The Obligatory Origin Story

Welcome to Frame-By-Frame! The good folks at Geek Say What? have asked me to contribute my two cents on the field of animation and I couldn’t be more honored.  In this section of Geek Say What?, I’ll be covering anything I can about animation. I’ll be discussing everything from current events to technical aspects of animation. And I may even write a review here and there.

My love of animation began in 1987 when I was just two years old. I wish I could tell you all some romantic story about how I saw my first animated short and how seeing Bugs or Mickey inspired me to seek out any and all animation. But if I were to tell you such a story, it would be a lie. In all honesty, I can’t tell you all what piece of animation got me interested. All I can tell you is that the year 1987 is as far back as I can remember anything and I know for a fact that, at the time, I was already a fan of animation. I, literally, cannot remember a time when I didn’t watch some form of animation.

What is it about animation that got my attention? When I was two years old, I couldn’t figure out why I enjoyed it so much. I just did. For a long time, I couldn’t decide if my love of animation was because of the designs, the characters, the stories, or something else. It wasn’t until much later that I could articulate why I had such a fascination with the process and genre.

No other medium can be as experimental or expressive as animation. Even though animation has many, many technical constraints, it has the freedom to explore much more. Animators have the ability to make everything look the way that they want. They can make just about any character and put them in any setting. When one looks at what is on television right now, they see a lot of sitcoms and dramas set in our world. Very rarely do you get something, like Game of Thrones, where it’s a complete fantasy world. In animation, it’s almost standard to do something outrageous in an outrageous setting. Even in shows where the setting is supposed to resemble a normal neighborhood, like Family Guy, outlandish things happen on a regular basis.

Today, the art form has even had an effect on my professional life. As of right now, I am studying animation and pursuing a career in the industry, as an animator or anything else related to it. (Just don’t ask me for my demo reel just yet. It still needs some work.) The animation industry is structured like nothing else, because the job is like nothing else. Just about every facet of the business fascinates me and I look forward to the day when I can look at a screen and say, “Hey! I helped make that!”

I can’t wait to see where the animation industry goes. It’s as big as it’s ever been. As of right now, Disney’s “Frozen” is now the highest grossing animated film of all time and the 8th highest grossing film of all time, grossing $1.11 billion worldwide. Also, it should be noted that six of the seven films that have grossed higher than “Frozen” all rely heavily on CG animation for numerous shots. In this industry, saying the sky is the limit would be inadequate. With the right circumstances, this industry can go anywhere it damn well pleases.