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CalArts Style: What Is It? & How Is It Used?

CalArts Style: What Is It? & How Is It Used?

CalArts Style

What is CalArts?

CalArts style is currently the most popular animation style of cartoon. You might have noticed it on cartoon network shows Steven’s universe and the new rebooted version of The Thunder cats and noticed the difference of animation. Well it’s a thin-lined animation of the new era, with the most common feature of all these characters like we observe in the show called Steven’s Universe where every character’s head is a bean-shaped with one set of the smile.


How Is It Created?

CalArts stands for California Institute of the Arts. It’s a private institution that manages courses that will help you build up your Animation art career.

Most of the animated cartoons you, your Siblings, or your kids are watching nowadays are primarily different from what we had in the ’90s and that my friend is called CalArts. The CalArts technique manufactures most masterpieces like Steven’s universe, Adventure Time, and Gumball.

Artists are taking a degree in these courses to provide you with the best cartoon characters.

But nowadays, this term; Calarts, is mostly used to criticize the animators for not making original characters because of their physical features. 

You see, while choosing a show to watch, we subconsciously judge it by its appearances. If they are appealing, then we choose to watch them. The storyline comes in the 2nd place while choosing a show. And it is impossible to know about the storyline before; the only way to find out is by watching it or waiting for people to watch it and give you reviews. Well, that’s time taking, so till then we are worn down by peer pressure and we end up watching these shows.

What is Art?

Let’s get a little technical over here about art. According to Aristotle, art is an imitation of a real idea. Yup, he isn’t wrong, and the vast majority agrees with him, but when it comes to Animations by CalArts, everyone had to be a critique and clobber them of not being artists but mere copy-cats.

Why is it considered lazy?

Well, if we think about it, almost every cartoon character is similar to some other character. Just take a look at Anime; they all look the same with that large goblet eye, tiny noses, and mouths. No one have ever condemned them for being the work of lazy artists? Well, let me answer this question for you that is because an anime’s storyline compensates for their appearances, but with these new shows like Steven’s universe, we don’t have that option because of their over the head storyline. So people ended up criticizing these shows.

The fundamental reason behind this art being called lazy is most of the features are present in the software’s default mode, so whatever you choose, it would be the same most of the time. For example, take a  look at their eyes and heads; all of them are the same, except for some minor differences.

Nowadays,  You don’t have to draw hands and eyes anymore because we have got expensive software for that, so in all this charade, the originality and uniqueness of a character is gone. The main stuff lies in the details, and 21st-century cartoons don’t have it.

Thunder Cat Trivia 

Thunder Cat trivia

Thunder cat reboot is the evil of this whole war. In 2011, the cartoon network released the new cartoon show named Thunder Cats Roar, the new rebooted version of the 1980’s version of Thunder cats. The main difference was the animation, which was a CalArts style.

This show created a whole deprecation of CalArts animated works.

Well, why it, The CalArts animation shouldn’t have ruined what we watched growing up, and it is a moment of despair to see our favorite characters like this.

This generation gap thing is a pain in the neck because we have to watch our favorite characters turned into some circus clown kind of stuff and the worst part is the new generation loves this animation.

Most of these CalArts style characters are hated because of a lack of character development and the plot.


So as this all started with the Reboot of thunder Cats, which made the original fan upset. This show was criticized based on lack of character development and changing its genre from an action show to a comedy. Well yeah, what do you expect from this kind of jelly bean character. According to the animators of this show, they were making an exceptionally good new version of thunder cats, and they are proud of what they have done but not the rest of the world.

The vast majority from the fam of thunder cats saw the characters having facial features that matched their protagonist and antagonist characters. Still, the thunder cat Roar is opposite to that. They are freaking all look the same…Duhh.

How you are even differentiating between good or bad the way we did growing up… (Slams hand on forehead).

This show producers got so many backlashes because they failed to show any action scenes in the trailer while narrating that it has more action than before. Don’t tell us how good it will be, showing us how good it’s going to be, and they failed. 

On the other hand, the producers backlashed that people should not judge a show that isn’t even out yet but let’s get out facts straight. That’s precisely what they did with teen titans, which was an action-comedy show but after its reboot to Teen Titans go is just a comedy show.

Point being:

So this all started by people complaining about the same features of characters but ended up on a point that t sot just about the same characters. Shows like Gumball and Steven’s universe are original to this era but don’t ruin what we had in the ’90s and ’80s. Those shows have incredible storylines and a vast fan base, and it would be just mere cruelty for them to change those goddess characters into jelly beans.

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