Some Thoughts on Harassment Within the Animation Industry

The revelation that a well-known, and somewhat respected veteran animator is alleged to have engaged in behaviour that crosses the line of decency and inhabits the realm of predatory is disturbing. The animation industry is small, tight-knit, and immensely friendly. To learn that such behaviour and harassment exists shatters that reality and to know that it is far from an isolated incident raises many important concerns.

Continue reading “Some Thoughts on Harassment Within the Animation Industry”

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.

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.

Continue reading “Why Coco’s Award Dominance Is A Problem For the Industry”

As Art, Why Doesn’t Animation Challenge Our Beliefs?

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?

Continue reading “As Art, Why Doesn’t Animation Challenge Our Beliefs?”

Four Reasons Why The Simpsons Should Ditch The Half-Hour Episode

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.

Continue reading “Four Reasons Why The Simpsons Should Ditch The Half-Hour Episode”

Don’t Rely on Disney if You’re Looking For a Gay Princess

People have been clamouring for a Disney princess that embodies LGBT traits for some time, but the latest #GiveElsaAGirlfriend campaign is misdirected, misguided and will ultimately fail to accomplish the very outcome it desires. Why is this so, and why do fans tend to believe otherwise? The answer is troubling and undermines all efforts aimed at increasing representation in the media.

Continue reading “Don’t Rely on Disney if You’re Looking For a Gay Princess”

Why I’m Skipping Awards Season This Year

It’s that fabled time of the year, when the entertainment industry gets itself into a tizzy about shiny objects handed out to people for their efforts over the past year. It’s an exciting period to be sure, and the rumour mill is rife with who will win what, and who got snubbed this time, etc. etc. For all the season’s entertainment value on its own though, I’m giving awards season a miss this year, and the reasons aren’t as straightforward as you might expect.

Continue reading “Why I’m Skipping Awards Season This Year”