Thursday, December 10, 2009

Back to Basics: Some Thoughts on Animation

With Disney's release of The Princess and the Frog, their first 2D animated feature in quite some time, I've begun to feel a bit nostalgic. While I've always enjoyed the advent of CG films (I still count Toy Story as one of my favorite theater-going experiences), they've become a dime-a-dozen these days. Some of them look like glorified video games coming from studios in search of a quick buck.

I think that, ultimately, I appreciate traditional animation moreso than CG because it contains more of a personal quality. For example, there's less of a seperation from the artists in a hand-drawn medium, as opposed to the calculated pixels of CG. Especially in early 2D films, viewers can see the unique stylings of each animator on screen. While perhaps not the most polished of looks, the level of charm and character involved is simply unavoidable. Meanwhile, the latest CG films seem to be locked in a battle for who has the best looking water effects.

I realize that 2D films now incorporate many aspects of computer technology, but the results still possess a warmth to it - a familiarity on some level. Yes, each form contains strengths and weaknesses and both require great skill. But this holiday season, I'll be enjoying Disney's new take on an old style.

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