Monday, November 5, 2007

Why most animators are grumpy

97% of animators who have been in the business four years or more are bitter and twisted. That's a fact. Today, I'm especially bitter given that I have this hospital superbug so I thought it would be a good idea to explain why most animators are grumpy and bitter.
I was trained in bitterness right from the start. Animation teachers telling me just who were 'wankers' and why all animated films these days are crap. Back in those days, there weren't really any blogs but now all of these bitter animators have found homes on the internet.

Weird, seeing as most of them can't use computers.

One of the main factors in this bitterness is the slow realisation that their jobs are worthless. Yes, worthless. You see, animators spend their lives honing a craft. Well, some of them. Others just keep on making the same old shit. But those who care, really care. Or did at one point.

But eventually they realise - if you've got a half-decent story, you could draw it in shit on a dead horse's head and kids would still like it. Hell, adults would still like it. People don't care how it looks. Spiderman and his Amazing Friends looked like a pile of crap. As a kid, I thought it was the best thing ever. Now, people laugh their asses off at South Park. Or The Simpsons. Or whatever. You think if an animator spent their life animating these beautifully, anyone would care?

Shit on a dead horse's head.


Andy Latham said...

I think it does matter about the quality of animation, if not for the audience then for the artist. I'm sure people would still be impressed with the painting of the Sistine Chapel if it had been done in lower quality. However the skill that went into it gives it an extra something that not all people can appreciate. Maybe it's good to have that little extra something for that section of people, regardless what the masses think.

Bitter Animator said...

Yes, it matters to us of course. But the target audience of most animation reaches well beyond just other animators and artists.

Thing is, people will criticise a movie for bad effects or awful acting. I wonder why they'll accept poor animation?

Andy Latham said...

I think it's maybe because of the target audience being children. Kids don't really notice the bad animation. It's like you mentioned - think back to your childhood and how many of the shows you liked were truly good? I would imagine that a lot of adults who see an animated movie are just taking their kids and have no interest in it themselves.

I do still cling to the belief that everyone can tell true quality when they see it, it's just that they see it so rarely that they assume all animation is of the type seen in sub-standard releases.

Also I think that poor aspects of a live action film are more obvious than bad animation. It's the whole "uncanny valley" thing. We all know how things are supposed to look and behave in the real world, but cartoon characters don't live in the real world.