Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Green Lantern: The Animated Series

After sitting on my TiVo for a week or so, I finally sat down to watch the pilot episode preview of Green Lantern: The Animated Series. I have to admit, I'm a little torn on this one.

First, the positives: I love the premise for this. It sees the heretofore-unknown (in the cartoon) Red Lanterns, led by Atrocitus, exterminating Green Lanterns along the frontier. These frontier Lanterns are only known to the Guardians and not to the rest of the Lanterns. When Hal Jordan discovers this, he takes an experimental ship (run by an artificial intelligence) and, joined by Kilowog, rushes in to the rescue. But, during the rescue, the ship's core is damaged, and won't be able to heal itself for nine months. So although we probably won't get to see Tomar Re (my favorite Lantern) or the rest of the Corps, it's actually a great idea to put Hal and Kilowog on the frontier, cut off from Oa and facing a major, unknown threat.

And I liked the script, the characters, most of the vocal performances (especially Kurtwood Smith as a frontier Lantern). I also love that we won't have to go through multiple episodes of Hal whining about his tricky relationship with Carol Ferris. The space cop stuff is the best part of GL.

The negative for me, though, is that I didn't care much for the animation. Although the designs are in the Bruce Timm tradition, the quality of the computer animation is just too cartoony. We see an Earth with backgrounds sparser than a Road Runner cartoon and not nearly as pretty or detailed. Everything looks made of plastic; it made me lament that there's no Lego Green Lantern game. The animators give in too much to the temptation to give aliens stubby legs and have them hobble around cutely. Hal looks and moves like Buzz Lightyear, but at least Buzz is meant to look like a toy. It was distracting at times.

So I don't know where I am with this, or where I'll be when the regular series begins next year. I like the writing. Love the characters. I think that's enough to overcome animation I don't care for. But tell me again why this is supposed to be better than traditional animation?


Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I was a big fan of the concept too. Strangely I had to problem with the art. I see most Green Lantern constructs (in my mind) as square and rectable so this style of animation works for me. I would like to see a little more collection of new Greens and a few other coloured Lantern on their journey.

DrNobody said...

Not better... Supposedly cheaper... Did you end up watching the other 11 episodes? And if so... What'd ya think?

SamuraiFrog said...

I never did end up watching the rest of it. I thought about it, but once Clone Wars had its finale I just didn't check in on Cartoon Network on Fridays. Now that it's summer, maybe I'll see if I can catch some reruns. I know a couple of people on Tumblr who dig it.