The official line on the syndicated season of The Real Ghostbusters is that TMS were responsible for the entire season. Of course, some episodes are clearly better than others, and this can also be seen in The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, whose 65 episodes were also completely animated by TMS, but the quality is similarly all over the place. While Ghostbusters and Galaxy Rangers have their fair share of amazingly-animated episodes, it's TMS' work on other series that tends to stand out more since they worked on less episodes of each, and thus almost consistently used their "A-Team", perhaps most noticeable on their Warner series.
Like Toei, some of their best animation was indeed produced for U.S. series, presumably due to the dollar stretching further. There's still some cool anime productions they've been involved in though, such as the perennial Lupin III, or the multiple productions directed by the late Osamu Dezaki, particularly the criminally unlicensed (and yes, hopelessly dated) Space Adventure Cobra TV series.
As for the DIC stuff appearing pale, I always attributed that to the film-to-video transfer technology of the time, which was pretty ropey in the mid-80s.
With their seeming inability to produce anything less than a decently animated production at worst back in the 80s/90s, it's little wonder that no less than Disney used them so much for their initial ongoing TV series. More surprising was TMS' work on Filmation's The New Adventures of Zorro in 1981, possibly their first outsourced production (it's a toss up between this and DIC's superb Ulysses 31). Apparently, they really had to reign themselves in to make sure they fit with the infamous Filmation style!
It's not all roses, of course, when you consider the animation disaster that was Spider-Man: The Animated Series. Aside from the pilot episode, "Night of the Lizard", and some elements of the first season, you'd be hard-pressed to tell that TMS actually animated the entire
series, what with numerous four-frame per second shots that cropped up regularly. That was one that was ruined by lack of funding and some fundamental problems in editing the animation together; any bits the producers didn't like were simply replaced by repeated animation, even over dialogue scenes. Complete with patented jaggy lines!
In the end, some of their best ever TV work has to be Mighty Orbots, with truly breathtaking animation across each episode of its short season, and of course their work on Batman, with "Feat of Clay Part II" as the absolute highlight.
It's a pity Warner and DC mostly dropped the studio before Batman Beyond aired, but with a rumored price of a couple of hundred dollars per cel
, cost was clearly the main reason why they were dropped.
Edited by JonT, 05 July 2011 - 04:39 AM.