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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old April 7th, 2004, 12:55 PM   #16
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That article seems ill-informed and was probably written by someone who simply doesn't know anything about animation. As a former journalist, I know that this happens all too often, especially in entertainment stories

First, its statements -- while not contradictory -- seem to involves possible leaps in logic:

"Range [...] is the last hand-painted cartoon on Disney's current film slate, studio chief Dick Cook said in a recent interview."

is not the same statement as "We are going to do only 3D movies." Using computers to color or finish animation is nothing new and is probably a better workflow than coloring by hand.

and the statement:

"Computer animation, often called 3-D, is more than drawing with a computer pen."

is just wrong -- it's somewhat right, but wrong in its implications. There's lots of computer animation that is not 3D, and quite a number of 2D cartoons and animated movies that are done on computer. One of my favorite TV shows, Home Movies, is done in Flash; the Rugrats movies were done at least partly on a computer. Kevin Smith is doing a full-length movie of his short-lived Clerks cartoon entirely in Flash -- and what I've seen so far looks much like the original "by hand" version. A lot of what looks like "traditional" animation is actually done on a computer.

In fact, the caption under the Beauty and the Beast picture is misleading, if not entirely incorrect:

"Disney old-style animated films were at a peak in the early '90s, with "The Lion King," "Aladdin," and the Oscar-nominated "Beauty and the Beast""

There's actually a good bit of computer animation in those movies, albeit mostly background elements. The Ballroom in B&theB, for one, is a well-known computer-generated set. They certainly weren't "old style."

The article also mentions "In fact, most of Disney's recent hand-drawn animated films [...] have been only moderately successful at best. Major 2002 flop "Treasure Planet" led the company to reduce its quarterly earnings." -- The futuristic Treasure Planet movie included quite a bit of computer-animated elements as well.

The fact is that a lot of the 2D animation you're seeing nowadays is done at least in part on computer. Some, like South Park (as Micheal mentioned) are done entirely on computer. I couldn't get through to that link, but I know that South Park is produced largely with Maya -- a very high-end 3D graphics app.

Based on this article, I see no proof that Disney is going entirely 3D -- just that they are going to a computerized workflow, which they've been doing for years anyway.
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Old April 7th, 2004, 01:34 PM   #17
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Lilo and Stitch also wasn't exactly a moderate success:
IMDB shows:

$145,771,527 (USA) (24 November 2002)
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Old April 7th, 2004, 02:01 PM   #18
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Keith

in the original article, the part I excised from that quote stated, "...with the exception of 2002's 'Lilo & Stitch'..." -- sorry for any confusion.
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Old April 7th, 2004, 02:46 PM   #19
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"Based on this article, I see no proof that Disney is going entirely 3D -- just that they are going to a computerized workflow, which they've been doing for years anyway."

They've been on a fully-computerized workflow since Tarzan.
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Old April 7th, 2004, 05:06 PM   #20
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Keith, you seem to be getting your feathers ruffled for some reason I cannot understand. It is true that it DOES seem like anime is nearly all dealing with sci-fi and/or supernatural. I am betting that it is fact, though. Can anyone dispute that most of anime deals with the above?

And then I said "I guess I didn't consider shows broadcast in the US to be ANIME" and you again take it the wrong way. I was referring to my past comment of only seeing one series, which isn't true. I have seen others on US TV but didn't think about it because when I think "anime" I think "import". I was just correcting myself with that statement. I never said it lost its anime status, I just said I didn't think of that. That's all, dude. Seriously.
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Old April 7th, 2004, 06:12 PM   #21
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//Keith, you seem to be getting your feathers ruffled for some reason I cannot understand.//

It's because you're making gross generalizations.

// It is true that it DOES seem like anime is nearly all dealing with sci-fi and/or supernatural. I am betting that it is fact, though. Can anyone dispute that most of anime deals with the above?//

Originally, you said: "And 95% of all anime deals with good vs supernatural evil. Tired." Now you are hedging by including sci-fi. That certainly is broader than just 'supernatural'. If you are to return to the original subject, American animation, you must compare the breadth of stories dealt with in anime with American cartoons. Well, do you really consider stories made in Japanese-sourced animation to be narrower than American? Be clear now.

I find it interesting that you reference Lupin. Lupin is a spy caper. So one of your own examples doesn't fit this. Then there is Golgo13 which is another spy show. And then there is a huge subgenre of fighting / martial arts anime. And cop thrillers. Disney's "The Lion King" itself is cribbed from the Japanese "Kimba the White Lion". And so on and on...

What I am trying to get this back to is that it is through the fault of content that it seems like Disney's animation is moribund, not technique. This is why I brought up anime which still is largely 2D yet has a vast breadth of content that is doing quite nicely.

I grant that I did not understand what you meant by saying "I guess I didn't consider shows broadcast in the US to be ANIME". So, based upon the few series that do come over, you still feel you've seen enough to make such generalizations?
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Old April 7th, 2004, 06:19 PM   #22
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Prove my generalizations wrong. That's all I ask. Betcha can't! I know a ton about Japanese culture and entertainment. I lived there for 8 years. When I saw anime I just kept on flippin'. They were always fighting some sort of supernatural being. I know all about Golgo and Lupin, but I don't think about anime that much so it's OK if I don't remember everything right away in my first post, isn't it? I'm sorry everything didn't come to me right away as I was writing my first posts. I never said US animation was better (hence my comment about He Man and Filmation). I think you are imagining what I am thinking, reading between the lines or something. Anyway it's easy to generalize that 95% of love stories are about a man and a woman rather than ahomosexual couple without seeing many. The Japanese love their crazy supernatural things as well as their mechs and whatnot. They are bored by the realistic.

Anyway, prove me wrong.
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Old April 7th, 2004, 06:47 PM   #23
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All I need to do is to show that Japanese animation has a greater breadth of content than American animation as represented by cartoons and Disney. And this has already been done in the examples both of us have brought up. You narrowed the parameters by saying that Japanese animation is 95% about supernaturalism. Again we both agreed there are examples such as Lupin and Golgo that break this mold. I never said that Japanese animation had as much breadth as film in general, only that there was greater breadth in content than what Disney in its 2D put out and that this might be the reason why they are considering shelfing its 2D division and blaming it on technology.

//I know all about Golgo and Lupin, but I don't think about anime that much so it's OK if I don't remember everything right away in my first post, isn't it?//

And I can't help it that you suddenly remember these examples now and not earlier.

//They are bored by the realistic.//

So what? This could be said about animation in general. Both Disney and much of anime are escapism, but within that scope there are a good many examples in anime that do more within that than Disney and much of American animation.

I applaud American animation that does break the mold. I love Tarkovsky's "Samurai Jack", "Clone Wars". "Invader Zim". "The Iron Giant" all really great stories. Wonderful 2D animated films that are good stories first. Certainly it wasn't the technology that was the issue there. Disney could learn from these guys as well as from anime.
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Old April 7th, 2004, 07:04 PM   #24
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Grave of the Fireflies

Ted, here's another film that breaks the mold. Miyazaki's "Grave of the Firefiles". Read the review by Roger Ebert.

http://www.suntimes.com/ebert/greatm...fireflies.html

In particular, this passage:

"Hollywood animation has been pursuing the ideal of "realistic animation" for decades, even though that's an oxymoron. People who are drawn do not look like people who are photographed. They're more stylized, more obviously symbolic, and (as Disney discovered in painstaking experiments) their movements can be exaggerated to communicate mood through body language. "Grave of the Fireflies" doesn't attempt even the realism of "The Lion King" or "Princess Mononoke," but paradoxically it is the most realistic animated film I've ever seen--in feeling."
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Old April 7th, 2004, 07:25 PM   #25
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Well, what I personally like about anime when I watch it, is that it's not all geared towards families/kids like the majority of US animation. Grave of the Fireflies may be a masterpiece, but is it entertaining? Entertainment is all I care about. I own Princess Mononoke on DVD and ran the US-dubbed film version at film festivals before it's theatrical release. Good movie (in Japanese with subtitles). I'm not into movies with lots of subtext/deep thoughtful meanings, though. I just like to see people get chopped up and their heads explode. That's why humans were created... to enjoy violence on TV and in the movie theater! :) At least in Mononoke a guy got his arm cut off by a bow and arrow (yeah). I like anime movies, just haven't seen a ton of series. I still want the giant version of the Voltron toy, though. :)
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Old April 7th, 2004, 07:54 PM   #26
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Okay, Ted, you've had your fun. :)
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Old April 10th, 2004, 02:26 AM   #27
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Disney fails to realize that it's all about the story. And it's not suprising that anime was brought up here because they "get it."

Ted:

Anime is best described as a Medium in which stories are told... Just like Video and Flim are a medium. Within anime there is every genre from Romance, Thriller, Comedy, Kiddy, SciFi, Fantasy, Historical, and even Pornography... just like with movies/tv shows.

The stuff that gets shown overseas and dubbed into English (notoriously bad dubbing, btw which I think hurts most of the shows) is generally the stuff that teenage boys would like: Action Good vs Evil with lots of fighting. But you can't generalize all of anime based on just that. I could probably give you a ton of examples from each genre, but you could probably find plenty of DVD Stores or Review sites that will split them up into categories for you.

Every person who dismisses anime usually does it because they think "if you've seen one, you've seen em all," which is far from the truth.
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