Animation in Movies
The stigma surrounding animation in movies is that they are made for kids. Adults watch “real movies” and kids watch “cartoons”. However, many animated films tackle adult themes and are sometimes more graphic than live action films. I recently watched Princess Mononoke for the first time, and it really inspired me to tackle this topic. That movie is the furthest thing from a “kids movie”. It’s message covers important topics for kids and adults alike. The imagery is stunning and sometimes even violent, but most of all, these movies are made to speak to everyone and bring people closer together through ideas.
Where is the Story
A topic I am always ranting about is story. Stories in movies are lacking these days because people only want to see action films with stunts and explosions. The reason animated films haven’t fallen into this trap is because they take much more effort to create. Every single thing in frame somebody draws. Someone takes the time to design and draw every person, every location, and absolutely anything you see on screen. The dedication it takes to create these movies can only come from a true passion to tell the story.
The creators want to sit down and draw something that looks cool and that’s it. They want to express how they feel and tell the story in a unique and creative way. While watching Princess Mononoke, I could feel the passion that Hayao Miyazaki felt for the environment and his dedication to preserving it. He wanted to spread an awareness for something he believed in, that’s why he animated almost 200,000 individual frames to create this movie. It is way too easy to just film something blowing up, it’s something else entirely to draw that. I believe this is why we get far more lazy live action movies and more creative animation films, that take passion to complete.
Creative Freedom in Animation
Animated films offer more creative freedom than live action movies. With live action, there is a limit to what a person can actually do on camera or you have to use CGI. With animated movies you have a completely blank canvass. Anything you can think of, or draw, could be in your movie, you have complete creative freedom. To give an example, if you wanted to create a giant monster in a live action movie you would have to make it look photo realistic because it has to match the environment and characters around it. With animated movies as long as it matches the art style you can have anything you want in the film. This gives the filmmakers the opportunity to create anything they want to tell their story and it makes it easier for the audience to believe your story and get lost in your world.
Truth Behind Animation
Animated movies have long been called kids movies because of the way they look, but if you dive deeper than that you can see that these films are directed mostly at adults. Princess Mononoke addressed industrialism and deforestation, The Iron Giant talks about nonviolence, The Incredibles opens with a suicide attempt. These movies are not just flashy colors and cute music to appeal to kids and sell toys. They are just as meaningful as “real movies” if not more. The point of a good animated movie is to bridge the gap between people. If Princess Mononoke changes someone’s mind about how they care for the environment then it has made a difference. These movies can bring generations together and help us understand each other. Animated movies might look like they’re made for kids but clearly these films are meant for everyone.