I have a toddler and he has never shown any interest in watching hand drawn style animation, I’ve even tried to introduce him to some childhood favs and it simply never catches his interest. He is way too young for things like social trends to matter, and if my reaction matters like I said he shows no interest in my old favorites.
However he is totally ga ga over 3-D CGI animation, he instantly took to it and showed great interest. I’ve noticed this in other small children too, they love CGI animation and simply aren’t interested in 2-D animation even when it is geared to their tastes.
I’m wondering if this might account for the death of 2-D animation outside adult humor and anime aimed at teenagers somewhat, children just don’t enjoy it.
My guess is that if he has primarily been exposed to 3D animation he associates that look with the things he likes. In other words he sees CGI animation and thinks “hey this looks like (insert favorite property here) it must be great.” Of course the opposite could be in effect, maybe he really disliked the traditional animation he was exposed to and assumes that it’s all like that. I remember refusing to watch anything B&W when I was really little because I assumed it would all like those boring westerns by grandfather watched.
Ever hear of Walt Disney? He did a handful of 2D animations that children loved to watch. I hear something called The Lion King was modestly popular.
CGI is usually more flashy and colorful, and most animation these days is CGI and sometimes 3D, but kids still like seeing the older non-CGI animations, and The Princess and the Frog wasn’t hurt by being in traditional animation. Kids like both.
I probably should have stated that obviously children have enjoyed 2-D animation before the advent of CGI animation, and I am really talking about young toddlers the more I think about it. Obviously older children enjoy 2-D animation as well as adults, but I wonder if it is an acquired taste of sorts.
But it is a strong trend I’ve noticed, I wondered if any research has been done into it. Just as a WAG I wonder if the similarity of CGI to actual objects vs. stylized 2-D not resembling any actual objects is the cause.
What you’re saying is “I have noticed this trend. Please explain it.” We’re saying, “We’ve haven’t noticed any such trend.” You’re saying, “But I have noticed the trend. Explain it.” Believe it or not, it’s possible for you to have too little evidence and mistakenly think that there is a trend.
My three year old prefers season one of The Smurfs over any Pixar movie. Gummi Bears would be her second favorite. She does enjoy Finding Nemo, but would probably pick The Jungle Book, or Peter Pan first.
As an alternate data point, I babysat three kids in 2007, ages 2-7, who never wanted to watch anything but old Davy Crockett videos. This was well after the advent of CGI. Kids vary a lot, what you noticed only applies to a small subset of them.
An example used was 2009’s Princess And The Frog and it was the first major release traditional 2D animated film since 2004 aimed at the family/child market, I don’t believe there have been any since.
The film media constantly remarked on the fact it was the first 2D animated feature in a while.
So clearly for some reason 2D animation is dead in major theatrical releases, most likely the economics aren’t there for it to be profitable. Why?
It is popular to think the studios are just creatively corrupt or foolish, but I think they have a better grasp on their audience than most give them credit for.
TV is an entirely different market, audience and economic wise.
Ok so I think I have established 2D animation is dead in major film releases, as a related but anecdotal issue I noticed a lot of toddlers given the choice prefer 3D over 2D animation. I made no definitive claims, I was curious if it was related, as clearly something must account for the death of 2D animated film in major releases.
Again in my OP I made no claims such as “all children hate 2D animation, they only enjoy 3D animation” instead I noticed something which is definitely true(lack of 2D animated films in wide release) and linked it to something I noticed which is that toddlers prefer 3D animation, I then wondered if there was ANYTHING definite to back this theory up. I didn’t post it as a position in great debates, but perhaps I should have posted it in cafe society rather than GQ.