Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Can the General Public Tell the Difference Between 2D animation and CG animation

Features
by Charles Kenny
July 31, 2013 1:00 PM
26 Comments
  • |

Simpson's artist Luis Escobar raises this very question on his blog as a way of stimulating discussion amongst the animation community. It's a good point to raise, especially as animated films dominate the box office and CGI is wholly dominant amongst those.

Naturally, the public was aware of the difference back when Toy Story was released. While it was initially hoped that it's groundbreaking nature would be enshrined in the history books by way of its story, thus far, it is its CGI composition that has governed instead.

That was back in a different time though; hand-drawn animation was the dominant form, both popularity and profit-wise. Today, it's the opposite with CGI being dominant and hand-drawn all but eliminated from the mainstream box office.

The point is that with over 10 years of CGI films being released, we're getting to a point where people will soon know of nothing else, and associate 'animation' with 'CGI'. Without some education, there is a real concern that hand-drawn animation may cease to be recognised for its technical merits and instead be judged on the quality of its story or plot.

Further blurring the lines are animated TV shows that, while two dimensional, are CGI insofar as their production through computers and software. Here, the general public has neither want or need to distinguish between traditional and CGI animation.

Should we be concerned that the general public is slowly confining hand-drawn animation to the history books through blatant ignorance? Or does the lack of an ability to distinguish lie at the feet of Toy Story, the film that has set the mould for CGI features for the last 17 years?

Features
  • |

26 Comments

  • Jacques Muller | February 21, 2014 4:17 AMReply

    Being personally a 2D Animation lover, I have to admit that 3D features like Tangled are probably the best there is in terms of 3D Character Animation for Features. I personally prefer the Human animation type in 101 Dalmatians (1961). I once tried to voice my frustrations to see the 2D animation niche reduced to almost nothing, during a Forum in Angouleme France. The guy next to me ( a studio head) told me: -" But 3D is so much more accurate!"). Probably this guy never saw Shere Kan animated by Milt Kahl or Medusa or Sir Hector?, etc...These animations were right on the money and did need any more accuracy. Should we make a 3D version of Mona Lisa so that it could be much more accurate ???? Anyhow, 3D is here to stay. I personally love 3D in films like the new Planet of the Apes. That's remarkable! But why can't we have both genres living side by side; merging into one another from time to time? It seems that there are some people who have absolutely no clue if there are actually watching 2D or 3D. This never ceases to amaze me; pretty much like the first audiences watching the Lumiere Brothers' "Arrivee d'un train a la Ciota" (arrival of train in la Ciota) shot around 1896. Despite the crudeness of that black & white jittery early film, people ran out of the tent in terror, believing that this was a real train heading full speed toward them. Is History repeating itself? Are some people really incapable of telling one from the other ? I for one perfectly understand that kids today have been bathed in 3D animation mostly. So their appreciation of the artistic side of a Milt Kahl animation is nil. They can't recognize beautiful Art when they see it. I don't blame them for that. But it pains me to see that this kind of Art is gradually falling in derelict because some executives out there have decided to pull the rug under it. History happens in cycle. 3D was the rebirth of a practically dead genre: Stop Motion animation at a higher octave. That genre nearly died in the 70s. Let's hope that the beauty of 2D Character Animation will go through the same rebirth. Done well, it's too beautiful to disappear completely.

  • Jacques Muller | February 21, 2014 4:17 AMReply

    Being personally a 2D Animation lover, I have to admit that 3D features like Tangled are probably the best there is in terms of 3D Character Animation for Features. I personally prefer the Human animation type in 101 Dalmatians (1961). I once tried to voice my frustrations to see the 2D animation niche reduced to almost nothing, during a Forum in Angouleme France. The guy next to me ( a studio head) told me: -" But 3D is so much more accurate!"). Probably this guy never saw Shere Kan animated by Milt Kahl or Medusa or Sir Hector?, etc...These animations were right on the money and did need any more accuracy. Should we make a 3D version of Mona Lisa so that it could be much more accurate ???? Anyhow, 3D is here to stay. I personally love 3D in films like the new Planet of the Apes. That's remarkable! But why can't we have both genres living side by side; merging into one another from time to time? It seems that there are some people who have absolutely no clue if there are actually watching 2D or 3D. This never ceases to amaze me; pretty much like the first audiences watching the Lumiere Brothers' "Arrivee d'un train a la Ciota" (arrival of train in la Ciota) shot around 1896. Despite the crudeness of that black & white jittery early film, people ran out of the tent in terror, believing that this was a real train heading full speed toward them. Is History repeating itself? Are some people really incapable of telling one from the other ? I for one perfectly understand that kids today have been bathed in 3D animation mostly. So their appreciation of the artistic side of a Milt Kahl animation is nil. They can't recognize beautiful Art when they see it. I don't blame them for that. But it pains me to see that this kind of Art is gradually falling in derelict because some executives out there have decided to pull the rug under it. History happens in cycle. 3D was the rebirth of a practically dead genre: Stop Motion animation at a higher octave. That genre nearly died in the 70s. Let's hope that the beauty of 2D Character Animation will go through the same rebirth. Done well, it's too beautiful to disappear completely.

  • Jacques Muller | February 21, 2014 4:17 AMReply

    Being personally a 2D Animation lover, I have to admit that 3D features like Tangled are probably the best there is in terms of 3D Character Animation for Features. I personally prefer the Human animation type in 101 Dalmatians (1961). I once tried to voice my frustrations to see the 2D animation niche reduced to almost nothing, during a Forum in Angouleme France. The guy next to me ( a studio head) told me: -" But 3D is so much more accurate!"). Probably this guy never saw Shere Kan animated by Milt Kahl or Medusa or Sir Hector?, etc...These animations were right on the money and did need any more accuracy. Should we make a 3D version of Mona Lisa so that it could be much more accurate ???? Anyhow, 3D is here to stay. I personally love 3D in films like the new Planet of the Apes. That's remarkable! But why can't we have both genres living side by side; merging into one another from time to time? It seems that there are some people who have absolutely no clue if there are actually watching 2D or 3D. This never ceases to amaze me; pretty much like the first audiences watching the Lumiere Brothers' "Arrivee d'un train a la Ciota" (arrival of train in la Ciota) shot around 1896. Despite the crudeness of that black & white jittery early film, people ran out of the tent in terror, believing that this was a real train heading full speed toward them. Is History repeating itself? Are some people really incapable of telling one from the other ? I for one perfectly understand that kids today have been bathed in 3D animation mostly. So their appreciation of the artistic side of a Milt Kahl animation is nil. They can't recognize beautiful Art when they see it. I don't blame them for that. But it pains me to see that this kind of Art is gradually falling in derelict because some executives out there have decided to pull the rug under it. History happens in cycle. 3D was the rebirth of a practically dead genre: Stop Motion animation at a higher octave. That genre nearly died in the 70s. Let's hope that the beauty of 2D Character Animation will go through the same rebirth. Done well, it's too beautiful to disappear completely.

  • Jacques Muller | February 21, 2014 4:17 AMReply

    Being personally a 2D Animation lover, I have to admit that 3D features like Tangled are probably the best there is in terms of 3D Character Animation for Features. I personally prefer the Human animation type in 101 Dalmatians (1961). I once tried to voice my frustrations to see the 2D animation niche reduced to almost nothing, during a Forum in Angouleme France. The guy next to me ( a studio head) told me: -" But 3D is so much more accurate!"). Probably this guy never saw Shere Kan animated by Milt Kahl or Medusa or Sir Hector?, etc...These animations were right on the money and did need any more accuracy. Should we make a 3D version of Mona Lisa so that it could be much more accurate ???? Anyhow, 3D is here to stay. I personally love 3D in films like the new Planet of the Apes. That's remarkable! But why can't we have both genres living side by side; merging into one another from time to time? It seems that there are some people who have absolutely no clue if there are actually watching 2D or 3D. This never ceases to amaze me; pretty much like the first audiences watching the Lumiere Brothers' "Arrivee d'un train a la Ciota" (arrival of train in la Ciota) shot around 1896. Despite the crudeness of that black & white jittery early film, people ran out of the tent in terror, believing that this was a real train heading full speed toward them. Is History repeating itself? Are some people really incapable of telling one from the other ? I for one perfectly understand that kids today have been bathed in 3D animation mostly. So their appreciation of the artistic side of a Milt Kahl animation is nil. They can't recognize beautiful Art when they see it. I don't blame them for that. But it pains me to see that this kind of Art is gradually falling in derelict because some executives out there have decided to pull the rug under it. History happens in cycle. 3D was the rebirth of a practically dead genre: Stop Motion animation at a higher octave. That genre nearly died in the 70s. Let's hope that the beauty of 2D Character Animation will go through the same rebirth. Done well, it's too beautiful to disappear completely.

  • Jacques Muller | February 21, 2014 4:05 AMReply

    Being personally a 2D Animation lover, I have to admit that 3D features like Tangled are probably the best there is in terms of 3D Character Animation for Features. I personally prefer the Human animation type in 101 Dalmatians (1961). I once tried to voice my frustrations to see the 2D animation niche reduced to almost nothing, during a Forum in Angouleme France. The guy next to me ( a studio head) told me: -" But 3D is so much more accurate!"). Probably this guy never saw Shere Kan animated by Milt Kahl or Medusa or Sir Hector?, etc...These animations were right on the money and did need any more accuracy. Should we make a 3D version of Mona Lisa so that it could be much more accurate ???? Anyhow, 3D is here to stay. I personally love 3D in films like the new Planet of the Apes. That's remarkable! But why can't we have both genres living side by side; merging into one another from time to time? It seems that there are some people who have absolutely no clue if there are actually watching 2D or 3D. This never ceases to amaze me; pretty much like the first audiences watching the Lumiere Brothers' "Arrivee d'un train a la Ciota" (arrival of train in la Ciota) shot around 1896. Despite the crudeness of that black & white jittery early film, people ran out of the tent in terror, believing that this was a real train heading full speed toward them. Is History repeating itself? Are some people really incapable of telling one from the other ? I for one perfectly understand that kids today have been bathed in 3D animation mostly. So their appreciation of the artistic side of a Milt Kahl animation is nil. They can't recognize beautiful Art when they see it. I don't blame them for that. But it pains me to see that this kind of Art is gradually falling in derelict because some executives out there have decided to pull the rug under it. History happens in cycle. 3D was the rebirth of a practically dead genre: Stop Motion animation at a higher octave. That genre nearly died in the 70s. Let's hope that the beauty of 2D Character Animation will go through he same rebirth. Done well, it's too beautiful to disappear completely.

  • Jacques Muller | February 21, 2014 4:05 AMReply

    Being personally a 2D Animation lover, I have to admit that 3D features like Tangled are probably the best there is in terms of 3D Character Animation for Features. I personally prefer the Human animation type in 101 Dalmatians (1961). I once tried to voice my frustrations to see the 2D animation niche reduced to almost nothing, during a Forum in Angouleme France. The guy next to me ( a studio head) told me: -" But 3D is so much more accurate!"). Probably this guy never saw Shere Kan animated by Milt Kahl or Medusa or Sir Hector?, etc...These animations were right on the money and did need any more accuracy. Should we make a 3D version of Mona Lisa so that it could be much more accurate ???? Anyhow, 3D is here to stay. I personally love 3D in films like the new Planet of the Apes. That's remarkable! But why can't we have both genres living side by side; merging into one another from time to time? It seems that there are some people who have absolutely no clue if there are actually watching 2D or 3D. This never ceases to amaze me; pretty much like the first audiences watching the Lumiere Brothers' "Arrivee d'un train a la Ciota" (arrival of train in la Ciota) shot around 1896. Despite the crudeness of that black & white jittery early film, people ran out of the tent in terror, believing that this was a real train heading full speed toward them. Is History repeating itself? Are some people really incapable of telling one from the other ? I for one perfectly understand that kids today have been bathed in 3D animation mostly. So their appreciation of the artistic side of a Milt Kahl animation is nil. They can't recognize beautiful Art when they see it. I don't blame them for that. But it pains me to see that this kind of Art is gradually falling in derelict because some executives out there have decided to pull the rug under it. History happens in cycle. 3D was the rebirth of a practically dead genre: Stop Motion animation at a higher octave. That genre nearly died in the 70s. Let's hope that the beauty of 2D Character Animation will go through he same rebirth. Done well, it's too beautiful to disappear completely.

  • Jacques Muller | February 21, 2014 4:05 AMReply

    Being personally a 2D Animation lover, I have to admit that 3D features like Tangled are probably the best there is in terms of 3D Character Animation for Features. I personally prefer the Human animation type in 101 Dalmatians (1961). I once tried to voice my frustrations to see the 2D animation niche reduced to almost nothing, during a Forum in Angouleme France. The guy next to me ( a studio head) told me: -" But 3D is so much more accurate!"). Probably this guy never saw Shere Kan animated by Milt Kahl or Medusa or Sir Hector?, etc...These animations were right on the money and did need any more accuracy. Should we make a 3D version of Mona Lisa so that it could be much more accurate ???? Anyhow, 3D is here to stay. I personally love 3D in films like the new Planet of the Apes. That's remarkable! But why can't we have both genres living side by side; merging into one another from time to time? It seems that there are some people who have absolutely no clue if there are actually watching 2D or 3D. This never ceases to amaze me; pretty much like the first audiences watching the Lumiere Brothers' "Arrivee d'un train a la Ciota" (arrival of train in la Ciota) shot around 1896. Despite the crudeness of that black & white jittery early film, people ran out of the tent in terror, believing that this was a real train heading full speed toward them. Is History repeating itself? Are some people really incapable of telling one from the other ? I for one perfectly understand that kids today have been bathed in 3D animation mostly. So their appreciation of the artistic side of a Milt Kahl animation is nil. They can't recognize beautiful Art when they see it. I don't blame them for that. But it pains me to see that this kind of Art is gradually falling in derelict because some executives out there have decided to pull the rug under it. History happens in cycle. 3D was the rebirth of practically dead genre: Stop Motion animation at a higher octave. That genre nearly died in the 70s. Let's hope that the beauty of 2D Character Animation will go through he same rebirth. Done well, it's too beautiful to disappear completely.

  • Jacques Muller | February 21, 2014 4:05 AMReply

    Being personally a 2D Animation lover, I have to admit that 3D features like Tangled are probably the best there is in terms of 3D Character Animation for Features. I personally prefer the Human animation type in 101 Dalmatians (1961). I once tried to voice my frustrations to see the 2D animation niche reduced to almost nothing, during a Forum in Angouleme France. The guy next to me ( a studio head) told me: -" But 3D is so much more accurate!"). Probably this guy never saw Shere Kan animated by Milt Kahl or Medusa or Sir Hector?, etc...These animations were right on the money and did need any more accuracy. Should we make a 3D version of Mona Lisa so that it could be much more accurate ???? Anyhow, 3D is here to stay. I personally love 3D in films like the new Planet of the Apes. That's remarkable! But why can't we have both genres living side by side; merging into one another from time to time? It seems that there are some people who have absolutely no clue if there are actually watching 2D or 3D. This never ceases to amaze me; pretty much like the first audiences watching the Lumiere Brothers' "Arrivee d'un train a la Ciota" (arrival of train in la Ciota) shot around 1896. Despite the crudeness of that black & white jittery early film, people ran out of the tent in terror, believing that this was a real train heading full speed toward them. Is History repeating itself? Are some people really incapable of telling one from the other ? I for one perfectly understand that kids today have been bathed in 3D animation mostly. So there appreciation of the artistic side of a Milt Kahl animation is nil. They can't recognize beautiful Art when they see it. I don't blame them for that. But it pains me to see that this kind of Art is gradually falling in derelict because some executives out there have decided to pull the rug under it. History happens in cycle. 3D was the rebirth of practically dead genre: Stop Motion animation at a higher octave. That genre nearly died in the 70s. Let's hope that the beauty of 2D Character Animation will go through he same rebirth. Done well, it's too beautiful to disappear completely.

  • Jacques Muller | February 21, 2014 4:01 AMReply

    Being personally a 2D Animation lover, I have to admit that 3D features like Tangled are probably the best there is in terms of 3D Character Animation for Features. I personally prefer the Human animation in the 101 Dalmatians (1961). I once tried to voice my frustrations to see the 2D animation niche reduced to almost nothing, during a Forum in Angouleme France. The guy next to me ( a studio head) told me: -" But 3D is so much more accurate!"). Probably this guy never saw Shere Kan animated by Milt Kahl or Medusa or Sir Hector?, etc... Anyhow, 3D is here to stay. I personally love 3D in films like the new Planet of the Apes. That's remarkable! But why can't we have both living side by side; merging into one another from time to time? It seems that there are some people who have absolutely no clue if there are actually watching 2D or 3D. This never ceases to amaze me; pretty much like the first audiences watching the Lumiere Brothers' "Arrivee d'un train a la Ciota" (arrival of train in la Ciota) shot around 1896. Despite the crudeness of that black & white jittery early film, people ran out of the tent in terror, believing that this was a real train heading full speed toward them. Is History repeating itself? Are some people really incapable of telling one from the other ? I for one perfectly understand that kids today have been only bathed in 3D animation mostly. So there appreciation of the artistic side of a Milt Kahl animation is nil. They can't recognize beautiful Art when they see it. I don't blame them for that. But it pains me to see that this kind of Art is gradually falling in derelict because some executives out there have decided to pull the rug under it. History happens in cycle. 3D was the rebirth of practically dead genre: Stop Motion animation at a higher octave. That genre nearly died in the 70s. Let's hope that the beauty of 2D Character Animation will go through he same rebirth. Done well, it's too beautiful to disappear completely.

  • Jacques Muller | February 21, 2014 4:01 AMReply

    Being personally a 2D Animation lover, I have to admit that 3D features like Tangled are probably the best there is in terms of 3D Character Animation for Features. I personally prefer the Human animation in the 101 Dalmatians (1961). I once tried to voice my frustrations to see the 2D animation niche reduced to almost nothing, during a Forum in Angouleme France. The guy next to me ( a studio head) told me: -" But 3D is so much more accurate!"). Probably this guy never saw Shere Kan animated by Milt Kahl or Medusa or Sir Hector?, etc... Anyhow, 3D is here to stay. I personally love 3D in films like the new Planet of the Apes. That's remarkable! But why can't we have both living side by side; merging into one another from time to time? It seems that there are some people who have absolutely no clue if there are actually watching 2D or 3D. This never ceases to amaze me; pretty much like the first audiences watching the Lumiere Brothers' "Arrivee d'un train a la Ciota" (arrival of train in la Ciota) shot around 1896. Despite the crudeness of that black & white jittery early film, people ran out of the tent in terror, believing that this was a real train heading full speed toward them. Is History repeating itself? Are some people really incapable of telling one from the other ? I for one perfectly understand that kids today have been only bathed in 3D animation mostly. So there appreciation of the artistic side of a Milt Kahl animation is nil. They can't recognize beautiful Art when they see it. I don't blame them for that. But it pains me to see that this kind of Art is gradually falling in derelict because some executives out there have decided to pull the rug under it. History happens in cycle. 3D was the rebirth of practically dead genre: Stop Motion animation at a higher octave. That genre nearly died in the 70s. Let's hope that the beauty of 2D Character Animation will go throught he same rebirth. Done well, it's too beautiful to disappear completely.

  • Don | August 14, 2013 8:05 PMReply

    BTW for the guy that wrote this article. Ever heard of company called "Studio Ghibli". They still make Hand Drawn Animated Films last time I checked. Too bad you forgot to mention that in your article.

  • Chelsea | January 9, 2014 1:00 AM

    Wow, that comment was unnecessarily snarky. Studio Ghibi has wonderful productions, but it does not get the same kind of mainstream publicity and praise that Pixar does. So yes, there are some exceptions, but in general CGI still does take over the majority of animated films today, probably because it is more profitable.

  • Mark | August 6, 2013 6:10 AMReply

    Believe it or not I've been asked a number of times (when I mentioned I had worked at Disney) "Oh, so you draw Toy Story?" Nuff said.

  • JcoolArts | August 3, 2013 7:01 PMReply

    I think both mediums have earned respect and with just cause for each their own selling points.
    Cgi IS a decent medium. For the general audience, most can discriminate it from 2d. Hand drawn 2D can have random grains, and subtleties only a hand-wielded tool could make.
    I find increasingly easy to discriminate between the two. And when it comes to cgi-2d, you can always tell when puppeteering is being over-used.
    2d is less profitable obviously, but so long as their are people who are willing to make it, their will be an industry for it that cannot be ignored.
    Just like the beatles, george washington, and film itself, 2D animation is imprinted into the eternal populous. I think there is alot of confusion, especially for those just starting out, in how the industry really is. Many animators will turn to doing layout work, or some other branch of the industry. Or..others might quit..and quitters never prosper.

    Once you quit your dream, you'll regret forever.
    And if 2d is your dream, then do it. Even if not one studio for 2d is open, that just means that the way is clear for you to start up your own without competition.
    The mere talk of something going out of style can kill it though, so I wish people would just calm down about the whole thing.

  • Michael Grabowski | August 2, 2013 10:53 AMReply

    Silent films vs. talkies.
    Black & white vs. color.
    Film vs. digital projection.
    Hand-drawn vs. CGI.

    It's the inevitable outcome of technological growth ennabling a new approach to making movies that ultimately becomes more profitable, while the newer generation of viewers comes to think of the older approaches as less preferable, making them less profitable and less likely to continue being made.

    Personally my biggest concern is that before long 2D (animation or live action) will cease to be an option for theatrical viewing in favor of the higher-priced 3D ticketed versions.

  • Zak | August 14, 2013 8:17 PM

    You have flaws in your logic as well DON. The Jungle Book had terrible looking animation. In fact all of the Disney Animated features that came out during the 60s,70s, to early 80s. Had some of the ugliest animation ever worked on by studio. Especially when you compared them to older films like Snow White, Pinocchio, Bambi, and Lady and the Tramp.

  • Don | August 6, 2013 2:06 PM

    your logic is flawed because films with CGI don't age well, they have a life span of about 3 years before the new technology highlights their flaws. for example, toy story already looks pretty shitty and it is genarally outdated, while hand-drawn cartoons like the jungle book and what not still look like they could have been made yesterday.

  • Hom | August 2, 2013 10:10 AMReply

    Is handdrawn animation being regulated to TV really a bad thing?

    I still don't get how people still think TV is considered secondary to Movies. When it hasn't really been the case for years now. Give me shows like The Sopranos, Mad Men, Dexter, Homeland, The Americans, etc. Over most of the movies that come out in theaters any day.

    If this is Hand Drawn Animations future than so be it. Just give me quality shows like Legend of Korra and lets start from there.

  • PKN | August 1, 2013 10:18 PMReply

    I think that indeed people now associate 'hand-drawn' animation (whether it was completed via a Wacom tablet or a Steno pad) as being something lesser. One of my best friends insulted me gravely when she wanted to watch a film from my vast animation collection but insisted it be stop-motion or CG because hand-drawn was 'too flat' and therefore 'too boring' for her.

    While I have a nerdgasm when I learn a hand drawn movie was completed with pencil and paper over stylus and software, I do not discriminate between the two - if the characters are expressive, backgrounds detailed, foregrounds lush - I am happy regardless of if the method of execution was more 'traditional' or more 'modern.'

    I cannot often tell whether a hand-drawn animated film was drawn on computer or drawn on sketchbook.

    I do think that as stop-motion films become more sophisticated and have gone digital, they have become harder to distinguish from CG. Especially with rapid-prototyping of faces and other developments. Once upon a time you could see the fingerprints and imperfections on clay characters, but now with silicone everything is much more clean, sleek. There was definitely a huge jump in polish between Selick's 'The Nightmare before Christmas' and 'Coraline.'

    While I find stop-motion films to be more organic, and can definitely discern the layers of flesh from fabric from props --- I fear the uninformed public may have thought 'ParaNorman' or 'FrankenWeenie' were just CG films.

    I do think it is unfortunate that someday children may grow up with a belief that CG is the animation style worthy of cinemas, while handrawn is only suitable for TV. However, if parents continue to show their children Disney films as they always have (and hopefully some Ghibli films, too - won't hold my breath most parents are educated enough about animation to show anything else such as some Soyuzmultfilm pictures) -- if they continue to do this, maybe children will have a respect for hand-drawn animation.

    Personally, maybe I am delusional, but I believe I have become quite attuned to picking out any CG among a hand-drawn film even when it is cel-shaded CG. I often watch hand-drawn shows or features and can spot the few seconds of CG for a vehicle or a building, etc. -- when most people probably would never be able to perceive the difference. It's my superhero power. ;)

  • Andrew | August 2, 2013 11:47 PM

    It's kind of hard for me to believe that the general public can't tell the difference between hand drawn and computer animation. I am the only member of my family who is an animation aficionado and yet we know the difference between hand drawn and CG animation. Seems like that is not so true for some others...

    With that said, now that you mention stop motion, I remember when I watched Coraline in a friend's house, I was actually confused for the first few minutes if it was stop motion or CG because the animation was ridiculously slick. After the movie was over, I asked one of my friends if the film was stop motion or CG. He honestly did not know which medium it was and instead asked me, which led me to explain that the film was stop motion. So now that stop motion is getting super smooth, I can see that some people (especially youths who grew up watching CG films) would confuse films like ParaNorman and Frankenweenie and Coraline was CG. But hand drawn? Even as a kid I was able to tell apart CG effects in hand drawn films (at least after watching Toy Story for the first time), and stuff like that is still obvious to me. I would be curious to know.

    However, whether that is true or not, I agree that the bigger problem is that people (especially children and teens) potentially don't care about the medium or believe that only CG films are worth watching in theaters since that is more "modern". Even my older brother (who has been graduated from college) prefers to watch CG over hand drawn films, claiming that hand drawn films are too "old-fashioned" and that CG is more "realistic".
    I honestly hope that hand drawn does come back in America. But if the people truly lose the interest or are indifferent like they are to silent or black and white films, then the medium truly has no more hope.

  • Aaron | August 1, 2013 2:33 PMReply

    "Without some education, there is a real concern that hand-drawn animation may cease to be recognised for its technical merits and instead be judged on the quality of its story or plot."
    Wait, why is this a bad thing? Of course movies should be judged based on the quality of their stories.

  • NicKramer | August 1, 2013 12:33 PMReply

    Dated, phooey. I still find "Toy Story" a nice film despite it limitations at the time. I do hope tradintional animation will come back. Not only because it would be a change of pace, but also I won't have to read as many sour comments about CGI.

  • Robert Fiore | July 31, 2013 10:29 PMReply

    I recall a world where the plural of medium was media, but that just shows you how old I am. I suspect that the younger people of today think of 2D animation as the cheap kind they do on television. Or as something the Japanese do. It's a dirty shame because the expressive capacity of 2D animation far exceeds that of CG. What one hoped of computer animation would be that it would bring down the cost of animation to where more risks can be taken. To the contrary, we now have the worst of both worlds; every animated feature is a huge industrial undertaking which will ruin a studio if it fails, so animated features are trapped in a lock step of low risk lowest denominator themes and plots, with any creativity at the margins. The other great problem is that the rest of the animated feature business abandoned artistic ambition to Pixar, and now Pixar has abandoned it too. Monsters University is the worst picture they've ever made, worse than the Cars movies.

  • Charles kenny | August 1, 2013 12:25 PM

    Great points Robert; I agree.

    I think the public's ignorance plays into this as well insofar that they see the evolution of CGI and expect it to continue. Sure Toy Story could be knocked out relatively cheaply today, but no-one would watch it because it appears immediately dated. Traditional animation doesn't suffer from that as much except for stylistic changes over the years that.

  • Nic Kramer | August 1, 2013 9:54 AM

    Worst, my eye! I thought it was good.

    I'm going to hope that traditional animation will come back, sooner or later.

  • Matthew Koh | July 31, 2013 7:50 PMReply

    You know, I kinda wish for a world where everyone treated and respected all animation mediums equally.

Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

Follow Animation Scoop

Email Updates

Popular Cartoon Posts

  • Women In Animation Launches Mentoring ...
  • Interview: Director Angus MacLane on ...
  • Cartoon Saloon Gives A Peek At "Song ...
  • TRAILER: "The Spongebob Movie: Sponge ...
  • Nick Launches Digital Series "Welcome ...