The 1990's were booming in animation, both in feature and television.
The boom went bust in 1998. I remember it well...I was working at Warner Bros at the time and when it went down, it went down bad.
There's the usual: budgets were too high, ratings were too low, cable tv and the internet were cutting in on the action...but I think the real forgotten culprit was this.
If tv wasn't used as a babysitter, that wouldn't have passed, and fun stuff that makes money would be more prevalent. But nooooooooooooo, the do-gooders who enable slacking parents to continue to slack on their kids' well-being had to stick their noses into the animation business.
Just look at what's left of Saturday Morning Cartoons...uh, nothing. Fox has some action stuff. Warners has sold out to 4Kids. CBS occasionally shows Nickelodeon shows. ABC has Disney tween crap up the wazoo. NBC has sports.
"Funny" shows have been relegated to cable ghetto, where networks like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network should have some great shows. But they don't anymore. The last time I watched CN was when Powerpuff Girls was still on the air. And if Spongebob Squarepants wasn't on Nickelodeon, I wouldn't watch it ever.
So, thanks to the FCC for doing its part in making animator's lives miserable.