The future is grim for animated shows under Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) and HBO Max. The massive media company is going in a new direction after a change of leadership – new CEO David Zaslav. Zaslav was the former CEO of Discovery, a network more known for its science reality shows and the like.
Ever since Warner Bros and Discovery merged back in April of this year, there’s been massive change in plans. Zaslav wants to prioritize making movies for the big screens and cinemas and is trying to focus less on their online streaming service, HBO Max. As a result of this, WBD has removed more than 60 shows and movies from HBO Max, many of them being animated shows. Here’s a list of all the animated shows cancelled by WBD according to ComicBook:
- Aquaman: King of Atlantis
- Close Enough
- Elliott from Earth
- Esme & Roy
- The Fungies
- Infinity Train
- Little Ellen
- Mao Mao
- Messy Goes to Okido
- Mia’s Magic Playground
- Mighty Magiswords
- OK KO
- The Ollie & Moon Show
- Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures
- Summer Camp Island
- The Runaway Bunny
- Tig n’ Seek
- Uncle Grandpa
- Victor and Valentino
- Yabba Dabba Dinosaurs
Among the most notable series in the list above are fan favorites like OK KO, Infinity Train, Close Enough, Mao Mao, and Uncle Grandpa.
The people who worked on all these projects were not directly informed by WBD about the removal of their creations from HBO Max. They all found out the same way as we consumers did: Through news outlets online. It’s extremely unfortunate for the animators and creators who worked so hard – it’s all gone, many of their work unfinished. It’s like they got hit by a truck with this sudden news of their show’s removal. It’s even worse to think that all these amazing shows were removed just for tax write-offs.
Understandably, fans are outraged on social media. There was a lot of interest in many of these shows, so it doesn’t truly make sense for WBD to cancel them. It just seems that the new leadership of the company is not very fond of successful animated shows. Seems like the disrespect for the animation medium is still apparent even in our increasingly progressive society. If I have to hear “It’s just a cartoon” from a random dude again, they’d better be ready to catch these hands.
Let’s take a look at some reactions from Twitter.
People are dreading d-day and are calling it a massacre:
So… the day has finally come. Infinity Train, Summer Camp Island, and other beloved recent Cartoon Network shows are being massacred by Warner Bros. Discovery's new rebranding. pic.twitter.com/5h3F0UF9ka
— Julian C (@jctoons2D) August 18, 2022
Let’s not be surprised when HBO Max could lose support from subscribers.
HBO Max after the Warner Bros. and Discovery merger pic.twitter.com/EbkiQ11snJ
— Cult of the Cabbit (@TommoTheCabbit) August 19, 2022
We know by now that WBD is doing this to save money, as reported by DiscussingFilm.
Warner Bros Discovery is likely removing titles from HBO Max as the removal of lesser-watched programs will save money on paying out residuals.
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) August 18, 2022
Infinity Train? Never heard of it.
Warner Bros. when you ask them about Infinity Train: pic.twitter.com/jaVrV0TsiK
— Ultima | #вʟм (@UltimaShadowX) August 19, 2022
This tweet explains itself:
Warner Bros. Discovery's new plan for animation on HBO Max. pic.twitter.com/vfPy0xoLk0
— Mat Brunet (AniMat) (@AniMat505) August 18, 2022
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