The best animation, and I’m not Lion!

I saw The Lion King the other day, on a school night!
On a big screen in an actual movie theater. Where the audience applauded afterwards.

The fact that it was shown in 3D is simply a bonus, a twist on the classic. What truly wowed me was the animation. Real animation. Talented artists drawing with their hands. Original work.

Don’t get me wrong; the Pixars of the world are stunning. The levels of subtle shading and intense detail is amazing, breathtaking. Technology has changed animation…but it can never replace it.

I grew up in a Disney household, so perhaps that influences my view. The Wonderful World of Disney was on every Sunday night and Fantasia was my introduction to classical music and classic animation. The power of those marching broomsticks in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the command they held in small wooden arms. From the flow of Snow White’s body to the whipping hair of Ariel, there is something magical about hand-created works of art.

My husband commented on how simple it looked, old-school animation but nothing like, say, Toy Story. I argued that this type of animation is organic. Simba’s mane blowing in the wind, the sly dainty but sinister pawsteps of Scar, the pouncing on Zazu, Mufasa’s pawhold clutching the side of the rock…it all flows naturally. I love Monsters Inc., but no matter how many times I watch, it feels stiff and robotic. Someone punched numbers and letters on a keyboard and mechanically created a digital image. It’s a shame that this is what today’s kids grow up thinking animation is.

Where is the natural fun? Where is old fashioned play? This week’s Diva Zentangle challenge got me thinking about play. Unstructured play, kids romping around in the yard with only their imaginations in tow and not a box tethered to a wall outlet. Even adults–when is the last time you scrambled in a game of touch football or inline skating rather than “exercise” in a workout? In fact, how long has it been since you wrote a letter with an inkpen in your hand? With that in mind, I use the pinwheel template and colors as I play with tangles. Simple ones, ones I am familiar and comfortable with, no stress. Just fun, created by my hands. Just playing.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kristi
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 13:23:47

    I agree. The old school animation was the real deal. It was real art & skill. Like your pinwheel by the way


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