I often hear people say that animation is for kids or doesn’t leave as strong of an impact on the viewer as live-action movies can. Even though this sentiment has shifted a bit with the rise of anime, animation still doesn’t get the amount of respect it deserves as an art form. Animation is not just for kids, it is for everyone. It isn’t a genre and certainly should not be dismissed as ‘the kids' genre’. With its ingenuity and brilliance, animation, in fact, is a medium through which any story can be told.
Yes, animated movies and shows are, well animated, but they are still full-fledged stories with emotions, compelling plotlines and well-rounded characters with interesting arcs. Animated movies are stories and deserve to be treated as such. The fact that they are animated is a feature, not a flaw.
I agree that some animated movies are bad, but so are many live-action movies. Animation doesn’t lack depth, gravitas or nuance and many incredible stories have been told through this medium. This is why I feel that animated movies should be able to compete in any category at the Academy since they can belong to any genre. However, major award functions such as the Oscars(slowly losing their importance now) fail to recognize this.
There are also many things animation can achieve that live-action movies can’t like stylizing body proportions and movement in a way that enhances the story. It can exaggerate lighting and colour to portray a feeling in a way that might not look good in any other medium. It can capture and exaggerate scale, convey emotion and immerse you in the story being told. It can create worlds that feel lived in and which you would want to explore. It can leave you with a feeling of wonder and magic. Animation can be creative and innovative, its visuals can be beautiful, breathtaking and haunting.
The art style used in an animated film can be changed and adapted to complement and tell the story better. Animation can offer social commentary and make you laugh, cry, feel and think just as much, if not more than any other type of visual entertainment.
Animation is, in its own way, magic. Animation is an art form that people have dedicated their lives to and in Cinema, it deserves its due respect.
About the writer- Pihoo Mamgain (14) is an avid reader, digital artist and a huge fan of anime.