Modern animation styles


Kevin McShane has spent the last 2 years drawing himself in more than 100 animation styles

As it is close to 10 years since I last watched many children’s TV shows, I realized that I must do some research into popular animation styles with kids today to see if any recurring themes stand out to me

From these images of popular cartoons created since 2013 I noticed several recurring themes, many of which were popularized in cartoons that I would have watched 5-10 years ago. Anime trends that grew massively since 2000 have morphed into more stylized shapes, with shows such as Teen Titans Go! and My Little Pony taking anime style large eyes and pointed face shapes and rounds them out into simple, bold,more Powerpuff-inspired characters.

Adventure time has taken this style and rounded it drastically, to the point where there are almost no corners – even the elbows don’t bend sharply. Other popular shows like Bobs Burgers also use this style. Characters have ‘light-bulb heads’ which merge into the neck and very few sharp corners, and arms curve rather than bending.

Several features such as exaggerated large or small feet and strong curving lines in the characters can be seen in older cartoons such as Kim Possible and Danny Phantom.

Evolution of modern CG style can be seen clearly in the design for Max Steel, which was first imagined in 2000 with an attempt at realism, and later in 2013 with a far more stylized, child-friendly look. A similar angular style can be seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Beware the Batman.


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