Hi there, 1,845 followers of mine! I hope you’re having a good day.
I need to ask all of you a small favor.
See, there’s this new cartoon airing on Disney’s side channel, Disney XD. It’s called Motorcity. You’ve probably heard of it, because Bryan Konietzko pimped it out on his tumblr back in April, when the show premiered.
Here’s the thing: It’s not doing very well.
According to wikipedia, the show only scraped up half a million views for its premiere episode, and since then each new episode premiere has averaged at around 0.3 million views. That’s only 300,000 people an episode, and reruns are probably getting even fewer views, as the fanbase is tiny and almost every single episode has been leaked onto the internet prior to airtime. The show’s on hiatus right now and could be in serious danger of getting canceled soon.
And that would be a real shame. I’ll probably write a longer post recommending it at some point this week, but I wanted to get this out there as soon as possible, so for now: the characterization is absolutely fantastic, every single team member has had at least one episode devoted to their development so far, and three out of the five of them are POC, including the lead; the storyline so far is episodic but hints at a larger narrative, much like the first season of ATLA, and the writing is very enjoyable; there are lots of memorable side characters; and it doesn’t feel childish or condescending at all to me or any of the other adults I know who watch it. I didn’t think I’d like it at first because I’ve never gotten into the Tron/Speed Racer-esque stories where bad guys get fought by people in vehicles, but I was blown away by how much better it was than I’d assumed. Sure, it’s not perfect (for example, there aren’t that many female characters because Disney-the-butt put a cap on how many they would allow in what they see as a “boy” show, which caused a second girl to be cut from the main team), but it’s pretty dang good.
Yet by far the best part of this show - and the main reason I’ll be sad if it gets canceled prematurely - is the animation.
Motorcity is easily one of the most visually incredible cartoons I’ve seen in a long time. Not only is the whole thing almost entirely animated inside the United States - an incredibly expensive rarity in an industry where quite a bit of the work is exported to South Korea - but it blends 2D and 3D animation techniques to create an eye-popping and stylized yet somehow realistic look. It’s freaking beautiful.
The point is, this is a good show that’s doing badly and it needs more viewers. So, do you guys think you could set your DVRs to record it, or tune in every now and then if you don’t have one? You don’t even have to pay attention if you don’t want, just delete the recordings without watching or mute the TV. This is a show that’s a lot different from anything Disney has aired in a long time - in a good way! - and this show doing well would mean a lot for the future of American animation in general, because so much of it is made in the states and because the visual techniques are so unusual and innovative.
If you like the show, you can also buy all the episodes on iTunes! That factors in as well.
Also, important note! Because Disney is a butt, they aired the episodes in a different order than the one the studio intended them to be shown in. If you’re interested in checking them out online, watch them in the following order (but please remember to watch it on TV, too!):
- 1.01 ‘Battle for Motorcity’
- 1.02 ‘Power Trip’
- 1.03 ‘Ride the Lightning’
- 1.04 ‘The Duke of Detroit’
- 1.05 ‘Texas-ify It’
- 1.06 ‘Off the Rack’
- 1.07 ‘Blonde Thunder’
- 1.08 ‘Fearless’
- 1.09 ‘Going Dutch’
- 1.10 ‘Vendetta’
- 1.11 ‘Ride of the Fantasy Vans’
- 1.12 ‘The Duke of Detroit Presents…’
- 1.13 ‘Reunion’
Thanks, guys! I really appreciate you reading this - animation means a lot to me, and it’s disappointing to see a show this good doing this badly. (Also, if you want to signal boost this, that would be great. But I am well aware that there are much more important things to boost, so please don’t feel pressured to.)
Have a great day. <3
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