Two Dimensional Animation vs. Computer Generated Animation

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Recently, there has been an upsurge of animated movies coming out. “Over the Hedge,” “Cars,” “Happy Feet,” “The Incredibles,” “Shrek” and the list continues. All of these new animated films utilizing the not so new animation style of Computer Generated Imagery (CGI).

Three-dimensional CGI has been around since 1976, when it was first seen in “Futureworld.” CGI has since been re-created over and over, making it even more powerful and lifelike. DreamWorks and Pixar animation are the foremost authorities on CGI animated movies, and Disney is currently under contract with Pixar to make more of these CGI animated movies.

The question I am now posing to you all is, what happened to the classic two dimensional animated movies? The old classics that anyone born before “Toy Story” was released enjoyed while growing up.

There is nothing wrong with CGI animated movies. Frankly, a vast majority of them have been very entertaining, and in a way, revitalized Disney from the shambles of the sequel era they briefly went through, when they released numerous straight-to-video sequels of some of their older classics like “Lady and the Tramp,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Bambi.”

The fact of the matter, those old two-dimensional movies were good in their own right because they were more cartoons and not trying to be as realistic as possible. Movies like “The Fox and the Hound” or “Beauty and the Beast” had animated limitations, which was okay, because when watching a movie, you have to use your imagination to make the movies complete almost. The two-dimensional movies just added to the fantasy that the story created.

The animation helped make the mood easier to digest, so that no matter how scared you were of the tiger in “The Jungle Book,” you could keep watching because it was just a cartoon. Honestly, how many times have you watched “Bambi” even though you know how dark and twisted the movie was? If “Bambi” was a CGI movie, could you be able to digest the fact that Bambi’s mother was killed?

On top of that, the movie “Flushed Away” is using CGI animation to recreate stop-motion clay animation (claymation) style movies. Yes, this makes them easier to film, but Claymation was always fun to watch. Personally, the “Wallace and Gromit” movies are favorites of mine.

It seems as if CGI is taking the passion out of animating movies because much like everything else these days, it is all done by computer, not with the tender loving care of hand-drawn or shaped characters. I leave you to think about that as you are probably reading the online version of this story, which I typed up on my personal computer at home.