Did CGI Change Animated Storytelling?

It’s an interesting question. The thesis of this video is that hand-drawn animation, by its nature, wants to tell stories about small numbers of characters in an isolated setting, because that kind of story is easy and less expensive to draw, whereas the nature of CGI and its ability to animate large numbers of objects at once pushes animation in the direction of telling stories in a larger, more cosmopolitan setting, like a big city. As a result, hand-drawn animation works well with traditional fairy tales, in which the old order is corrupted and it is the hero’s task to restore the status quo, whereas CGI pushes storytelling in the direction of a more complex society, one with injustices that the hero is called upon to redress.

It’s worth watching, because the video makes a convincing case, though I would quibble with the use of the words “conservative” and “liberal” to describe these two types of stories, as those two words harbor political implications that have nothing to do with the thesis and therefore muddy the waters. I would have described the two kinds of stories as “restorative” and “transformative.” Still, an insightful video, well worth watching if you’re interested in feature film animation, but try not to get hung up on the conservative/liberal thing.

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