OPINION: Animation deserves respect

Addison Laird

Guillermo del Toro remarked after the premiere of his 2022 Netflix film, “Pinocchio” that Hollywood does not see animation as cinema. I have always found this notion
surprising. For me, some of the most heartfelt and beautiful filmmaking has come from
animation. Animation is an art form that has always been best at bringing the imaginative
fantasies of filmmakers to life, all while telling profound stories with lovable characters.
Del Toro is correct in saying Hollywood does not see animation as cinema. Look no further than the Academy Awards, where only three animated feature films have ever been nominated for Best Picture. Animation should be held in the same esteem as live-action projects. It is beautiful, inventive, and most definitely cinema.
Animation is simply a method of manipulating still images to depict motion. It is a
medium through which stories are told. Despite this, many still see the medium as a genre strictly for children and families or for cruder adult animation.
But that’s not all the genre is capable of. Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is an example of an excellent animated film. It follows the story of Mr. Fox as he fights for his family, home, and marriage. Its humor and themes are mature while still maintaining a PG rating. This makes experiencing the film enjoyable for everyone, regardless of age. Other examples include Pixar’s “The Incredibles” and Studio Ghibli’s “Spirited Away.” These films are loved across all ages because of their artistry and storytelling. They do not cater to an adult or child audience; they simply exist for anyone to enjoy.
Animation is merely a means of storytelling. It is for no specific genre or age group. The
lack of respect for the art form in Hollywood is, frankly, disappointing. It deserves to be recognized as the revolutionary, innovative medium that it is. Animation has always been, and
will continue to be, an amazing way to tell unique stories and bring fantastical worlds to life.
Hopefully, it will someday be universally recognized as true cinema. It’s not just for children, adult content, or family-centric films. Animation is for everyone.