Is it time for animation to have its own awards show?

“Animation is something kids enjoy and adults have to put up with.” That was the general tone of the Oscars this year, as the hosts joked that they only watched the winner, “Encanto,” because of their kids. The Academy hasn’t taken animation seriously since ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was nominated for Best Picture in 1991. It didn’t win that accolade, but the nomination alone scared the crap out of it. film industry and partially led to the creation of the best animated film. feature film category, forever separating animated films from the most prestigious awards. The idea that animation is purely for children has led to a sense of isolation among the talented adults who work to bring these films to life. Some think it’s time to make this separation more drastic and create new Oscars for animated media.

The problem mainly stems from the idea that animated films are a monolith. When you think of animation, Disney immediately comes to mind, which primarily makes content for kids. Even though most of these films also contain themes and elements that adult audiences can enjoy, for the most part these bright, clear films set the tone for the rest of the genre. However, animation is not a genre at all. It’s a medium, just like video games, books and live-action movies. Within animation is a wide collection of movies and TV shows that fit into a variety of genres, from horror to adventure to romance. Children’s content is undoubtedly included here, but there are also live-action movies made for children. However, that doesn’t immediately mean that movies like “Deadpool” or “Fifty Shades of Grey” are “kid stuff.”

In fact, the first Western movie ever made was just that: an animated photo of a running horse. This precedent laid the foundation for animation at the time, which was created by rapidly moving through frames drawn in quick succession. It was only after that that a live-action film was created, combining the ideas of animation with the art of theater. Unfortunately, characters like Mickey Mouse sent a lasting message to audiences back then, one that still resonates among crowds today: animation is for kids and live action is for adults. .

However, this attitude is only widespread in the West. A lot of people in America treat Japanese anime as a genre of television in its own right, but it’s also simply a means of expression, the same way animation is in the West. There are also anime made for children, but mostly, anime are created for adult audiences, with many of them including rather graphic themes and imagery. “The attack of the Titans“, a Japanese anime that aired since 2013, is one of the most-watched TV shows of all time, tied with shows like “Game of Thrones” and “Euphoria” in terms of viewership and ratings. content. Anime doesn’t carry the same assumptions in Japan that animation does in America; it is a diverse and artistic medium that can create entertainment for adults and children.

Western audiences are beginning to discern the difference between animation and children’s cartoons, but it’s been an uphill battle. Television has been creating more adult-centric animated shows for years, including older shows like “Family Guy” and “Archer” and newer additions like “Big Mouth” and “Rick and Morty.” Still, these shows are mostly comedies and haven’t been taken particularly seriously by the rest of cinema. It’s been hard to push dramatic and mature anime shows to mainstream, but as anime becomes more popular in the West, producers have incorporated more of its influence into their shows.

This has led to the creation of some extremely popular anime titles over the past few years, such as Netflix’s “BoJack Horseman”, “Arcane: League of Legends” and Amazon Prime’s “Invincible”. These shows aren’t aimed at kids, with “BoJack Horseman” exploring the dark and twisted psyche of a retired celebrity and “Invincible” featuring some of TV’s most gratuitous on-screen violence. Those two shows earned ratings of 8.8 and 8.7, respectively, and “Arcane” earned a whopping 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, so there’s clearly a desire for anime television aimed primarily at adult audiences.

Although animated television is increasingly respected by the film industry, the same cannot be said for animated films. Although ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ was hugely popular with all ages and heralded as one of the best comic book movies ever made, it’s still a comic book movie and rather suitable for children. Groundbreaking animated films like “Soul” and “Coco” can’t come out of the same shiny pile of Pixar kids’ movies either. Their ratings are consistently high, but they’re still not considered as polished as the major studios’ live-action blockbusters. Regardless of complexity or genre, all of these animated films have continually been lumped together under one Oscar-eclipsed category.

Does that mean it’s time to part ways with the Oscars altogether? Many have noticed that other media, like television and video games, have their own award shows, like the Emmys and The Game Awards. This allows for more separation by true genre and more distinction to be given to overlooked contributors like voice actors, directors, and animators. Animation is one of the oldest forms of visual media in our society, but it still commands the least respect. Giving it its own space to celebrate the talents and artistic advancement of its craft could help address some of the injustices the Academy has committed over the past few decades.

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