With other networks like Adult Swim and HBO catering to adult cartoons, it’s important to remember where it all started. Shows such as The Simpsons, King of the Hill, and Family Guy truly put the domination in “Animation Domination” during the early days of the mature cartoon uprising.
For those unfamiliar, Animation Domination refers to the programming block on Fox, which has aired every Sunday night for over fifteen years. The term was coined back in 2005, while some the shows featured in the lineup go all the way back to the 90s.
Now that Disney owns 20th Century Fox, this means they own all the IP from the Animation Domination library as well. Ultimately, this means the studio can do anything they want with the characters.
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When the merger first happened, some speculated Disney would leave the classic cartoons alone, but we’ve already seen the company take The Simpsons and mix them in with beloved and iconic Disney Characters in their Disney+ shorts. The Simpson family has also interacted with Marvel superheroes and has even portrayed characters from the Star Wars franchise.
Fans of Bob’s Burgers would also call to attention that The Bob’s Burgers Movie(2022) was the first Animation Domination film to be fully promoted by Disney. It was also one of the first Fox Animation films to premiere at El Capitan Theatre, the Disney-owned movie theater in Hollywood, California. Disney clearly has a thing for Bobs.
What’s Disney Doing Next With The Animation Domination?
This upcoming Sunday (March 12, 2023), for the first time ever, three main characters from the Animation Domination lineup will be all together in one episode. The newest Family Guy episode will feature a particular gag, already available to view online, where Peter Griffin walks into Bob Belcher’s burger restaurant where Homer Simpson is already enjoying a tasty burger. Each character comes from Fox’s three most popular animated series, all of which were renewed earlier this year for two more seasons.
This will make cartoon history, as these characters have crossed paths in previous episodes, but never the three dads all at once. It truly will be the Spider-Man: No Way Home(2021) of iconic cartoon characters. The moment gives off a real “Multiverse” vibe, where the limits of intellectual property know no bounds.
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It’s easy, however, to call this a gimmick. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been relying heavily on the Multiverse concept now for a few years, and fans might already be growing tired of it. Instead of writing clever storylines, the studio focuses more on the “crossover” aspect when it comes to bits like these. It was also once joked in a Family Guy episode that crossovers help boost ratings for shows that aren’t performing as well as others.
The three dads meeting in a diner might not be a laugh-out-loud moment but rather a wink and a nod to the audience that these characters you love all know each other… And that’s cool, right? If it’s enough to drive up viewership this Sunday, then that’s a win for the Animation Domination.
Is the crossover gimmick something you enjoy? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below.