Respect Animation


An animated movie is a category of film that we’ve all experienced. We may have some nostalgic attachment to animated movies we watched as children. However, animated movies/shorts are not necessarily just for kids, or geared for kids for that matter. Like any other film, animated films have a target demographic. That demographic ranges from children and their families to adults and film buffs. Some examples of animated films that children probably shouldn’t watch are movies like The Breadwinner, Grave of the Fireflies, Perfect Blue, Fantastic Mr.Fox, Flee, and Akira, just to name a few. Many of these movies address themes that wouldn’t be appropriate or comprehended by children. So the question is, Why isn’t animation appreciated like the rest of film categories? One factor can be that the industry itself does not take animation as a medium for film seriously. One of the biggest film events annually is the Oscars. It helps recognize and rewards great films that came out in that year. Animation has its own category for a win. Seams great but animation is usually not nominated for any other category.The Oscars have a variety of awards for different aspects that make up a film. Examples are best original song, best original score, international film, cinematography, story, best movie overall plus many more. Animated movies are often overlooked for traditional films and don’t usually get nominated in any other category except animation. This is unfair because many of these animated movies overlap with the other categories. Films like Akira, Grave of the Fireflies, and Perfect Blue are movies from Japan which correlates to the international film category. Another aspect is music, a lot of animated movies will add original songs to their films,

but aren’t usually nominated in the song category. An example of this is Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio. Guillermo has many accolades and has won oscars for his films in the past, but this year’s film wasn’t treated with the same respect as in the past, the main reason being it was a stop motion animated film. Although critics loved Guillermos film and its songs, the academy didn’t seem to take that into consideration. I think a reason why Animated films are treated differently is because there is already a connotation that it’s for children. Thanks to one of the most successful animation studios, Disney, for years we only have animated films geared entirely to entertain children. As the years went by we saw animators start to explore more serious themes, disney included with its film The Hunchback of Notre Dame. But the damage was already done, many of these modern animated films aren’t widely talked about because of the preconceived notion that if it’s animation, it’s not for me because I’m not a child. This is because it’s hard for people to separate the film’s story from its medium, this is hard to combat when the academy itself did not recognize animation as a category but as a genre instead. It is not a good classification because animation films can be about anything. Psychological horror, comedy, science fiction, action and much more. For the longest time Disney films, geared for children, were the sole winners for the animation category, although other animated movies were nominated and arguably better. People can’t seem to separate the story from its medium. However, there is hope for animated films to get the respect they deserve. As mentioned before, there are many animated films coming out of Japan that have been given theanimation category more legitimacy. With the mainstream interest for anime going up, in part animated Japanese movies as well. It hasn’t been just Japan though, many animation companies internationally over the last few years have released amazing films that have helped the interest for animated movies skyrocket. It seems like it’s working, this year’s Oscars was the first time where the animation category wasn’t given a superficial rundown and was shown more dedication. Although this is one good in the many times that animation was looked down upon, it is a step in the right direction and hopefully sways the public perception that animation is not a legitimate film medium or that it’s just for children. If a genre of story exists for a traditional film it also exists for animation. So why not give an animated movie a chance?