Posting a couple of links, so I can close some tabs on my browser.
Keith Lango uses his review of Rango as a jumping-off point for some thoughts on the animation industry today:
“It’s just that the films taken at face value as films (and not viewed in context of their being animated) are just not that rich to me. Worse still, they’re not honest. Despite their obvious skill and success, over time Pixar’s storytelling has become predictably, cynically manipulative– something I resent as an audience member and think poorly of as a filmmaker. It feels cheap and slimy. I steadfastly refuse to tolerate being told when to cry or care. Film is a dangerously powerful medium whose greatest ability is to make people feel things. It’s not particularly difficult to do, either. I don’t like it when filmmakers are so brazen about that. To me it’s a bit like wielding a loaded gun in a room full of people just to see them cringe at your power. It’s unseemly, and not just a bit infantile and vulgar.”
Not sure if I completely agree with him (I loved Up and Wall-E, though I have yet to see Toy Story 3), but there’s some interesting food for thought there.
Then Mark Mayerson posted some links and some musings that are, I think, thematically related to Mr Lango’s. His concluding paragraph:
“But I insist that [the problem with CG animated films is] not the medium. It’s the structure of Hollywood and its economic model and it’s what the public expects from movies. If computer animation sucks (and it often does), there are many more reasons than technology that are the cause. Furthermore, I don’t think comparing it to Disney in the ’30s is a valid or useful comparison.”
I don’t have time right now to write up any reflections on these guys’ essays, but I think there’s a growing discontent with the status quo among folks who know about animation. (I say “I think”, when I know perfectly well it’s true, and share the discontent to some degree.) What that means for the future of the industry, and (more importantly) the future of the medium, I have no idea.