The New York Times published an article by Brooks Barnes the other day in which he tried to explain to readers that animation was the number one medium at the box office last summer. Except, he and none of his editors were aware that animation is a medium, so Barnes wrote that, “Animation was the No. 1 genre.”
It is utterly embarrassing for the “paper of record” to have no one in its employ who is able to distinguish between the terms genre and medium. Next thing you know, they’ll be calling oil painting a genre of art, and referring to hardcover books as a literary genre. Actually, they wont because this gross incompetence and obliviousness is reserved exclusively for the mainstream media’s coverage of animation.
In such instances, we must call upon director Brad Bird for clarity and reason:
“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!”
Mr. Bird, you have our permission to punch Brooks Barnes.