Animation: The Stigma needs to stop now!

Home Forums Off Topic Animation: The Stigma needs to stop now!

This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Mr.K Mr.K 1 year, 5 months ago.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #5426
    Mr.K
    Mr.K
    Participant

    “NOTE: The following article that I’m about to write is dedicated to all big and independent animators that struggled and are still struggling to work on the animation industry and all the people that gave us such wonderful creations that lasted for all decades. This has been long overdue and despite this topic being talked over and over again but at this rate, I don’t care cause this is me putting the foot down at all the people that spitted hate on a genre with potential for new and inventive ideas for being made with drawings instead of real-people. Reader and feels discretion is advised”

    Animation. An art form with many possibilities where artists and animators have their minds and souls to come up with so many wonders without the limitations of live-action film and a technique that’s handed down to many animators that started with Walt Disney and later to other animators such as Don Bluth, Genndy Tartakovsky, Roger Allers, Ralph Bakshi, Gary Goldman, Craig McCracken, Robert Alvarez, Rebecca Sugar, Pen Ward, J.G Quintel and many more for the future of animation. For years, animation proved itself time & time again that they can tell stories and characters in many different styles that allow us to be immersed in the world around it and not only see a story come to life but to live the experience whenever it’s inside the human mind (Inside Out) or a world where rats are more advanced that mankind (Secret of Nimh). Today, we are seeing a lot of cartoons that are finally being made for both kids and adults that allows creators to bring mature themes and lessons that kids today can learn and think for themselves instead of the usual

    However… There’s one thing that prevents this art form from being taken seriously and everyone knows the real problem with this is. The infamous excuse known as the “animation are for children and should be only for children” social stigma. Yep, this one.

    For over 30 years, we see this argument a thousand times either on Youtube, news articles or even having discussions amongst fellow animation fans in this debate but with fewer results and not too much on answers. Not that all video discussions or articles were terrible written or made, it’s just that a lot of people (including the award voters, audiences and even critics and reviewers) never take in consideration that animation is a tool to create imaginative projects but instead, they see it as some “genre” that’s must be only for children, needs to have pretty realistic visuals, needs top celebrities, needs hip music and it must be from either Pixar, Disney or Dreamworks cause if some unknown company makes an animated movie, it must be hated and shit upon cause it’s not family friendly or kids oriented. Also, if the film has experimental animation and doesn’t have “perfect animation”, it must be hated too cause we say so. Is this kind of outlook that pisses every animation fan down to it’s knees including B-Mask when he made the analysis video on FROZEN, which is really a good outlook on what animation has become these days and I can’t blame them but the big question about this whole argument is this: How did the stigma ever came to be and why does it still exist in animation? Well, strap in cause we are getting to the bottom of this and maybe find an answer to end this debate once and for all: By going back into the beginning where animation used to be made for everyone.


    THE RISE AND FALL OF ANIMATION TO THE STIGMA OF SOCIETY:



    In the beginning, animation was made for all adults and children because Walt Disney knew that if he limits animation to only ONE demographic, you’re basically fucked there and occasionally, adult humor was cleverly sneaked in to surprise adults. Sure, animation wasn’t always perfect with huge political events around the corners almost destroying Disney’s reputation as a business man and other animation projects that felt like cash-grabs instead of passion projects but at least animation was stable in that era. However, in the era where Hanna-Barbera was beginning to make cartoons, the networks decided to aim the marketing of the cartoons more on children instead of adults because they’re thinking was that adults won’t enjoy the “kid” humor of the shows, which is BS considering a lot of adults did watch Hanna Barbera cartoons including my family and myself since I did grow up watching Hanna Barbera and cartoons in the 90’s (I was born in 1993) and sadly, this is where the stigma came to be. Multiple attempts at adult animated films such as Ghost In The Shell, Akira, Heavy Metal, Secret Of Nimh, Land Before Time, 9 and Wizards tried their best to break the stigma and despite universal acclaim to some of these movies, audiences didn’t buy on it and still saw it as “kid’s stuff” but the stigma didn’t really became popular in the 80’s or 90’s as that is where it was beginning to take hold on animation and everyone knows that the stigma became widely popular with only one film:

    SHREK

    Shrek was the film that changed the standards on how animation should be made: Filled with pop culture references, celebrities and edgy attitude that continues till this day and age in modern animation. Before I continue on this, let me just say that I don’t hate Shrek and I don’t hate all of modern animation but I just hate what it became of it success when it was first released in 2001 and gave birth to the rise of CG animation (also, I don’t hate CG animation, so don’t jump on conclusions that I’m some kind of hater) that overshadowed every single hand-drawn film released that year including Treasure Planet, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and so many others to fail at the box-office just because they’re not CG animated and audiences were on the hype train for more CG animation to come with mixed results along the way…

    *Will Smith fish appears*

    NO! You get back where you belong, Smith!! Bad ugly fish! Bad!!

    *Will Smith fish disappears*

    *sigh* Thank god…

    Which now leads us to the last topic of this discussion…

    ANIMATION IN MODERN SOCIETY:

    Before I go on this topic, I want to say that so far, animation today is getting really good and I’m loving it. Shows like Wander Over Yonder, Steven Universe, Regular Show, Legend of Korra, Gravity Falls, We Bare Bears, The Amazing World of Gumball, the TMNT reboot show, Star VS The Forces of Evil, Sonic Boom and Motorcity are proof that cartoons today can be enjoyed by everyone and so far, it’s been solid for the past couple of years but like all good things, there must come the bad things and this is where some things need to change in order for animation to be looked in a more positive outlook.

    First off, studio executives should lay off in controlling the show and have faith in their creators being in charge of their own show.

    The culprit in this overlooked problem goes to MARVEL Animation as a big example when big headhonchos try to control everything and waste thousand of dollars in cheap ugly animation to cash in on the MCU trend as of late with Guardians of the Galaxy being the unlucky target to get butchered in the process and let’s not forget what they did to Hulk and Spider-Man by turning these beloved MARVEL heroes into complete MTV hip style chipmunks that are used to sell toys instead of, I don’t know, try and make a good cartoon out of this characters. Another example is when CN wanted to turn Tartakovsky’s Sym Bionic Titan into a cash-cow Ben 10 franchise despite Genndy refusing to sign the contract and for that, the show was cancelled despite having an audience on this show, which matters far more than a franchise contract, and let’s not forget the fiasco that was DC Nation, which shitty promotions, awful time slots and unnecessary delays that made DC animation fans get pissed off at their piss poor decisions. If you think studios controlling a creator’s show was bad, imagine that but with a big Hollywood company like Miramax butchering a certain passion project that you been working for so long but only to be taken from your hands and turned into a diamond that’s covered with dog shit. Do I need to say more on why studio interference is a nightmare for animators?

    Second and final important problem that needs to be fixed is very obvious yet crucial: Fixing the people’s perspective on animation.

    Over the years, you hear and read the same “sob” story whenever a person, critic or reviewer reviews an animated film and say “how animation is being too adult to kids” or “how animated movies are pandering to kids” yet whenever a Pixar or Disney flick comes up, it’s all “GASP! Pixar proves that animation can be for adults too!!” despite that Pixar already proved that with several of their films but suddenly when Inside Out came out, I witnessed several reviews expressing negative points for Pixar for making Inside Out a “mature adult story”. I swear to you, I’m not joking and for proof, here’s a big hypocritical review by Julian Roman from Movieweb about Inside Out:

    “Inside Out can be described as touching, poignant, creative; highly illustrative of the problems a girl faces growing up. The problem is that it’s not entertaining. It’s downright depressing. It’s a sad, emotionally loaded film that drained my initial exuberance like a faucet. Disney Pixar have always gone for tears. Part of their brilliance has been the ability to combine clever entertainment with just the right amount of sadness for effect. They achieved this in Up and Toy Story 3. You walked out of those films with a sniffle, but you felt like you had a great experience. This is not the case for Inside Out. I may be distinctly in the minority here, but I found Inside Out to be a total bummer. It has its merits, undoubtedly. But every film has to be judged for its entertainment value, and frankly, I was not entertained.

    Inside Out takes place primarily inside the head of a pre-teen girl, Riley (Kaitlyn Dias). She has moved with her parents from Minnesota to San Francisco. Riley misses her friends, has a hard time fitting in, and becomes estranged from her parents for the first time. Riley’s emotions, viewed as colorful wisps, control her feelings and memories via a control panel in her mind. Joy (Amy Poehler) is the primary emotion, keeping Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (http://movieweb.com/inside-out-movie-posters-pixar-preview/Mindy Kaling), and especially Sadness (Phyllis Smith) in check. The emotions funnel memories, glowing orbs, and establish islands for important things like family, adventure, hockey etc. As Riley’s life becomes more complex, Joy and Sadness are accidentally ejected from the control panel. They have to find their way back through the various islands and canyon’s in Riley’s brain. The problem is that while they’re gone, Anger and Fear take hold, leading Riley to darker, more dangerous places in the real world.

    Inside Out was helmed by Pixar veteran, Pete Docter. He directed Up and Monsters Inc. He is a brilliant filmmaker with a proven record. The issue I have here is just what a total bummer Inside Out is. I completely understand that Pixar wants to make a sophisticated film that appeals to adults as well as children. They want to teach lessons, make you cry, illicit hugs and high fives all around. They’ve straddled the line between depressing and entertaining before, but this time they go over it. Inside Out is about a child and wants to show children the complexity of emotions. Granted, but shouldn’t it also be fun and exciting? Aren’t family movies supposed to leave you with a sense of wonder, or at the very least with a smile? Inside Out leaves you throwing out the Kleenex from all of the tears.

    The vast majority of people who’ve seen this film really like it. I am not in that camp. It has its moments, but they are fleeting. Inside Out was a depressing time at the movies. And that’s very disappointing. It could be that I walked in expecting entertainment on par with their previous films, but got spoonfuls of bitter life lessons. Reality is depressing enough. Note to Pixar and Disney, please go back to making films that are more fun than not. I don’t want to be bummed out watching a kid’s film. I pray that the sequels to The Incredibles and Finding Nemo are not this serious.”

    There are so many things wrong in this so called “review” that makes me wanna barf on my bedroom window. First off, Inside Out is hilarious from start to finish and are you gonna tell that there wasn’t any laughs? What about the characters having different funny moments in the movie like the dream scene or the end credits scene where we see the emotions of all different people? What about the scene where Anger gets pissed at San Francisco for adding a vegetable on a cheese pizza or the scene with Anger, Disgust and Fear trying to deal with Riley without Joy and Sadness? Did you just moan because it has adult themes in it throughout the whole film? Speaking of mature themes, you said that it’s too emotional for you to handle DESPITE that you were fine with the other Pixar films you reviewed (perfect scores mind you) and you don’t want to see serious mature themes on Incedibles 2 and Finding Dory? Well, guess what Roman? You either a puss or a guy that has NEVER seen enough family film’s with dark adult themes, so I suggest you get off your hypocritical ass and start watching Dark Crystal and Neverending Story if I were you. Lastly, the whole point of Inside Out was the theme of emotions and how we must use all of them in order to achieve our obstacles that life throws at us. Seriously, the ending of the film brilliantly pulls the theme right with Joy realizing that without Sadness, Riley would feel incomplete and the scene where Riley cries to her parents about going back to her home? Tell me that didn’t break your heart out. But what do I know, Roman? I’m just some guy on the Internet that rants about stuff right? Cause we all know that themes like these are “too dangerous* for kids to handle and think about, not the other way around! *sarcasm*. Also, Pixar aren’t the only studios that can make animated films with mature themes too and other animated films like Rango, Metropolis, The Iron Giant, The LEGO Movie, Cat’s Don’t Dance and Secret of NIMH did a lot of mature themes wonderfully even before and after Pixar were relevant but like most critics or reviewers, they ignore facts and accuse us as “just haters because we are getting angry at a kid’s movie” just like how they accuse us on “hating a comedy because they have women in it and not men!”. Gotta love that social mentality these days, huh?

    Sadly, despite animation being good these days, people see and only accept animation as comedy for the likes of Family Guy (fuck that piece of shit of a series) and only comedy is worthy for animation… No, it is not only for comedy. Just because something is animated doesn’t mean it’s automatically “for kids”, it just means that some people use animation to tell a story ina more visual unique way that can’t be done in live-action (Akira anyone?). Since society is and always will be ignorant on animation, let me show you, once and for all, a little video that proves that animation can work on so many levels of themes and emotions:

    “And the feels rain is starting to grow again…”

    In Episode 7 of the new show We Bare Bears, Grizzly, Panda and Ice Bear enter a burrito restaurant and Grizzly decides to compete in a burrito eating contest and at first, Grizzly is gonna win until the employers bring him a giant burrito and when Grizzly touches it to eat it and win the contest, he suddenly snaps and decides to protect it from anyone that wants to eat the big burrito and at first, it becomes funny with Grizzly and the burrito doing crazy shenanigans but during the 4 last minutes of the show, Panda and Ice Bear take the burrito to destroy it while Grizzly becomes crazy obsessed with the burrito while a thunder destroys the burrito with the remains falling in his face and the only way for Grizzly to snap out of it is to play with the food, which eventually works and Grizzly apologizes while thinking about why he was obsessed with a burrito but then, he says’ “it was probably nothing”. At first, the episode looked like another comedic episode about a character getting obsessed over food… That is until his backstory gets revealed when a young couple calls the police and firemen to rescue a bear cub stuck in a tree with one fireman climbing on the ladder while trying to convince Grizzly (the bear cub) to let go of the tree but the cub is too afraid to move because he is afraid and alone but the fireman convinces the cub to hug the aluminum foil in the wrist and both the fireman and the bear cub hugging the foil climbed down to safety on the ground. This whole backstory is proof of a theme that this episode cleverly tells with 11 minutes and if you pay attention to the small details like the flashbacks, it’s about having faith in the people that care about you while dealing with our issues of the past and how we must face them in order to make amends. For example: The tree that the bear cub was holding on to symbolizes protection since Grizzly is all alone without a mother or father to protect him with the tree his only and possibly his last “guardian” despite that a tree can’t protect him from the thunders that’s scaring him until the fireman comes up and convinces Grizzly to let him help the cub to get down from the tree by hugging the foil with the fireman with the fireman symbolizing Panda and Ice Bear because those 2 care for Grizzly and would do anything to protect their friends or brothers. Seriously, who would have thought that a show with 3 funny bears could be so damn sad and powerful.

    My point in all of this? It’s time for everyone to grow up and abandon the stigma because as of now, animation is about to become even bigger than we ever imagined and if we let this non-existent issue exist and judge a cartoon over how “kiddish” it looks then it’s gonna be looked that way for years to come. Animation is about experimentation as a whole from different ideas to different animation technologies that are waiting to be used and be tested for potential projects (Looking at you, Disney with the Meander) or other cartoons that are longing for a revival that could bring a new audience for today because I love animation. I love any style of animation, I love the people that are willing to do experimental animation to figure out the rights and wrongs of the techniques and I love how a lot of the filmmakers and creators that brings uniqueness to an animated project that would stand out from the rest of the pack but most importantly, people should realize that animation is a time-consuming massive group project that requires years of work that goes on storyboards, scripts and finishing touches it needs to be completed and for those who think animation is a “piece of cake”, I like to see them try working on an animated project like Kill La Kill and Gurren Lagann just to laugh at their stupidity fall flat on their faces and later apologize for it. With animation being this damn good lately, it allows kids to be exposed and learn many adult themes such as grief, loneliness, love, life, death, despair, happiness, faith, genders and so many themes that at first, kids will get confused with the themes but once they start growing up while being attached to that certain show or film, they come back and appreciate it for what it has done for him and we all know it happened before with so many others including myself when watching Land Before Time as kid but now, I’m a fan of the movie and appreciate all of it’s dark themes that did help me with my life as a whole. Animation is not only about breaking the limits on what can we do with animation but it’s a medium where we can share stories that will be told through generations as many animators dedicate their lives to bring us as many colorful memories as possible whenever it’s an experimental project or a project that means so much to a certain person. In the end, Animation is part of a cinematic wonder that needs to be embraced, loved and be respected like any piece of art out there.

    To end this, here’s the quote of the final minutes of the episode “Shush Ninjas” from We Bare Bears that talks about the reason we go and watch movies (both live-action and animation) and summarizes my whole point:

    “Movies. Why movies? You ask. Why we are here in this dark and kinda smelly room with a bunch of total strangers? We go to the movies to be a part of something together! Just think of all the memories we share, all the time we’ve spread our imagination wings that allowed ourselves to soar!

    We’ve opened our arms to new adventures, filled with moments that warmed our hearts! Moments that are windows to our past and help us shape our future! We are these characters. We understand all their imperfections. They love like we love. There’s no telling what mysteries will unfold or whom will meet along the way but life is never boring when you go to the movies!

    In conclusion, who needs a telescope to look at the stars when the stars shine brighter at the movies.”

    Thanks for reading, everyone and if anyone wants to discuss more issues in the animation industry that you want to address, feel free to discuss on the comments below and who knows, maybe we can talk more about this subject in the future.

    "The world is merciless and it's also very beautiful."

    #5440
    Mr.K
    Mr.K
    Participant

    Hello again. As you know, I just got off writing this article about the social stigma in animation and to anyone to bring discussions about this topic. So far, I got some pretty good responses with some negatives like the recent post from a friend of mine named “Alacran de Cinco Churros” on Facebook where he enjoyed the first half of the post but the rant with me and the review on Inside Out he didn’t like and that my article was too long to read. Honestly, I can’t blame him cause this was my own fault for not fixing these mistakes when I got the chance to edit the article (I always miss the chance with these).

    Let me explain: The argument that I was trying to make on the whole “Inside Out” review is how all the sudden, there’s people out there that would jump off the Pixar bandwagon and started saying unreasonable bad things about the movie because it wasn’t like the old Pixar movies, which means that it’s not like the Pixar of the old days when they were perfect without making a single mediocre film despite that A Bug’s Life and Cars were OK-ish films by the Pixar community and the purpose of this argument was to show a lot of reviews of critics and reviewers on how some of these people just like to ass-kiss the company because in their immature bubbles, they see Pixar as a “perfect” company that cannot screw-up even if it’s staring them down at their faces (Originally, I was gonna expand this argument with the controversy of the reviews for Brave but since I was making the article too long, I decided to scrap it off from the article) and how they dislike another animated film for “not being as good as Pixar” excuse that I read too much in animated film reviews. Also, I have nothing against any person hating or liking Inside Out like with Julian Roman’s review that I copy and pasted from his site into this article and that’s their own opinion but one should construct their reasons a bit better than just “I didn’t like it because it’s too serious for me” reason. He mentions that it’s too depressing to watch and says that it was supposed to leave the viewer with a sense of wonder but he forgets that there’s also a lot of humor in the film that kids and adults can enjoy and there’s also sense of wonder in plenty of scenes (the opening scene, the flashbacks and the ending of the improved Riley) but rarely mentions it in the review. In conclusion, I’m sorry if anyone got confused or disjointed on that part and I shouldn’t have let my anger get me this pissed while writing the article but at least the last part was fine, so phew on that. Next time, I should calm down, think what point I need to make and then write it down.

    As for the criticism of the article being “too long”… Yeah, I know and I’m working on this particular issue but that’s basically a problem for me too. Sometimes, there are people that like long articles and others don’t like very long articles but I do agree that I need to keep a balance on short and long paragraphs while still trying to make my points across that allows anyone to understand the themes and ideas in the article. Also, I did notice that I should have separated a few paragraphs including the middle paragraphs including the Inside Out argument and the last paragraph that I did with We Bare Bears about how you can convey an adult theme in a cartoon. Who knows? Maybe when CCS gets bigger, we might have the ability to make blog posts and I might re-post it later on but with all the improvements of the separate spaces of the paragraphs and trying to expand my reasons better than last time. I’ll make sure to write the notes down to prevent further mistakes like this again

    Apologies and I hope you still enjoy the article.

    "The world is merciless and it's also very beautiful."

    #5443
    Shinra Kuroki
    Shinra Kuroki
    Participant

    The internet ate my first reply >.<

    I really enjoyed the article. It hit two really big issues that I love to talk about. One is how PC culture has taken the grim out of fairy tales. The second is how branding certain media childish has stunted the growth of those media.

    I really hate that death is taken out of a lot of kids shows these days. The morals are simple, too on the nose, and lack any form of nuance that will be necessary in order to enable kids to develop their own morality free of the biases of previous generation while still using the litany of lessons from history. The dumbing down of kids shows and kids cartoons has to a certain degree, dumb downed kids. Not every cartoon needs to be a master piece or impart some deep truths; but I find the coddling of kids detrimental to their long term intercultural growth and well being. The topic really deserves it own thread.

    A lot of the problems you have here could really be said about video games too. I have had video games touch my heart in a way no other form of media can. The biggest issue with growing the medium really is going to be a two front war between those who think it’s wrong to make a kids thing for adults and being attacked by those who want to co-opt the infant medium and turn it into their own propaganda mill. Look forward to that second problem… I already saw a SJW say that Big Hero 6 wasn’t diverse enough cause everyone was cis. Well, I can’t wait for Western animation to catch up with Eastern, especially since it’ll be nice to have an animated story where religion isn’t treated like a RPG villain’s evil organization. I really want to leave off with my favorite anime movie’s trailer: Paprika. It really shows why Western animation needs to grow up.

    "Now, I’ve forgiven the world and myself, too. I teach myself to smile again. One day I’ll get there, I know I will. Even if it takes me not nine, but nine hundred lives." -Susan Ashworth from The Cat Lady

    #5448
    Mr.K
    Mr.K
    Participant

    @Shinra Kuroki Sorry, I ate it. So delicious and sweet! HAHAHA! just kidding.

    Also, thanks for liking the article and god, PC assholes man, I hate them so much right now (South Park did an excellent job mocking those people but also presenting a dark future where the town are forced to change and “eat cake”). The problem is that critics, audiences and even some online reviewers get too damn oversensitive in meaningless shit, it could hurt the dignity of animation or any entertainment like movies or video games. Like with Rango where a bunch of professional killjoys try to force the MPAA to give the movie an R rating because it featured cartoon animals smoking or the fact that Robert Iger, CEO of Disney right now, forbids animators putting smoking in their films because he says and I quote: “It was the right thing to do” and if they do, they can lose their jobs over something this stupid. Should it really matter if there’s smoking, boobs, gore or violent imagery just as long as the movie or show is good or not?

    As for Eastern animation, I love it because unlike Western animation (which I respect and love), they don’t conform to these “feewings” of the professional media and just do what they love with little studio control or demands despite that these issues still exist in all of animation (not just in the West). Paprika is a mesmerizing journey into dreams, Summer Wars is a simple yet powerful drama that makes FROZEN eat it’s heart out and Redline… Well, Redline makes the Fast and Furious movies it’s bitches:

    BTW, do you mind checking my re-edited article of this topic? It’s the same but with some new additions while taking out the whole Inside Out argument and better separated paragraphs. Any positives or negative feed backs would be appreciated.

    "The world is merciless and it's also very beautiful."

    #5453
    Shinra Kuroki
    Shinra Kuroki
    Participant

    I’ll put it on my to-read list, but I haven’t seen Inside Out yet. I really need to convince my friends into a movie night or something.

    Eastern anime is always going to have a leg up on Western as long as the West keeps up the PC cult..-ure .

    "Now, I’ve forgiven the world and myself, too. I teach myself to smile again. One day I’ll get there, I know I will. Even if it takes me not nine, but nine hundred lives." -Susan Ashworth from The Cat Lady

    #5474
    Mr.K
    Mr.K
    Participant

    @Shinra Kuroki Right cause the Westerners are more elusive while the Easterners, despite not knowning much of the Western culture, are more open minded and experimental when it comes to animation.

    "The world is merciless and it's also very beautiful."

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.