Photo via Flickr (Harshlight) under Creative Commons license
My childhood was filled with watching all the classic animated movies. To this day, if I want to curl up with some comfort food in a pile of blankets all day, I’ll still watch the same cartoons movies from my younger years.
Nowadays many of the Disney classics are being made into live action films. I’d be ecstatic if the next new Disney princess that rolls out is a live action film, but just remaking the same story lines in a different format is not beneficial.
There’s so much subtext that can only be expressed in animation, like Disney princesses and their enormous eyes because it’s been proven that people with big eyes are perceived as innocent.
Animation allows for a character’s physique to define their personality like in “Inside Out.” You can easily see that Fear (Bill Hader) is lanky and can make himself very small and intimidating while Anger (Lewis Black) is short and stocky so that he “blows up” at people.
There are a lot more capabilities with animation that wouldn’t look appealing if it was a real person playing the part. Maui (Dwayne Johnson) from “Moana” wouldn’t have been able to accidentally turn into half a shark without scaring a lot of small children.
Otherwise scary characters wouldn’t be recommended to be in a children’s movie unless it was animated. Having a city of skeletons bounce around like in “Coco” would be eerie and unsettling if it was in live action.
Animation allows filmmakers to bring things to life that typically just don’t make sense to have in a children’s movie.
The Lego Movie franchise that have come out pose an unprecedented style of animation that can do anything imaginable, such as including characters, worlds, and references to many different storylines.
And animation doesn’t even have to only be in children’s movies anymore as proven by “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse,” which was a great example of different animation styles being blended together seamlessly to create an extremely aesthetically pleasing movie.
Making an animated movie takes an incredibly long time as well. Bruce Kuei, an animator for many Pixar films, says it takes anywhere from 4 to 7 years. It’s a hyper-specialized, hyper-intensive craft that should be appreciated.
I’m not saying every movie has to be animated, but we shouldn’t value live action filmmaking more. Animation has so many possibilities to develop a story that make it unique.