By employing techniques such as colour, film language, and music, animation can be used to inform, educate, advertise, and communicate emotions in the same way that live action can. Russell Brooke’s NSPCC television commercial is a good example of how animation can be more powerful than live action. There is no limit to how far a situation or action can be exaggerated while yet remaining credible. If a real child was thrown around in the advertisement, it would be incredibly contentious, and while this is exactly what happens behind closed doors, it would be too much for some people to see. The animated character is designed to portray the youngster in a way that conveys the message. This example demonstrates how valuable anicloud animation is as a tool, that it is more than just a medium for entertaining young children. It’s also an excellent platform for demonstrating how cartoon violence can be used for good.
Cartoon violence, on the other hand, can be quite aggressive and graphic, such as the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ video game series and some Manga features, which involve a lot of violence and gore but are created in a realistic way, not suitable for a young audience, whereas cartoons adapted from Marvel comics such as ‘Spiderman’ and the ‘X-Men’ are primarily oriented around fighting but are done in a less bloody way. The battle sequences consist of a few kicks and punches, as well as the usage of a superhuman power that does not generally inflict any gory, physical damage on the opponent, instead leaving the loser with a scratch or two on their face and a trickle of blood flowing from their mouth. The battles, as realistic as they are, are not unduly explicit; otherwise, they would have to be broadcast after the watershed; yet, they are descriptive enough to communicate what is going on in the plot. The most significant aspect of these cartoons is that good always triumphs over evil. This in no way justifies the fighting, nor does it encourage it. Fighting in a live-action film is always more violent than fighting in a cartoon because it involves real people who may be wounded, whereas cartoon characters feel nothing, making the fighting appear less realistic than in a live-action fight sequence.
The assumption that animation is primarily aimed at children is not always correct, but in some cases, it can be leveraged to the creators’ advantage. A recent example is the ‘DairyLea’ advertisements, which were made in a 3D Stop Motion technology and depict several talking cows encouraging youngsters to eat their product not just on its alone, but with mashed potato. The advertisement demonstrates that ‘DairyLea’ may be blended with other foods, and the format is more memorable to youngsters (the talking cows), thus they are more likely to request some from their parents. The ‘Green Cross Code’ is another wonderful example of children’s animation (stop, look and listen). This educational commercial depicts hedgehogs crossing a road in an exciting and musical manner, encouraging children to follow suit and they will be safe. This format was chosen so that youngsters will remember how to cross the road safely as informed by singing hedgehogs—something that would not have been achievable in real life with a live action style. The advertisement provides an unusual and memorable alternative to the monotonous and forgettable live action instructions.
Because children make animation popular (for example, the ‘Pokemon’ series), there are a variety of ways for producers to profit from a series’ launch and success. Because they know that children will do anything to get their hands on components of product, such as ‘Pokemon’ battle cards, the producers see many chances to make extra money from a successful series. However, merchandise does not stop with playing cards; there is also stationary, cutlery, purses, toys, apparel, books, posters, and video games. This aspect of animation causes adults to distance themselves from the genre because the cartoon series is clearly aimed at children, which is enough to put them off watching. Previously, the animation genre took a skewed approach geared mainly at a younger demographic. In the beginning, animation was an intriguing concept: a moving drawing. People of all ages were intrigued since it was a novel notion.
Because of the format’s ubiquity over the years, individuals find it interesting up to a point in their life, then stop watching animation as they get older, and then the viewing process begins again when they have children of their own. Because of this misunderstanding of the format and its identification with youth, successful initiatives to break this mould have been attempted. Since some adults are interested in animation, various titles and series have been intended specifically at an adult audience, such as the ‘2DTV’ series, some ‘Manga’ titles, Comedy Central’s ‘South Park,’ ‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Futurama,’ and the Japanese ‘Hen-Tai.’ To summarise, John Serpentelli states in an essay that “The link between children and animation appears to be straightforward. Anything is conceivable for a youngster, and the same is true for animation.” According to John Serpentelli, “since animation is an art form that can encompass practically all other art forms and children can directly face the art world in an unfiltered manner,” the animation format can unwittingly teach children about the artistic side of animation.
Classics such as ‘The Clangers,’ ‘Bagpuss,’ and ‘The Magic Roundabout’ have seen a rebirth in popularity as a result of the recent revival of 80s animation. Adults who remember seeing these animations when they were younger tune in, and their children join in. Some adults are required to watch animated videos about workplace safety at the workplace. Having to watch, follow, and understand irritatingly obvious and dull parts of animation may turn some adults off the format, leading them to believe the genre is as horrible as the video they had to watch. This also demonstrates that animation can be as realistic and informative as live action, but easier to understand, whereas cartoons aimed at children, no matter how unrealistic, sometimes include a moral or advice at the end of the episode, in an effort to teach the children watching what is right and wrong. The reason for this is that if youngsters witness their favourite cartoon character doing or telling them to do something, they may be encouraged to follow suit. This just demonstrates that, when done well, animations can be as enjoyable as they are informative or educational for a wide range of viewers.
Animation is used in video games to bring the game character that the user controls to life. Without animation, the character would be lifeless, hence the usage of animation is critical. FMVs (Full Motion Videos) are also utilised to tell a tale within a video game, extending the usage of animation. This is an excellent example of how animation can make the impossible possible by breathing life into inanimate things and characters.
When the impossible must become feasible, animation is a priceless tool for all sorts of media. In an animated picture, for example, there are no boundaries to action or comedy, and animation delivers these additional effects in a live action feature that would be impossible to duplicate safely or owing to the constraints of a human actor. In the film ‘The Mask,’ starring Jim Carrey, one such technique is used to allow the mask wearer’s face to become exceedingly rubbery, deformed, and very flexible. The actor’s face becomes incredibly malleable due to animation, allowing things to happen to it that are not humanly feasible. Normally, animation techniques utilised in films are applied in special effects sections. This has been true since films like ‘Sinbad,’ where Ray Harryhausen’s 3D stop motion monsters were innovative in their day and opened up a whole new uncharted field of filmmaking. As difficult as it was to bring the creatures to life, the finished effects were stunning and highly effective, giving a whole new atmosphere and dynamic to a film. This approach has been used in a variety of films, including ‘Robocop,’ the ED-209 machine, and the stone gargoyles in ‘Ghostbusters,’ to mention a few. However, the usage of 3D stop motion inside a live action film did not fall behind in favour of the technologically superior effects that computer graphics provided. Animation has a particular manipulative influence on objects since it can transform typically lifeless objects into dark scary entities. In contrast, animation, such as in Disney’s ‘Toy Story,’ may transform toys into whatever children wish them to be if they could come to life. Again, depending on the age range being addressed, animation can be as dark or as cheery as necessary.
It is becoming increasingly evident in today’s world how popular and broad animation has grown. An animated feature or series is created in a method that is nearly identical to that of a live action feature or series. For example, both forms require a strong story to keep the audience’s interest. The story must then be storyboarded, exactly like a live action feature. The proper use of film language is critical in both media, whether creating an action, suspense, or emotional sequence. Both formats place a high value on characters. The audience must like, sympathise to, or, in the case of the “bad guys,” despise them. If the cast lacks these qualities, the audience will simply not care what happens to the characters, will not feel involved in the film, and will lose interest. Because a live action feature casts real life and famous actors to attract audiences, animation takes advantage of this element as well. However, because animated features involve computer generated characters rather than real life actors, it is just as important to give that character a personality in order to convince the audience that a computer generated character can have the same effect on them as a real life star. This is why Disney films are increasingly employing big-name Hollywood actors and actresses to create believable and likeable characters, as well as the fact that recognisable voice talent attracts larger audiences, just as live action films with well-known stars do. For example, in ‘Toy Story,’ actors such as Tom Hanks, who provides the voice for ‘Woody,’ have been involved with the feature, which in turn makes the genre more popular because it will encourage more people to see the film if they recognise a voice or the film is associated with successful and famous actors.
There are numerous parallels between the processes of creating a live-action feature and creating an animated one. For example, whether the character is animated or a real person, they must both depict emotions convincingly, express body language, and deliver excellent conversation and genuine expressions. Aspects such as film language, as well as the characters, are vital in both films to allow a situation to be suspenseful, emotional, or to generate an effective action sequence. In addition to the visual aspect, the audio must be able to persuade an audience and create atmosphere to a scene. These are some of the similarities between making an animated film and making a live-action film. For example, an animated feature has a far greater scope than a live action film, while live action has a more realistic edge because the performers are real people and the props are real, and so on. An animated film can be realistic or fantastical, and the animators control the scenes and characters. However, there are limitations to what human actors can do in live action. In addition, there is no need for stuntmen or stunt doubles in an animated picture, and animated characters are more adaptable than real-life actors because they do not dispute working hours and do not make wage demands! As technology advances, there may be no need for live actors in the future as computer produced characters become more realistic; just look at recent animated films like ‘Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.’ Even though the media forms of animation and live action differ, Professor Nina Martin best summarises the bottom line: “The history of animation parallels that of live action film. It is impossible to comprehend the history of live action narrative film without mentioning animation “.
Despite many comparisons, live action film and animation are essentially the same, because “…the definition of cinema is rooted in the ability of its basic technology to present a series of representational images (and perhaps sounds) that create the illusion of movement where there is, of course, nothing but still images flashing at a prescribed speed.” This is an excerpt from ‘The Cinema Book 2nd Edition.’ This emphasises the fact that both live action and animated films are created in the same way, with the only difference being how they are expressed, with live action as a live action medium and animation as a primarily drawn medium, but both forms consist of multiple images to create a sense of movement within the piece. To elaborate further, some commentators have regarded animation as “Cinema at its purest,” citing ‘The Cinema Book 2nd Edition’. “Because animation creates motion when there was never’real’ motion in the pre-filmic stage.”
As more people become aware of how and what animation can do, it is increasingly being employed in live-action films. For example, it can be used to recreate dangerous stunts without endangering anyone’s life by employing the ‘Green Screen’ technique, which was most recently seen in the box office hit film ‘Spiderman,’ where the character is seen swinging high up from building to building without having to do so in real life. Another application of animation is when something hard for a human actor to achieve is accomplished using animation, as in the film ‘The Mask.’
Movie crossovers have been popular for quite some time. They were also employed in films like ‘Mary Poppins,’ where human actors shared a world with animated creatures who interacted with each other. Since then, films like ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit,’ ‘Space Jam,’ and ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle’ have successfully utilised this genre crossover. The purest version of this technique is ‘direct on film,’ in which animation is done on film reels, specifically one medium on another. “Such animation makes the fullest use of the medium as it foregrounds the entire process of making, projecting, and eventually experiencing movement where none previously existed,” says an excerpt from ‘The Cinema Book 2nd Edition.”
Computer technological improvements have enabled the animation style to move a step further, producing disturbingly lifelike films and film effects. “Live action and ‘animation’ are once more colliding in ways that render one indistinguishable from the other, and serving a new orthodoxy in’realism’ in numerous feature films like ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Twister,'” Paul Wells writes in an article from ‘Art and Animation.” As ‘Disney’ becomes a household name, the genre grows in popularity and recognition. Just as Steven Spielberg is known for making outstanding live-action films, Disney, Warner Brothers, Hanna-Barbera, and, more recently, Matt Groening make fantastic animated pictures. As a tool, animation is getting more popular as it gets more adaptable as animation becomes more technologically advanced and innovative.
One example is the usage of animation in video games, which allows for realistic visuals to be used in a computer-generated, fictional world. The PlayStation 2 game ‘The Getaway’ demonstrates how games are becoming more like interactive movies. The setting, London, is a real location that has been painstakingly recreated. Vehicles have been created to look like their real-life counterparts, and the game employs real actors who have been created to look like their real-life counterparts. The performers were motion captured and screenplays were recorded, similar to how an animated picture is made. They were then used to make the characters more compelling and believable in the game. The game demonstrates how animation can be pushed to its technological extremes, demonstrating that animation can be as realistic or as absurd as needed. The game provides such realism that the actors involved have been offered jobs in prominent television shows, such as Joe Rice, who plays the police officer in ‘The Getaway,’ who has lately appeared in ‘EastEnders,’ demonstrating that the live action/animation crossover is getting more popular. Advances in computer capability and technology have made animation more useful than ever before, but as Sean Wagstaff writes in his book ‘Animation on the Web,’ “there’s no doubt that the art of 3D has not yet fully evolved, and in the hands of far too many users, it is still a science more than an art.”