Imagine this: Someone makes a burger- but not just any burger. They spent years in culinary school to learn how to create this fresh ground chuck, expertly seasoned, stuffed and topped with unique and fresh ingredients that work together like Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. People who appreciate and understand burgers say it’s the best burger they’ve ever had. But there is a portion of people that insist, based on that the mere fact that it is a burger, that it is only for people who like McDonalds and immediately lose interest.
This is how I feel about people, (everyone from my friends, to the fucking academy voters!!!) refusing to acknowledge animation as a valid form of entertainment, because they’re “just kid movies.” This is insulting and ignorant considering the amount of effort and time put into these films. Yes, kids generally appreciate animation over other genres, but that doesn’t automatically make animation juvenile or not worthy of our consideration.
On average a major studio animation film can take anywhere from 3 to 7 years to finish. This is because the work, on everything from the writing to the visuals, that goes into an animated film is incredibly complicated and detail oriented.
Merida’s hair, from Brave, was one of the trickiest parts of creating the film, and took almost three years to get it right. Pixar actually had to internally release a new simulator to make her hair curly, but also flowy and light. And the results were beautiful.
In The Lego Movie, the animators painstakingly analyzed every characteristic of the Lego pieces to make sure it looked like a stop motion film. They animated scratches, grooves, and even dust particles to make the pieces look used and played with. They also built the set on software that mimicked authentic Legos, so the software didn’t allow you to connect two Legos that couldn’t be connected in real life.
In How to Train Your Dragon, the filmmakers traveled to different locations like the Pacific Coast and Iceland to inspire their creation of the story’s setting .The co-director Dean DeBlois stated in his notes he wanted to create a place that was, “a balance between a place that would be very hard-going if you lived there, and somewhere that you would absolutely want to visit – just because you know that the sights and the sensations of standing there, on those windblown cliffs, with the raging sea, would be unbelievable.”
These are just three examples of how much care and thought is pumped into these movies. Do you think this many fucks were given to a movie like Transformers? 3 HOURS OF COMPLETE CONFUSION, RACISIM AND FLAT CHARACTERS, YET DARK OF THE MOON STILL GROSSED $352,358,779. Ugh.
A quote from Pixar Studios sums up why every well executed animated movie deserve respect:
“We are world builders, who must first imagine everything in the world, and how it differs from the world we all know and why it differs and how much. We are character creators and must imagine characters that live beyond the frame and framework of the film, dimensional characters with desires and wishes and will. We are storytellers who must find an engaging way to bring the story’s problem to life on the screen, presented as action, not description.”
If you take the time to really watch a successful animated film, it’s difficult to come up many criticisms that justify it being not worth watching or, “just for kids.” These movies are absolutely stunning visually, and the storytelling is unique, fun, interesting, and always has the potential to bring a smile to your face. So please, ditch your preconceived ideas and embrace animation for what it truly is- an all-inclusive form of art.