I’ve found several posts and comments lately about this site, from people who think it’s a little creepy, or who think it’s strange that I’d keep this site so regularly updated even though it’s about a show that stopped production over a decade ago.
To be honest, sometimes I wonder if it’s a bit strange as well. But I’ve just had this site for so long that I couldn’t imagine retiring it. I’m not obsessed with this show. It doesn’t rule my life. I don’t think about it that often. I haven’t even watched an episode in quite a while–the last time I did, I was hanging out with some friends a few months ago, and they started talking about it, and they pulled up a couple of episodes on YouTube to watch. (Hi, Genna and Victor!)
It makes me really sad to visit “website archives”–big sites that are no longer updated in any way just because there’s no new active content to put up. At the very least, I feel like if those webmasters have the time and still enjoy the subjects of their sites, they should keep the design and the backbone of the site updated to be in line with modern web standards. It doesn’t hurt to dust the site off every now and then, especially since people are most likely still visiting.
If nobody visited, I think that might make a difference in whether or not I stick with this. But for every weirded-out comment I’ve seen/gotten, I have dozens thanking me for keeping the site updated and reminiscing fondly about what a great show this was and still is. I’ve gotten so many messages from people who love the show. I’ve come across many hundreds of posts on messageboards of people who still love the show. There are countless thousands of people who’d love an official DVD release. The show may be “dead,” in terms of no new content, but it’s very much alive and well among the people who love it.
There’s also still the very real possibility of a comeback. Lately I’ve had quite a few people contact me about possibly going in on co-writing a movie script to end the series. There are a lot of groups out there who are very interested in seeing or creating the ending of the show. There are plenty of rumors flying around, too. All these pieces are just sort of hanging in the air, waiting to fall into place. It’s totally possible!
People have asked me if this site is an archive, and it definitely is not. However, from here on out, I don’t know if I really will do regular updates in the same way that I used to back in its heyday during my college years. I’m getting older (I started this site when I was 15, and I’ll be 26 next month!) and work and (eventually) grad school will definitely keep me from doing much. The lack of time, a real desk/chair setup, and inclination to spend all my free time on my computer in Japan have kept me from making weekly/monthly updates the way I used to. There are a few things I still would like to do, a few sections I’d like to complete (the episode screenshot slideshows that Kooshmeister and I were doing, and consistent episode summaries for all 21 episodes, instead of those novel-length ones for ~5-6 episodes, which aren’t even necessary anymore since the show’s available online), and I know that there are fans working on fanfics and scripts and posters and artwork that they’ll be sending me, and I may luck out and stumble onto more behind-the-scenes content. Beyond that, there isn’t really much left, unless the show makes a comeback. That’s what I’m holding out for at this point.
But as the years have gone on, I really have realized that this is one of the best modern American animated series to come out in recent history. There’s been very little to match or surpass it. In the 90s, there were Gargoyles, Batman: The Animated Series, SwatKATs: The Radical Squadron (not a masterpiece, but still original and a lot of fun, with great characters and villains and a fun animation style), and other great shows. After that…what has there been? Recently there was the He-Man remake, Avatar: The Last Airbender, X-Men: Evolution, Samurai Jack, the Clone Wars shorts…and okay, yeah, this is a subjective list, and I’m really out of touch with anything else that may have come out while I’ve been living abroad. I enjoy Kim Possible and Danny Phantom and Dexter’s Laboratory and others, and from the 90s I loved (the original Nickelodeon) Rugrats and Doug and Hey Arnold! and Courage The Cowardly Dog, but I’m not including them on this list, because they’re fun but they aren’t really pushing the envelope. People will argue that The Simpsons and Family Guy should be on there–and they’re cool for satire and social commentary, but in those cases, animation is just a medium to bring those ideas across. The art isn’t really anything special.
Anyway, the point is that before PoDW, I really can’t think of any shows that succeeded in introducing this kind of gorgeous animation, strong characterizations, noticeable character and plot development (people really hate when Ren doesn’t leave Bloth for dead in the quicksand in “The Game Players of Undaar”, but I have to admit that I really love that moment), and a continuing story, “all in one neat little package” (to quote the show, heh). It was revolutionary–especially coming from Hanna-Barbera, which is credited widely as having killed creativity in American animation with the cheap visual quality of The Flintstones and The Jetsons–and it’s still one of my favorite shows. It’s totally a 90s production, and the dialogue and some of the animation reflects it, but on the whole, I think it’s aged pretty well and still tops out so many current shows, especially since people seem to favor cheap animation and art styles more and more. It’s a real shame that PoDW failed to catch on, but people do remember it very fondly. And as long as people are out there wanting to find others who love the show, I’ll be here, doing my thing with this site.
That is all. ;o)