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Growing Around - Graph of Realism and Continuity by MrEnter Growing Around - Graph of Realism and Continuity by MrEnter
Better titled "A Graph of Cartooniness and Continuity" but that didn't fit because DeviantArt gives me a ton of space for a title that I can't use for no reason.

I've been meaning to make this graph for awhile to better communicate the tone of Growing Around compared to other cartoons. Now, I'm sure that I got some of the placements on this graph roughly wrong, and some of my placements are definitely... subjective.

I think the bottom axis is pretty easy to read. It shows how episodic each of these shows are. Dexter's Laboratory, for instance, can have the house blow up and in the next episode everything is back to normal. However, characters that get introduced partway through the series, etc. get it pushed further to the right. At the far right of this graph, the show is basically one continuous story. Each one is basically another chapter. Family Guy is as far is it for instance, because Peter has frequently changed his job, new characters come in and out, and Brian has had several ongoing relationships. The biggest difficulty was placing shows that started out episodic, but had more and more changes as things went on - Friendship is Magic being the prime example.

Okay, for the other side of things, the vertical axis is a little bit harder to explain. I mean, some it is obvious. If it's more apt to happen in reality, it goes higher. On the bottom, basically you have random colors and noises. "Almost could happen in reality" means that this story could happen in reality if not for one thing, like a talking dog or a magic school bus. This one was a little bit harder to figure out. For example - BoJack Horseman. It's the most realistic cartoon of all time, hitting the deepest parts of what makes life... life. Usually. Besides some characters being animals, we have an episode where the characters are trying to save an anthropomorphic chicken from becoming lunch. And then there's the Simpsons. It usually takes place in some kind of simulacra of reality, but then they have episodes that have Jockey Elves because they've long since given up giving a shit.

This graph was basically to help people "get" what I'm planning to do with Growing Around, a little bit better in context - how much "cartooniness" you could get out of the show - it's on a similar level to Powerpuff Girls (original). It tries to keep the characters acting realistic, although the world is different than our own, however Growing Around is less realistic than Powerpuff Girls. However, it's more realistic than say... Phineas and Ferb. My main characters can't just build a roller coaster because they're bored. It's going to have more continuity than The Simpsons. The dates in characters' pasts are completely set in stone, and Sally is only going to have one Halloween per year of her life. If I made a second Halloween special, it'd either be a flashback to some point in her life, or she'd be nine/ten/etc in that second Halloween special. However, (at least in the cartoon. Can't say the same for the books), we won't be getting into an in depth story arc, like what the later seasons in Kids Next Door became about. By following the blue lines, you can see Growing Around's closest relatives. The green lines are for navigation.

One thing that I've noticed, and this is kind of interesting, most of the shows on the right side of Growing Around are modern, and most of them on the left side are older. I guess it's just a way that cartoons have been been adapting to modern times and more modern storytelling, and it may be a part of the reason why people have had a tougher time accepting the concept of my own cartoon. In shows like Steven Universe, yeah there's a strange thing that couldn't happen in reality but we spend episode upon episode learning about it. Same thing with Friendship is Magic and Adventure Time. On the other hand, in Dexter's Lab, he just has a lab. No questions asked. Powerpuff Girls - condiments make life. No questions asked. 

Other information that I've gleamed - being abstract and having a lot of continuity is kind of a dead zone. Probably because it's... not a good thing. Fairly OddParents' selective continuity and making up rules to the point where they're meaningless is the worst thing about it, and it's hard to care about the world of 12 Oz Mouse because it's just so alien.

I dunno, you tell me. Does this clear anything up?
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:iconemperorpalpitoad:
EmperorPalpitoad Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2017
Total Drama is literally supposed to be a parody sir,

it wasn't at all a typical cartoon
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:iconexplosivo25:
Explosivo25 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2017   General Artist
The Y-axis is based on the level of realism, not whether a show is typical for its medium.
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:iconemperorpalpitoad:
EmperorPalpitoad Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2017
I could see some realism
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:iconemperorpalpitoad:
EmperorPalpitoad Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2017
also, how in the living hell does FOP have continuity?
Reply
:icondalekusa:
dalekusa Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017
Where would Star vs. go?
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:iconbrandonomegax:
BrandonOmegaX Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No wonder I got into BoJack Horseman a few years back, and pretty much my all-time favorite Adult Animation that looks quite good for the 2010s era.
Reply
:iconagile-eagle1994:
AGiLE-EaGLE1994 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Where do you think Animaniacs would fall on here? :?
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:iconmrenter:
MrEnter Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017
Probably very low on both ends of the spectrum - the Warners can appear in any time period, for instance.
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:iconagile-eagle1994:
AGiLE-EaGLE1994 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
So on the lower left corner? That makes sense.
Although Wakko's Wish does have story arcs and a plot, but the show is very episodic.
Although the show does have a plot, it's got little baring on the show itself.
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:iconsigel4ever:
sigel4ever Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017  Student General Artist
in this point you refeer to the original powerpuf girls, right? because the second series emmm...
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:iconrushfan2596:
rushfan2596 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017
Huh.  Neat.
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:iconprincessbinas:
princessbinas Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Where do other shows that you have seen fall on your graph? I am curious as to what you think about them in terms of realism and continuity.
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:icontheyellowmeteor:
theyellowmeteor Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017
It makes sense for older shows to have little to no continuity. That way, if you missed an episode -- or several in a row -- it didn't affect your experience. Nowadays, everything is recorded and remembered forever. You can watch shows at your own pace, unbeholden to the capricious uncaring TV schedule, remorseless at your work/school hours or the fact that two shows you like overlap. People wait for a whole season of a show they like to come out and watch it all in one sitting. It's not so much they've adapted to modern storytelling (I have no reason to believe that continuous stories told in episodes is a new concept), rather they're adapting to modern technology.
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:iconsileasf:
Sileasf Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017
I notice South Park isn't on here. If you put it on here, you would have to separate it by seasons. Seasons 1 through 17 would be to the left of the chart, seasons 18 and 19 further to the right, season 20 waaaaay further the right.
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:iconprincessbinas:
princessbinas Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
That sounds like a fun one for him alright. Hope he does not run out of room on there thanks to South Park.
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:iconwanderer619:
Wanderer619 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017
Neat :)
Reply
:iconzexoguy:
Zexoguy Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017
Dexter's Lab was ever much for continuity. It seemed like it made up new rules for every other episode and only kept the basics constant, like how the lab has to stay a secret from his parents. Remember the episode where he turned DeeDee into a pony and at the end she ran away and didn't change back? That always kinda bugged me.
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:iconsileasf:
Sileasf Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017
Or remember that other episode where Dexter supposedly locked himself out of his lab and there was no other way back in? I guess there was another way to get back in because he's back in the lab in just a couple of episodes. Imagine if that had been the series finale. That would have been pretty tragic.
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:icondjdevil999:
DJdevil999 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
A very interesting chart.
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:icontornadosponge:
TornadoSponge Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017
Interesting chart. It's amazing how few cartoons make it near the top right corner of the chart, and so many are near the bottom left corner. Thank you for putting this in perspective, and it does seem about right to me.
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:iconjopat:
JoPat Featured By Owner Edited Mar 8, 2017
This whole graph is incredibly insightful, giving a serious gauge on how much certain cartoons can/should be taken seriously. More specifically, how strong each show's internal logic is, how much sense it makes/consistent it is within itself.

For example, I must say that Fairly OddParents easily shoots itself in the foot this way. It does have "selective" continuity as you say, but it also consequently can't determine how much it wants to be taken seriously. Characters build themselves up with solid personalities which match a singular episode, but those sort of personalities work better in an arc. Simply abandoning them and implying the comedic angle of the show as a reason feels like a form of hackery. By contrast, most shows made afterwards put far more effort into not just story arcs, but in general consistency. In how much humor develops each trait of the world and its characters. That's because you can't really backtrack after you've made a point to draw in the audience.

Also for a good counterpoint, The Simpsons was wise enough not to worry too much about continuity and focus more on the funny. Of course, since this show came out early on and contributed massively to the development of cartoon craft, it also doesn't have as much of a problem.

Or at least, it wouldn't if it didn't go on so long.
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:icondigbythegoat:
DigbyTheGoat Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017  Student Filmographer
Cartoons with good continuity are my turn-on.
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:iconanimegx43:
animegx43 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017
Idk. Phineas and Ferb had it's fair share of continuity nods.


Poor Agent T.
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:iconlewonx:
lewonx Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017
What makes Powerpuff Girls more realistic than Jimmy Neutron?
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:iconbrandonroberts435:
brandonroberts435 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
i agree with hey arnold being in the could really happen (at least i think it is kinda hard for me to tell with how the graph is set up) segment and king of the hill
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:iconthepinkbunnyempire:
ThePinkBunnyEmpire Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017
The more I look the more real it seems, and the more shows I see
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:iconmizuneko68:
MizuNeko68 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Doesn't the loud house belong higher on the reality part?
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:iconakirmijaanit:
AkirmiJaanit Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for including Total Drama on this, it may not be everyone's cup of tea but its a section of animation thats over looked a lot.
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:iconexplosivo25:
Explosivo25 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017   General Artist
Indeed. Total Drama is far from the best cartoon, but it's not really touched on in terms of examples of shows that have solid continuity. To be fair, it kind of has to be because of the setup and premise, but aside from a few minor hiccups the level of continuity is fantastic.
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:iconstarshipspiral:
Spongebob has more continuity than Phineas and Ferb? Seriously? 
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:iconmrenter:
MrEnter Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017
I will alter it slightly. Neither of them have much continuity, so it's kind of hard to really tell. SpongeBob does have a couple of sequel/continuous episodes though.
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:iconstarshipspiral:
Starshipspiral Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017
You're right Spongebob and Phineas and Ferb are fairly episodic in their narratives, However there seems to be a lot more mentions of past episodes in P&F even in the first season. But then again I haven't seen the Newest Spongebob seasons (Pal for Gary made me quit) so their may be more continuity there, I'll take your word for it. Regardless of my minor grip this is still a well made chart, Good work.
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:iconpopculture-patron:
Popculture-Patron Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017  Student Writer
Ben 10 is higher on your realism scale than Simpson's... You know the Tree house of Horror is non-canonical, right?
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:iconmrenter:
MrEnter Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2017
You do know... how much abuse and slapstick that Homer has survived, right?
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