dev_chieftain: (farron)
dev_chieftain ([personal profile] dev_chieftain) wrote2012-12-21 12:03 am

And yet, still haven't done the other homework

I am currently taking two classes at once, one is a history-of-animation type class, one is a life drawing class. The latter totally rocks and is super fun and the only reason I haven't done my homework yet is that I want to do a good job and I keep feeling like I don't have enough time left before the day's up to do it.

The history of animation type class, though. Whoa. Okay. So I knew I was a huge nerd for cartoons but I think that if you're majoring in animation you SHOULD BE.

The people in this class are DEFINITELY NOT.

And it's driving me crazy.

I've heard my artists friends often complaining about the strict no-anime rules in their US college experiences. I wasn't too surprised, though I totally felt for them. It's really hard to tell if the no-anime rule comes from a genuine desire to teach artistic principle, or from racism. I think I can honestly say that the no-anime rule makes sense in a life-drawing class. You aren't going to get any good at life drawing if you are already using a formula to draw instead of learning how to use your tools better, you know?

But you know where it doesn't make any fucking sense? In a history of animation class.

I'm already annoyed by the total whitewashing of certain events in animation history, like, oh, I don't know, the fact that Disney has periodically lost animators because of bad choices, or any of the crappy shit that Disney studios and Disney as a person did along the way that we excuse because of the contributions to society on the good side. I'm fine with celebrating victories, but illuminating and calling out faults is what any good historian should do. If we don't, history gets lost and information degrades. That's no good. Disney was a great visionary. For white people. And he liked to make movies about lady protagonists. Who were helpless. Those are seriously important things to keep in mind. You know who was way more visionary and less successful? Max Fleischer.

Anyway, long story short, my classmates keep beating the dead horse of "anime is for pervs, Japanese animation is so gross and sexual", and not even fucking trying to see the value of the animation present there. They just summarily dismiss the ENTIRE CONTRIBUTIONS OF ASIA as "anime", not distinguishing one country's contributions from the next, and label them all "pervy violence" in their heads as shit not appropriate for children.

There are several Warner Brothers cartoons where characters die or shoot themselves with guns. ON SCREEN! The original Felix the Cat cartoon concludes with Felix committing suicide by GASLINE! Red Hot Riding Hood is NO less sexualized than women in anime. I would argues she's moreso. How about Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

The problem is, the course teaches to this pre-existing mindset. What the fuck! I'm getting progressively more pissed off about it and am seriously offended by the racist bullshit that I'm seeing. I don't even really like anime very much, especially not in the modern day when I've seen too much of it and get bummed out by certain standards of the medium. But damn it, 'anime' is a huge fucking variety of genres. There are anime for kids, there are anime for not-kids. There are cartoons for kids here in the western world and there are actually lots of cartoons that are not for kids. These are just two sides to the same coin, especially since a lot of USA studios decide to outsource their animation to other countries (like South Korea and Japan) rather than do anything but storyboard within the country of so-called origin.

And on top of this, not once have I heard mentioned the animation contributions of Argentina, which is bullshit.

Anyway, since it's all discussion and research about animation, I have plenty to say and find it easy to speak my mind. But with Life Drawing I want everything to be perfect, so I keep delaying on the latest homework because I'm worried it's not good enough. I like Life Drawing WAY more.