Sarah Olson

Animation has been part of the entertainment industry for the last century. Hand-drawn cartoons were popularized in the 1940s, and Generation X grew up on Saturday morning cartoons. Computer-generated imagery has been in the mainstream movie industry since Pixar’s “Toy Story” was released in 1995. 

As technology continues to change and improve, animation remains a reliable source of entertainment for many kids and adults alike. The versatility of animation, the variety of artistic styles and the emotion animated characters convey make watching animated shows and movies both interesting and nostalgic for many SCHS students.

Freshman Nikhil Ramkrishnan has been watching cartoons since he was a little kid. 

He appreciates the way animated shows and movies can incorporate aspects that live action shows would not be able to do as effectively, like the special effects in the animated TV show “Avatar: The Last Airbender.”

“I like how they incorporate more artwork and textures into it (animated cartoons),” Ramkrishnan said. “They also do stuff that normal live action shows can’t really do, like CGI or special effects.”

Junior Leila Linke agrees. Though she believes that live-action shows have the advantage of realism, she likes the versatility of animation.

“There’s a lot more you could do with animation,” Linke said. “It’s much more flexible in terms of effects and whatnot. A lot of it’s drawn out, but you could also use other elements as well like some cut outs.”

Linke noted that when watching live action shows, bad acting by the on-screen actors can sometimes ruin the experience. She, however, believes that it is not generally a problem in animation.

“With animation, facial expressions and body language can be more expressive because you have the ability to exaggerate certain features,” Linke said.

Freshman Crystal Aguilar is a fan of anime, a genre almost always produced as animated TV shows. She appreciates the way emotion comes through in animation, believing that animated characters have more ways of expressing their feelings. 

“It’s mostly the eyes. When they’re about to cry their eyes become bigger. They can make so many more expressions than people can,” Aguilar said.

Cartoons also hold an element of nostalgia for many people, considering that their generally family-friendly content and bright colors are a favorite in many households with children.

“I watch (cartoons) the most and I grew up with them too, so it’s kind of nostalgic for me,” Ramkrishnan said. 

Aguilar likes the possibilities that exist because of the technology used in animation.

“You’re able to use your creativity to make anything you want,” Aguilar said.