Animation has been around for almost one-hundred years. Debuting in 1906 as we knew it (the origins go back as far as 1877), animation has long been associated with children’s media despite originally being more for all ages. It was revolutionized in this way when Walt Disney, back in 1937, made the first animated movie with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
From then on, animation has almost always been aimed at children and has been forgotten about when talking about great works of media. You’re more likely to hear someone talking about how Empire Strikes Back is a masterpiece for the eight hundredth time then you are likely to hear anyone make a peep about how good The Clone Wars television show is. That needs to change.
Animation is a medium that needs to be respected more. People need to realize that it has several advantages over the more popular live-action film type.
1. It’s more memorable
When the term live-action is said, the first thing that comes to mind is probably something like a normal man or a normal woman. And that’s because, no matter how you do live-action, people will always look similar. A lot of actors have similar body shapes, even if the skin isn’t the same. As such, several movies and television shows can blend together because several of them star that “guy with a beard.”
But when the term “animation” is said, there are several different characters that may come to mind. Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Betty Boop, several icons immediately pop into your head. That’s because animation has more variety with what it can do, and as such is more memorable in the long run.
2. The effort is amazing
This isn’t to say that live-action doesn’t take any effort. Several films have been stated as being a nightmare to work on. But with animation, it’s a different world.
In live-action, you can direct the actor or actress to convey whatever emotion is needed for that moment, and they can do it quickly. You’re able to capture their facial movements with a simple camera. In animation, you have to draw or model every in-between moment that forms an expression. With there being approximately twenty-four frames per second in an average animated movie. So when movies usually last around ninety minutes, that’s a lot of drawings.
To put it simply, imagine your raising an eyebrow. That’s a simple thing to do, you could probably do it right now. It’s a much less simple thing to do when every individual movement of your face needs to be redrawn.
3. Animation does it better than live-action
Spider-Verse is far and away the greatest adaptation of the Spider-Man mythos to the big screen. Not only did it receive acclaim from critics, but several comic book fans have praised it for representing the mythos of this great character better than any live-action film.
Most live-action films have the problem of saying “Nobody is going to take this seriously!” Which is one of the many reasons that it took so long for us to see a live-action Mysterio on the big screen. But in animation, people don’t have those qualms. Because Animation is primarily targeted towards kids or families, how ridiculous a character is hardly plays a part in whether they can be in a movie or show. Be honest, do you really think that there will ever be a live-action version of Peni Parker or Spider-Ham? Or would the insanely clever jokes of Spider-Man Noir work as well in live-action?
No, but those characters are some of the most memorable of the past decade, in any film. You’d have a hard time getting someone to recite a scene from Amazing Spider-Man 2 word for word, but if you’ve seen Spider-Verse, you can probably think of one or two scenes from the top of your head.
Yet, despite all this, Spider-Verse is the lowest-grossing Spider-Man movie of all time. Several animation studios are struggling to get by unless they’re Disney, who seems to be the only animation company that people respect.
Animation needs more respect, otherwise, the brilliance of movies like Spider-Verse will be forever lost.