How Cartoons Are Made (and Why It Takes So Long)

When my favorite animated shows undergo hiatuses—those bleak times when no new episodes are released—I am left alone in grief and misery to ponder the cruelty of the universe. Why must all good things end? Why must I dwell in a twilight existence of interruptions, cliffhangers, and mid-season breaks? Why? Why?!

The good folks at Disney have offered a brief but illuminating explanation. (They have also reminded me that I need to watch Wander Over Yonder sometime.) Apart from the animation itself, which takes a long time, every episode is bounced between teams of artists, writers, actors, musicians, and producers, with executives weighing in regularly. Many studios ship stuff to animators overseas to cut costs. Amid the chaos, I assume, scurry interns: answering phones, running errands, serving coffee in foam cups, and greasing the gears of the mighty machines known as animation studios.

Of course, I can’t discuss how cartoons are made without also sharing the following video, in which the creators of Disney’s Phineas and Ferb explain the process in a rap song. Yes.

Fun fact: This video convinced me to watch Phineas and Ferb a few years ago. That show revived my interest in cartoons and animation, thus guiding me toward a brighter existence… albeit one with hiatuses.

3 thoughts on “How Cartoons Are Made (and Why It Takes So Long)

  1. Always loved that Phineas and Ferb rap. I think I listen to it like once a month. 😛

    Animation sure does take an insane amount of time! You almost have to be crazy to even attempt it. Yet here we are… There’s just something magical about it that keeps me coming back for more torture.

    You want to lament hiatuses, look up a little manga called Hunter X Hunter. It has pained me for years at a time as I pine for new chapters…

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