really fun production. Everyone working on it should be proud. Heck, that’s the kind of project I’d be having the time of my life working on. Keep up the good work guys!

    Back to the post.
    Why post one bad drawing? I mean…why? You could take ANY animated production out there and find at least one frame where there’s a bad drawing or bad foreshortening. Should we start a contest to find more examples? But why waste our time with that when it will be on screen for a full…2-3 seconds? Maybe less? Barely enough for the eye to register?

    And yes, a bit unfair to compare good old (rotoscoped) Betty Boop to that cheerleader.
    Why not compare Betty Boop to Holly Would in Cool World then? Both were rotoscoped at least.

  • Kyle C

    Seriously Amid, you hate on this while you tack numerous clips that are just terrible onto this blog, come on.


  • Porkchops

    I think it’s too sexy for kids, but that’s the way TV is going now. They showed Velma and Shaggy making out on Scooby Doo.
    Never thought I’d see stuff like this in a modern kid’s show, and I’m only 23.

    • Velma and Shaggy making out?! What episode of Scooby were you watching? Scooby after dark?!

      • Inkan1969

        Look for the “Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated” ep called “Battle of the Humangonauts”.

  • Tim Douglas

    This show is a little risqué and has bit of T&A running though it, Barb in ep2, the “it girls” button scene in ep 4, and the scene above are good examples. But none of it goes far enough to be a problem. I definitely raised my eyebrows at this scene but I’m surprised that it has become an issue. Good to see the show being discussed though.

    I agree that this show has been disappointing, there’s huge potential in alot of the episodes but the execution has been off throughout. Until now Tartakovsky (et al) has bested himself with each new show but this isn’t working (yet). I’m not sure if the problem is working with dialogue, telling one continuous story, the budget, my lack of patience or if he was just due a sub par performance but I don’t have nearly as much fun watching this as I do his other shows.

    That said it’s a shame that only 2 people mentioned the musical sequence near the end where Kimmy walks home while Titan fights the monster of the week – fantastic! We didn’t have to sit through the transformation, the monster was just a backdrop for character development. There’s only so much you can get out of an homage to Giant Robot shows so more of this would be great. This was a great episode, I hope it sets the tone for the show in the future.

    I may return with clips.

  • Richie

    Here’s a comment posted by an user named Monadology on the TvTropes forums, after this article got mentioned on the Sym-Bionic Titan discussion topic. I think it deserves the attention since it’s just so darned BRILLIANT:

    “Frankly, I took the sequence to be somewhat satirical of the ridiculous way that people have taken to dancing nowadays (not that dances have not been ridiculous in the past). Criticizing it, like in that article, for not being genuinely sexy misses the point. It was kind of grotesque, though still obviously erotic.

    Also, outside of the character designs, the show has plenty of artistic merit going on. The backgrounds for one, or even the entire closing fight sequence for that very episode. Nitpicking the quality of one dance scene as if it’s representative of the show as a whole is really disingenuous.

    Oh and did I mention that the episode itself has a surprisingly edifying message about not identifying yourself with social roles and counting your own abilities out? That doing the right thing is more important than sexual/emotional manipulation? That affection can cross social boundaries? Can’t have our kids watching shows like THAT.”

  • Cyle

    Ha! I leave for a few minutes to warm some food when this airs, and of course this is the sequence I miss. I agree that it was a bit much, and it’d probably make me uncomfortable if I was a parent. Still, it’s TV-PG and airs at night, so they didn’t really cross the line. The suggestive close-ups could have been taken out to tone it down, though.

    I didn’t really buy her becoming attracted to Newton/Octus in the later scenes after he convinces her that she can be smart, but they did get some good jokes out of it. I laughed out loud when he shouted “Parallelogram!”, and the montage near the end was awesome.

  • AJ

    EFFORT! It may not be to the standard of the past but its a try It’s a step forward towards actual movement again. In shows that are not bankrolled by warner disney DC marvel ect it looks like some hard work went into it

  • compn

    video is removed by user, here is a mirror:

    also this show is for teens (hence, the teen characters, you know… high school) and this is how the kids dance these days. improvised stripper poles and everything hahah.

    its actually a pretty good dance routine. vs the robotic swaying back and forth found in the batman beyond rave dances.

    boondocks also had a good dance by a little girl in the episode where huey has to play kickball.

  • derpderp

    I felt sort of embarrassed watching this.

    Also, I fail to see how it’s “bold” or “brave” to have a young girl awkwardly degrade herself to try to get a favor (which fails. Ha, isn’t she pathetic? derp derp). I guess it’s unfair out of context, I assume she’s not the most present female in the show, but guys, seriously, let’s be real– that isn’t brave, even for a cartoon show. That’s just the same old junk. I’m not saying that it was wrong to be on the air, but praising such an act for being edgy is just stupid.

  • What really amazes me is how a dance sequence, that was first and foremost meant to be FUNNY (context is everything!) causes such an uproar, but nobody cared about scenes in earlier episodes of this show, in which the people die on screen (one of them even gets his neck broken with a very scary sound) and get tortured by getting a scary looking creature shoved into their throat.
    I love SYM-BIONIC TITAN. It’s a great written and executed show and this particular episode had subtle character development, that most acclaimed live action dramas would dream of! But if I would look for a reason to stir controversy, I would point at the violence in this show.

  • disgusted

    Of course no one here is complaining on the obvious objectification of that girl (as in–the vast majority of those scenes are just clips of boobs and ass “jiggling” in this utterly stiff animation) nor the fact that it is totally weird for a white girl to be crunking. Could we please have a narrative where a woman isn’t trying to ~*~seduce~*~ a moral man/robot/whatever into getting things her way through ~*~womanly wiles~*~?

    Also the animation was boring, stiff and unremarkable.

    • Well, if it cheers you up, by the end of the episode (SPOILERSPOILERSPOILER!!!)she not just learns the lesson that pretty girls can and should use their brain and not their curves to win, she also falls in love with the unattractive nerd and is not afraid to show it in public. So there. Context is everything.

      • optimist

        I think this is known as having your cake and eating it.

  • Frank Ziegler

    Who yanked the video?

  • derpderp

    Okay, so, I watched the whole episode and I have to say that taking the clip out of context does make it seem a lot worse than it is. And, actually, the show had some pretty good little moments of business (for what it is, for where it’s being aired, etc), and the overall structure of the show is pretty unique and different from what I’ve expected and of similar shows of the genre. And the girl in the dance scene wound up going in a much better developmental direction, and she wasn’t the only female with lines and facetime in the episode. So, good!

    It was still not the best-looking scene, though, and I don’t take back that the particular scene wasn’t pushing any envelopes like some people seem to think it’s doing. Don’t be silly.


    I don’t particularly care about whether there was an uproar over the booty-dance scene. I found the episode’s story amazingly sweet, surprising, and well executed.

    The cheerleader got up and did this wild dance, out of the blue, in hopes that just doing that and sliding her test to Newton with her foot would cause him to lose his senses and fall under her control. They had me at this point, because, while I was surprised at their boldness in putting that kind of dancing in the show, that wasn’t my main reaction. My main reaction was, “Oh, my God! What an incredibly sad, vain, insane weirdo she is! She’s NUTS!” It’s telling you a huge amount about the character, which then sets you up for more story, where she learns to believe that she could actually find some self-worth outside of her cheerleading and meangirling.

    Then, she’s so overcome by having her mind opened in this way, that it causes her to fall in love with the socially awkward nerd who led her to it, even though she could have any guy in school!

    Later, there’s this other sequence, where she’s so swept up by emotions, that she doesn’t even notice the huge robot vs. monster fight right behind her. Through all this, I was leaning so far forward on my couch that I almost fell off.

    And then, they END the episode with this new development: The cheerleader and the robot seem to be a couple now. Anybody could’ve guessed that one of the cute, human heroes could get in a romantic entanglement, thus complicating their lives as secret aliens. But who thought it would happen to the robot?! It’s genius! I can’t wait to see how it develops in the coming shows.

    I can’t believe this whole discussion has been about whether the dance was appropriate, and whether it was well-animated. I think everybody should be saying, “Can you BELIEVE what happened on that episode?!”

  • Oh god lord…
    Ok, Betty boop is better animated. I think any objective examination would agree to that.

    HOWEVER, that doens’t mean the sym bionic titan is bad. I’ve been following the show and I’ve liked it both as design and as a show. I like the character of octos/newton/dad robot. Just the fact that he’s wearing there admittedly holographic hats makes for an interesting character. If there is one thing we can do in animation today is appreciate different styles and approaches to the subject matter.

    So, basically ok the judge from romania can score a 5 for an ugly knee but that’s only a small part of the total package.

    For the record “Total drama Island/world tour/etc which comes on at nine has had “censored” bare breasts and other naughty bits. So it’s hard to say this is worst by that standard. Everyone stay cool!

  • Sherrie

    The Symbionic Titan clip did what it was supposed to do: make me laugh.

  • Abu

    I thought it was funny and like this show. On the other hand, I was watching this episode with my three year old daughter and had her turn away, I was a lil surprised that they did that. I’m no prude but I don’t want to have to explain what was going on there to a 3 year old.

    • Bee

      This is a PG rated show! You’re a parent and there to give guidance, that’s what they intended for a show of this rating. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

      If parents who AREN’T there to make their kids turn away when something they disagree with is being shown…well that’s their fault. TV is not and should not be made to parent kids in the place of the parents themselves.

  • Ama

    Upon full watching of it, I thought the whole episode was pretty much amazing. There was some very strong character development throughout, and the ending sequence was very sweet. When you see that little scene in the context of the whole thing, it’s nothing but a blip in the plot, nothing to go apeshit over. I no way was that scene poorly animated, though it felt a bit forced, but would you have rather wanted to see her doing the cliched “circle over the heart with the finger, trying to get close to him to do her homework” routine that’s so averagely seen in some cartoons? This went above the bar with something new and eye-catching, it surprised me at first, but when I thought of what she was trying to acheive, it was funny and innovative. Whether little kids should see it–well, there’s worse things on tv (TDA for one!).

    Why not just link to the full ep, rather than just trying to get people riled over one clip.

  • it’s a little upsetting that you decided to highlight this one minute sequence from what was 24 minutes of some of the best television animation ever created. no matter what your opinions of that dance are, the rest of the show was an incredible mix of character development, action, comedy, and romance that i’ve never seen done so well on tv before. this episode is one of the best things genndy has ever done, and it’s paving the way for other animators to create stories that connect to real people.

    • Tim Douglas

      I have to ask. Can you provide any insight into what kind of direction the show will take from here on?

      More high school drama, slow building long story arcs, or more of a monster of the week? What can we expect?

    • Papasmurf

      Word! This episode was in a way quite groundbreaking. It saddens me we’re not discussing all of its merits instead of focusing on some whiny john K wannabe’s petty beefs. Seriously Amid – watch the whole show and reconsider this terrible post.

  • Isaac

    The dance sequence is funny. There are errors here and there, but it’s still a cut above most Cartoon Network animated shows.

    It’s funny, and that’s more than I can say for the Betty Boop sequence.

  • Caresse

    No one mentioned the awesome band also in the same episode? Sure, maybe they were trying to ride the Metalocalypse tidal wave, but I still enjoyed it!!

    Either way it was an awesome 24 minutes of a Saturday morning for two 20+ year olds in pjs, eating cereal and on computers.

  • Ms. Rant

    With boys beginning to consume porn at the average age of 10, it doesn’t surprise me that no one has commented on the piece being sexist.

    In Betty’s dance she performs for the fun of it and for a character much smaller than herself. She ends the dance with her arms triumphantly outstretched.

    In the shake it bake it the girl is performing for a large, dominating adult male who has power over her. The focus is also on her body parts, not showing her as a whole person (as was the case of Betty).

    I hate this kind of crap. It’s demeaning to women and men for that matter!


      Actually, SHE started out dominating HIM, by muscling her way into his house and expecting him to take her test for her. The reason he seems like he’s exerting power over her is because he’s refusing to take the test for her, and trying teach her that she can do things herself instead of skating through life on her looks.

      You’re right that it’s not showing her as a whole person, but that perfectly reflects her view of herself — as a stupid person who could never hope to understand geometry. She’s like that because no one ever encouraged her in math, thinking, based on her looks, that the only thing she’d be good at is cheerleading.

      Octus ignores her dance and forces her to try, until she finally finds out that she just might have a brain, after all.

      It’s a lot more complicated, story-wise, than Betty Boop. I’d say comparing the two is like apples and oranges, but I think it’s more like apples and Genghis Khan.

      • Kent Osborne


        Chris Garrison is awesome.

    • Mr. Retort

      And in a following scene, the large, dominating adult male goes on to assure the girl that she doesn’t have to fit into society’s predefined “sexy, stupid cheerleader” role, who only uses their looks to get by, and that she has just as much ability to succeed academically as anyone else, no matter who says otherwise.

      What a terrible message!!

  • Kt

    I believe this is aimed at kids 11-up, and believe me this is nothing compared to the shows they watch, having friends with several sisters/children this age. There’s Degrassi, Gossip Girl, anime with more gore and boobies than you can shake a stick at that they downloaded on the internet, even Disney channel shows have used this same scene with not much deviation. Also, although I know this isn’t common practice, you have to give kids more credit when it comes to handling this MILD suggestive material IN context. This story was essentially a lesson to avoid demeaning yourself.

    Also if you think this was suggestive, I didn’t hear you making any comments on this little clip from Adventure Time’s “Nightosphere’ episode you were so proud of earlier!:

    For the record, I totally love Adventure Time.

  • Just my two cents:

    The “leg tumor” is a very petty detail. SYM-BIONIC TITAN, overall, is the best new show on Cartoon Network! Breathtaking animation, beautiful character/background designs, very well done computer animation, intelligent stories, and characters you can care about. Genndy Tartakovsky and his crew are being themselves, instead of imitating “hot” anime shows as closely and crassly as possible, even in art style (as is the case with BEN 10, GENERATOR REX, etc.). I’d even go as far as to say this US series captures the raw spirit of 70s Super-Robot anime, bar-none! (This includes the hero, Lance, who recalls Duke Freed from Gou Nagai’s GRENDIZER. This guy isn’t some wimpy emo pretty-boy, he’s a wild and untamed tiger!!!)

    I have to admit that the booty dance scene in this episode was pretty arousing, but I really liked it. And at least the cheerleader was fully clothed. (Plus, Octus/Newton resisted her charms! It’d have been different if he did otherwise.) The show is not strictly kids’ fluff; Genndy is aiming it at slightly older kids (the adolescent tween-teen crowd). So this show has *balls!* Why would you want to sacrifice that?

    I also like how the same episode humanized the cheerleader (she was introduced as a cruel character in a past episode), and made her the heroine of the premise, which was very good character development. Plus the beautifully-animated climactic battle sequence. This was an awesome episode!

    If people can watch the forced teen crap on CN, they can handle some adolescence in SYM-BIONIC TITAN. I’m glad CN kept it on the prime-time clock!

  • Fred Sparrman

    There’s more animation ability on display in the Sym-Bionic Titan dance than in the rotoscoped Betty Boop dance. What a terrible, self-defeating comparison.

  • C.S

    Say what you will about the story, sexism, symbolism, character design, betty boop, whatever. But people who believe this sequence to be well animated have very poor eyes. I work in TV animation and the first 3/4 of this wouldn’t even get blocking approval.

    Granted, I don’t find the betty boop particularily appealing either, but this was crap.

  • Martino

    It’s easy to distinguish this clip from Adult Swim fare because no one put a fist up her ass and her head didn’t explode.

  • I love this show. The dance was funny, as it’s supposed to be. I can’t imagine what the big deal is. I suspect whatever it is causing the uproar is in the heads of the people getting upset, not the cartoon.

  • Martin Juneau

    At last this animated sequence is a big step at risqué animation this industry really need today mostly for the mainstream audience. But my fear is that Canada’s Network decide to aired too late or at wee hours when it comes at home. Be happy that CN aired Symbionic Titan as a generous time, without restrictions at all.

  • Seriously lads, been there, done that, by Disney nonetheless!

    Esmerelda’s dance from The Hunchback of Notre Dame:

    Although I do agree that the animation in the video above is somewhat rough around the edges, although it is a TV show.

  • David

    I think the explicit nature of the scene is a bit excessive, however it still fits a TV-PG rating, as the exaggerated nature of her dance is the whole joke, and I find the scene all the more hilarious because of the sexiness of her dance.

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    Today’s AMERICAN tv artists you mean. Take a look at anime series like Love Hina or FLCL and you’ll see its very different where Japanese tv artists are concerned.

  • Tony C

    Whilst I totally agree it was animated badly (and as it seemed to set itself up as a scene where the animation was the focal point, that this makes it an even worse sin).

    I don’t agree with you looking down on it by comparing it to what my eyes tell me is rotoscope. I’d wager there is a fairly big difference in budget constraints between the two as well.

    As for the question… I personally think it’s too far, maybe that’s because she was animated so poorly (Thus danced so badly) though that she looked like a stripper who was missing her pole.

  • Stephan

    Like, are you doing the world a favor by pointing out a mishaped knee in an experimental TV program? Why not talk about the thing as a whole?!

  • Lio

    This show is the best that thing that has happened to cartton network ever since Toonami, which i dont know why they ever took that off, and theres something about the way that it was made that is simply amazing. in my prespective this show is great because its not your normal action show that binds with conformity and it actually chooses to show scenes LIKE THIS… I rest my case

  • M.

    It’s not risque in my opinion, but it’s… meh. I do find that knee quite unproportional, looking like a crumpled paper bag in her pants leg but then again, I don’t mind the animation at all.

  • tim g

    on animation note….Betty is Roto’d :)….not sexy :)

  • Hugandkiss

    Did you even bother to watch the episode?

    The girl is intended to look gross and ridiculous in this scene, she learns not to use her sexuality to solve her problems.

    I personally love Symbionic Titan for it’s beautiful designs. The backgrounds are stunning, the character designs are fresh, and the female lead actually wears different clothes every episode.

    Story-wise the show has some problems, but it’s still a relatively new series.

    It’s irritating that you would blow off all the beautiful artistry in this series from one out-of-context clip from youtube. Somehow I expected better?

    The designs are what keep me watching it.

  • tonma

    Haven’t seen the episode , just the clips…

    -The dance: terrible, really sports bad animation.
    -The flock of seagulls squence: Beautiful.

    Completely worth watching one thing for the other. I like Titan so far.

  • C’mon guys, it’s not that bad. I’m not familiar with the show but it’s a funny scenario. I like drawing and animating girls and it’s not that easy, so this is a decent effort. Granted the poses could be more fluid and the action more lively but the point comes across. Hopefully, it’ll inspire the next animator who tries it to do better, eh?

  • Luke


    “Besides these ‘classic’ cartoons as you call them had pretty poor character development.”

    And strangely, they’re endlessly more entertaining and appealing to watch than anything on television.

    • Richie

      Opinion alert.

  • Consider me weird but the only thing that really bothered me about this scene was when she did the spin on the standing lamp post. Not sure if it’s possible to spin twice on something that’s not nailed to the ground and barely weighs five pounds to even support an overly eager cheerleader.

    But then again, I’m trying too hard to put logic in a cartoon.

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    There are probably 7- and 8-year-old cheerleaders doing the same moves with the same outcome: someone posts it on YouTube, it goes viral, the usual gang of bluenoses squawk about it, and ultimately nothing changes. Same is going to happen to SBT.

  • perry

    way over TV-PG

  • Luke

    Yes the clip is horribly animated, stiff and jerky. After watching the clip three times I can’t help but notice.

    But this show still remains one of the better cartoons on television. Genndy has made a huge strides with story, humor, and animation( at least baby steps). This scene, yes a little sexual was not that bad. I hope I’m not the first to say, ” Your kids have and will see far worse.” This show does carry a TV-PG ratting, but do you think the kids care about the rating. This clip was half as bad as what they can see on MTV, on the Simpsons or Family Guy. (which air at the same hour) The kids won’t get the sexuality or the controversy over this scene, what they will get is the joke, and thats the point for them. The punch line.

  • David Mackenzie

    That got people in an uproar? Really?
    The only suggestive thing is the strap falling. The rest of it is just a girl with a large ass dancing around.

  • Jarvis

    Americans sure are afraid of the human/female body, that wasn’t that sexy at all.

  • Uh, yeah.
    This is sexy?
    It was a funny lampoon of a sexy dance – as was the Betty Boop “Bamboo Isle” clip.

    Let me clue you in – these are just pixels. Or in Betty’s case, ink and paint. While sex is in the mind of the beholder, in most cases it would involve flesh and blood people.

  • Kieran Pertnav

    Well, there’s more to it then just “poor draftsmanship”. The reason that the old cartoons were better animated is because they were higher budget, made in the USA and had longer production cycles and shorter runtimes. Genndy and co. had to make 20 episodes, each of them with 22 minutes of animation, and have them ready to air when Cartoon Network wanted to air them. They had to learn how to do the CGI and coordinate all their animation efforts with Korea, all without going over budget.

    That’s what the Spumco system could never master. John K. makes amazing animation, but he still thinks we can go back to the 50s. The animation back then was amazing, but we just can’t afford it now, and it doesn’t work with prime-time TV.

    We should just be thankful that there are cartoonists that are trying to make things that are fun. That one sequence had more motion in it then an entire episode of Family Guy, which seems to have given up on even the simplest motions, like head turns and blinking. Even if the sequence wasn’t perfect, there was clearly a lot of effort put into it, but on a TV budget and schedule there’s no time for perfectionism. They do the storyboard, and they send it off to Korea- CN doesn’t even pay for layout anymore, and that’s not the cartoonists fault. Once it gets back from Korea, they can only send it back so many times and fix so many things. It’s just a reality of working on TV.

    As for the content, it doesn’t bother me. It’s the direction that CN has been moving in, and frankly, it’s still a lot tamer then a lot of stuff that was on TV years ago. If you watch any episode of Regular Show or Adventure Time you’ll see stuff that’s just as provocative. And I think todays kids can handle it, because 10 and 11 year-olds watch Family Guy, they watch Adult Swim, they watch R-rated movies, and CN is just trying to keep up.

    The other thing to consider is that this is only Sym-Bionic Titan’s first season. Hopefully it gets renewed, because if you’ve been following the show from the beginning, you can see that with each episode they get more comfortable with drawing the characters, choreographing the action sequences, and writing the dialogue. Every show has a learning curve, the fact that it looks imperfect is a good thing, because if a show starts off perfect, then there’s nowhere left for it to go, and it fizzles after just a few seasons, if that. The artists on this show are genuinely improving, and they are genuinely devoted to improving the quality of the show.

    • Luke

      Trust me, we can afford it, they can atleast afford better models, animaniacs did, and it had a schedule.

  • Alissa

    Guys, filler episodes ALWAYS look bad, even Avatar: the Last Airbender had its bad days.

    If you want jaw-dropping watch the second episode of Symbionic Titan, Lance’s freerunning sequence is incredible.

    As for sexy? Oh come on. Most tween sitcoms get more explicit than that.

  • Some Unimpressed Robot

    Ignoring the “it’s too sexy or not” cluster-eff and focusing instead on the epic failure in understanding how human female leg anatomy actually works.

    Rob Liefeld would weep at that “foreshortened” knee/tumor.

    • K. Ewing

      I question your comment on Rob Leifeld weeping. Is he weeping for joy or sorrow. Cause that man has a habit of drawing some of the worst human anatomy on the planet including avoiding feet and muscles that don’t exist. Honestly I trust the animation company in Korea more the Rob Leifeld. Plus is it worth it to complain about something that is on screen for less than 30 frames. Hell even people like Pixar have oddities in their animation and they have some of the most skilled people in animation. It happens and with a small budget and an accelerated time schedule more issues are going to occur.

  • Steven M.

    I think Preston Blair’s animation of Red Hot Riding Hood would of been a better example of great, sexy girl animation then the Betty Boop one.

  • I thought we all knew that kids don’t watch cartoons anymore D:
    Who care if we have a few strippers dancing around on stripper poles during prime time TV.

    (face palm)

  • Darío

    The first sexual joke I came across lately and that I found stupid was Pinoccio with a thomb (Shrek) and I mean, I found it stupid because usually people think animation is funny when animal do “human things” or something like Pinoccio is associated with being gay or stuff like that. I wish they would keep animation being creative, funny and really crazy by means of creativity not just silly sex things.

    I love sex, but I also love to eat, to travel, to sleep and to draw. I wouldn’t like watching a program based mainly on one of the things I like. When I see this I imagine producers saying “throw food to the beats”. And we are like animals eating all this, like something that has never been seen before. Boring.

  • Ricardo

    Y’know… I think that yes, it might have been a good episode in the end, that the character evolved and learned that she doesn’t need to use her seductive ways to get what she wants, and that kids do have access to worse stuff anywhere else, but still… I think it was of bad taste. Unnecessary and unneeded.

    I have nothing exactly against the animation itself. I’m not particularly a fan of GT’s style, but for me it was alright.

    Also, I agree with Steven M’s comment that comparing it to Red Hot Riding Hood would’ve been a better, fairer comparison.

  • Americans are messed up. Violence for kids is fine, but a sequence that features a booty dance by a fully clothed female character is offensive.

  • Amanda

    You realize the Betty Boop crew just rotoscoped a hula girl, right?

    I personally didn’t like how the sexiness in the CN show had no sense of humor about it. At least Betty Boop’s creators had some fun with it. This just seemed really awkward more than anything.

    • Krill

      Out of context, as many people have mentioned, the scene doesn’t work. The whole point of the sequence was comic. But, unlike the Betty Boop dance, it was constructed with the previous 10-15 minutes of episode in mind.

      I still think the over exaggeration makes it pretty obviously satirical even without context, but apparently a lot of people don’t get that impression.

      • Amanda

        the sequence reminded me of when you’re a kindergartener and decide to mash a ken and barbie together. There’s no mastery of the emotions running through the character’s heads here. Yeah, OK, it’s supposed to be comic, but there was no exaggeration, no hesitation or feeling from the character that’s telling ME she’s trying to force it. It just looks like the animators are forcing the sexiness.

        I’m sure that wasn’t the intention, and I know from experience how difficult it is to communicate with animators across the planet and in another language subtlety.

  • M

    Definitely NOT for kids.

  • “Kids blink.”

  • david

    the animation was horrible, all of those who are defending it need to get their heads out of their character design, boards and story matter most rectums.

    also, maybe if people still knew how to animate and there wasn’t such an emphasis on story, boards, design, etc. then they would realize that putting sequences like this in a cartoon with a tv budget is destined for disaster. But no no, let’s keep writing and boarding the impossible then getting mad at overseas for not doing it right as they pull 24 hr shifts while doods are taking xbox breaks.

    you didn’t see the hanna barbera team trying to do epic tom and jerry chase scenes when they started yogi. so why do we still have people writing epic scripts, sequences (or animating a girl dance sequence, probably one of the most difficult things to do well) and then expecting a shoddy overseas crew on a rushed schedule churn out gold.

    egos and lack of common sense are the main problem here. once you start thinking of what can practically be done on a low budget will you start seeing quality instead of poo poo.

    • Alissa

      “all of those who are defending it need to get their heads out of their character design, boards and story matter most rectums.”

      You do realise that this scene is completely out of context with the rest of the series, right? And that it gets really obvious right from the get-go in Titan that all the money is saved for gratuitous fight sequences and actual plot scenes, right?

      I’m not saying it’s good business practice, far from it. But at least they’re trying which is more than I can say for more cartoons out there.

      “start seeing quality instead of poo poo. ”
      Oh cool. insulting others tastes. Okay I can play ball. Instead of long drawn out chase sequences, horrible puns, over the top slapstick and every episode being virtually the same some people happen to enjoy actual plot and character development.

      See, I can be rude too.

  • MEANWHILE IN JAPAN (and furthermore in a show that’s entirely a paean to modern American ‘adult’ animation, almost to the point of plagiarism)…


    • Tim Douglas

      I gotta add some context here.

      Panty & Stocking is NOT for kids. This show goes out of its way to be extreme in every possible way, it isn’t the norm at all.

      This scene is parodying how sexualised alot of anime is.

      It’s an awesome show, +1 for anime.

      Your point does stand. US animation isn’t nearly as risqué as anime, but this isn’t a good example. A jiggly boobs / panty shot from any kids show or a Sailor Moon transformation would work just fine.

      For Your Consideration:

      • Chris Sobieniak

        Still, I wouldn’t mind Tartakovsky going this route if he knew how to push the right buttons!

  • This is controversial? I think the sequence works fine, although it just seems odd in a cartoon for kids.
    In America, you can sit down with your kids at 8 pm and watch your favorite wrestlers crack each other in the heads with folding chairs, but look out if those same kids see a nipple, or this oddly designed character shake her rear.

  • Marc Baker

    I have to agree that the image of the girl’s leg doesn’t have good convincing perspective. As much as I admire Genndy Tartakovsky, i have to wonder if perspective isn’t one of his stronger points. And the animation for her dancing is kind of a mixed bag overall. Some hints of greatness, while the rest seemed like a stiff mess. I also agree that it doesn’t hold a candle to that Betty Boop dance sequence.

  • I thought it was funny! It’s also funny that girls today think dancing like that IS sexy, and that’s why the scene is tame to me. Sure it’s sexy because it’s supposed to be, but it’s not for two reasons. The animators in Korea have NO idea how to animate booty poppin to make it sexy and the girl being shot down at the end of all that, has a pretty funny effect after all the work she put into it. It’s building on the notion that some white girl is trying those moves on a guy who can’t even fathom why she would break out in dance, let alone be romantically interested in him.

    As for PG TV? I didn’t know the show pushed that rating. I’ve seen worse in PG ratings before, it’s just a kids show and NOT Star Wars.

  • Kieran Pertnav

    Looking at the Betty Boop scene instead of SBT for a second, I really don’t think they’re comparable. For one, they’re completely different in terms of content. Betty Boop is a short cartoon, played for laughs as a prelude to a feature film, correct me if I’m wrong. SBT is a half hour cartoon that has to have a fully developed, realistic storyline. They have completely different goals. The character of Betty Boop was developed largely to do things like dance around and be cute, whereas the character of Kimi was designed to play a supporting role in a larger action-comedy semi-serialized show. This happens when John K. criticizes action shows too, he doesn’t recognize that they have different standards, they have a larger story to tell, and frequently a serious one, so they’re not focused on creating fluidly animated comedy spectacles. Betty is clearly a cartoon character, but in order for the audiences to buy into the action part of the show, the characters in SBT need to be at least slightly more realistic. Kimi’s design, as with all the designs on the show, try to be as cartoony as possible while still looking a bit more realistic. So what we get is a more angular, standard animation looking body, with a simplistic face that can be used for a variety of expressions. If you look at some of the scenes with Lance in the same episode, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Lance has to have that anime style design so he can be an action hero to fit the show, it usually fits his personality very well, but because his facial design is fairly simple, we can get a scene like the one in which he stretches his mouth to comically wide proportions in order to eat a hamburger.

    Also, the dances that the two characters were doing are very different. While Betty’s dance is a lot more fluid, it is also not aiming for the same effect. It is SUPPOSED to be beautiful and a lot of attention is paid to the way in which her arms and skirt move. Kimi’s dance is supposed to be a desperate attempt at blatant sex appeal, so the fact that she throws her self in there stiffly and awkwardly fits. It’s supposed to be funny. We’re not supposed to be looking at her and thinking “look how good that animation is” or “wow, that’s hot”, we’re supposed to look at her and say “oh my God, what is she doing?”, and I think that the scene captured that perfectly. They have fun with it, with her hair flips and her shirt, but they don’t go overboard.

    From a personal standpoint, I’ve never gotten the appeal of Betty Boop. I mean, her figure is certainly nicely drawn, but, much like I felt watching Kimi’s design, her head doesn’t really fit with her body, it’s so wide. I dunno, maybe I just don’t like wide heads.

  • Rebecca

    There are quite a few good points here. I think the biggest issue with the lack of “sexuality” in Sym-Bionic Titan is that the characters just don’t have that great appeal (channeling some Glen Keane here), like Dexter, Mojo Jojo, Samurai Jack, or Miss Sara Bellum. I have only seen about 2 episodes of Sym-Bionic Titan, and haven’t really grown attached to it like I have with Dexter’s Laboratory and the Powerpuff Girls (the latter of which inspired the design for my room when I was 11!) I agree with Amid on the point that Genndy and his team have far more resources at their disposition than Fleischer’s team back in the day, which makes this kind of animation a bit inexcusable.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the animation was being outsourced to little studios who are given only 1/4 of the time that American artists would get. I think Avatar: the Last Airbender (the SERIES, NOT THE MOVIE!!!) used their outsourcing to the fullest, allowing the foreign studios creative freedom and more forgiving time restraints.

    But, in the end we don’t really know exactly what kind of pipeline they show is being run through, maybe this is just the kind of look Genndy wants? Or maybe he’s let more of his direction fall under TimeWarner Execs?

    As for the whole too racy for TV-PG discussion goes, I think it is a little in your face, but it really isn’t much different than anything a child would see at his/her big brother’s football game. A lot of cheer leading squads do take it to that kind of level these days. Do these “provocative” dances keep you from going to your son/nephew/friend’s son/whatever’s game? Not really. You want provocative before 8 pm, tune into the Jersey Shore show! Yes, they have all day marathons easily accessible to anyone. It boils down to the question, how much do you want to protect your kids from before they’re blind?

  • Micky Mark

    It’s TV-PG
    which is the Simpson’s normal rating.
    Which is basically most grown-up cartoons like Dilbert, The Critic, DuckMan and Baby BLues.
    I can understand if this was TV-Y7 or TV-G

    but please, understand what the tv ratings mean before having an uproar

  • Nikki

    That Betty Boop clip was appealing and sexy? Try awful and borderline racist. Yeah, it needs to be interpreted in the context of the time it was made. But it was a damn racist time.

  • Jake

    Probably mentioned earlier but, The “horrible” leg pose, doesn’t always fall onto the hands of the board artist. When dealing with over-seas animation as we do now days, things like this ‘minor’ set back can happen. Anyone who has actually worked in the industry and have seen their stuff come back completely different at times knows this.

  • Funkybat

    I disagree with those who say this whole sequence is “ugly” or poorly animated. I’ll give you the leg perspective thing, but the rest of it seemed to fit the style of the show and was dynamic and flowed pretty well. Some of it may be due to the somewhat bizarre style, a kind of hybrid between traditional “adult” anime and Genndy’s own style (which is influenced by more kid-oriented anime, but with a distinct look all its own.)

    I’ve been recording Sym-Bionic Titan so that I can watch a bunch of eps when I find some free time, so I’ve only seen clips, not complete episodes. But what I have seen has only piqued my interest. I like the art style, and am interested to see where the story goes. I’m honestly just glad to see CN prominently featuring a new animated show, and a show with story arcs and continuity. My preference for shows with straightforward storytelling and internal continuity has not been met by a lot of the “zany” shorts-style series that have been coming out the past few years. Those shows are fun, and often have inventive art, but they don’t hit the spot the way something like Gargoyles, DuckTales or Tale Spin did.

  • Adam


    The show looks good and you couldn’t do any better Amid.

    The Betty Boop clip looked rotoscoped.

    I find it interesting that for a bunch of people that come to a site meant to talk about animation and shows/movies primarily meant for kids (which is meant to be fun and entertaining) you all seem really eager to complain and shit on everything. I’m not just talking about this article either.

    It must be wonderful lives you people lead.

  • To the people up in arms over the content of this clip:

    If your kids are older than 5, watch TV, have computer access, or go to school, THEY HAVE SEEN MORE SUGGESTIVE MATERIAL ALREADY. You can put the pitchforks away and stop kidding yourselves. Even a well-intentioned Google search will produce racier results (yes, even with safe search on).

    My own nieces were doing this booty dance at 5 and 6 years old, years before this episode aired. Gasp!

    Furthermore, this is a show aimed at teen boys, so don’t go in expecting Teletubbies.

    Lastly, the clip is completely taken out of context. How about this? TRY WATCHING THE WHOLE EPISODE BEFORE ENTERING YOUR COMMENTS. You might find it’s one of the greatest shows to come down the pipeline in a long time and deserves your support.

  • Am I The Only Guy Who Gets This

    I suppose political correctness forbids Amid from explaining that the “uproar” over this scene is coming mostly from sites like this one:

    Erm. Notice anything about the ah.. how do I say this.. “culture”, here? If you are a product of Western Civilization, rather than some ghettoized sub-subculture of the same, (by the way is it John, or Juan, Struan?) chances are you are not going to see this “dance”, or whatever it is, as anything more than an absurd display of ludicrosity. Which was the whole point of the clip.

  • Is it just me, or does that clip the perfect metaphor for what’s become of Cartoon Network?

  • i think the darnce was cool but she didnt have a brar on
    so that would of been crealy sexy if she didnt have the nekless covering it:):):)<3

  • Scientific Exorcist

    Poor draftsmanship? I don’t understand how anyone can be criticized the art of Genndy Tartakovsky. If you didn’t like the animation Samurai Jack or Dexter Lab then you are probably not going to like Sym-Bionic Titan. Furthermore, the animation is more vibrant and detailed than it was on either show.

    Also, I think the controversy over this sequence is pretty dumb in my opinion. Yes, its a bit edgy but its no more worse than other elements of the series. Did anyone take issue when Ilana’s father was tortured or when one of the soliders from their home world was killed? There is a reason why the show is rated PG. If the audience can deal with violence that is a bit more graphic then they should be able to deal with a booty dance.

    For crying out loud people grow up.

  • Scientific Exorcist

    Poor draftsmanship? I don’t understand how anyone can be criticize the art of Genndy Tartakovsky. If you didn’t like the animation Samurai Jack or Dexter Lab than you are probably not going to like Sym-Bionic Titan. Furthermore, the animation is more vibrant and detailed than it was on either show.

    Also, I think the controversy over this sequence is pretty dumb in my opinion. Yes, its bit edgy but its no more worse then other elements of the series. Did anyone take issue when Ilana’s father was tortured or when one of the soliders from their home world was killed? There is a reason why the show is rated PG. If the audience can deal with violence that is a bit more graphic than they should be able to deal with a booty dance.

    For crying out loud people grow up.

  • Not sure how many people will see this comment on an older post, but it’s really more of a general question for Jerry & Amid: How badly in danger is ‘Titan’? I just recently DEVOURED the entire ‘first season’ (first 11 eps. out of the 20 ordered) and found it to be both the best looking and written show of it’s kind in…well, maybe EVER, but can’t find hardly ANY fan sites or talk about it online (past all the initial articles about its premiere and this silly ‘controversy’)! There’s virtually NO promotion that I can find, no toys/products based on the show (which I’m usually fine with, but this is a show that’s practically MADE to base action figures on)…is there any hope this won’t be cancelled after the initial 20-episode run is completed? I really REALLY hope so, but because of the lack of information/promotion I see, it doesn’t look hopeful :( Please tell me I’m wrong!

    • Willy105

      Cartoon network in general has been having less than favorable ratings. But the good news is that Sym-Bionic Titan has about the same ratings as the rest of the shows on the channel!

      And yes, it is one of the best looking shows I have seen. It’s the detail of anime with the animation quality of western animation, the best of both worlds.

  • Super Earl

    Call me stuck up, but I don’t think rotoscope and 2D should ever mix. Which is why that Betty Boop clip will never be impressive. Real movement should only be used as reference to express a scene, not completely tracing over the movements. What would be the point of animation then?

    Anyway, I love Sym-Bionic Titan more than potato chips. It’s a shame people are complaining about it, as I think it’s Genndy’s best work yet. People bitched and moaned about live action being added to the CN lineup, and here we are getting quality stuff animation wise, and people just bitch some more.

    You can truly please no one.

  • Momo

    It’s a cartoon. Cartoons have always been an exaggeration of real life.

  • A.L. Bell

    I don’t know anything about animation. I found this site because I fell in love with the show while watching it with my kid.

    My uneducated, layviewer’s sense is that the people who make the show have dealt with budget limitations by coming up with a stylized but classy look for the show. The show is probably cheap in a smart, Ikea, future collectible way rather than a mindless, straight-to-dollar store way.

    I think what makes the show a bit like Star Trek: The Old Show, and different from most other shows, is the low-key approach to the razor blade of despair.

    In the best episodes of ST:TOS, the show ribbed the characters hard. The characters did their best to buck up and get by; the show never spent much time taking pity on them. Other characters teased them. Then, suddenly, there was a throw-away line, or a bit of back story, or a wounded look, and you saw how much pain the characters felt.

    Those teasing little flashes of soul blood are what made the show addictive and hard to imitate.

    I think the people who write Sym-Bionic Titan have a similar talent for creating low-key characters who are way, way more down-to-earth and realistic than you’d expect, given the nature of the show — and then tease us with an amazing flash of soul blood.

    Ilana is so warm and kind and wants so much to connect — and is more oblivious and has less ability to connect that anyone else in the show.

    Lance wants to be an island — and is also a messed up kid who glues others to him with his neediness.

    Octus watches. To me as a non-animator, the interesting thing about the animation on Sym-Bionic Titan isn’t how people’s mouths or legs move, but how Octus sees. The animators somehow put love, devotion and terror in the animation that shows how Octus sees what he sees.

    I think the tragedy at the heart of the show will be that the bad guys use our love and kindness to destroy us, but that we still have to try to be kind and loving, anyway, because that’s the only hope there is. Maybe the ugly awkwardness of Kimmy’s doomed — but slightly successful — effort to reach out to Octus is a metaphor for all efforts to connect.

  • Near B

    all the comments sound like old people talking about how cartoons used to be and how the cartoon is actually alright in its way of showing things. the times are changing, tv is changing, and people should try to keep up i personally enjoyed this show overall and this episode because it was so funny that what cartoons are for to make people happy.
    as long as they continue to make it i will watch it its so mysterious so many question, so many funny things that happen, suspense, and everything that makes a great shoe great if it wasn’t why would they have a second season in the first place?

  • Blaaaaaaaar

    It’s not a bad show, per se, but it could be better- the character designs make them look strange and inhuman (although this could be intentional) and even though I love the idea of ‘kids driving giant robots’, the show needs a little bit more work.

  • D

    To sum up this whole mess, in here we have OPINIONS, people judging a show by an out of context clip, rating system misunderstanding, and clearly trolling by topic creator who uses said things to bash on an actually decent show. And a good amount of people who didn’t fall for it.

    As people keep pointing out, that scene is barely more than throwaway joke, it’s just there to set up Kimmie’s character development in the following scenes. As such, the animation wasn’t focused on as much as on the fight scene, which makes sense seeing as this is a, oh I dunno, A GIANT ROBOT show?!

  • August Relf

    This is just another example of the government owned and control media’s attempt to brainwash children into trying to grow up way too fast, why even put teenage oriented animation on cartoon network, its for kids DAMN IT!! now you have children copying these thing and because they are too young they can not get the moral or lesson, teenagers do not watch CN at all but they still insist on playing;6TEEN, TOTAL DRAMA ISLAND, and now SYM-BIONIC TITAN, kids don’t care how it looks it’s a cartoon, the character shakes her ass and its fine because it looks shitty, this country’s people are so damn pathetic and they wonder why Bush and banks can steal money and get away with it, they can fuck you in the ass but not me cause i can see the bullshit for what it is and not pay attention to pretty illusions.

  • Chris

    This show is awesome. I laughed so hard at that scene. The song is so hilariously catchy. My wife and I were singing it the next morning and laughing. Sym-Bionic Titan is such a great cartoon.

  • Frigga

    Actully Betty Boop is worse in some areas. There is quite a bit of racism and shes nearly raped at some points lol.

  • Arthur

    I’ve only just got round to watching this show and I have to say as an animator/creative myself that this show is brilliant. The style (including all its idiosyncrasies) is completely intentional and that adds to its flavor. It is directed in a beautifully cinematic manner and extremely well paced and the soundtrack for each episode has clearly been thoroughly thought through. The result is a well crafted and undeniably addictive show.

    I think people need to relax a bit and factor in the circumstances surrounding the episode. I must admit although very funny, the booty quake sequence is not appropriate for an 8.30am re-run. But for it’s initial airtime it’s fine. This show is clearly aimed at a teenage/adult demographic and when compared to the twisted and violent nature of some of the shows we let our kids watch (Sponge Bob is a good example of twisted) it’s actually quite tame. It’s just one sequence that I don’t think Genndy was planning to repeat.

    As for the ‘toyline’ dilema. I’m pretty sure any little boy would love to own a symbionic titan! Heck I’m sure the girls would love a mecha Ilana too!

  • Critics and Snobs

    The style is purposefully done this way… The 3 main characters are simplistic looking… the baddies are anime-ish, more detailed… and the secondary non-key characters are top-notch (very angular) + 3D. There are many styles here, and most importantly the artists who worked on this series ARE amazing artists and have proven their talent. I’m sure I could watch any cartoon, freeze-frame it somewhere to find something very odd looking. Maybe from sketch artist to clean-up artist something clunky happened… maybe someone in China working on this was on their 100th work hour with no lunch break….