TV Club: The Lion Guard may be Lion King fan-fiction, but it’s also well-animated, old-school charm

If you had to describe TV animation these days with a simple phrase, you might describe it as “hyperstylized simplicity.” Character designs are lovely and distinct, but, for the most part, they’re mostly comprised of simple shapes, with a few distinguishing details or distinct markings. This isn’t a knock against today’s animation. At its best, those sharp hyper-styles can result in some excellent sequences and magnificent visuals, like the nifty song cues in Steven Universe, the experimental flair of Wander Over Yonder, or the mysterious, expansive scope of Gravity Falls. That being said, there’s been a contingent of hardcore animation fans clamoring for the “pen-and-paper” design of the days of old, with fuller, more complex character designs (basically, the commenters on Cartoon Brew). And while I’m not nearly as zealous as those people, I do often wonder if that kind of old-school animation could exist …

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