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Old 2010-10-29, 09:06 PM   #16
Cellar Door
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Mmm, I've seen some of the Voltron episodes that were made as Voltron, and Fleet of Doom, and the drop in quality from the dubbed Golion/Dairugger episodes is absolutely massive. I'm guessing American companies just didn't pay most of the studios well enough, and then of course there's the turnaround thing... Mind, there's such a big difference in the way Japanese and American cartoons were made at the time it's not fair to compare them - at the risk of massive generalisation, American cartoons of the period were made to sell toys, whereas their Japanese equivalent sold toys to make cartoons.

Fair point on the relative lack of evaluation... I think it's fair to say G.I. Joe is a bit of an exception - not perfect (of course... even the most lavishly produced animes have the odd error), but simply for being ahead of Transformers in terms of creation it probably stayed just ahead of it in terms of priorities, scheduling, the staff assigned (the likes of Ron Friedman, Flint Dille and... [Buzz Dixon, was it?] seem quite fond of the thing in interviews and the like, which contrasts badly with what we've heard from Transformers staff) and so on.

The interesting thing, thinking about it, is that while a fair few number of GI Joe characters are as similar-looking as the Seekers (Grunt and Short-Fuse, for example), whether by default or design they don't actually appear in the same episode all that often.

Thinking aloud (well, in type) by the time of its' first full season there were, what, fifty Joes, compared to, what, about half that number of Autobots for most of Season 2... I wonder if that gave the production team a few more options for chopping and changing the ones appearing in each episode so they were always a mixed bunch...

Plus, of course, the GI Joe toyline (after the first year or so) went to considerable lengths to avoid much duplication - Leatherneck replaces Gung-Ho as moustachioed closested marine in the toyline. Their character models aren't miles apart, but seeing as Gung Ho is discontinued they can put his in the draw - whereas Ironhide and Ratchet or Prowl and Bluestreak were sold alongside each other.

Tell you what, though (continuing to think aloud), I wonder if that's why the effort went in to redesign some of the Season 2 characters. It might be my memory letting me down, but I can't remember Prowl ever getting mixed up with Smokescreen, either in terms of animation model or palette swap, and maybe the way his robot mode at least was visually distinct (the fatter limbs, squarer head, launchers, roof on the back etc.) helped that.
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