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Animation and Spirituality

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Animation and Spirituality

I am always looking for explanations of animation's unique appeal, and came across this [I]one. Thoughts?

Anthropologist Roy Willis studied three African tribal groups and concluded that their animal imagery, valued highly in their civilization, functioned as a "self-translation into an alien universe." Although the animal species revered differed among the groups, the function was the same: a medium for transcendence out of the individual self into communalism. In our culture, movies in general, cartoons in particular, and especially cartoons with lovable animal heroes, promote similar social and personal rituals.

- Donald Crafton, conclusion of Before Mickey

I'd agree with his statement. Especially the "self-translation" part since animators want people to identitify with their characters.

Reminds me of Chuck Jones' comment in "Extremes and Inbetweens" -- "I want to be Bugs but when I wake up I'm Daffy".

As for transference to animals, reminds me a lot of Aesop who hoped his listeners/readers would see themselves in his animals and learn some lesson. Animals are used through out literature to tell stories and make comments on society - Jungle book, Black Beauty, Watership down. I see animation as an extension of that.

He says the animals that are revered vary culture to culture, but I think there are a lot of common ones that seem to be used again and again: Eagles, snakes, dog/fox/wolf, cat/lion/tiger and deer. Others would be specific to regions/areas, but I think we all like/enjoy/relate to them once we see them, like turtles, dolphins, bears, otters/weasels, hedgehogs and the ever lovin' penguin.

I think the struggle for today's animator is to find animals and stories that are fresh and new that people can relate to. Not easy. I think the last successful animated film to do this was "Finding Nemo".

one animator joked about how animation can be compared with creating your own universe u get to create people, houses and other living beings and make them come true to life

Animation and Spirituality?

I love "Veggie Tales"!



Not a big Veggie fan m'self, but I do like 3-2-1 Penguins a lot! :D

3-2-1 Penguins...

is such a great title!

The early Veggies were the best...Silly Songs with Larry ruled!!!

I'm a pirate that doesn't do anything.


best religious cartoon

Orel Puppington of Moralton, Statesota,
waving to God.

Isn't that Davey!?!

...and where's Goliath? :o