Animation in the United States in the television era was a period in the history of American animation that slowly set in with the decline of theatrical animated shorts and the popularization of television animation during the late 1950s to 1960s, peaked in the 1970s, and ended in the mid-late 1980s. This era is characterized by low budgets, limited animation, an emphasis on television over the theater, and the general perception of cartoons being primarily for children. Due to the perceived cheap production values, poor animation, and mixed critical and commercial reception, this era is sometimes referred to as the dark age (or bronze age) of American animation by critics.
Television animation developed from the success of Disney’s theatrical animated movies, along with Warner Bros.’ Looney Tunes and MGM’s Tom and Jerry cartoons in the first half of the 20th century. The state of animation changed dramatically in the three decades starting with the post-World War II