Pop Culture Timelines Go-To Thread

So, on the subject of pop-culture what-ifs, Polygon just made a whole video about the concept: Namely, about a world where the famous Porygon seizure episode results in the full-on cancellation of the Pokemon anime, without it ever reaching American shores. Without the anime, Pokemon sells much poorer stateside, and is only modestly successful, rather then the megahit of OTL. Bandai smells blood in the water, and takes the opportunity to market Digimon as a competitor. The end result is a timeline where Digimon becomes the dominant force Pokemon failed to be, while Pokemon's franchise ends up stillborn. This has a variety of knock-on effects, both in gaming and in pop culture in general. Watch the video to find out. It gets a bit weird, but it's nice to see pop-culture alt-history pop up in the mainstream.


The bullet points for anyone who doesn't want to watch the full video:
Rather then the town of Topeka Kansas temporarily renaming itself "Topikachu", Montgomery, Alabama, temporarily renames to "Monagumon", as part of marketing itself ahead of its 2001 redevelopment efforts. The city soon plays host to the world's largest Digimon convention, and the eyes on it give this development efforts much more attention. Soon, it becomes a more important city then OTL, and attracts a number of big tech companies to put headquarters there, becoming the Silicon Valley of the South. Without Pokemon to serve as a killer app, the Game Boy ends up in a much weaker position, and, when Bandai brings the Wonderswan stateside, they use Digimon as its Killer App, to great success. Nintendo is no longer on top of the handheld scene. Anime also takes a very different path: With the Pokemon juggernaut replaced with Digimon Adventures (although that's slightly different too: For instance, without Pokemon to spur on anime's popularity before Digimon's airing, they decide to americanize it even more, including changing the names a lot), things are different in anime: For instance, with anime having gotten big stateside a few years later, Disney slacks on the releases of the early Ghibli movies, leaving them much less well-known. Spirited Away isn't even nominated for an Oscar. However, the Digimon anime does have a major impact on animation on both coasts. Serialization and ongoing character arcs, of the sort Digimon had and in the vein of OTL's ATLA or Gravity Falls, catch on in American kid's animation a lot sooner, with lots of shows even having their characters age from season to season. Of course, Digimon Adventures is not free of controversy, in particular over its character designs. WIth Digimon being, typically, a lot more anthropomorphized then Pokemon, and actually able to talk and such, the furry fandom sees a boom period, as kids who grew up on DIgimon join. Deviantart becomes massively popular, even being the 5th most popular social media on the planet as it becomes a hub of both fandoms. Cats gets a movie in 2006, and it's actually good, and quite successful. Meanwhile, back at Nintendo, without Pokemon's workload, Creatures Inc., formerly Ape Inc, is able to focus on another project: Mother 3, which gets released a couple years ahead of schedule, in 2001 rather then 2006, for the N64 instead of the GBA, and in both America and Japan, with Nintendo desperate for a big RPG hit in America. The game is marketed heavily, and becomes a huge hit, receiving critical acclaim, and some controversy for its immensely dark tone, even more so then Mother 3 of our world. This leads Nintendo franchises in general in a more story-focused and darker direction, sorta akin to OTL's Twilight Princess. Also, Animal Crossing never comes to be. Sorry. And, in the wider world of pop culture, without Pokemon to serve as a cash cow, Toei focuses in on bringing its live action properties to America, such as Super Sentai, brought over as Power Rangers in collaboration with Saban, who also did the Digimon dub, and Bandai, already flush with Digimon cash, having the merch rights. It's an even bigger hit then it was IOTL, and Saban becomes a powerhouse of children's media. The X-Men cartoon they made IOTL, even producing new episodes when Marvel went bankrupt? Well, it was meant to be followed up by a Captain America series, but they didn't have the cash. Saban ITTL very much DOES have the cash, thanks to the twin powerhouses of Digimon and Power Rangers. They make a Captain America series, which is heavily super-sentai-influenced, focusing on a team dynamic with the Avengers and even giving them, yes, a giant robot. That series proves to be a hit, and Saban uses the cash to outbid Toy Biz in 1998, buying Marvel, and uses the newfound popularity of the Avengers to start a film franchise, which uses the "Sentai-izing" technique of having different actors for different dubs outside the suits, while keeping the fight scenes the same but dubbed. This is somewhat unpopular with critics, but it sells like hotcakes and becomes a fairly mainstream practice. This sentai influenced direction bleeds in DC's movie output as well, as kaiju battles are now all the rage. The Avengers features Fin Fang Foom as the main villain, while the JLA fight Starro. With a single flap of a Patamon's wings, a whole new media landscape is born...
 
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Here's another idea for an animation TL: what if during the thirties another studio like Fleischer had beaten Disney to make the first ever American animated feature?
 
How would things go if you had Rilo Kiley stick together??? In OTL, we do at least have two good solo Jenny Lewis albums. There needs to be more written about 2000’s indie on here, especially with women(just imagine a timeline where Tegan and Sara never make a pop album: albeit they did return to indie recently).
 
Anyway, besides my own "Alternate history of animated films" project, has anyone else explored the idea of what if other animation studios during the Golden Age of Animation, like Warner Brothers, MGM, and Walter Lantz Productions had made their own feature films alongside Disney's? (And to a lesser extent Fleischer.)
 
Anyway, besides my own "Alternate history of animated films" project, has anyone else explored the idea of what if other animation studios during the Golden Age of Animation, like Warner Brothers, MGM, and Walter Lantz Productions had made their own feature films alongside Disney's? (And to a lesser extent Fleischer.)
Hard to say. The problem is that prior to Snow White no one had done it and then three of the next four Disney films failed to make (immediate) money. After the war feature length animation (as opposed to stitching short subjects together) looked dead until Cinderella came along in 1950. Meanwhile most of the other studios had always considered animation an afterthought and never gave lavish budgets that were quickly cut when the TV induced crash hit in the 50's.

The problem in the end is probably the disaster of the late 1920's. Prior to steamboat cartoons had devolved into plotless punchups with terrible animation and were despised. The only reason people watched was because it was usually after the newsreel and short subject so coming late to avoid it wasn't worth the bother (a cartoon was also a good length to take a bathroom break or go to the soda stand). End result when Walt changed everything the other studio's were left in the dust and took half a decade to begin to catch up.

It also didn't help that by merchandising Mickey Walt could afford to do certain movies simply to train his animators ready for bigger things. Flowers and trees (colour animation) and three little pigs (adapting a story) made money, Goddess of spring (human figures) the old mill (detailed backgrounds) didn't but they all laid the foundations for Snow White. The other studios had to make money and so stuck with things like Betty Boop or Popeye until Looney Tunes, Tex Avery and Hanna and Barbara finally made shorts that rivalled Disney's in the later 30's. They couldn't spend the money to keep up with Walt due to his huge headstart and the attempt by the Fleischer's broke their back when failing.

What you need is two or three existing studios getting off their butts a year or two earlier (say right after the Jazz singer), up their game, make films people want to see and get merchandising going. Also hire at least some of those who Disney got OTL. Then with things like Looney Tunes getting going earlier and being profitable maybe get a few longer short subjects (with proper plots) done throughout the 30's. Then if Walt makes Snow White other studios have the ability and income to make their own and the animated movie gets big decades early.
 
Hard to say. The problem is that prior to Snow White no one had done it and then three of the next four Disney films failed to make (immediate) money. After the war feature length animation (as opposed to stitching short subjects together) looked dead until Cinderella came along in 1950. Meanwhile most of the other studios had always considered animation an afterthought and never gave lavish budgets that were quickly cut when the TV induced crash hit in the 50's.
Interestingly enough, some of the studios DID actually plan to make their own features after the success of Snow White. (For instance, Walter Lantz wanted to do an adaptation of Aladdin and His Lamp starring Abbott and Costello.) It was only thanks to the war (which caused Pinocchio and Fantasia to underperform) that they had to cancel those plans. (In my project, the war doesn't affect the American film industry as much as IOTL.)

Dumbo was one of the few Disney films in that time to be profitable, due to being a safer low-budget project. So what if the other studios tried out similar low-budget film projects to Dumbo?
 
Just found this interesting blog post that I think may be relevant to my Alternate History of Animated Films project if I decide to revive it.

Apparently, Aladdin and His Lamp wasn't the only feature film Walter Lantz wanted to make. He was also planning on making film versions of Jack the Giant Killer, Pandora's Box, and The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. Definitely something to think about.

I wonder what the latter film would've been like, given that it was just a simple nursery rhyme only a few sentences long.
 
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