Tara Strong launches NFT funded movie project, disappointing everyone

It’s impossible to have watched animated television in the last two decades without having heard the voice work of Tara Strong. She’s been in Teen Titans, Rugrats, The Powerpuff Girls, The Fairly OddParents, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and DC Super Hero Girls. Not to mention she’s the voice behind Miss Minutes in Marvel’s Loki.

However, it’s her newest project for a holiday movie called Ornamental that has the internet talking — just not in a good way. The hopeful future animated film intends to fund its production “one frame at a time” through NFTs, or non-fungible tokens.

The project has several other big names behind it outside of Strong, including EDH Animation’s Ross Venokur, the mind behind animated movies like Charmed, ACORNS Operation Crackdown, and Silk Road Rally. There’s also platinum-selling indie pop/rock group Walk Off The Earth working on Ornamental.

Despite all the names attached, fans of Strong’s previous work are particularly disappointed by her involvement with the project.

NFTs are so controversial because of the large amounts of energy required to create them due to the computations needed for mining cryptocurrency in general. Bitcoin ‘mining’ already generates 38 million tons of CO2 per year, and many argue if NFTs become more popular, this will incentivize even more harmful mining.

Another Twitter user used one of Strong’s most famous previous projects to make fun of her involvement with NFTs. Some compare non-fungible tokens to Ponzi schemes — a fraudulent investing scam that generates returns for earlier investors with money taken from later investors — as well as pyramid schemes. Even one of the creators of NFTs, Anil Dash, has personally criticized them.

“Technology should be enabling artists to exercise control over their work, to more easily sell it, to more strongly protect against others appropriating it without permission.” Dash told The Atlantic. “By devising the technology specifically for artistic use, McCoy and I hoped we might prevent it from becoming yet another method of exploiting creative professionals. But nothing went the way it was supposed to. Our dream of empowering artists hasn’t yet come true, but it has yielded a lot of commercially exploitable hype.”

However, Strong’s fans were not all as nuanced with their complaints, with many simply voicing their disappointment simply and loudly online.

Ornamental isn’t the first animated project to try and fund itself through NFTs, with an anime project called AnimeLoot also attempting to do so. We’ll just have to see if Ornamental can eventually come to life or if Tara Strong or others will pull out of the project due to fan backlash.