Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Creative Industries: Similarly Targeted Product Research (Part 1)

As mentioned previously my group will be tackling the live brief from Disney, in this brief we're tasked with creating a character for a narrative-driven comedy cartoon. In light of this I decided to research other cartoons to see what the current trend in animated narratives are.

My first point of research were the cartoons currently being shown on the disney channel, in total there are 11 animated programmes being shown on the UK disney Channel all are targeted towards children and are suitible for the whole family, Their listed below:
Out of these TV programmes most feature humans as the main character, this is probably to make it more relatable to the viewers. Of these shows the most notable ones are Recess (running from 1997-2001) and Kim Possible (running from 2002 -2007), both have finished their runs and are currently not having any new episodes made considering that they're still being shown many years after their finales shows that they is some staying power in the characters and the shows them selves.

The show Recess is a great example for the target market of 7-10 year olds as it features the exploits of a group of friends in an Elementary (Primary) School. It's generally shown as a comedy but due to the large cast from a mix of different personalities theres already a staple range of characters for viewers to relate to. The show it self has a high level of writing that whilst adhears to the structure of; Problem > Resoltuion > Moral it does it in a way that doesn't feel forced.

As a multimedia franchise the series had a feature length film as well as DVDs but beyond that it wasn't taken to any higher level. Perhaps at the time there were simply flash based games on the Disney website. The main thing to take away from Recess is that it was a comedy based cartoon that didn't need fantastic environments or far fetched stories to create good entertainment that can hold attention.

Kim Possible really stands out as it's one of the few shows that presents a good role model whilst providing great entertainment. The programme is about the titular heroine, Kim Possible's adventures as a teenage girl and a secret agent. As with each Disney cartoon these plenty of comedy often delivered by Kim's comic-relief side kick. What great about this show is that whilst it is predominately targeted towards girls of ages 7-11/12 it can also be enjoyed by boys. Another admirable aspect of the show is that it presents Kim as an average girl and well rounded person who can fight her own battles.

As a franchise Kim Possible received 2 feature length movies as well as DVDs, a soundtrack and 6 video game adventures. For a Cartoon that's fairly impressive and it shows what a successful character and premise can do for a franchise.

It should be taken into account that of the 11 cartoons 5 of them feature females characters in the main role, which is good as it's clear that as a entertainment company Disney want to target as many viewers as possible, 2 of the shows also feature anthropomorphic animals as characters keeping in the tradition of Disney's roots.

After looking at all the shows, most are originally created whilst some are spin-offs from Disney's animated features but the common factor they all share is that none of them are developed into larger franchises, each shows seems to equated to a couple of DVD releases or a feature length episode/film. That said they're not require to do that, as cartoons they're meant to hold the atention of the veiwer for the running time and provide entertainment so in that sense the shows are successful.

Next, I'll be looking at non-Dinsey Cartoons.

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