Only previous night, I was shuffling through the many animated movies released this year in a desperate hope to find one which can even hold a candle to the classic Pixar, Dreamworks or Disney Animation Studio movies like Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Lion King, Up or How to Train your Dragon but I find words inadequate to express my disappointment when the list of animated movies released this year has The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Monsters University etc. as its best entries. I suddenly realize that it’s been really long since I’ve seen an animated movie that had an impact on me. The last ones I could recollect were ‘How to Train your Dragon and Toy Story 3 (both released in the same year and were equally awesome).
Now don’t be getting me wrong mister. I haven’t yet watched Frozen and I hope it will bring some relief from this dry spell of really effective animated movies when I finally end up having my hands on it. It’s not that animated movies made after 2010 have not been good or entertaining. Just that, they fall somewhere between being watchable/entertaining and being the ones that leave you mesmerised for a long time. Having said that, in a fit of nostalgia, I’m now bound to explore the world of animated movies, their limitations, the herculean process involving sweat and blood that goes into making these vibrant beauties, the advantages of animated movies over normal ones, the profit and marketability of these movies, their brief history and the current trend and tendency in animation world. Also, we’ll be discussing various notions that are stuck with animation over different parts of the world(like how people think that Japanese animation is all about manga and cartoons or how the western studious, read Hollywood, lay an emphasis on a riot of colours in their animated movies).
Now I’m someone who follows animated movies religiously and one of the main reasons for that is that they allow the viewer to foray somewhere fantastical. I agree that it can be done by normal movies in an equally appealing way, but there’s just something irresistible about a meerkat and a warthog prancing about with a lion and singing ‘Hakuna Matata’ , imparting Zen wisdom without sans the heavy spirituality attached with it. People are free to do anything- enjoy the song and shake a foot or watch closely and understand the meaning it carries. It can also be safely said that animated movies, due to their way of conveying messages or presenting stories, in the form of animated/animal/cartoon characters, sometimes have an edge over non-animated movies as the former are not restrained with certain limitations attached with humans and their limits. The director can fully experiment with the characters and break the laws of physics more frequently without getting much flak for it as opposed to the other movies in which a certain matured audience-pool expect everything to function the way it does in real life. Expressively too, animated movies enable the characters to display a wider plethora of expressions and emotions than normal movies.
In a nutshell, these were the basic reasons why people like animated movies and why they work out so well at times to show some things that can’t be shown by the otherwise, must-be-politically-correct movies. Why there is a lack of effective animated movies and why there is the saturation of Pixar and Dreamworks, resulting in them churning out inferior movies who at some or the other level try to be a shadow of their earlier classics, we shall discuss and allays this at length in the next part of this article. Till then, stay tuned.
Bonus Tip : Watch Mary and Max, A Grave of Fireflies and Spirited Away, if you haven’t still.
Born, brought up and coached to be an engineer, he changed stream after negotiating with machines for two years. Unsuccessfully. Now balancing his love for movies,literature,cricket,football and poems with his sociophobic(conditions apply), misanthropic thoughts. ‘Enjoying’ college at SOC Manipal. Finally. An aspiring director/novelist/poet/actor/critic/model/Wolverine, who draws satanic pleasure in dissecting movies and pretending to be an expert at them and a million other arts he juggles. But when it counts, a poet and a die-hard romantic at heart. Can scribble about anything the planet knows/is oblivious of. Talk to me at –[email protected]