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This 1970s-Style Star Trek: The Next Generation Animated Series Is Beyond Perfect

The fan-made homage to the original Trek cartoon boldly goes above and beyond.

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A simple, cartoon version of Jean-Luc Picard points from his captain's chair.
Screenshot: Gazelle Automations

There are few perfect things in this world, so it’s worth celebrating them when we find them. Case in point: this unbelievably outstanding video from Gazelle Automations, which imagines if the classic animation studio Filmation had managed to get its hands on the Star Trek: The Next Generation crew.

Trek fans likely know that Filmation did the original Star Trek: The Animated Series from 1973, while others may recognize the name as the maker of the classic He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon of the ‘80s. But anyone who’s ever laid eyes on a Filmation cartoon knows the studio was incredibly cheap. It reused as much footage as possible, it animated as little as possible, and it slowed down the story as much as possible, all to spend as little as possible. So when you watch this video, be assured it’s not a parody, but an exact replica of what Filmation would have done with The Next Generation had the studio made a spin-off back in the ‘70s:

The attention to detail is astounding, from the lack of the whites of their eyes, to the strange angles of the shots, to the way each Borg has to be teleported in succession. I swear, when Worf raises his phaser to shoot the Borg, that’s even the same (low) number of cels Filmation used for the motion. Here, compare the clip to this scene from the classic Trek cartoon:

Uncanny, right? What really gets me is that Gazelle Automations even nailed the characters’ shifting eyes, which represented the sum total of emotional reactions the Filmation characters would have in response to... well, anything, basically. Even the purple, oversimplified designs of the Borg are perfect. No notes!


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