“Yes, that’s right, I saw the Terrance and Phillip movie. Now who wants to touch me?”
Cartman in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
A versatile and ever-changing format, animation films have pushed the boundaries of cinema and taken on nearly every movie genre. From Winsor McCay’s experiments with Gertie the Dinosaur in the 1910s, to the fast-paced computer-generated graphics of today, animation films have always ridden the wave of technology. Although often associated with children’s films, an influx of adult-oriented titles has reshaped the genre since the late 1980s. Borrowing heavily from the framing and story conventions of their live-action counterparts, the best animation films also take full advantage of the medium, utilizing line, texture and color to establish mood and atmosphere.
Animation is a hybrid genre, and writers of this format are well-served by first studying the conventions of their project’s live-action cousins. That said, animation films can go much further visually, and can get away with a lot more controversy. In recent year, live-action filmmakers have even begun to steal ideas from animators, and this trend is likely to grow more common as computer technology continues to improve. The most memorable animation films tend to be those that mix cutting-edge graphics with meaningful storylines; beyond that, the test of a great animation flick is no different than for live-action. Whether they’re dwarfs, puppet or Canadians, your characters should be dynamic and relatable. If you’ve got that, you may just have yourself the next Shrek.
Animation movies to see: The Incredibles, Spirited Away, Fantasia, Shrek, Pinocchio, Watership Down, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Triplets of Belleville, 9
Stop Motion movies to see: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Chicken Run, The Curse of the Were Rabbit, Team America