Thursday, November 12, 2009

On the survival of Drawn Animation

My friend , animator Tahsin Özgür has often made the point that the term "2D animation" is inadequate to use when referring to what we know as classical or traditional hand drawn animation. Writing of the annual "Day for Hand Drawn Animation" celebration that he and his wife Lale sponsor at Maltepe University in Istanbul , Tash says:

"We call it, in our quaint Oriental tongue, Çizgi Film Bayrami, which clumsily translates as "Line-Film Holiday" or something ... "Line-Film" being what we call this kind of film. English lacks a direct equivalent, and the more generic term "animation" might have even facilitated the CG takeover ("it's all animation, isn't it?")

Think of our concept of "line film" as closer to the French "dessin animé" ("animated drawing") - it's French, the language of culture, so it probably has more weight in the argument.
Which argument? Why, that hand drawn animation is a distinct art form, and not simply a step on the way towards something else. "

Recently the veteran animator/designer/director Gene Deitch made a similar point in a speech prepared for the Xiamen International Animation Festival (Oct. 30th-Nov. 3rd) in China. Gene's speech is titled "Quo Vadis Animation?" The entire text of his speech is on Cartoon Brew:

Here is the summary:

“The core of my speech is a pitch for the survival and eventual return to primary favor of “drawn animation.” (Don’t provoke me by mentioning the term “2D” in my presence!)"

Here is a video Gene made since his travel visa was not approved by the Chinese government , so he was not able to present the speech at the Xiamen International Animation Festival :


Sherm said...

Thanks a ton for sharing that great video!

Boyann said...

In my mother tongue [that happens to be Serbian], hand-drawn animated films are called 'crtani film' or bluntly translated - DRAWN FILM, which appears to be between the Turkish definition of 'line film' and French 'animated design' or 'drawing'.
An old homecountry proverb says something along the lines, 'Call me a kettle or a pot, just don't break me'.
The same should work for the 'drawn film', too early pronounced as ready for retirement straight to the oblivion.
Thanks for listening.
[ ~b~ ]

David Nethery said...

To those who are interested , here is an English translation of the talk "The Birth and Death of Drawn Animation" delivered by Enis Tahsin (“Tash”) Özgür at Maltepe University on June 6th 2006 :

"The Birth and Death of Drawn Animation" by Tahsin Özgür