The "serious" animated film??

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The "serious" animated film??

Post by ShyViolet » May 19th, 2005, 11:59 am

Has this genre/category been completely abandoned?

With the release of Pocahontas, I kind of yearn for films like that again even though I know not everyone liked them. As I have said before I LOVED Prince of Egypt and Joseph:King of Dreams. Lion King was a great mixture of the "serious" with humor.

I mean, ask yourself, with CGI, how can you possibly make this kind of film again??? It seems like the only films we've seen in CGI are VERY humor-orientated and full of "adventure" as well as cute little animals/characters. People just don't relate to CGI characters the way they do to hand-drawn. It doesn't have that primal pull.

Yeah, yeah, I know--The Incredibles had humans and some serious themes, but by and large it was very action and humor orientated, even though it had some aspects of drama. But it wasn't an "animated epic" like POE or Lion King. There was definetely a pull towards the "cartoon" even with the death-defying circumstances of the characters. The designs were obviously very much orientated towards charicature; it wasn't an "animated drama" as much as it was a cartoon with some drama. There was also a huge emphasis on the visual, like with every Pixar film. It's not that I hate Pixar, I really like their movies. I'm just concerened that they're setting a trend for every studio to make films exactly like them and not go in differenet directions. I mean, when movie after movie follows the Pixar template, those films are going to seem kind of....bland. I think that's when we'll see a return to some more dramatic animation (early-90's style) and by consequence traditional animation--there is no way that animated epics can be done in CGI. Can you imagine Pocahontas as a CGI character? (*shudders*) :roll:
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Post by Ben » May 19th, 2005, 4:47 pm

I think, with respect, you mean "worthy" animated films, but I totally get your point.

I would argue that, Japanimation anime aside, the last film of this type, from the Mouse House at least, was Brother Bear, which shared much with Pocahontas in terms of style and pace (though not, I grant you, talking animal sidekicks!).

Recently, we've had Steam Boy and even The Triplets Of Belleville touched various "serious" emotional buttons, and The Corpse Bride will be interesting. These are more intelligent, "adult" animated films that deserve more than the "cartoon" label put on so much of this stuff.

If, as I suspect, you're mainly talking about the Disney-styled "entertaining epic", then that's more uncertain. Tarzan had some of it, but the sequel will obviosuly play to the younger set, and there's not much more coming out after that which looks to serve up more of that brand of animated filmmaking.

Hopefully somewhere, someone is mounting such a film, but they have proven to be hard to sell, and often end up po-faced and unremembered, no matter how good they are, or how much we like 'em! :)

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Post by Josh » May 19th, 2005, 7:06 pm

Maybe Bambi and the Great Prince will somewhat fill the void for a short time.

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Post by GeorgeC » May 19th, 2005, 10:04 pm

The only thing that upsets me about The Corpse Bride -- well, the overriding CREEPINESS about that film -- is the fact that it sort of...

Let's just blurt it out. NECROPHILIA, folks!

Otherwise, it looks like an interesting film.

Leave it to Burton to tackle necrophilia in a mainstream animated film.

Then again, Disney did hire a pedophile on one or two occasions to direct films, too! It's not as if Hollywood doesn't try to get away with topics that are even more unsettling than the humor of a Wayans' movie. (And I admit to liking more than a little bit of the Wayans' humor, too.)

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Post by Kinoo » May 20th, 2005, 3:02 am

Hunchback Kinoo's Cut (i.e without the Gargoyles musical scene) is the most adul achievement at Disney's. Definitely.


Bambi2 a future epic? Let me laugh...
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Post by Ben » May 20th, 2005, 9:03 am

GeorgeC wrote:Disney did hire a pedophile on one or two occasions to
Well, unwittingly. They found out after the fact.

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Post by ShyViolet » May 25th, 2005, 4:27 pm

If, as I suspect, you're mainly talking about the Disney-styled "entertaining epic", then that's more uncertain. Tarzan had some of it, but the sequel will obviosuly play to the younger set, and there's not much more coming out after that which looks to serve up more of that brand of animated filmmaking.
Yeah, that's what I meant. That's very disappointing. I know DreamWorks tried to do that with Sinbad and Spirit and didn't succeed (although a lot more people liked those movies than has been acknowledged).
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Post by Josh » May 25th, 2005, 6:25 pm

Kinoo wrote:Bambi2 a future epic? Let me laugh...
Please read what I said again, Kinoo. I said that Bambi and the Great Prince may somewhat fill the void- that hole created by the lack of traditionally animated films such as The Lion King. I never intended for my statement to be taken as, "Bambi and the Great Prince will be the next Beauty and the Beast."

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Re: The "serious" animated film??

Post by AniMan » May 26th, 2005, 7:53 pm

ShyViolet wrote:--there is no way that animated epics can be done in CGI. Can you imagine Pocahontas as a CGI character? (*shudders*) :roll:
:roll: Oh, man, Violet you floored me here! Do you seriously believe that an animated epic absolutely cannot be done in CGI?? I've got to say flat out that you're wrong. Just because it hasn't been done yet, doesn't mean that it can't! Look, I don't think anyone can love traditional animation more than I do; I'm the one who stubbornly believes that it will not die, that it will continue regardless of modern technologies. It is one of the most beautiful art forms around --- just look at The Triplets of Belleville. Beautiful! But that doesn't mean that there is no room for CGI and that an epic cannot be made with that format. I really don't see your reasoning behind that. I know you believe, as do I, that it comes down to story. What it will take is someone coming up with a story that will work with that format. CGI is just a tool, another way to do art. It's no different from an artist deciding whether to use a pencil, or charcoal, or pen and ink, or paint. It depends on what the artist is trying to convey. You're right, I don't believe you could do Pocahontas in CGI. But another story that has yet to be written could probably work beautifully. You just have to have vision and use your imagination. I don't think we should shun any of these artistic tools. We should use them all.

btw -- blaming Pixar for the trend toward mediocre CGI animated features is a bit unfair; when you're the best, others will try to copy you, but they usually won't equal the quality (look at Disney for example; practically every studio with an animation department tried to copy their style and most failed miserably!)
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Post by Ben » May 27th, 2005, 6:44 am

Well, even though the story wasn't so hot, Final Fantasy was a "serious" movie which tried to be all "worthy" and "epic-y" (I know that's not a word) :)

That, at the very least, showed that there is a way to move forward with CGI and use these kind of characters to tell other kind of stories.

By the way, I think Rapunzel and A Day With Wilbur Robinson will blow several people away when they come out, as they are not going to be the mish-mash comedy/adventures that seem to dominate right now.

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Post by AniMan » May 27th, 2005, 11:48 am

:o Hey, I forgot about Final Fantasy, Ben! That movie was.. interesting. It wasn't very good storywise, but it was engaging visually. It seemed experimental, and in a way, it is. It showed that you could do a serious CGI film, albeit a not-so-good one in this case. I'm hopeful for future endeavors.

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Post by Macaluso » May 27th, 2005, 12:28 pm

I just don't undestand why square didn't base a movie off of one of their games.

Final Fantasy VII to be exact. The movie had a horrible story.

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Post by Meg » May 31st, 2005, 4:59 pm

I'll agree with Vi that comedies are dominating the animation world. However, there's nothing wrong with that; comedies are just popular right now.

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Post by ShyViolet » June 2nd, 2005, 5:13 pm

Oh, man, Violet you floored me here! Do you seriously believe that an animated epic absolutely cannot be done in CGI?? I've got to say flat out that you're wrong. Just because it hasn't been done yet, doesn't mean that it can't! Look, I don't think anyone can love traditional animation more than I do; I'm the one who stubbornly believes that it will not die, that it will continue regardless of modern technologies. It is one of the most beautiful art forms around --- just look at The Triplets of Belleville. Beautiful! But that doesn't mean that there is no room for CGI and that an epic cannot be made with that format. I really don't see your reasoning behind that. I know you believe, as do I, that it comes down to story. What it will take is someone coming up with a story that will work with that format. CGI is just a tool, another way to do art. It's no different from an artist deciding whether to use a pencil, or charcoal, or pen and ink, or paint. It depends on what the artist is trying to convey. You're right, I don't believe you could do Pocahontas in CGI. But another story that has yet to be written could probably work beautifully. You just have to have vision and use your imagination. I don't think we should shun any of these artistic tools. We should use them all.

btw -- blaming Pixar for the trend toward mediocre CGI animated features is a bit unfair; when you're the best, others will try to copy you, but they usually won't equal the quality (look at Disney for example; practically every studio with an animation department tried to copy their style and most failed miserably!)
I have to disagree with you on this subject, Animan. Although I certainly believe it's the story not the medium, I just CANNOT see a film like Prince of Egypt or Pocahontas being done in CGI. At least not now. Maybe in the future the computer will be capable of things we can't even imagine, but for right now looking at a CGI human and a traditionally drawn human is like night and day! I loved Incredibles but NONE of those so called "humans" affected me in the way that Moses or Pocahontas did. For me they just didn't exist in the same way. To put it even more bluntly, CGI humans BARELY tug on my heartstrings and if they do the story had better be pretty damn good.

Can you imagine Belle and the Beast being CGI characters? What about Quasimodo or Frollo? There are all types of storytelling in animation and while I do agree that it's the story that counts, I can't see a "worthy" animated film, with issues such as, say, the Kiling of the First Born or the Ten Plagues, being done in CGI. What if JK HAD tried to do POE in CGI? Do you really think he would have gotten the consent of all those religious groups?

Also, about Pixar setting a trend towards mediocrity, I have to respectfully disagree with you once again :wink: and say that even though all their films have been very well-made and superior in quality, they are setting a trend towards a certain type of "funny characters/sidekicks/jokes/visual motifs" kind of movie that is being copied by everyone and not all movies are the better for it. Spielberg and Lucas set a trend towards the fantasy-adventure sci-fi kind of films in the late 70's/early 80's with Star Wars, ET, Close Encounters etc...and even though their films were magnificent, the imitations spawned were often putrid. In a lot of ways they were responsible for the dumbing-down/infantilization of films in general, even though they had good intentions. They made a certain template very, very popular and as a result a whole lot of garbadge was made.

Pixar isn't setting the trend for bad movies, just simply made, thematically uncomplicated ones. That's what worries me. There's no longer any motivation to shoot for a serious, "worthy" film like Pocahontas: it's all about being like Pixar now and spawning characters like Buzz and Woody. That's all well and good but after a while, it's just not as fresh as it was. I think that when "Cars" comes out and people realize that there's more to life than googly-eyed characters, toy tie-ins and John Ratzenberger, we might (hopefully) see a shift towards something else.
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Post by Ben » June 3rd, 2005, 7:30 am

ShyViolet wrote:
I think that when "Cars" comes out and people realize that there's more to life than googly-eyed characters, toy tie-ins and John Ratzenberger, we might (hopefully) see a shift towards something else.
Nice sentiment, although Cars could still be a slammer out of the box.

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