You know what I think? I think that animation needs to be fun to watch. And if it’s not meant to be fun (John Canemaker’s recent short film is a great case in point) then it had better darn well be interesting, arresting, grab you by the shirt lapels kind of good. But for entertainment animation I think we need to make it fun. And this Pocoyo stuff, my dear friends, is pure fun on a stick. So what if it’s “limited” animation? It has energy, it is imaginative in it’s own charming way. Sure the story is simplistic for pre-schoolers, but dang! It’s fun to watch!
I watched a section of animation for Song of the South that Thad K. posted on his blog. Man, that was fun to watch. Fun energy to the animation. Almost kinda Looney Tunes-ish for a Disney film. Then I thought of animation today and I realized- sadly we don’t see anything with this much strength and imagination being done. I can’t help but wonder: Is the whole business just making boring animation these days? When did animation become all about mimicing live action movies? When did we lose the fun? Why are we trading the fun of animation for the re-enactment of dramatic live action films? When the bulk of hand keyed CG animation gets to the point where stylistically it looks nearly indistinguishable from the cleaned up ‘performance capture’ of something like Monster House (and it’s almost there I think), the inevitable question will arise: why animate it at all? Why not just do what Zemeckis has done, capture it and clean it? If truly it turns out to be that mimicing live action acting is the end game of animation accomplishment- Why not indeed?
Here’s something else that looks like it could be fun…
But I can’t help thinking that if Dr. Suess is handled with the same “shoot it on 1’s and slather on the buttery smooth highly polished f-curve CG sugar” that it might not fit the Suess gestalt. If there’s anything a Dr. Suess bit of animation needs it would be this: Make it fun to watch! Dr. Suess is so fun, whimsical and lyrical to read, so the animation needs to be the same. So please, make it fun. Don’t try to make an animated version of Good Will Hunting. I only ask because I care.
Meanwhile, I have hopes that Flushed Away will capture some animation magic in a bottle. At least in an Aardman stop-motion sort of way.