How Western Animation Has Changed

In the past, Kotaku has shown how Japanese animation has changed (here and here). But we haven’t really had a look at how Western animation designs have evolved over the years. So let’s do that.


A while ago, animator Harry Partridge drew this wonderful and fascinating comparison. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a look:

And what it would be like if the two styles were mixed:

The full evolution:


But what caused this sudden change? Some think it was The Simpsons or The Family Guy, and I’d add King of the Hill to that list. But there is a clear move away from the house styles of Warner Bros. and Hanna-Barbera.

Wonder where Western animation will go from here...

Harry Partridge is a very talented animator, and you can follow him on Twitter here or check out his work on YouTube here.


Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.


Man the older animation looked so much better. I never understood modern western animation’s animosity towards character detail. It’s already quite simple and undetailed compared to Japanese anime, why simplify it further.