I find as I get older my tastes in animation are evolving. I suppose that’s not a bad thing, it’s a leading indicator that I’m alive, at least. When I was a younger animator I was really taken by the magic of technically excellent animation. You know, animation that is very smooth, highly polished with high production values. And if it closely mirrored the realistic workings of people in motion and behavior all the better. It was the gold standard we all aspired to achieve in our own work. I still like to see that these days, too. I’m not dogging it by any stretch. Shoot, it pays the bills so I’d be a hypocrite to say anything rotten about it. But I’m finding myself drawn more and more to simpler animation- something that may not be the most polished or technically sound animation. It’s got glitches, pops, imperfections. It’s inventive, offbeat, not afraid to be ‘wrong’ while still being somehow just right. I love anything that just shows signs of… humanity, I guess. To me these days it’s about energy, texture, a vibe, a sense of the artist’s hands touching the work, complete with all the quirks and clumsy foibles that our hands introduce. I dunno, it seems to be more accessible to me, it speaks to me more. The older I get and the more I see in life the more I realize that people are pretty messed up, dirty, clumsy, failing, hopeful, loving, forgiving, imperfectly funny things. When I see animation that in some way captures and reflects all that I get a sense that it’s the very real product of a very real person. I find the simpler it is, the more I like it. I still admire the craftsmanship and quality of highly refined technically excellent animation. In this modern day with the detail and level of infinite refinement available to animators in CG it’s easier than ever to keep at something until it’s pretty darn near perfect. That’s not something to dismiss offhand- it’s impressive. But stuff with life and energy that feels like someone imperfect touched it with their clumsy hands and hopeful heart, not just their minds, is what keeps me interested in this medium. Every piece is a surprise to be discovered, like a new friend that’s waiting to be found just on the other side of a handshake.