When is an Anime Not an Anime?

Earlier this week, it was announced that the famous Japanese anime artist, Masaki Yuasa would be guest-animating an episode of the popular North American cartoon series, Adventure Time.

With so many global collaborative efforts behind animated films and series, the use of “anime” for Japanese animation and “cartoons” for non-Japanese animation is beginning to make a lot less sense than it did in the early 90s when anime began to boom in popularity.

Note: The word “anime”(pronounced “ah-ni-meh” in Japanese though “a-knee-may” in English usage) is literally the Japanese word for “animation” or “cartoon” and was adopted by Western speaking anime enthusiasts in the 90s to categorize animated tv series or films from Japan.

If a Western animation is animated by Japan based animation studios, is it an anime or cartoon? What if a Japanese company outsources a Chinese animation studio for partial or majority of the animation? Is it no longer an anime?

When is an anime not an anime? Or is the use of the word out of date, irrelevant, and should we just put all animation under one category such as “animation” (as is done in Japan and more and more internationally)?