Over at the Lasers, Dragons, and Keyboards Facebook page, we asked, "What are the best examples of spec-fic CARTOON movies or shorts?"
So, here is my answer:
Oh, so many. Here are some of my favorites, sometimes with an explanation, or other commentary.
Star Trek: The Animated Series
Yes, there was a Star Trek cartoon. You know the line in the opening credits, "... it's five-year mission..." and there were only three seasons of the show. Well, the Animated Series covers the last two years of the Enterprise's mission.
Pros: the entire original cast returns to voice their characters. An animated setting lets the Animated Series explore themes and stories that, for either money or technology limits, were un-filmable on the live-action TV show. The series even won awards for a few episodes.
Cons: The animation. Even by 70's standards it was pretty cheap.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
The Clone wars cartoon takes place between Episode 2, and Episode 3. Great stuff. New characters, and more time with old characters. If you ever thought that things deteriorated way to fast between Episodes 2 and 3, then watch this show. It takes the time to show Palpentine's plan unfold. And, it really shows the relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan, and makes Anakin's fall in Episode 3 have some real emotion.
Star Wars: Rebels
... and here we have what happened before Episode 4. Awesome new characters, returning favorites from The Clone Wars, and they're starting to tie into events and characters from ANH.
It's been a while since I watched this, so I don't remember the details much, but I really enjoyed it. I should go re-watch it... Wait... found the DVD.. from the back:
"It's the year 3028 and the Drej, a vicious alien race, have destoryed Earth. Fifteen years later a youn man named Cole learns he possesse a genetically encoded map to the Titan, a spaceship that holds the secret to the salvastion of the human race. With the Drej in ho pursuit, Cole blasts off with the new crew of the Valkyrie in an attempt to find the Titan before the Drej destroy it... along with mankind's last chance for a home of their own."
First, if you haven't seen Stargate, go watch that. After the movie came out, they wanted to play with the world a little, and this is one of the things that came up. It's a continuation of the Stargate movie, but set in the future. Later, Stargate SG:1 came out, and that was set in a different timeline/reality. (So, if you're expecting any continuity between the two, you won't find it...)
Still, Stargate Infinity is a good show in it's own right.
Mobile Suit Gundam
The Gundam universe has spawned a LOT of sequels, and I think it has more spin-offs than Star Trek and Star Wars.
The basic plot across all the series is that humanity has colonized the solar system, and some of the colonies brake off and become independent... violently...
The war technology escalates until both sides are battling with giant robots.
Not just fun tech, Gundam is also known for exploring politics and human emotion and motivation.
This show has spaceships, magic artifacts, and a legendary power that the space-mafia (my words) is trying to get it's hands on. Gene, our hero, dreams of going into space... unfortunately, he's got a bit of a phobia about it... He starts out as a drunken bum, but turns into a man of character. There's action, adventure, comedy, and characters and a universe you'll fall in love with.
Seriously, if you haven't seen this.... Well, you have to...
There's space bounty hunters, mafia assassins, hidden pasts and one of the best soundtracks ever.
Read Or Die
Here's one for my writer friends. What if you were such a bookworm, you could manipulate paper at will? Yomiko is a Paper Master. When she doesn't have her nose in a book, she's working as an agent for The Library using her manipulation of paper to battle all sorts of literary evil.
And here's one for the fantasy fans. Slayers is straight-up sword and sorcery fantasy... in the style of Mel Brooks....
There's literally dozens more I could list, but these are some of my favorites, and/or some you may not have heard of. List yours in the comments!