Posted by Geoff on June 23, 1999 at 08:02:19:
I've been reading a number of the postings on this site, and just thought I'd pass along some of my impressions.
I am starting my first year at Sheridan this fall, and I do believe that the future of animation is pretty bright...but I'd still like to see some changes.
I like some of the things that Charles has to say. I really like his focus on the enpowerment of the animation artist.
I am really concerned with what I see in the way of animation being produced. There really is a lot of crap that is being developed out there. It seems to me that as long as this continues...the animation industry will only wind up shooting itself in the foot.
It seems to me that so many companies out there are churning out animated program after animated program that never make it past pilot stages. Companies want to all have their own sucess stories like the Simpsons or Batman, but they seem to act as though these shows came to be through some kind of fluke. It seems that the current trend is to have cartoons that are completely story driven and go cheap on the visuals...only to have them wind up discontinued after a few months.
It's true that public acceptance of animation is probably at an all time high over the past decade, but it seems that the decision makers are trying to milk it for all it's worth by thinking that people are going to eat up anything that comes along.
It's no secret as to why shows like the Simpsons and Batman are so successful...it's because every aspect of the show is well crafted.
I'd really like to see the animation industry take the time it puts into making 5 or 6 shows that never make it past a year on television, and spend that time making 1 or 2 shows that are very well crafted.
I realize that if this were to happen, that every show would not be a hit...but it would serve the industry a lot better by not chopping away at the public's confidence and acceptance of animated programs.
I realize that in the history of animation there have been a number of up and down cycles of public acceptance, but I do believe that we are at a point now where there are no more cycles...that an animated show or movie is going to be accepted not because of some current trend of people liking animation, but because it is a really good show or a really good movie...period.
What I am afraid of, is that the industry continues to generate tons of animation that is created not in the hopes of creating a well crafted show...but rather to take advantage of the publics desire for animated programs. If this trend contiues, I predict that in 5 years or so...there will be a real slump in the public's acceptance of animated programming.
I am all for the idea of enpowering the animation artist. I love seeing things like Glen Keane getting as much publicity as the voice actors for Tarzan...I'd like to see more of that, and I think the public wants to see more of that too. If the animation artist is capable of having more say and having more of a sense of ownership of the final product...I think that it can only help to improve the quality of the product being developed.
I'm not sure how my thoughts come across to professionals who are in the industry. I am certainly a person who is on the outside looking in. I just see so many incredibly talented people working in the industry and see no reason why it shouldn't continue to grow and continue to flourish.
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