Wes Anderson is a Cinematic Genius, Except for Animated Films

Posted by Michael Pinto on Sep 3, 2009 in Animation |

I loved The Royal Tenenbaums and I can see some of Wes Anderson’s touches on this film, but there’s a major problem looking at this trailer. What Anderson is great at is getting emotion out of actors on a screen, so a small nuance can communicate volumes of emotion and storytelling. But every frame of an animated film demands painful planning to achieve that spontaneous feeling. And what I’m seeing in the trailer above is a very stiff looking film which is bad news for an animated film.

Now I’ll admit that stop motion is pretty much one of the hardest forms of animation to pull off, in fact most folks will resort to puppets to get around the limitations. The last few films from Hollywood that I’ve seen that were able to pull off stop motion were The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach which were produced by Tim Burton. But Burton has one huge advantage over Wes Anderson because Tim not only studied traditional character animation, but his first gigs in the field were working with Ralph Bakshi and then at Walt Disney.

And when you study character animation you quickly learn that animation is the art of motion and not the motion of art. And that’s where Wes has messed up, for each scene seems to be well composed but the characters just sit there on the frame. Even the facial expressions on the characters are limited. Now I like the fact that Wes hasn’t made yet another Pixar clone, but if you’re going to pick a medium you’ve got to have a good reason to use it to somehow enhance your story. And from what I’m seeing here the animation (at least for me) distracts from the story.


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