What is Animation: Genre, technique, film or artform?

Norman McLaren (1914-1987). (Solomon, 1987:11) Stated that the essence of animation is in the creation of movement on the paper, the manipulation of clay and the adjustment of the model. “The less money there is the more imagination there has to be.” While according to Georges Sadoul animation is the transformation of reality and the giving of life to a design.
John Hales, creator of the first fully animated film in Britain (Animal Farm) felt that animation was used to present a metaphysical reality.

imagesAnimal farmJan Svankmajer a surrealist animator who saw animation as a way of bringing life to the lifeless. Preferring to use macabre comedy in his work, “Animation enables me to give magical powers to things. In my films I move many objects, real objects.”
jan-svankmajer-jacques-demy-cinema-mediterraneen,M43986Absolute Cinema in Europe.

After the impressionists movement painters began trying to capture life in more than just the static form previously shown in art. Artists tried to find the movement in life. Walter Ruttmann, “After the war it made no sense to paint anymore, Unless the painting could be set in motion.” – Lightplay Opus
Len Lye painted directly on to the film in order to create camera-less animation. In his work there is no narrative just a correlation between sight and sound allowing the music and the visual effects to blend with out any interpretation.

Animation can be seen as the art of the impossible it takes all elements of what cannot be in real life and creates artificial life and reality within context. Symbolisation of objects and human beings is frequently used in animation to prove an idea or for bringing focus to certain views and giving the work more exaggerated context. Picturing the invisible is an important part of animation, visualising emotion, giving form to the thoughts of characters these are important parts of what makes animation valuable. Selection, exaggeration and transformation of scenes, characters and story making the audience empathise with events through manipulation of their emotions. Showing the past and predicting the future. Controlling speed and time. Choosing and changing what the audience’s perspective of time should be. Animation uses many valuable resources to convey it’s message to an audience.


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