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Criticism - 2009 Relaunch
#1
To continue the conversation started here, I thought to create a different thread, because it is off-topic there.

Evalana Wrote:
Kiwifruit Jam Wrote:I can't believe they are so mean! Killing off the best characters... And even alter the remaining ones, curtail them of their most relevant characteristics - see Plum Pudding.
Keep in mind that the 2003 series changed the personality of a number of characters from the original 1980s specials, so it's not like this is without precedent. Personally, I find it interesting to see the changes that characters have gone through over all the incarnations.
You are right. Stella Grapes has also mentioned that several characters have changed in the 2003 series also, and I've known about it even before that. Though I haven't seen any episodes of the 1980s, I have read about it - maybe Angel Cake is the most notable example. And the fact that Plum Pudding was originally a boy. Big Grin Still, it's just me, but I liked the 2003 incarnation of Plum Pudding pretty much, because she was such brainy, and I usually like brainy characters.

Evalana Wrote:As for the 2009 series, it's hard for me to say whether or not it's better or worse than the 2003 series, but there is one aspect in which it stands head and shoulders above the 2003 series (for me, anyway): voice acting! Having actual professional voice actors makes so much difference.
To be honest, I was totally fine with the 2003 voice actors. I don't think any more professionalism is needed there.

I'm sorry to say that, not to hurt anyone, but still I don't see anything valuable in the 2009 incarnation. Neither I like the animation style, neither the characters, neither the Berry Bitty City concept, and I don't see what need for those giant bugs. Though still I want to see an actual episode in full-length, maybe that is going to change my opinion.
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#2
I think probably, the most understandable reason people have trouble accepting the new Strawberry Shortcake is because they approaching it with that kinda mindset. That she and all the other girls have a legacy to keep going, and the must make you remember exactly why you enjoyed the previous version.They are thinking about this Strawberry Shortcake will be like and not the one they were previously enjoying, which is understandable. With the same names and the same sort of source, the original series, it's common to want them to keep things kinda the same.

I think though, that's the wrong thing to go about things.

When I constantly tried to compare the new one to the old one, I was left feeling a bit saddened. That's because there were plenty of differences when it came to the type of style of a berry sweet series they were trying to be and at the time I was feeling like I wasn't done exploring my fandom of the 2003 and later slight appearance change revamp version. I came into this later than others, and I was having a berry good time with it. So when I was still not ready to call that quits, I was already presented with what would be the Strawberry girl I would now have to become interested in, and I ignored her for a while because I just wasn't ready.

However, that changed recently and I was ready to sink my teeth into it and this is what I came out with. I think that while they are both kids cartoons, and while they both star Strawberry girls, it's best to consider them completely different stories with completely different feels and try to enjoy them as such! Once I realized that, I realized that it's just as possible to get interested in some berry awesome girls no matter where they come from, Strawberryland or Berry Bitty City!

That being said, I think the new series is a lot more.. "girly-er" than the older one was, which might turn off some male viewers. Not sure that you are one of them, but that's certainly an aspect that I've noticed.

I agree however, that voice acting wasn't an issue before, but it's definitely not issue now either. I can see why Evalana gives the new voice actors and actresses such praise.
It's fun to say berry! I berry talk all the day through!
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#3
Angel Wrote:I think that while they are both kids cartoons, and while they both star Strawberry girls, it's best to consider them completely different stories with completely different feels and try to enjoy them as such! Once I realized that, I realized that it's just as possible to get interested in some berry awesome girls no matter where they come from, Strawberryland or Berry Bitty City!
This is it exactly. You have to take all the series as their own separate entities, whether it's the 1980s specials, the 2003 DVDs, or the 2009 series (henceforth referred to as Berry Bitty Adventures or BBA).
Now, I'm a bit of an odd duck around here, as I actually prefer BBA to the 2003 series. In fact, I have a documented love-hate relationship with the 2003 series, so when I heard that AGP was starting fresh, I was all for it, especially considering how much I liked their revamp of another already-updated property, Care Bears Adventures in Care-a-Lot. However, I'm not saying that the new series is perfect, and indeed, it often bugs me for the same reasons that the 2003 series bugged me (but not as much). And I will admit, the 2003 series did get better on most counts as the series progressed.
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#4
There were giant bugs in the 1980s, Kiwi, though they didn't pop up as frequently as now. Back then, the bugs just existed to get Strawberry from Point A to Point B. Now I sound speciest, as in bug racist. Oops. That isn't my intention, and I don't mind the bugs for being bugs. I don't care for Mr. Longface because he comes across, to me (and others), as having an annoying personality. The current series isn't terrible in my eyes, simply dull with too few characters and the Berrykins took over the gardening. Continual slice-of-life is not my favorite genre, not unless there is a lot of comedy to it.

I do agree with Angel that the new series is more feminine. It is more feminine than both previous cartoon incarnations. The berry sweet dresses in the original specials are irrelevant when you consider that there was continual adventure for the characters, and being dressy did not define most of their personalities.

The promotion of girly-girl subculture in Berry Bitty City rubs me the wrong way, even though I am feminine myself. I don't like G3 and G3.5 of My Little Pony for the same reason, whereas I think Friendship is Magic resurrected the pony franchise. The problem isn't having girly characters. The problem is having all the main characters be girly-girls, not leaving room for more possibilities and thereby limiting little girls' perceptions of what they can be.

And these thoughts are being typed by someone who had to pretend to be a tomboy in her youth while secretly wanting almost the opposite! There is no wrong way to be a girl, nor a wrong way to be a boy.
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#5
Angel Wrote:That being said, I think the new series is a lot more.. "girly-er" than the older one was, which might turn off some male viewers. Not sure that you are one of them, but that's certainly an aspect that I've noticed.
Yep, this is it. I'm a male. Of course the 2003 series was also girly, but still it didn't blow my fuse. Somehow it had a nice balance. The characters were doing many unisex and boyish things, and in favor I didn't mind that they were also doing many girlish things. They didn't give me the impression that they are... "little chicks" (sorry for using this phrase). On the other hand, I enjoyed observing their feminine traits. I think the balance of their girlish and not-girlish traits was kind of healthy. Their way being not-only-feminine helped me identifying with them. Actually, I think most girls in real life should learn from the 2003 berry-girls.

Stella Grapes Wrote:The promotion of girly-girl subculture in Berry Bitty City rubs me the wrong way, even though I am feminine myself. I don't like G3 and G3.5 of My Little Pony for the same reason, whereas I think Friendship is Magic resurrected the pony franchise. The problem isn't having girly characters. The problem is having all the main characters be girly-girls, not leaving room for more possibilities and thereby limiting little girls' perceptions of what they can be.
I totally agree! For an opposite example, take my favourite Ginger Snap from the 2003 series. She's an inventor and mechanic of the sweet world of Strawberryland, and people usually identify these as boyish pursuits. Regardless, Ginger Snap is not a tomboy! She's inevitably girlish - she used to be interested in all the girlish stuff the other girls do (like dresses, plaits, etc.). It suggests a healthy form of feminism - you are very welcome to be a girl and an inventor at once (and you don't need to become a pseudo-boy to achieve that, if you don't want to).

For an example of a girly-girl from the 2003 series, I think Angel Cake fits best. And maybe also Lemon Meringue. I like both of them, except Angel Cake when turns rusty for no sensible reason.
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#6
Kiwifruit Jam Wrote:Actually, I think most girls in real life should learn from the 2003 berry-girls.

Part of me sort of jumped slightly at this comment. It's not that some level I don't agree with you (probably will go into that when I talk about the second quote I quoted you on..) I just feel like this mindset is also a bit frustrating. There is nothing wrong with being a girly girl if that's who you are. I've had this discussion with a friend of mine who was frustrated at how girlish I was. No person should feel like they have to mix traits that are deemed "good" simply because they are good for some. I shouldn't have to force myself to become more "boyish" then I already am just because a healthy mix can definitely be good. While definitely not the adult ideal of feminine these days, I am very "childish feminine" in the sense that I'm extremely girly in the way a little girl is, not a woman is. I like being this person, I like being me. I just really disagree that a person has to mix feminine and masculine traits to be an amazing person. It is because of this that I don't mind the 2009 berry-girls. If they all want to be feminine, girlish girls that's fine. I think there is a place for series like that, and not every series has to constantly be trying to make girls a healthy balance. I think that's just as unrealistic as the alternative and it frustrates me in this day and age we can't get a demure, sweet, feminine, graceful woman without being accused of sexism.

Quote: It suggests a healthy form of feminism - you are very welcome to be a girl and an inventor at once (and you don't need to become a pseudo-boy to achieve that, if you don't want to).

At the same time I do agree with this point. My point is that people should be free to be themselves, to stretch and even make boundaries vanish. They should be free to be able to do that and to be comfortable with who they are, no matter if that person is the super girly girl or the non-gendered ball of fun and fluff. I don't want this to completely go off topic though, but I feel it is relevant. As long as the girls are believable (on at least some level, this is a cartoon of course and I'm not too strict) characters, I don't need them to mix gender ideas. I just need them to be, fun!
It's fun to say berry! I berry talk all the day through!
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#7
Angel Wrote:
Kiwifruit Jam Wrote:Actually, I think most girls in real life should learn from the 2003 berry-girls.

Part of me sort of jumped slightly at this comment. It's not that some level I don't agree with you (probably will go into that when I talk about the second quote I quoted you on..) I just feel like this mindset is also a bit frustrating. There is nothing wrong with being a girly girl if that's who you are.

He never said there is. There is a worldwide problem of Masculine Versus Feminine, when most people, especially females, are somewhere in between. In the midst of society telling girls they have to be one way or another, girls often unhealthily reject large parts of themselves. The 2003 berry girls exemplified ignoring this, and being their balanced selves. This applies to Lemon and Angel, too.

Angel Wrote:
Kiwifruit Jam Wrote:It suggests a healthy form of feminism - you are very welcome to be a girl and an inventor at once (and you don't need to become a pseudo-boy to achieve that, if you don't want to).

At the same time I do agree with this point. My point is that people should be free to be themselves, to stretch and even make boundaries vanish. They should be free to be able to do that and to be comfortable with who they are, no matter if that person is the super girly girl or the non-gendered ball of fun and fluff. I don't want this to completely go off topic though, but I feel it is relevant. As long as the girls are believable (on at least some level, this is a cartoon of course and I'm not too strict) characters, I don't need them to mix gender ideas. I just need them to be, fun!

The problem is that most media geared to girls features nothing but fashion-focused girly girls. This extends beyond television shows. Most websites geared to young girls are all about dress up and makeup and manicures and that is all. It's very hard to find websites for my elementary-aged daughters that they won't get bored of. My point is that girls need to see that more options are out there. My point isn't that being any one way is bad. Quite the opposite.
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#8
I understand what you are saying, but Strawberry Shortcake is not an educational cartoon. It's often a series where a good moral is learned by the end of the episode, but that's just something that helps in my opinion, parents feel more comfortable about letting a child watch a cartoon. A ton of shows aimed at the young audiences I'm sure feel more pressured to include this sort of thing and still try to balance what they think is what their target audience wants.

I very much agree that the original Strawberry Shortcake was a wonderful show in that it wasn't your normal type of dress up, pretty fashion show type of show. That being said, it was also aimed for a younger audience in mind. The change is most likely trying to appeal to what they think slightly older girls are going to be interested in, and they are going to be interested in the more feminine things at some point, a good amount of them, just because that's surely an element of exploring their gender role. I think every kid at least explores it at some point, tries to find out how it will apply to themselves, if they will just cast it aside, if they will embrace it full, or if they will just incorporate it in their being.

All this being said!

My actual point is to say that I don't think Strawberry Shortcake HAS to be a series that tries to appeal to every type of girl. Goes along with that frustration about the fact that we can't have a certain type of character without being labeled sexist, it feels like we can't have a certain type of show without some people going on about how it will make little girls think they have be extremely girly or nothing else. There are plenty, plenty, plenty shows with all types of girls out their and they will have plenty of views of the type of person they can be. It's fine if one show is appealing to a certain type of girl, she'll be happier that she can have that show if that's what she is interested in.

Surely, that would be smart on some level to try to appeal to a mass audience, the way My Little Pony is doing now.. but what they are trying to do is just something different with this incarnation, and really attack the girls that they think will be the ones wanting to buy their toys. There are plenty of cartoons out there, and not every series should try to appeal to such a mass audience. I like that there are shows that appeal to the extremes of masculine and feminine, and ones that are more universal because there all three types of kids out there all looking for something they can love.
It's fun to say berry! I berry talk all the day through!
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#9
I think you're missing my point. It doesn't matter how educational anything is, in regards to gender roles. Narrowing gender roles are still shown. They're still embedded into developing minds. There are not enough representations of all types of girls. There really are not.

THIS IS OUR FIRST DISAGREEMENT SINCE WE MET IN 2008, ANGEL, AND WE'VE BEEN TALKING FOR ALL THESE YEARS SINCE. I AM SO PROUD OF US. :lol:
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#10
I think there are far, far more diverse representations of girls then there are representations of different types of boys, so perhaps I am ignoring some of the picture here. This surely comes from my own issues, but with animation and just life in general I think that the problem is far much more on the other end. Girls are allowed to be more diverse, and all types of cartoons, movies, anime and everything are dedicated to showing how diverse being a girl really is and a girl's coming to age is considered much more of a interesting and complex time. I think girls got it made, in comparison.

I think that in the end, there aren't enough representations of different types of people in general. Not enough shows do this, and I'm not really expecting shows, especially children's shows, that have to try to appeal to a certain audience to be able to accomplish this. Perhaps I have lower standards, in this regard. I am not looking at things with parent goggles, this is true. I'm just watching a show that I can enjoy myself, I really don't care how it appeals to girls I have no influence or knowledge about/over. I'm just saying I like it, I'm fine with it the way it is.

ALSO, YAY IS THAT SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF? AM I BEING PROUD? LOL, I get what you are saying. It's friendly enough though. *giggles*
It's fun to say berry! I berry talk all the day through!
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