It is time to take animation seriously
By Katie Czenczek, Staff Writer
I never understood the concept of “kids’ television” and why as soon as an art form is animated, it is automatically designated for kids. Sure, television catered for kids does make sense. Kids might not identify with protagonists who work a nine-to-five job and then go to the bar after work. But the problem with the association between kids’ television and animated shows and films is that adults are expected to watch kids’ television only in the presence of children, or else they are labelled as immature. I found this especially to be the case when I watched Inside Out, as I sat in a theatre filled with adults all bawling their eyes out at a movie that is targeted towards a younger audience.
Often, these animated films and shows discuss serious topics such as loss, bravery, relationships, and many other adult subjects, and do so in ways that are far from childish. Animation is used as a tool to bypass conventional storytelling by allowing creators to animate literally anything they want. This lets them explore themes through a variety of different ways, freeing them from having to film in a movie set or out in the world. Inside Out is arguably one of the most accurate depictions of dealing with emotions and even handles the topic of depression with maturity. Hence, all the adults in the theatre finally letting out years of pent-up emotions all because a children’s movie validated the notion that people can feel sad. Revolutionary, I know.
In award shows, they have a separate category where every genre of animation must compete against one another to win the single, designated award. Not only do these awards completely disregard how animated movies belong to a plethora of different genres, it further delegitimizes it as a lesser movie or television form. Moreover, only three animated films have ever been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, with none ever winning the award. I believe this is due to how animation is still labelled as childish and therefore not worthy of recognition in “real” film categories.
Say what you want about animation and about the adults who enjoy watching it, but I will continue to enjoy watching Steven Universe and any Pixar film ever made. Well, maybe except for Cars, but we don’t talk about that.