The now-infamous comments by Meryl Streep last Tuesday at the National Board of Review regarding Walt Disney set in motion a flurry of corrections from esteemed sources such as Floyd Norman, who knew Walt personally.
It matters not whether Streep (pictured above, from the forthcoming Disney release Into The Woods) felt correct in accusing a dead man of things that have long been disproven, rather, it displays a shocking aversion to simple fact-checking that anybody familiar with Google can perform.
This is regrettably an all-too-common fact of life when it comes to animation; simple fact-checking is ignored in a way that seems to suggest a blasé attitude to a legitimate artistic technique.
How often is the latest DreamWorks film casually mentioned in the press as a Pixar film? How quickly are cartoons lambasted for content that is openly tolerated and accepted in live-action?
It almost seems that plenty of people simply couldn't be bothered to do their homework when it comes to animation. Does the industry truly face the challenge of fighting ambivalence?
In a way it does. Animation is an industry that's small and close-knit. People within it and with an interest in it are knowledgeable, but those on the outside are not, and far too prone to simply making assumptions. Live-action is large enough to support a level of general knowledge within the population. Animation is not, and it suffers because of it.
This is why Streep's comments are so infuriating; they highlight, yet again, that animation and the people within it aren't held to the the same standards as others in the entertainment industry.
Charles Kenny writes prolifically on his own blog, The Animation Anomaly.