It really bothers me that a vast majority of movie watchers in India do not take animated movies seriously. Animated movies can tell stories like no other medium can in the realm of filmmaking, and it is not always for kids, a gross misconception that really grinds my gears as I try and force my friends to come watch animated movies with me.
You see, Animation allows movies to be pure. Impossible to shoot scene compositions in regular movies are possible and achievable in an animated feature or short film, even designing CGI that makes a movie look good requires the wonders of animation (although movies like Mad Max: Fury Road have shown us that while CGI is great and all, nothing can top practical effects in regular movies)
The best part of an animated feature film is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t need to have complicated storylines and complex characters to tell an effective story, for example, last year’s successful Zootopia, a movie which I highly recommend for both being a fun watch and having a message of tolerance and acceptance towards the fellow human, had a simplistic plot with great and simple characters (the rabbit was named Judy Hopps, because rabbits hop, see? Simple) and even managed to include jokes only the parents of the kids going to the movies, and people like me who enjoy watching animated films will understand, like the Godfather joke.
Here at IACG, we understand the importance of animated movies for our children and for adults who still are children at heart, and for those who can harness this medium to tell complex and mature stories.
The Japanese mastered the art of telling mature stories through Anime, one of the finest examples of this being Ghost in the Shell, a story set in a cyberpunk future where humans are slowly losing their humanity by adding machine parts to themselves, and their souls are referred to as Ghosts while their bodies are called Shells. The movie deals with themes like the Cartesian Duality, what it means to be a human, the purpose of life and the future of the world and it’s use of AI technology. More importantly, it has a 3-full minute sequence of no dialogue and characters, but just showing the city in which the story of the movie happens, a city inspired by Hong Kong. The 3-minute sequence is supposed to reflect the internal conflict the protagonist of the story, Motoko Kusunagi, feels about her identity, she struggles between being a human and accepting her fate as a machine, and it is truly one of the finest anime movies ever made, full of philosophy and brain teasers to get you to start thinking.
Animation is important, to tell stories a feature film cannot tell, to connect to audience that normally wouldn’t watch movies and to lead by example, our children who need amazing yet simple characters to idolize and emulate.