Expanded Universe and Cartoons

Maybe it’s just me but cartoons are getting more complicated. It seems that cartoons now have an overarching plot, and an expanded universe with history and character back story.

I was thinking of the plot structure in such cartoons as Adventure Time and Steven Universe. They start off small, simple characters, simple stories and often filled with goofy antics. As the episodes progress, the world becomes bigger, deeper and scarier. We learn about the past, about deception and death. We learn more about those we called family, and how they are not so one-sided. 

I think this kind of “unfolding” story is popular because the progression of the story mirrors growing up. That is, as we grow up, the world becomes more complicated. Gone are the days of simple yes or no, good guys, bad guys and the world becomes more intricate, indiscernible, and often, darker.

These sort of stories are a type of “rites of passage,” which I like a lot. Trouble is that everything is so dark. I feel like stories have to be dark to be liked. Regardless, I like how these kinds of stories start of small and expand and develope. I’m excited to see how they evolve over the years. 

Maybe one of my own stories will leave a mark. 🙂

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