...but I think it is reductive to call them cash grabs...
I implore you to go watch the "making offs" in which they talk to the staff. If you consider that Japanese people tend to be more reserved with their opinion, you can see that they were very unpleased with what was going on with the sequels.
I also disagree strongly about the animation being cheaply put together. I think both sequels are well animated, and I'd even argue Progressive is worth watching for its animation alone, if one is a big sakuga fan.
No, no, no. There are some great cuts, but overall the animation is miles away from the original. I consider the original to boast one of the most consistent showcases of genuinely breathtakingly brilliant cut of animation I know of. Progressive if functional, at best. If you're interested here's a YouTube video that captures my feelings pretty well (there is a well made breakdown on animation in the latter half)
robersora, I find it interesting that you compared these sequels to Diebuster, because, while I think it's a good anime, it's a terrible sequel, and doesn't even reach the feet of the Hideaki Anno masterpiece. I guess we have the opposite opinion here.
Diebuster caught the spirit of the original - a love letter to Mecha rooted in sensibilities of the time it was made in. It's a very loose sequel that ties into the original very cleverly, in my opinion.