Netflix’s The Cuphead Show Producer Dave Wasson Says He Was Aware of the Racist History, “It Was Definitely Problematic”

Netflix’s The Cuphead Show Producer Dave Wasson Says He Was Aware of the Racist History, “It Was Definitely Problematic”

Viewers have pointed out how the animation on Netflix’s animated series – The Cuphead Show is strikingly similar to early 20th-century animation. The early animation days bring back memories of the popular Disney and Fleischer cartoons-Mickey Mouse, Popeye, and Bugs Bunny. Was the Golden Age of American Animation truly golden? The age is marked with racism and misogynistic characters. The Cuphead Show on Netflix is based on a video game of the same name.

Dave Wasson, who serves as a producer, knew that replicating the 1930s cartoon will also bring up the dreadful history. He says “That era of animation is loaded with problematic portrayals of characters and race. And there’s also misogyny. It’s definitely problematic. It was a very different time.”

It was a different time when subjects like misogyny and racism didn’t spark controversy-people were accepting. The team had long discussions regarding what was to be left out of the animation. Nothing that was deemed problematic appeared in the show. Even the racist characters were stripped of their exaggerated features in the Netflix show.

“We really did discuss the root of what was problematic so that we could end up [asking] OK is the style or art of this worth detaching from this awful trope at times? Sometimes it wasn’t.”

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The cuphead show is a hybrid of the rubber hose animation

The creators derived inspiration from the early animations but there are subtle differences that the designers added to give it a more modern touch. Don’t mistake the lush watercolor backgrounds for being hand-drawn! Every aspect of the show has been produced using digital means. Expressions and characters’ movements were limited or even repetitive in the old cartoons, but The Cuphead Show characters show different emotions. In a way, the designers have improved upon the original source material-keeping the original charm of the 1930s while adding some tweaks here and there. An example is, employing stop-motion animation in certain scenes but steering clear of some of the more challenging techniques well because it was getting “too crazy.”

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