I don't want anyone to think I'm completely opposed to conservative approaches to cartooning. There are many conservative cartoonists I love.
I'll explain more later and maybe touch on why I think making cartoons with crews rather than alone leads to better results.
Well a lot of people in the comments did my job for me! thanks.
I'll add a little:
When I say "conservative" I don't mean in the political sense of the word. Most artists are by their nature more liberal than the average person in general.
I mean conservative in the sense that they are cautious, afraid to go beyond certain prescribed boundaries. There are only a handful of people in any field really capable and willing to break new ground and move things forward.
The difference between old type conservative and new is basically this:
A conservative cartoonist from the old days prescribes to a complex and sundry set of boundaries. It takes a lot of learning and skill to do this.
The new type of conservative is actually 2 types:
The conservative executive is afraid of everything. Anything at all that doesn't fit a mold, that hasn't already been done a hundred times - but even worse. They are afraid of the basics! Of pure skill - and of making a committed statement to anything. That's why so many animated movies never have their characters actually make it to a finished real pose or expression. It's as if they stop at an inbetween for fear of being too clear or entertaining. (Will Finn and I came up with this theory today)
Modern conservative cartoonists don't have the benefit of solid basics, good schools or high standards in new media to look up to. All they have to work from is superficially copying current styles and trends, without knowing their origins or original purposes - if they ever had any.
Combine these 2 types of modern conservatives and you get lackluster, unskilled and predictable generic modern animation, that with each generation declines (maybe unknowingly) another notch.
Harvey Eisenberg is a conservative yet highly skilled and somewhat stylish cartoonist of the past. More on him in the next post.