Memory Alpha summary
The Animated Series might be exactly what you'd expect: the original series, shorter, with greater control over the visuals.
There may be no greater example of that than its premiere episode, "Beyond the Farthest Star" (a title not to be confused with the far different Deep Space Nine "Far Beyond the Stars"). When you strip Star Trek as it was originally known to its essentials, this is what you get. The crew exploring a sci-fi mystery, in this instance an ancient ship of bizarre design. Attached to this curiosity is also a fairly standard menace the crew must overcome.
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Nothing outstanding, but it's not bad, and as I said, a pretty good way to introduce the series.
Notable is the debut of the life-support belt that gives characters a glowing outline but otherwise keeps them unobscured, unlike the outfits from the live action series, another thing the animation could get away with.
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Also of note is Jimmy Doohan, better known as Scotty, being the first among the supporting cast to provide vocals for guest characters. This was a standard for the series. Surprisingly, given that Doohan was known for his ability to play around with his voice, it will always be obvious that it's Doohan voicing the given character (although he does a better job of it than Nichelle Nichols and Majel Roddenberry in other episodes).
four quarter analysis
franchise * series * essential * character