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19 November 2011

What's Good About CGI Animated Films

I decided to make this post to write about my love of CGI animated movies. I have realised that animated films have not degraded in quality over the years and some end up being magnificent. Over the past few years, CGI animation has been growing insanely popular were now we have something like 15 animated films in a year. With the great technological advancements, titles such as “Toy Story 3” and “How to Train Your Dragon” show that it is an excellent medium and now animation is not a thing just for kids, but for everyone. Animation to me is an art. Although not on the same level as film, I still love it so.

After 1995, with the release of “Toy Story”, CGI animation was taken on and soon Pixar would have slight competition with the rise of DreamWorks with their popular “Shrek” in 2001. Now everyone is joining in on the CGI medium. Ignore live-action; full CG animated films have become popular with all audiences. Now companies like BlueSky (Ice Age), Sony Pictures (Surf’s Up) and even Universal (Despicable Me) are running in the animated industry.

Many now compare these companies to one another, and the biggest two would have to be Pixar and DreamWorks. Each has excellent film s but for me, Pixar capture the heart more. However, DreamWorks have something about their animation that seems to be more texture and quite real. Look at Shrek 2 and above and you will what I mean. Pixar at times go for a more crisp, smooth and fantasy look, which is still highly vibrant and beautiful to watch. 

Of course, I have kept in mind that traditional cartoon drawing is a dying, but beautiful format. Luckily, Disney are occasionally making a traditionally crafted animated film every now and then, with the most recent being “The Princess and the Frog” and “Winnie the Pooh”. I love all forms of animation so there is no superior format for me.  Many will prefer CGI to hand drawn and others vice-versa, and perhaps even stop-motion being the best, but for me they are all equal because they all hold great films. Traditional has “The Lion King” and “Pinocchio”, CGI has “Wall-E” and “Toy Story” and stop-motion has “The Nightmare before Christmas” and the “Wallace & Gromit” films.

As you know, CGI is used everywhere in the film industry, but I will save that for a later post. Many people do not like animated films because they feel they ‘don’t compare to live-action’ and ‘their story’s are not real enough’. Well, these statements are partially wrong because films like “Akira” (not CGI) in 1988 was a reasonably adult animated film and featured plenty of solid action. As for good CGI films, film’ like “Up” feature emotional maturity and even “Toy Story 3” was acclaimed to have made some people shed a tear. 

The CGI medium can still compare with live-action films in some ways because of the limitations; there is none. When it comes down to animation, your imagination can run wild. Films like “Ice Age” and “Shrek” really show this. Seeing a CGI animated film in cinemas now is still a glorifying experience, with or without 3D glasses. Many may not be worthy of film of the year, but they are still entertaining film. 

As for the side of them being to ‘childish’. Some of them to target a younger audience like films such as “Space Chimps” and “Tinkerbell”, but others have a little more versatility to them. “Shrek” and “Toy Story” both have adult innuendos and little jokes that would go over the heads of younger viewers and they manage to keep your attention with their wit and story. Sometimes the simple things turn out to be the special things. Wall-E is a great story because of its sincerity and most people can relate to it. The same goes with many of Pixar and DreamWorks’s films. 

However, we do have many bad CGI films; Like any genre or category of film. Films such as “The Ant Bully”, “Gnomeo & Juliet” and “Chicken Little” appear as more childish and squabbling films. Regardless of that many have proved as excellent films within the medium is I have previously mentioned. There are a few CGI films (and animated for that matter) that are my favourite films of all time, and “Wall-E” is one of them just to point out. I know some people may disagree with my points, and some will agree. Either way, thanks for reading this post about CGI animation, please give feedback and let me know what you think about CGI films. 



  1. I could not agree with you more. A lot of people dislike animated films for the simple and stupid reason that they think animation is just for kids. That's what kept animated films out of the Academy for so long, even during the Disney Renaissance. I do not think so at all and I would definitely consider myself a huge fan of animation, especially CGI (although the hand-drawn classics are still awesome)

  2. I'm glad you agree Rachel! CGI is great in its on way as is traditional animation. Thanks for reading.

  3. I watch all kinds of movies, including all variations of animation. I had Toy Story 3 as my top film of all of 2010. I don't equate cgi with either "bad story" or "only for kids". I've known many people who do, though, especially the for kids part. I worked with a woman who would not go see an animated movie in the theaters because she didn't want people to know that she as an adult wanted to see a "child's movie".

  4. Here is a fact for you- I went to see Lion King and me and my friend aged 16 and 17 were the youngest there. However in total only about 20 people. There were more adults at it . Thanks for giving me feedback, Toy Story 3 was definitely one of last year's best,

  5. Great post, loads of good and great animation out there. Wall-E was truly epic (especially the Earth scenes), as was the brilliant climax of Toy Story 3. Pixar generally nail it, loved The Incredibles too. Wish they'd make a film just for adults without the kiddy comedy but that's just me being selfish. The original Shrek was also legendary. I wish there could be more stop-motion animation too though. Loved Coraline!

  6. I'm glad to hear someone else say they loved Coraline! It's vivid, very weird and the animation is brilliant. I have it on 3D blu-ray and watching it like that is brilliant. Thanks a lot for commenting!



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