Actually, I disagree completely. Take Chuck Jones' work, for example: the comedic timing, wit and facial expressions translate clearly to audiences of today (as compared to certain sterilized-for-your-convenience kids shows these days, such as the rushed sequels/animations Disney constantly churns out), the characters are designed flawlessly and globally recognizable (as compared to most anime characters, which lack facial differentiation and are buried under layers of over-detailed clothing) and the knowledge of physics and flow of animation are superior by far (as compared to some of these Flash-animated cartoons that are more focused on producing junk for advertisers' money than they are on producing a genuine form of art).
Of course, there are some modern cartoons that are noteworthy: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is exquisitely animated and the characters are well-developed, Adventure Time never fails to be funny, entertaining and push the envelope... However, these shows are rare gems in what I can only describe as an animation dark age, where tight budgets and a technology pissing contest have taken priority over the art of manual animation.
The works of Chuck Jones still live up today for today’s audiences, just ask one person out there who’s have heard of the Looney tunes cartoons and you’re bound to hear one of them being a Chuck Jones cartoon. Chuck started doing cartoons similar to Disney’s style, but he later found his own style in cartooning in his later years at Warner Bros animation. Disney used to meant something for people before they began to rush out those sequels to their popular films(at least it ended when John Lassester got in charge of Disney’s animation, with the exception of the Tinkerbell movies). Most of the anime that is spewed out is just cashing in on the profits(with pokemon and anything that follow routes of that being proof) while others can prove that the Japanese can explore areas that haven’t been explored with animation and blow away an audience.
Flash animation can be good, but its mostly used in bad cases. Johnny test being an example on doing flash animation to the point where it looks like an online webcartoon done by a lazy artist who couldn’t draw to save his or her own life. Friendship is magic is a good show. Lauren Faust made sure of it that she would make a good cartoon for both kids and adults(that even includes the fathers really). The characters are well developed and have the personality of each girl you’d likely come across by in a lifetime. Adventure time(while I may have mixed feelings for) is great but it just feels like a complete acid trip that was almost rejected by Mad. Not saying its bad, but its not my cup of tea either. But it’s a weird show that is good none of the less. True, we are heading towards a dark age with tv animation. Shows that are animated that are good for both audiences (kid and adult) are hard to come by. Most of them either get made or rejected by executives who only think of it as a one-audience thing. Or worst, it gets canceled and not renewed for a second season. I know that has happened with both Sym Bionic titan and Motorcity. Actions like these just give animation fans the impression that people don’t care about good animation, and good animation is expensive. While animation that doesn’t look good and is very crappy(shows like Johnny test and Problem Solverz) are not so expensive to make.
The type of people who want the cartoons back in the 40s are the people who are WAY too nostalgic over animation.
All the attempts Ive seen to mimic the Looney tunes and golden age cartoons are downright stinkers. I couldn't stand tiny toons, I couldn't get into it. Dont even get me started on the wacky world of tex avery, that right there is the big insult there.
I've read your entire post, you have some decent points but I want you to elaborate a certain point for me.
"Most of the jokes that were made in the cartoons that were made in those three different time periods are OUTDATED by today’s standards."
How so? The pacing? The timing? Some of the gags are indeed dated when it comes to what they're poking fun at but I feel that 90's cartoons are modern enough. I'd like you to tell me how something like 2 Stupid Dogs is "dated".
Please note that I'm not advocating that people get by and simply copy older cartoons with no spin of their own, a lot of these great cartoons were made with insane budgets or were made to be cheap and easy to animate (1920's black and white stuff). To simply copy it would result in something that would feel like a cheap fake.
We have some 90's-wannabe stuff like Regular Show and Adventure Time and neither have caused me to chuckle.