Saturday, 1 May 2010

Ken's philosophy on animation

*cracks fingers* So my philosophy........

For the past two years we have been taught by the fine tutors of DJCAD that an animation should have a narrative and character, and the character should have some sort of purpose, i.e. it is pursuing a goal, wanting something, etc. It's the conventional Disney approach. And it's taught for a reason; it works, and it works well. However, with all of the wonderful permutations that animation has to offer, it is a shame to be limited to this convention. If you look at music videos, they don't always have a narrative. Sometimes they are a procession of thought-provoking images which you will remember and ponder about, and sometimes they will affect you emotionally. All of that can be achieved without a narrative and character, if done well of course.

In my humble opinion, animation is an artform which should be able to run free in the fields and not be blocked off by some Disney-fied fence. It should be expressive, mean something to the director and team and something that will captivate an audience and amuse and provoke thoughts in equal measure. You don't always need a character nor a narrative to do all of these.

I fully appreciate the art of making a character and making the audience feel empathy for him/her/it. It truly is a joy to behold. But it is getting harder and harder to come up with something original. Take Avatar for example. Wonderful visuals, great music score. But the plot? Comprehensively cliche. But it got off with it mainly because of the great animation on offer.

In conclusion, one deserves the right to animate whatever they want as long as it appeals to an audience and serves a purpose, with or without a character and/or narrative. If everyone were to animate whatever they wanted in whatever style then presumably a vast amount more creativity and originality will bubble up to the forefront and mainstream.

Just do not mention something as daft as Unobtainium.

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