There appears to be a trend of almost ideological proportions going on in the broader animation business at the moment, and one I find a little disturbing because I see it as highly counterproductive in its most extreme outcroppings. Maybe this general notion of “Old School vs. New School” has its roots in the inane “2D vs. 3D” debate. What’s certain for me personally, however, is that it’s often mostly inane.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with remembering what made animation as an art form great and it is thoroughly desirable that the old qualities be preserved and developed further. Where I draw a line, however, is when positions reach a deadlock and don’t grant the other front any leeway at all. Aggressive bickering and flame wars ensue in ways suggesting that even though it is purportedly about “art”, what it really is about is ego.
I like to believe, maybe wrongfully so, that I don’t have much of an artistic ego. Animation is a job first and foremost. It’s a job that I like, true, that’s a perk, and one that not everybody is cut out for – but then again, it’s not the greatest thing to do on this world. Granted, there’s a LOT of animated crap out there – but I’m rather convinced my inability to take mortal offence in anything not living up to the standards I'm used to makes me an uncritical cop-out. There was a time when I categorically hated anime but I’ve learned to live with the phenomenon and not all of its influences are bad. Same deal with 3D.
So, what with all the new technologies and influences in the animated sector, does the art, or rather craft, need a new self-image? And if so, must it really be one of two extremes?