In Defence of Animation

As regular readers may recall, I recently posted a video clip called En Tus Brazos, which was an animated short about a tango dance between a husband and wife.  One of the comments I received concerning that clip suggested that the short film would be improved if a real actor and actress had played the leading roles.  I’ve turned this over in my mind more than a few times, and I’ve decided to post a short defence of animation.

I love all forms of animation.  As a mother of 3, I watch a lot of animation with my kids.  We have the full Disney collection on video.  We watch The Nightmare Before Christmas every Halloween.  We visited the Pixar exhibition more times that I can remember. We think Nick Park is a genius.  I think it would be fair to say that I was raising my kids with an appreciation for the animated medium!

The various techniques used in animation absolutely fascinate me and I love to see what innovations animators are coming up with.  From line-drawing to stop motion to computer generated, I just so admire those who have mastered the skills involved to produce an animation.  But, you know, it’s so much more than the technological innovation that I love.  It’s also the content, the messages, the stories that animation has the capacity to tell.

Animation can be powerful and political:

It can be surprising:

It can be thought provoking:

It can be educational:

And it can offer fresh interpretations of already known works:

What it is not, however, is a poor man’s substitute for acted drama.

Do you agree?  Do you have a favourite clip that you would like to share?  What was your favourite childhood animation?

If you have enjoyed these clips, why not head over to my Tumblr blog where I have posted some more animation which has touched me.


January 23, 2008. Creativity.


  1. nengaku replied:

    Thank you, Amy, for a post that led to more perusal of your Tumblr blog which resulted in almost an entire afternoon of really inspirational and joyful internet reading/watching today.

  2. Damien Riley replied:

    What a great point for a post. My best friend is an animator. You can check out his somewhat neglected site at

    Also, have you ever seen Closed Mondays? It’s my all time favorite clay-mation short.


  3. amypalko replied:

    Oh, I’m so glad you enjoyed exploring the Tumble blog. I’ve been wondering if my readers were actually getting anything out of it, or whether I should be integrating the content into my posts here. Your comment has encouraged me to continue with it and see what comes of it. Thank you, Nengaku!

    I will go and check out that short right now, Damien. Thanks for letting me know about it, and for your encouraging words 🙂

  4. Mike replied:

    I think comparing live action to animation is like comparing photography to painting. Neither is a less valid form of art, yet each provide unique opportunities for expression.

    I enjoyed the animated shorts you posted. I think they show that animation can accomplish certain things with ease and grace.

    My favorite as a child was Disney’s Robin Hood. The animal characters were so expressive, and the songs were so good that I still find myself whistling the melodies from time to time.

    Good topic of discussion, Amy!

  5. On a Limb w/ Claudia replied:

    I love Pixar movies. My favorites are Monsters, Inc and the Incredibles. It’s a little embarrassing, but I do love them. Some of their work is not well thought out – but when it is? It’s fabulous.

  6. amypalko replied:

    My sentiments exactly, Mike. Glad you liked my selection. Disney’s Robin Hood is a great film, isn’t it? Oodololly!

    I love Pixar, Claudia! Really innovative work. They certainly seem to have moved computer generated animation forward to a point now where traditional line drawn cartooning doesn’t seem as commercially viable.

  7. Nicholas replied:

    I’ve just watched the Norman Invasion clip twice. Brilliant!

  8. Postcards from the Funny Farm » Blog Safari 1-26-08 replied:

    […] Lives Less Ordinary: In Defence of Animation. Amy has some great thoughts on animation and gives a link to her cool Tumblelog. […]

  9. amypalko replied:

    It is brilliant isn’t it, Nicholas. Inspired!

  10. toni replied:

    Animation has a magic that live acting will never capture.

    And Kiwi is one of my FAVORITE animations!! I fell in love with it the first time I saw it online.

    Here’s another kind of animation that might interest you:

    It’s called My First Crush.

  11. amypalko replied:

    Oh, Toni, thank you so much for the link to that short animation. I loved it!

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