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Felicity Warner / HCM

The Case for Animated Films

The 94th Academy Awards ceremony was filled with highly controversial moments. But of course, the moment we’re all talking about is… when animated films were belittled during the animation category. I know, I know, you’ve heard about this already. But in case you haven’t, during the presentation of Best Animated Film, the announcers called animated films for children as they joked that “so many kids watch these movies over and over again.” This sentiment perpetuated the incorrect notion that animated films are just for kids, thereby insulting the work of animators who bring art to life. 

The irony behind announcing the animated category as “movies for kids” is that one of the nominees is a film titled Flee. This film is a documentary animation as it follows the real-life journey of a child fleeing the war in Afghanistan. The critical praise includes the film’s portrayal of LGBTQ+ representation and thematic content that includes actual footage from the Afghan war. Clearly, this film is not for children. 

For so many animators, this is why calling animated movies “movies for kids” is so insulting. It takes hundreds to thousands of people plus a countless number of hours to create an animated film. It is very hard to be taken seriously as an animator in the film industry. They get paid less than half of what they would make as someone working on live-action films. Not only are they underpaid, but they are also unappreciated by prestigious awards like the Oscars. 

Animation is a medium, not a genre, thus casting all animated films aside as simply children’s films take away from the meaning and effort put into these films. Animators like Rebecca Rose who worked on the show The Owl House and Chris DeRose from Spongebob Squarepants spoke about how “disheartening” it is to hear the Oscars disregard animated films as kids movies. 

At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with creating animated content for children. But it is important to understand, distinguish, and recognize that there are animated features that are not suitable for children. 

Check out films like Flee, Daughter, and Loving Vincent for some incredibly emotional storytelling.

🌟 Related: ‘Incredibles 2’ Redefines Gendered Family Norms & Here’s Why More Films Need to Do This
Hey, I'm Molly. I'm the Social Media Director for Her Campus LMU. I'm a junior screenwriting major and a political science minor. I lived in New England, the West, and the South, now all I need is the Midwest and I'll have the U.S covered.
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