Who grew up with 2D animation? I certainly did. Not just TV shows, but also movies. I watched certain Disney classics in 2D, such as “Aladdin” and “Cinderella”. One of my earliest, very faint memories is me seeing “Hercules” in the movie theater when I was 3. I also saw “Tarzan” in the cinema when I was 5.
Enough said about my earliest memories. 2D-animated theatrical releases were still common in the early 2000’s. By the middle of that decade, they were dying out as CGI was on the rise. In fact, I got so used to 3D animation that I was surprised when 2009’s “The Princess and the Frog” was hand-drawn.
For the 2010’s, however, only a few 2D-animated movies were released into cinemas. While there is and was some stop-motion, pretty much every movie that came out during this decade was CGI. I generally have no problem with 3D cartoons.
However, over-doing it gets tiring and even feels like the companies are a bit lazy. I’m not the only one missing hand-drawn animated films. There are others like this everywhere. One person even mentioned how 2D-animation depictions can vary—to the point where a character from cartoon would appear differently in another due to the unalike artistic style.
Many young children who have grown up with mostly CG films found 2D animation primitive and lacking the technology available today. I, however, often find mid-twentieth century hand-drawn animation more appealing than CGI.
Even though I was born in 1993, I still got to see older cartoons, including those from the 1930’s. Too much of anything gets overwhelming. That is why I hope that 2D-animated films will eventually come back.
For many people born before the turn of the century, the fact that Disney discontinued hand-drawn animated full-length features after 2011 probably upset them. Their last one was a “Winnie-the-Pooh” movie.
Originally, Disney’s last 2D-animated movie was going to be 2004’s “Home on the Range.” The company even stated that hand-drawn films took up too much time. Plus, CGI was the new trend.
CGI is great—but my ideal taste for movies would be an even balance of live-action, stop-motion, CGI, and 2D. A little bit of everything is good for me.
I believe everyone could consider the even balance of what I describe for movies, especially young children of the late 2010s and early 2020s. They’ll never know the beauty of how animation originally started—unless even just some film companies return to them.
As of now, 2D animation exists on TV and the Internet. But some of it does come onto streaming services. That’s good news.