It's quite simple, really...
The two biggest factors that will ultimately choke the last few feeble breaths out of the animation industry are:
1) Studio executives who hate the medium...
2) Pretentious artists with their heads up their asses.
Allow me to explain...
The entertainment industry in general is in a really sad state of affairs these days.
No one goes to the movies any more because they're ridiculously overpriced and usually terrible. Why bother driving all the way to a theater only to pay twelve bucks to watch something horrible (followed by an endless barrage of commercials) in a theater surrounded by a bunch of loudmouthed lowlife strangers while sitting in uncomfortable seats when you can wait two months and watch it on DVD in the comfort of your own home?
Why should television execs bother to spend ten billion dollars on a narrative tv series when they can just stick a handfull of fratboys and sorority girls on an island with a few cameramen and watch the advertsing dollars gush in? (sure, there are a few of exceptions, but when you consider just how many hundreds of channels people have to choose from, you have to put it all in perspective that for every 'Lost' there are about a hundred 'America's Next Top Model' clones)
Why should radio stations bother seeking out the next hot recording artist when 'American Idol' does the work for them?
Now, this is the sorry state of MAINSTREAM entertainment... cartoons have always been seen as the bastard child of the entertainment industry, so as talentless and visionless as the executives are for primetime tv shows, feature films and the music industry, animation executives represent the absolute bottom-feeders of the entertainment food chain.
Animation executives are the people who weren't savvy enough to be executives for real moneymakers like 'Temptation Island'. Can you imagine?
Consequently, these frustrated, semi-retarded little vermin are the most embittered little rodents on the planet. They HATE cartoons because they feel that animation is their prison... they're in the minor leagues. Why do you think they try so desperately to get 'celebrity voices' to do cartoons? It's because the execs want to be able to go to parties and brag about working with Chris Kattan or Judge Reinhold.
These people do not watch cartoons. They never will. They hate cartoons. On the weekends they spend their free time on jetskis or golf courses, and yet these are the people with the most creative control over any cartoon.
Don't believe me? Two words: 'Loonatics Unleashed'. Still need convincing? 'Class of 3,000'. More evidence? 'Brandy and Mr. Whiskers'. Must I go on?Okay... I will: Coconut Fred, My Gym Partner is a Monkey, Barnyard, Jake Long: American Dragon, Johnny Test, Over the Hedge, The Replacements, Legion of Superheroes, The Family Guy, Danny Phantom, The Wild, Cat-Dog, The X's, Ying Yang Yo, Catscratch, Shrek, and the list goes on and on... each one a sample of proof that animation executives are hateful, humorless, blind and - above all - dangerously stupid
If by some miracle you are a studio executive who has stumbled upon this post (which seems very unlikely given the fact that animation execs care so little about the medium they supposedly work for that I can't imagine one of them actually spending the time to read something like this) then let me tell you something: You should be deeply, deeply ashamed.
Now onto my second point...
You spineless yet inexplicably pretentious artist out there who pitch shows... my god... it's no wonder there are no good cartoons... most of your ideas are horrible.
They're all a variation of Ren and Stimpy or Justice League or Dexter's Lab. Can't anyone come up with something with even the slightest dash of ORIGINALITY?
And I'm not just talking about originality in the concepts themselves but in the designs and animation. Where are the innovators? Where are the geniuses who will advance the medium?
How come you all draw exactly like Katie Rice or Stephen Silver? Are there NO OTHER design styles?
How come you all animate exactly like 'Naruto', Don Bluth or John K? Surely SOMEONE out there has some new ideas? No - I guess not.
The problem with artists is that they're so easily influenced and manipulated. When you're not letting John K tell you what to do, you're letting some talentless writer or executive push you around. Yeah, I know, you've gotta make a living... we all do. But that doesn't mean you have to let yourself be bullied.
You work the constant overtime with no additional pay. You refuse to become savvy at the business of staying employed. You maintain this juvenille posture that as an artist you are neither expected nor required to behave professionally.
You don't feel compelled to learn about the past and present history of art, media, entertainment and your own field. You are an obnoxious prick who thinks that learning and evolving is for 'sellouts' because your idiotic 'style' is more important than anything in creation.
So these two types are the ones who hold the industry in their shit-stained hands.
Give up. Animation is doomed