This Week’s Podcast: ‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’ Comes to Peacock; Animation Trends; Crunchyroll Gets a Button

This Week’s Podcast: ‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’ Comes to Peacock; Animation Trends; Crunchyroll Gets a Button

On this week’s episode of the Media Play News podcast, hosts Charles Parkman and Charlie Showley dive deep into animation and its recent sharp turn in mainstream features. But first, in the intro catchup segment Charlie applauds the most recent episode of “The Last of Us” for getting exciting again. The last couple episodes have been slower than its smashing early season episodes, and episode eight returned to that punchy storytelling.

Charles continues his journey through DC’s animated features and is not impressed by what he watched this week. What he is impressed by, and what the hosts discuss for the bulk of the episode, is Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. Charles gives an extended historical lecture on 3D animation and the constraints that that particular style imposes on its characters. Charlie hypothesizes that, with the success of Pixar in the ’90s, all major studios sought to copy that art style and homogenized the look of animation. Recently however, with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in 2018, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish in 2022, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, having just been announced, animation is breaking away from 3D models and into a much more dynamic 2-dimensional art style that allows its characters to be much more expressive and pump up the action on-screen. This new trend implies that a new era of experimental animation in mainstream movies is about to begin, an incredibly exciting prospect.

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In the meantime, the anime-focused streaming service Crunchyroll has partnered with Sony to add itself as a one-click button to one of Sony’s smart TV lines, occupying the same space as Netflix, Hulu and Disney+ typically would. Charlie and Charles agree that it probably won’t meaningfully impact Crunchyroll’s total viewers, but continuing on with the theme of animation, it does indicate that home audience tastes have reached a tipping point where anime can be considered a mainstream interest, and not just something that exists on the fringes.

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