Monday, February 23, 2015


At last night’s Academy Awards, animation was once again referred to as a genre in front of the whole world. This must stop. 

GENRE is French for a sort or kind of thing, a category.
MEDIUM is a means of doing something.

Animation has come to be considered a genre because it’s the preferred medium for children’s films, especially in the US, where Disney, with their fairy tale franchise, is the main proponent. 

If only animation studios would broaden their field to include other subjects we wouldn't have this problem of mistaking animation for a genre. That a formerly innovative studio like Disney would limit its output to one genre is a shame. You'd think they'd want to expand their audience by making animated films in other genres like animated action films or animated sci-fi especially since they own the Marvel Comics and the Star War franchises.

Because Disney does some of the best animation in the world don't they owe their audience high quality entertainment in other genres?  New technology and artistic techniques need new subjects. We’re not asking Disney to change, just to diversify. And DreamWorks, Sony, Fox, Blue Sky and Universal too. 

In Europe and elsewhere, animation has been used to make adult films such as
the French-Iranian PERSEPOLIS, the Israeli war film WALTZ WITH BASHIR and  Sylvain Chomet’s French Oscar-nominated TRIPLETTES de BELLEVILLE. It’s disappointing that few, if any, adventurous genres have been tackled in animation since.

We know it’s a box-office argument as animation costs are so high, however these
animated films were profitable:

BASHIR cost $2million and grossed $11,125,849 
PERSEPOLIS cost $7.3 million and grossed $22,752,488
LES TRIPLETTES de BELLEVILLE cost 9.5 million and grossed $14,776.760


Not in FROZEN’s mind-blowing $1,274,219,009 league, but profitable none the less.

It would seem that it’s not so much a question of losing money on a different genre of animation, but of making a more modest profit. And who’s to say that any of those films would not have grossed much more with the Disney promotional machine behind them?

Come on Disney, you are plenty rich enough to take such a risk especially after sweeping the animation Academy Awards this year. DreamWorks, you're a young studio needing a new direction, take a chance on new animation frontiers, go boldly into new genres where no folk-tale franchise has gone before to make it clear that animation is a versatile medium and a sophisticated art, it’s the subject that’s the genre.


1 comment:

N. L. Lumiere said...

From Brian Scott (Disney Animation but speaking for himself) on Twitter Feb 25 2015: