Harrisites discuss their favorite animated movies and the appeal of animation

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Have you ever wondered how popular Disney films such as Frozen or Zootopia, generally geared at younger viewers, draw in such large audiences of varying ages? Over the decades, the development of animated films has grown to become much more intricate with engaging stories and compelling visuals that have attracted viewers across all age demographics, including Harrisites. The Classic spoke to students at Townsend Harris about the appeal of animation and their favorite animated films.

Many students expressed how animated films are able to portray deep messages in storytelling through an alternate creative medium because of the fluid and expressive artworks; this is different from traditional live-action films, which heavily rely on acting. 

Sophomore Evan Diep said that animators can “design the characters in a way that allows the viewers to easily pick up on how a character feels, or what they are thinking” and “convey emotional ideas through a digestible medium.” Likewise, junior Josephine Chan said, “I appreciate how much work goes into animating each frame and how much work goes into designing the background, characters, etc…while maintaining a compelling storyline.”

Many Harrisites have also expressed a preference for animated works over live-action media. Freshman Issac Wong discussed how live-action movies do not always live up to their expected result. He said, “Sometimes in live-action, epic scenes like battles can end up looking uninspiring or poorly produced” and “the acting may not always be great.”

When asked about their favorite animated films, many responded with older animations as opposed to the more contemporary ones. For instance, when asked about her favorite animated film, junior Adeebah Zaman said “Barbie and the Diamond Castle will always be one of my favorites because of its nostalgia factor.” 

Junior Rachel Ly expressed her favorite film, Howl’s Moving Castle, “defies gravity” and, like Adeebah, holds on to it for its nostalgic factor.

Students also described the comfort animated works often offer. “They’re simple and cute to watch and pretty uplifting on an otherwise gloomy day,” Adeebah said.

Artwork by Elaine Hung