Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Brad Bird. (Photos: Shutterstock.com) Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Brad Bird. (Photos: Shutterstock.com)
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Animation Is Not A Genre: Oscar Edition

As if we needed to point out the Academy’s cluelessness, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, via the Academy Awards show writing team, incorrectly labeled animation a genre as he presented the Oscar for best animated feature. It’s the same mistake made by the LA Times and NY Times, except The Rock made his blunder in front of hundreds of millions of viewers.

As always, we defer to Brad Bird’s corrective note:

“People think of animation only doing things where people are dancing around and doing a lot of histrionics, but animation is not a genre. And people keep saying, ‘The animation genre.’ It’s not a genre! A Western is a genre! Animation is an art form, and it can do any genre. You know, it can do a detective film, a cowboy film, a horror film, an R-rated film or a kids’ fairy tale. But it doesn’t do one thing. And, next time I hear, ‘What’s it like working in the animation genre?’ I’m going to punch that person!”

And if you’re thinking—How is Brad going to punch out The Rock?—don’t worry. He’s got backup from Kung Fu Panda director Mark Osborne who tweeted:

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Brad Bird. (Photos: Shutterstock.com)

  • Todd DuBois

    It’s sadly not even the only time the “genre” remark was made this week. It happened at a Thursday event when Academy Gov Bill Kroyer said “Animation is literally the most successful genre in the history of motion pictures.” It’s made all the worse by the fact Mr. Kroyer is someone who’s been in the industry. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2015/02/20/oscars-feature-animation/23725403/

    • Maddie

      a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.

      • Shuckleberry Hound

        Genres exist within the media of animation, filmmaking, music, literature, etc. Animation is a canvas and a set of tools with which you can portray any form, style or subject matter. It is not a genre in the same way that most comedies are meant to be funny or most science fiction films are set in space or concern futuristic technologies.

      • Aaron

        When’s the last time you’ve heard someone talk about the “live action genre?”

  • Anonymous

    I’m just here for the comments.

  • David Zweig

    Dear animation world,

    Let it go. Let it go.

    With love,

    • Fried

      Sometimes this website feels like the Kotaku of the animation world.

      If people get pissy over others calling animation a genre and cannot understand why it’s simply easier to classify it as such, I feel sorry for you and your oversensitive ways.

      • edhooks

        Many smart people are rightly frustrated with the current artistic state of western animation. In the public eye, Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks make movies for kids – exclusively. They toss in some adult stuff (first half of “Up”, first half of “Wal-EE”) because parents are the ones with the money. But the animation art form is woefully under-used in the west, particularly in the U.S.A. We need adult-themed animation, and I’m not talking about sex and nudity. We need adult-themed feature animation that cannot reasonably shot live-action. Referring to animation as a “genre” is ignorant, but the people expressing those thoughts generally do not give a squat. They are getting paid for whatever it is that they are doing, and that is all they care about. We need actual, for-real artists to step up to the plate. It is their time.
        Ed Hooks

      • Jamie

        How about calling, er, something like…a “medium”. I appreciate that it is probably too much hassle to type a word with one extra letter for the terminally lazy, but it’s nice to not let the English further degenerate into a mass of empty terms.

    • David Zweig

      Gotta say, folks…animation is a genre.

      Yes, this type of motion art can cover every genre of storytelling. But animation is a kind, a category, a sort, a breed, a class, an ilk, a subdivision…of a larger thing known colloquially as filmmaking. It is a category in which major elements of the story (majority of main characters, visual design, world-building) are created outside of capturing images on film. Granted, special effects have blurred this line quite a bit, but one cannot deny that animation as an art is a type of filmmaking, just as fiction is a type of writing. This is indisputable.

      Now, if the animation industry wants the level of respect needed to nominate one of its films for (vapid, meaningless titles such as) overall Best Picture, then it needs to start producing and supporting films that rival those that are already in this category.

      Ben-Hur. Ordinary People. Platoon. Silence of the Lambs. Gandhi. An American in Paris. Rocky. The Sting. Midnight Cowboy. A Man for All Seasons. In the Heat of the Night. Rebecca. The French Connection. My Fair Lady. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Lawrence of Arabia. All About Eve. The Godfather.

      If the animation industry created and truly supported films that belonged in that list (the ambition behind Prince of Egypt, Akira, Perseopolis and Triplets of Belleville was admirable), it may just break out of the ghetto.

      I’m forever hopeful.

      • Sunbeams


      • Lenin

        Animation isn’t a genre, it’s a medium.

        Also there are many animated films that are worthy of best picture, for example, Kaguya this year was better than every single best picture nomination.

        • coffiend39

          It’s both, actually. Animation is a medium, but it’s also a form and style of filmmaking, which makes it a genre.

          Why are so many animators so hung up on competing with live action films anyway? Is it the recognition you want? The status? Since animation has it’s own film category, an animated film is guarenteed to win.

          • Vulpe

            Because live action movies are usually treated as “better” or “more diverse” than animation because live action is not a genre. Live action film making also has its own formS and styleS, and is NEVER referred to as only pointing a camera at things by anyone in the industry, including animators. Yet for some insane reason everybody assumes that making animation is only one style and form of film making.

            First of all: WRONG. Animating takes various forms: Stop Motion, creation of single frames by hand, creation of layered frames by hand, computer generated motion, then there’s the huge difference in approach between 2D and 3D, which also aren’t just CGI but actually also stop motion and, yes, depending on the definition, *puppeteering*. Within those forms you can go to much *more* styles than live action, because live action is bound to a mostly realistic look and will use animation itself, whenever there’s a need.

            Second: The same amount of camera work is put into both media. Even when animation is done in purely digital form, the angle and shot composition usually follows the same rules it would if it was live action. It even has additional possibilities due to lending itself more easily, and usually doing so, to abstrahation and stylization.

            So tell me, does that really sound like a genre to you, instead of a medium rivalling live action film making in its merit?

      • jonhanson

        My thoughts exactly, if the list this year included Cheatin, Rocks In My Pockets and Giovanni’s Island then animation would look like a medium rather than a genre, but with the actual list of nominees I can see why most people would talk just the way the Rock did.

      • Kirby

        Dude, while we still have to deal with the image problem of the Saturday morning cartoon has had on animation, And I agree it can be a type of film making, that isn’t just like live action. Animation can bring the audience into places live action can’t. Both arts are strongly intertwined.

        And we do need that support.

        I can see what you mean, and you draw up some hard truths we have deal with.

        But I’d have to disagree. The respect is there and so is the competitors to your film list (While a good examples is still just bias). And we do live in a day when Animation lands high on the grossing movie list. Japan knows where its at, presenting stories in all age groups.

        But the quality or audience of the content doesn’t change that Animation isn’t a medium but emphasises how much it is. So many veins pump animation, its like referring Music, Books or even Video games as just a genre because of how the final piece its produced.

        • David Zweig

          Actually, with big-budget special effects taking full form, there is nothing that live action films can’t do. Therefore, the reason to animate anything these days is largely due to a stylistic choice. There is no real need to animate anything anymore beyond the desire for a specific visual style.

          As coffiend39 said, animation is both a medium and a genre. And just to continue the semantic discussion, since “genre” essentially means “kind” or “category,” music and books can be considered genres of entertainment or communication as well.

      • daniel thomas

        Horus, Prince of the Sun. Heidi, Girl of the Alps. 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother. Anne of Green Gables. Jarinko Chie. Gauche the Cellist. The Story of Yanagawa Canals. Grave of the Fireflies. Omohide Poro Poro. Pom Poko. My Neighbors the Yamadas. Winter Days. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.
        There. Solved that problem for you. Now all that’s needed is for Hollywood to actually…what’s that word? Ah, yes: Care.

        • David Zweig

          This is a wonderful list, and I’ve enjoyed most of them. But they don’t address my second point of being truly supported in the way that the blockbusters are.

          Imagine if Kaguya got the marketing and support that Big Hero 6 did, Or on the flip side, imagine if John Lasseter or Brad Bird set out to truly address this issue and endeavored to make a film that could in fact break out of the ghetto. Imagine them creating something worthy of all of the awards possible. Something ground-breaking and truly courageous. And then imagine the Disney/Pixar marketing machine giving it the gold standard treatment.

          But they don’t. Instead, the biggest animated films simply play inside the lines, and reinforce its categorization in the minds of the public.

          • white vader

            But the majority of live-action films are only as proficient or worse than animated ones, yet somehow they still enjoy that lofty status of being an art form. And yes there are the few animated gems that absolutely are up there on the level of “best picture” type classics. Just because you deem a bunch of live-action classics to be subjectively more worthy doesn’t make sense, when mostly the levels are about the same.

            Even moreso when you consider animation a *much* smaller industry – of course there are going to be proportionally less “great” movies than live-action. But not less greats in ratio to the whole of the art form.

            The biggest live-action films ALSO play inside the lines! Your argument comes off as a bit disingenuous to me, because you’re cherry-picking and saying we should judge on the number of live-action classics vs animation classics, when straight up numbers don’t tell the story at all – comparative ones do, that take into account the whole story. And why wouldn’t you judge the art form on the whole rather than the exceptions? Which would be the more accurate way to go. And why would you think marketing support has anything to do with worth?

            Fans of literature could look down their noses at you exactly the same way.

            Not a genre. Genre is the subset. Of animation AND live action.

      • Shuckleberry Hound

        You couldn’t be more wrong.

        Animation is a type of filmmaking the way fiction is a type of writing? Fiction is a genre because the narrative has to be invented for it to qualify. You can make animation narratively about anything. Animation can be completely free of narrative and it’d still be called animation as long as it was animated.

        I don’t know why ya’ll have such a difficult time understanding the difference between genre and medium.

      • ShouldBeWorkin’

        Articulate and excellently written argument but I disagree; not a genre.

      • The Iron Giant.

    • The Animator

      You clearly fail to understand. Please step on a lego.

      The Animators.

  • Elisa

    Every time someone says animations is a genre I have to control myself for not to yell at them. I think is one of the biggest stoppers in the industry “animation is a genre” and often associated with: a kids movie… Animation=only for Kids And it is not. How do we help spreading the word that it is not only for kids?

    • ea

      By making and/or distributing animated films that are clearly not for kids, perhaps?

      • RachelG

        UMMMM what? Did we not hear about adult swim? Or animated family oriented sitcoms like bob’s burgers, simpsons, family guy, etc? What about bevis and butthead? King of the hill? Idiots and Angels?

        The problem is that this is all institutionalized. Animations need to be paid for, and the people paying for them shoehorn it into this “family friendly round CG” “GENRE.” Attempts to break out of that mold are made over and over and over again, but it doesn’t get the support.

        Quite frankly, I don’t know what animators ever did to anyone to get this much pushback. I don’t even care if its called a genre, I just wish people would stop being so condescending towards it. That’s all we ask!

        • ea

          All those you mentioned are TV shows, except for Idiots and Angels, which hardly anyone saw. CINEMA has a bigger influence on people’s minds than television. If the animation industry wants to be taken seriously, it should produce AND distribute animated films just like live-action films. We can have an animated equivalent to The Dark Knight, Citizen Kane, The Godfather, The Graduate, Die Hard, The Exorcist, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, etc. It’s just a matter of the industry taking risks.

      • Aaron

        Gee, it’s so easy, why has nobody thought of this before? Oh, that’s right, because it’s not easy. You blame the Animation Industry, but most films have to get their funding from somewhere. If Hollywood and audiences have their preconceptions, it’s not the industry’s fault they can’t get the money to make anything else. Animation is work intensive, time consuming, and expensive. It can’t be made on a shoestring budget and it’s expected to have high returns. Some studios do push the boundaries in whatever way they can, but are still limited by what their backers are willing to invest in. The reality is that Hollywood doesn’t take animation seriously as a format. It is viewed as a genre and it’s judged by the box office. When films come out that challenge this, they are largely ignored by the Academy. While with live action films things like writing, artistry, theme, and directing matter, they are largely irrelevant in how the Academy judges animated films.

  • AlanPS

    Brad Bird is gonna sic the Iron Giant on the Rock.

    • Noah

      Vin Diesel vs Dwayne Johnson, heck yeah.

      • Connor

        Watch Fast Five. It’s already happened.

      • AlanPS

        just saw this. heck yeah!

  • M.V.

    I think the concept of “genre” is all screwy now anyway. I mean “Sci-Fi” is considered a genre but a Sci-Fi can be anything from an action movie, to a comedy to a drama and anything in between. is “Cowboy film” really a genre? does that mean True Grit,Tombstone,Paint Your Wagon, Home on the Range and A Million ways to Die in the West are all the same genre?
    Not to question Brad Bird, he’s a friggin genius. I just think animation has had this bug up it’s butt for too long.

    • Penciljockey

      Animation isn’t a genre. Just like Filmmaking isn’t a genre. Duh!

      • coffiend39

        Genre is a catogory in form, style or subject. Animation has a distinctive form and style of filmmaking, so it is a genre.

        What’s so bad about animation being a genre anyway?

        • If it gets labeled as a genre it runs the risk of being labeled only as family ‘entertainment/kid’s stuff.’ (At least, in the states because that is what animation primarily covers mainstreamly anyway. Also, hardly any good live-action family films are made these days.) Or if it is anime it runs the risk of being labeled ‘violent, exploitive, or sexual.’

          • coffiend39

            That’s not the fault of it being a genre, it’s the fault of industry targeting (mostly) children for so long. Even today, most animation targets children and the family.

          • Ocean

            Then that the fault of the culture relabeling, Animation won’t change entrenched prejudices arising from Whatever historical origin christian or others . For whatever reason American refuse to watch animation beyond whatever . Going to have a hunch the long Enlightenment obsession with “realism ” and anything that was not realism was of the savage /primitive(ever other culture including the ones enslaved mind a lot to do with it . That very much a Western thing , and The Art revolutions against realism didn’t seem to have much effect on the American public and are confined to Europe . ,definitely not Japanese culture no matter what anecdotal evidence someone brings to the table . Traditional Asian art was not philosophical obsessed with realism . This all start in Renaissance of Europe and Christianity . . Animation by it nature of being animation (Violate ) the realist clause ,making unsuitable for so called Rational adults who are not rational in the slightest…. so we condemn to kids . And the labeling of Anime violent exploitative has more to do with bigoted American puritanism (Tons of sex scene in Hollywood movies and pointless violence) than anything else . Just as Violent “exploitative and sexual as anything else if not more so . Usually people bring up some weird hentai example . But the logic is so bizarre.. by that definition then …all movies are defined by American Porn movies I can buy online lol .. yeah so I don’t see this changing ” It more than just it being a genre it is a deep cultural logic driving these prejudices.

        • Derpy derp

          Except that what you just said is the reason WHY animation is not a genre. You can’t say (Classic) South Park is the same as Madagascar or My Neighbour Totoro. Are they animations? Yes, but they all have VERY distinctive forms and VERY distinctive styles of film-making.

          (Classic) South Park was filmed in stop-motion. Madagascar was purely 3D animation and My Neighbour Totoro was hand-drawn. Those are differences that VASTLY affected the ways in which they were produced and filmed.

          • coffiend39

            I explained why animation IS a genre.

            All genre means is that something is categorized by form (what it’s made of), style (appearance), and subject (what’s it about). By stating South Park is stop-motion, Madagascar is computer animation and My Neighbor Totoro is hand drawn (or anime), you have successfully categorized the films into distinct forms of animation. Without realizing it, you helped make my point.

          • white vader

            But by that argument, live-action filmmaking is a genre too. And the distinct forms thing is backwards as well. Because while animation is the way they’re produced, all those “distinct forms” are different techniques or styles and subsets of animation, NOT animation itself. Genre is a subset.

            They’d be the same story genres if they were live action. Comedy, drama, western, sci-fi etc. Live action the ‘container’, genres the subset. They can and have been done in live-action AND animation, therefore you can’t say animation or live-action are the genre.

            Style (in the way you’re using it which is aesthetic) and technique are not content, or thematic in nature. Genres deal with themes and story content. I admit, the simplistic/confusing way the dictionary uses “style” “form” and category” in this case is particularly unhelpful and muddies the water.

            Animation is the container in exactly the same way as live action is the connective tissue/way most films are made, but the story types are the genres. You’d be equally wrong if saying Silent Films were a genre. Animation and live action aren’t the subset/genres. And you wouldn’t say movies are a genre either.

          • white vader

            My recollection is that the ONLY South Park that was actually stop-motion (or more accurately cut-out animation), wasn’t even an episode of the show but the absolute original “christmas card” that got the whole thing started in the first place. Other than that, Amen!

    • jim

      Sci-Fi is a genre. Then there are subgenres like sci-fi comedy or sci-fi thriller

    • Shuckleberry Hound

      Yes, “Cowboy film” (or “Western”, as it’s actually known) is really a genre. Yes, True Grit, Tombstone, Paint Your Wagon, Home on the Range, and A Million Ways to Die in the West are all the same genre. Some of them have more shades of comedy than others or draw from competing aesthetics, but yeah, Western is a genre and all of those are Westerns.

      Movies are grouped by genre when they have similar themes, content, and narrative tropes. You can combine genres or subvert genre conventions, but genre is still explicitly defined by content.

      When people refer to all of animation as a genre, there’s an unspoken subtext that they mean “oh yeah, those cartoon kids movies”. They think animation is restricted by theme, content and narrative. It’s not.

      Animation is a medium, not a genre. You can do anything you want with it conceptually or creatively, make it about any topic or make it completely abstract, and it’s still animation. It’s a medium the same way live-action filmmaking, video games, music, painting, sculpture, and literature are media.

      If a movie doesn’t have cowboys, horses, gunslingers, a score full of guitars and whistling, or a frontier, it’s probably not a Western.

    • Noid Hunter

      Yes, genres aren’t defined using any coherent criteria. Well, at least movie genres don’t suck as much as videogame genres.

    • Dan

      Yes but films (or any form of media) are rarely one genre. You can have a Sci-fi Action Comedy film.

    • While there are numerous shades to the various genres, you can in general understand that certain things will be present when you are told the genre. Fantasy will involve magic, science fiction will involve fictitious technology, horror will aim to scare you, action will thrill.

      There are sci-fi westerns, and sci-fi detective stories, or science fiction horror. Genre is not science, it is just parlance to help a potential audience understand what the movie/book/whatever is about or involves.

      Do not get hung up on the hair splitting that others do. It is not worth it.

    • maelk

      I feel like people confuse sci-fi with fantasy these days. I know the general population thinks sci–fi is defined by being in the future and having some sort of ficticious technology, but sci fi has to have origins in real scientific observations. In that regard guardians og the galaxy is fantasy and not sci fi. A space odyssey is science fiction because all the design id based on scientific theories. Just wanted to clear that up

    • white vader

      Wait, so because it’s all screwy/people misuse it, we should just let the tail wag the dog? Not to mention you use animation as even more of a catch-all in the last sentence there…

  • Bob

    Don’t blame Dwayne Johnson. Just be thankful that Brad has truthful and original thoughts we can all anonymously rant about as if they were our own.

    As an example of the possible and acceptable interpretations of the word ‘genre’, here is an interview of Brad’s amazing head of story, Mark Andrews.

    Skip to 4:50.

  • queue09


    1.a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form,content, technique, or the like:

  • James Fox

    You know it’s sad when Japan and Europe/UK shows better respect for Animation than here in the US

  • Toonio

    So are we splitting hairs on newspeak now?

    Guess I have to go back to high school and read this part from 1984 that I’m missing.

    In the mean time i’m calling the emergency crews, sorry, first responders, to send mr Osborne to the happy house to get some soma , as he shouldn’t be all grumpy and cranky..

  • mkw

    the routine conflation of genre and medium is a bummer.

  • ea

    Then the animation industry should better start making more varied types of films, instead of simply family-friendly fare. It’s not the Rock’s or the Times’ fault there isn’t a mainstream American detective/cowboy/horror/R-rated animated movie.

  • jonhanson

    Yeah, a big flub on the part of The Rock. Couldn’t he see the wide range of genees on display between the wide variety of family-friendly fantasy movies nominated this year?

    There’s the 3D medieval family-friendly fantasy movie, the 2D medieval family-friendly fantasy movie, the 2D medieval Japanese family-friendly fantasy film, the stop motion victorian family-friendly fantasy movie and the 3D science-fiction family-friendly fantasy movie.

    • Math

      You are being sarcastic right? I can’t see the different “genres” that these movies could fit in… other than “animation”.

  • jonhanson

    Yeah, crazies like Roger Ebert don’t know anything about film:

    • Thanael

      What Roger, who knew quite a lot about film, is describing, isn’t a genre. “Though film noir is often identified with a visual style, unconventional within a Hollywood context, that emphasizes low-key lighting and unbalanced compositions,[8]films commonly identified as noir evidence a variety of visual approaches, including ones that fit comfortably within the Hollywood mainstream.[9] Film noir similarly embraces a variety of genres, from the gangster film to the police procedural to the gothic romance to the social problem picture—any example of which from the 1940s and 1950s, now seen as noir’s classical era, was likely to be described as a “melodrama” at the time.[10]”-Wikipedia. No need for the snark.

  • Netbug

    He’s worked in animation too. :/

  • I love good genres, music is my favorite, but film and tv are also good. Did i mention books?

  • Reu Att

    It is by fact a medium of filmmaking..much like live action, puppetry..just like oil painting, tampera are medium of art..but it will not get the respect live action gets if all the movies we make are kids stuff..in Japan there is much respect for the form because they cover every genre..from horror, sci-fi to romance..so next time someone calls it a genre suck it up..and know we dug this pit of misunderstanding ourselves..because all they see is a genre that is all about fairies, princesses and goofies aimed at children.

  • Edua

    The Rock vs Brad Bird… this would be a great for Celebrity Deathmatch.

  • d. harry

    who cares? The important thing is that he pointed out that animation consistently kills in the box office!

  • mick

    If you say the word ‘genre’ more than three times in a row it’s meaning begins to fade. It becomes as tricky as holding smoke. Whereas if you say ‘walnut’ over and over you steadfastly picture a walnut in your mind’s ear. Now you tell me that isn’t significant.

    Hollywood getting a word wrong isn’t big news. Hollywood’s soul found in an alley being beaten senseless with a grubby bottom line made of sleaze would be worth a headline

  • George Comerci

    The only reason people are pegging animation as a genre is because animation is mostly used to make kids’ movies. And since animation is usually associated with Disney movies, and Disney makes kids’ movies, people are going to associate animation for children. That’s the problem here.

  • daniel

    It’s hard to sound credible when you join the ranks of executive/directors who have the power to make animated films that break that statement yet is now making a sequel to join the growing family of sequels at Pixar to make money while paying their employees less..

  • Tony

    Animation can be done in any genre, but Americans mostly stick to one or two, which reinforces the misconception.
    And anyway, genre is just a five-dollar word people use to seem fancy.

  • Adzl33t

    I was maybe gonna make a meme of that

  • Kevin

    Animation as a technique is not a genre, but big-budget mainstream animated features are absolutely a genre. We may get pissy when people point this out, but it’s no less true.

  • Ron Stanford

    That makes as much sense as talking about the Filmmaking Genre, or the fiction genre. That being said, I’m pretty sure that The Rock meant no insult.

  • Norman

    Dwayne made a smart career move in calling himself ‘The Rock.’ His cinematic options would have been limited had he billed himself as ‘The Johnson.’

  • Justin Lynch

    I suggest about a full pound of marijuana.

  • Hayden Silbermann

    I don’t think it’s entirely his fault. Pretty sure the Acadamy writes most of that shiz.

  • Math

    “Animation can do any genre. You know, it can do a detective film, a cowboy film, a horror film”
    Comedy can be a detective or cowboy movie too, but it’s still okay to identify it as a comedy. I think people get too upset about this.

  • The Rock better watch out…

  • Annie May Shun

    Animation is a medium.

    It’s considered a genre because American mainstream still perpetuates the idea that it is only for children.

    Considering the previous article on this site in which one of the Academy members referred to “The Tale of The Princess Kaguya” (Japanese) and “Song of the Sea” (Irish) as, “Chinese f***ing s**t” that they didn’t bother to watch. It’s not a wonder that animation currently will continue to be wrongfully considered a “genre”.

    • Sardonic Tuba

      Animation is a large. But it can fit into a medium when it fasts for two days and does a juice cleanse.

  • ??

    genre – a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.

    Its a genre

  • The Rock is genre. How you like that.

  • Now, if we could just get everyone on the same page concerning the use of the word “Animations”.

  • Smarter Than You

    If you think that animation is a genre, you either don’t understand animation or the meaning of the word ‘genre.’ Either way, your opinion is invalid.

  • HalSolo

    The Iron Giant already settled this matter with The Rock in Fast Five.

  • Nicky

    Ya’ll know the Rock was suppose to say that right?

    I mean he reading a teleprompter or something. C’mon now.

  • Chris Bennett

    Oh, Amid! You missed a golden opportunity there. You could have oh so easily written, “…The Rock made his blunder in front millions… AND MILLIONS!… of viewers.”.

  • mariomguy

    I had more of an issue with the “Oscar people” mentioning the Lion King again. They keep talking about it like it’s the only animated “thing” ever made. I mean, there was also Fantasia, Beauty and The Beast, Shrek, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles… and plenty of other very popular, very acclaimed, very high-profile American-animated films, and yet the only one they keep going back to is The Lion King. That movie is already so overrated. If the Oscars needs more legitimately good, dramatic animated films to reference, they can look in the direction of Pinnochio, Rango, Coraline, Ratatouille, and Wall-E. And the majority of these films respect their audience’s intelligence enough to be, at the very, very minimum, tolerable to view as adult.

  • Boneyface

    Of course, animation is not a genre. But there’s no need to get angry over it. Just be mature and educate people on the matter. It’s not that hard.

    The Rock’s opinion is obviously not well informed, but as far as I know, he does not work in animation and has close to no contact with the field. Now, do you genuinely think he intended to disrespect the art form and all the people who work in it ?

    I like to think that we, who are passionate about animation, are smart enough not to drown uneducated people with a rain of insults.

  • Got something against Japan? :P

  • mastermike890

    Well the dictionary says “a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter” so I could see putting it in the similarities in form idea, but I personally wouldn’t call it one as I focus more on the style and subject matter. It really dosn’t matter these days what “genre” a movie is except to help it find its niche audience for people who know they like that style. I mean is found footage a genre? some are in space or about superheroes or demons but they share a comon style. Its more about the tropes of the film than how it is made.

  • Brent Tyler

    To be fair, those studios don’t make movies outside the family comedy because the American people don’t pay to see adult themed animated movies on the scale they see family movies. AFAIK, there is only 1 PG-13 movie in the top 100 “animated” movies on Box Office Mojo. We have to let them know there is a market outside the typical animation box before they will invest in it.

  • The Haunted Walk

    Genres are artificial constructs we use to compare similar or dissimilar things. All films contain some genre elements. Surely “animation” can be used as a very basic genre description. However, an enlightened mind would likely go further to talk about sub-genres of animation.

  • David Zweig

    Beautifully put.

  • Slash Halen

    If animation isn’t a genre, how come all of us (the general public audience and the animators/movie makers) keep treating it like a genre?

    • Jamie

      Let’s be blunt: most animated films are made for kids, and kids are the universal consumer base and thus justify the high costs in making these films.

      When you think about, Disney and imitators basically were the first genuinely successful exploitations filmmakers: only instead of exploiting punters out for tits and blood, they exploited kiddywinks everywhere and that’s how we get to today.

      That may sound strange but c’mon: how else does dreck like The Oogieloves get made?

      • Fried

        People seem to think animation only suffers from “genre labeling” in America, you really think Japan is any different?

        Just because it’s not targeting little kids doesn’t mean the general populace of Japan looks down at anime because of who it generally attracts. I guess grass is always greener syndrome.

        • Jamie

          Where exactly did I even mention Japan, bruv?

          Though good point, for all the balleyhoo about Japan’s animation industry, a lot of their stuff is genuine exploitation sleaze or tacky cult TV pandering.

  • Jordan Johnson

    I recognized that Brad Bird quote from the commentary on The Incredibles.

  • ea

    If you can’t make a movie, find one. I’m sure places like Japan and Europe have a bunch of animated films that are not for little kids and have box office potential; just give them a decent amount of screen and GOOD marketing, and people (both the industry and general audiences) will pay attention.

  • white vader

    Yes, the genres in those cases are comedy/satire, comedy, and fantasy/drama. Not animation.

  • Magenta White

    Animation’s a medium, that can be written in separate genres, but it just happens that many American animated films are targeted towards families (anyone can really enjoy them, but kids usually take up the audience), so that’s probably what leads people to believe it is a “genre,” so I’m not really going to attack Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for this one (except he’s supposed to play a character in Disney’s Moana, so he’d better watch out).

  • People other than me have also said it before, many times and many ways:

  • white vader

    Then if the word becomes that plastic and interchangeable, it also becomes pointless and redundant. I’ll just have to agree to disagree (it’s not about like) because I think you have the tail wagging the dog and are just playing with semantics. We’re obviously not going to see eye to eye on this, so maybe I should just leave it to Brad Bird. Cheers.

  • Ocean

    hm yeah honestly say no one in Japan give a flying fuck about the Oscar or the academy bunch of old white man deciding what they like and dislike does not sway my opinion . Would say it would be almost racist to care about really why should the value of there work be decided by some superficial western academy show. . a General audience to care about animation eh not for a few generations (Unless it adult comedy) , it would require a shift or destruction of the original prejudices that created the issue with Western particular American and animation

  • Justin Howe

    The popularity of superhero films is a fairly recent phenomenon, and I would argue that Marvel has damn near a monopoly on that. As expressed in previous comments, something has to be actually done well, (and then promoted like nobody’s business) Overseas or domestic shouldn’t matter. What should matter is that the story is well crafted and it has a few trailer worthy bits that puts butts in seats.

  • likalaruku

    True. Animation needs it’s own Oscars.

  • kjohn

    I love the checkers genre myself.