Animation is making leaps and bounds as I write this. So far, 2016 is turning out to be a great year for variety in terms of choice and styles. Yet in relative terms, we’re still well within the comfort zone. Animation art is entertaining us, and amazing us, but are we being challenged?
Half-hour episodes: the bedrock of just about every television success story. Efficient, profitable, and rapidly becoming outdated. The Simpsons owes a large chunk of its success to the format, but it blunts the show’s formerly raw edge.
Is the relationship between creators and fans today a healthy one? Has the new closeness made things ever more personal? Kickstarter and other crowdfunded content are coming under increased scrutiny with the biggest lesson so far being that when backers contribute money, they don’t make requests, they make demands.
Traditionally, the twin concepts of Disney and high-fashion being mentioned in the same sentence would have been laughed at. Low-grade, mass-produced, and with mass-appeal are what defined Disney merchandise for decades. Things appear to be changing though, as the company makes a concerted push into luxury fashion in a move that is bewildering yet not entirely surprising.
Video is undergoing a massive shift as we speak. The video feed is about to supplant television channels. As a form of video, animation is obligated to go along with the direction that the industry eventually takes. So just what form will that be, and how can animation create a place for itself within it? An excellent article on REDEF suggests one particular model that may work well for the artform and the industry.
Yesterday, I was treated to a screening of an independent animated feature film called The Stressful Adventures of Boxhead and Roundhead. Written, directed and animated almost single-handedly by Australian Elliot Cowan, it’s a film that I’m still mulling over in my head the next day; a good sign if ever there was one. I’m not going to comment on the film itself just jet, however, the entire project has prompted some questions of my own on independent animated films in general and especially those done by one man bands or very small studios.
Over on the Society for Animation Studies blog, Lauren Carr writes about what she perceives as a crisis in animation studies stemming mainly from a desire by students to simply learn the software tools rather than the technique and theory behind animation. If that’s true, then we are heading for an impending apocalypse in the field from which it will be very difficult to recover.
In a brief, but all too painful and to-the-point post over on Tumblr, Keith Lango lays out what it means to create animation for mass consumption. It’s an…
Female characters often have a tough time with variety. While there is plenty of debate and discussion surrounding the prevalence of stereotypes that send poor messages to viewers, there is something else that is completely overlooked. Dave Pressler ponders the interesting question of why female characters are often forced too look feminine by executives.