Project 1 – Animation Studies: What to discuss?

I’ve started the research part of things.  I thought it’d be best to start with a topic before designing the character just so I can adjust the character to the topic rather than the topic to the character (This makes sense in my head.)

As stated in earlier post, the topics that I’m choosing from are..

  • Animation is just for kids.
  • Animation is a form of art or a form of production.
  • Animation is a genre of film making.

I started from the bottom..

 

Animation is a genre of film making.

First of all.. Oxford dictionaries word:  Animation.

2. The technique of photographing successive drawings or positions of puppets or models to create an illusion of movement when the film is shown as a sequence:
‘a combination of live action with 3-D animation’
[count noun] ‘animations as backdrops for live action’
2.1 The manipulation of electronic images by means of a computer in order to create moving images.
Oxford Dictionaries | English. (2016). animation – definition of animation in English | Oxford Dictionaries. [online] Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/animation [Accessed 7 Dec. 2016].

 

 

Genre.

 A style or category of art, music, or literature:
‘the spy thriller is a very masculine genre’
‘the science fiction genre’
Oxford Dictionaries | English. (2016). genre – definition of genre in English | Oxford Dictionaries. [online] Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/genre [Accessed 7 Dec. 2016].

Starting where I always start any type of research, mother Google gave me the first click on a forum in which the original poster (OP) started, or well.. in this case wanted to start a discussion about if Animation is a Genre or Medium.  The people had spoken and were more than clear that they see Animation to be a Medium rather than a Genre.  However, a few did point out a few things as to why some might think it’s a genre, though I didn’t see their statements as something so solid that I could take it into my script just yet.

Medium.

An agency or means of doing something:
‘using the latest technology as a medium for job creation’
‘their primitive valuables acted as a medium of exchange’
Oxford Dictionaries | English. (2016). medium – definition of medium in English | Oxford Dictionaries. [online] Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/medium [Accessed 7 Dec. 2016].

It seems that there is a blurred line when it comes to Animation. Both are in their own right when stating that animation is a genre or when saying it’s a medium. The definitions of both words can be applied to animation as a whole, however I do think that over the years animation has grown into a beast with its own name.  One who can take on all genres and make it work, be it comedy, horror, thriller or action and with this growth it’s no longer something that can be enjoyed by just children but people of all ages.

Animations are not a strictly-defined genre category, but rather a film technique, although they often contain genre-like elements. Animation, fairy tales, and stop-motion films often appeal to children, but it would marginalize animations to view them only as “children’s entertainment.” Animated films are often directed to, or appeal most to children, but easily can be enjoyed by all.
Filmsite.org. (2016). Animated Films. [online] Available at: http://www.filmsite.org/animatedfilms.html [Accessed 7 Dec. 2016].

Which brings me to the next topic:  Animation is just for kids.

As we have gone on an animation history journey last year, what I remember most is that it was a new form of entertainment that was enjoyed by all ages, but mostly the adults.
Gertie the Dinosaur (1914) is a perfect example who’s shows was visited by all ages.

YouTube. (2016). Gertie the Dinosaur (Winsor McCay, 1914). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmVra1mW7LU [Accessed 8 Dec. 2016].

 

When scouting the internet it was again a very one sided view as to why animation is not just for children but for everyone, and I found some difficulty in finding a reason as to why animation continues to carry the stigma of being for just kids rather than adults.
A simple youtube video gave me some insights with a few reasons as to why it carries the stigma.

YouTube. (2016). Why Do People Think Animation is for Kids?. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA7EBI2SZ8Y [Accessed 8 Dec. 2016].

The line as to why something can not be viewed by children but can by adults is always easy to find; No person in their right mind would have their 3 year old sit through a marathon of South Park. But it seems that when something is for just children it’s not about the contents so much as that it’s about movement and visual features.
A short article that I found speaks about what it is exactly that children respond to best when it comes to television entertainment.

There is a paucity of studies of infants’ and toddlers’ preferences of television content. This home observation study investigated how young children’s attention to television is determined by auditory, visual, and content features of the program and by program difficulty. Fifty 6- to 58-month-olds were presented with a videotape consisting of segments of the news, Sesame Street, Teletubbies, and Lion King II. Results agreed with the moderate-discrepancy hypothesis, which states that young children pay most attention to television content that is only moderately discrepant from their existing knowledge and capabilities. Among infants, salient auditory and visual features (e.g., applause, visual surprises) particularly attracted their attention. These features also attracted older children’s attention, but older children predominantly allocated their attention to television content on the basis of nonsalient (e.g., moderate character action) and content features (e.g., letters/numbers, meaningful dialogue). The attentional shift from salient to nonsalient and content features started between 1.5 and 2.5 years of age.
Valkenburg, P. and Vroone, M. (2016). Developmental Changes in Infants’ and Toddlers’ Attention to Television Entertainment.

 

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