I am an animation person. Anyone who knows me knows that. I would much rather watch an episode of a cartoon or an animated film than whatever live action TV show people tell me I should watch. I find animation appealing and it gives artists more room for creativity, in my opinion. My dream job, in fact, is to be a character designer or a storyboard artist for an animation studio. The animation industry is held at a high standard, and the best of the bests work to make the wonderful animated movies, films and television shows we love.
Well, it used to.
The animation industry has turned into absolute garbage, for lack of a better term. Creativity has been thrown aside, stomped on, then run over by a giant truck labeled, “We Have No Respect for Creativity Anymore.” I cannot remember the last time I have seen a charming, well-done animated film that was not from a broke college student’s thesis film uploaded on YouTube.
Disney, Dreamworks, Blue Sky, and Illumination are the animation powerhouses. They are the filmmakers who brought us our favorite childhood films. Ask anyone and they can quickly name their favorite Disney movie. However, there is always a pattern. They are always older films. What about modern animation?
All modern animation seems to be lately is lackluster, uncreative, uninspired, cash-grab sequels.
Here is a line-up for 2019’s animated films to be released: “Shrek 5,” “Toy Story 4,” “Frozen 2,” “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” and of course half a million animated-to-live-action remakes. None of us asked for these.
Making sequels and remakes seems to be a hot new trend that people do not actually like very much. I remember how excited I was for “Finding Dory” and then I left the theater disappointed. The same goes for “Incredibles 2.” The sequel is never as good as the original, and half the time it seems the longer a series goes on, the less respect people have for it. “Despicable Me” (the first one) was actually a charming, heartfelt film, but after a hundred remakes and too many minions invading all commercial products, everyone got sick of it.
The animation industry has lost respect for the art of animation. It is funny looking at concept art for many popular films. Almost always the original designs look better than the finished product. The finished product, which is supposed to be the best version, often have lazy character designs, over-saturated colors, and lackluster plots because it is for kids, so who cares?
Animation used to be an industry that produced content for everyone of all ages to enjoy. Now, they crank out sequels as fast as they can to pump in money quickly without any real effort.
As someone who has a dream in working in animation, seeing what the industry has turned into is very discouraging. I do not want to be stuck making a sequel to a movie that does not need a sequel or make a film that will eventually be made into a terrible looking live action remake. It makes me want to give up my dream. I used to hold Disney to a very high standard and dreamed of working for them. Looking at their content now, I am not so sure I want to work for them. This, of course, applies to other film studios too, and does not just apply to movies. Dreamworks made successful cartoon remakes of several series from the 1980s, but once again, they are just remakes.
We are feeding the public the idea that animation is just a medium used to make stupid colorful movies to keep your kids quiet for a little while. Animation is losing respect. It is not only discouraging me, it is discouraging other young artists too. The animation industry must change if major companies want to keep artists interested in working for them. Creativity is dying and being replaced by greedy cash grabs. Even those who are not as passionate about animation are getting annoyed by all the sequels and remakes. Something has to change if animation has any chance of being a respected medium in the future.
By: Cat Whiting, Opinion Editor