What separates an animation from the live action powerhouses of today’s media? Why is the idea of a sophisticated cartoon commonly scoffed at? I believe animation triumphs Hollywood in almost every aspect. Although there was a time where the two mediums were neck and neck in regards to competition and maybe even quality, one of them has lost its soul and the other has persisted through uncounted hardships, unglorified. While Hollywood might topple animation in regards to popularity, there is a sense of quality and emotion that has yet to be reached by the conglomerate of actors and their respective directors.
Hollywood has taken the profession of entertainment and malformed it to a mixture of convenience and streamlining. Even when given an already upstanding franchise to siphon creative innovation from, they often dishonor the original content and create something other than what the fanbase was hoping for. Putting an unwanted stamp of originality on an already treasured piece, which in turn exchanges arduous passion for brainless eye candy. The contrast in effort that occurs between animation studios and big actors and directors is so vast you cannot help but respect the underdog. Animators are tasked with manifesting believable worlds with themes that transcend our perception of life and reality. In doing this they have succeeded in creating escapes and creative avenues for all walks of people. These pieces have left an upstanding impression that endures for years, giving children and young adults a passion that permeates into adulthood. Shaping a more open and unrestrainable mind.
These animated pieces are vital because it expands on what someone considers important, they explore themes that would be unexecutable or poorly articulated using the mundane methods of filmmaking. Essentially it gives experienced creators a limitless pallet to exemplify an idealism untouched by the common media. Which is, frankly, required in a time as this with more malicious forms of media apparent throughout the world. Select animators have an unspoken responsibility to raise impressionable children. Children that look up to, and forward to the pieces of art that allow them to think of themselves and the world in a greater light that either one might deserve. This is important because no matter how sophisticated a society is, they will never truly have a complete grasp on reality and their place in it. But if benevolent people could explore the potential of the heart and the power it can hold without the bounds of subjectivity, a whole generation could be inspired by a single piece. Which leads to a fresh thought process that would seem nothing but alien to a more “grown” or established group of people.
Sadly calcification is a common theme amongst the aging populace. Someone who is delighted with westerns and their gritty appeal may be instantly turned off to being suggested a sophisticated animated western. They may even sit through part of it only to consider it a foolish waste of time. This would be a result of the inability to appreciate an unfamiliar medium, and the care that goes into developing the characters and story it inhabits. More often than not symbolism is heavily used in animation. What comes off as a corny character might actually signify any number of things that a biased viewer will miss completely. Another under appreciated aspect of animation is the culture behind the creator. Many famous animators are actually literary geniuses and the abstract nature of the worlds they build is merely a reflection of how they perceive the world themselves. If not solely one person, it could be the vision of the entire studio or the unspoken vision of their generation. When the audience for these producers are younger, they use their gift as a way of simplifying the complex nature of hundreds of years worth of history. Using relatable characters to guide a lifestyle choice that is accepting but also steadfast and directed. Preparing a young audience for hardships, and to face a bleak reality with confidence and serendipity.
Animation forces viewers to think outside the box, conditioning the mind outside of what it has previously learned. Animators use their talents to explain foreboding ideals that plague society. Utilizing witty characters and super mundane settings to romanticize what has been accepted as a norm. Spinning drastic scenes with underlying themes, creating a world wholly separate but at the same time utterly equal to our own. Workers in the animation field particularly In the Asian countries have a passion for their work that most would not understand. A quick research into major studios would reveal the borderline illegal conditions they must work under. Most of these laborers having to work for months on end without a single day off, with a payout that even an American fast food worker could scoff at.
Regardless of these conditions many studios persevere to release timeless content that deserves the utmost respect from millions, and because of their efforts they receive the praise entailed. More prestigious companies such as Studio Ghibli have created legacies that inspire some of the greatest projects to this day. Although the majority of respect comes from a younger fan base, anyone could appreciate the amount of culture packed into these cinematic stories. Adults might even find the rudimentary way at which they cover the lives of 2 children during World War II nothing but delightful, only to be gripped with terror in how such a beautiful relationship is destroyed by a collapsing world and an unprepared people. The movie In reference is called Grave of the Fireflies, and is the simplest example of master storytelling that exists all throughout the animation community. Despite it being over 20 years old, along with many other of studio ghibli's masterpieces, the care that went into its creation obliterates the highest caliber of Hollywood's cinematic roster.