Mar
20

Author:

3 Comments

Great Animation in 2018 Lives at the Local Level

Last week I attended the Sweaty Eyeballs monthly animation festival here in Baltimore and besides imbuing me with a greater degree of motivation, it also reminded me that great animation lives in far more places than on Netflix and TV in general. For one, it lives right on my own doorstep.

Baltimore is not a major centre for animation, but it is the east coast’s quirky, weird equivalent to the west coast’s Portland. Art there is unafraid to be bold, independent, and challenging of the status quo; everything that mainstream art is not. It attracts a crowd that dares to be different and aspires to be something more than a cog in a machine at a large studio.

Some of the animated shorts on display were student works, while others were collaborations with artists in other cities. Yet they were all remarkably different from what you’d see on a TV screen. They had a sense of ‘life’ to them that exhibited a vibrancy and excitement. Even the shortest student films were alternately amusing and stylish. Better yet, they were all different from each other! There was no repetition or slovenly imitation! Every short was a feast for the eyes and gave pause for thought.

What all this served to do was to remind me (as I’m now reminding you) that great animation actually doesn’t reside on the screens we’re been brainwashed into believing they are. Mainstream animated features are not great animation; indie features are. Animated TV shows (even those on Netflix) are not pushing the envelope; shorts on the internet and elsewhere are.

So perhaps consider this a recommendation to check out what’s animated events are happening in your area. You might discover something you’d never see otherwise. And if you can’t make it to a major city, consider starting a screening event of your own; there’s no reason why not in this day and age.

Feb
8

Author:

3 Comments

Why Coco’s Award Dominance Is A Problem For the Industry

Pixar’s latest film Coco is being endowed with so many awards, they have their own Wikipedia page dedicated to tracking them all. It’s not all good news though. The film’s dominance highlights a concern that the industry is disconnecting from audiences in a potentially damaging way.

Read More

Jan
29

Author:

2 Comments

The Simpsons Rise Again Through the Magic of Memes

Everlasting cultural ubiquity stands as the holy grail of any creative endeavour. This tantalising achievement so often seemingly within reach is more often than not beaten down by the bulwark of a society whose tastes change and whose fickleness is monstrously incurable. The Simpsons though continues to find new paths to cultural relevance; the latest of which is through internet memes.

Read More

Jan
22

Author:

Comment

New Releases: Different Sides of the Animation Coin

One of the trends to expect in 2018 mentioned in last week’s post is about the rise of indie animation and the plethora of choices it will bring along with it. Shout! Factory has two new releases which offer a glimpse at both sides of the animation coin.

Read More

Jan
15

Author:

1 Comment

Six Trends in Animation to Expect in 2018

It’s a new year and as always, a good time to speculate on the trends for the forthcoming twelve months. Animation in general had a fantastic 2017 (dare I say it, the best) and hopes are high for 2018. All things being equal, that will hold true. Yet what emerging or developing trends will influence and transform the industry as we stare down the wait until 2019? Here’s a good guess at the six of the most important.

Read More

Questions

Independent Animated Features: 10 Questions That Need Answering

Thursday, March 13, 2014

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.

Is There an Impending Apocalypse in Animation Studies?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

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.

Why do you Animate?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

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…

Why Do Female Characters ‘Have’ To Look Feminine?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

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.

Original Content License