On the line between 2D and 3D

Growing up with Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon – was not much of a Disney boy- , I had a conviction that cartoons ( 2D) could blend into the lives of human seamlessly (3D) and that It would not look weird or inappropriate in the slightest. Those were the times of cartoon gems such as Spongebob, Dexter’s Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls, Courage the Cowardly Dog and many more. These cartoons bravely, albeit often in a strange way, featured at least an episode with three-dimensional humans inside. Remember the special episodes of Spongebob where the pirate guy from the opening scene hosts a party ? Kids had no problem believing that Spongebob Squarepants was real.

Too many cartoons with human interaction to list out. One movie especially worthy of note is Who Framed Roger the Rabbit

The movie was an Emmy-standard noir film with excellent technical qualities and an engaging plot. The movie smoothly integrated cartoons into the daily life of humans,as if the toons were a part of the ‘ecosystem’ of the world already. The vivid and powerful acting of the cast made it even for feasible that toons were to be of something significant in this world (in the movie). Looney Toon characters were its main stars (though personally Rogger the Rabbit was not a very memorable character), as well as featuring Disney characters crossing over to its universe such as Mickey Mouse. The movie was shown for a class on the History of Film and Motion Arts and thought it was a very notable example of a landmark in animation history.

Good times. image taken from http://www.chilloutpoint.com

Where is the line between 2D and 3D? It is generally regarded that an immersive experience ( albeit complementary to the all-important story) is the key to making a successful pseudo-animated movie. If people were to lash out and defames the movie because its ‘fake’, the producers have messed up big time on their title.

It just got better from there onwards, but many did not make it to the hit list for the most part. Stuart little, Scooby Doo, and Looney Tunes back in Action also fall into this category for executing this rather ‘hit-or-miss’ genre very well. The feel that the little white, talking mouse, Stuart, being an important and palpable part of the whole tale was achieved. Thus we say that the line between 2D (cartoons) and 3D (reality) has been shifted by the sands. People could actually accept superficial characters as a part of their lives at that point of time. There would be no need for us to wake up – differentiate reality from 2D if 2D were so real -, euphemistically speaking.

Fast forward to 2007 and we had another breakthrough. It was in the form of a metallic (pun intended),thrilling alien-busting action complimented with a hot woman who somehow ends up with a high school boy in his adventures. Be it for either Megan Fox or the Transformers, i bet you would love to be in Shia Lebouf’s shoes. The barrier between the 2D and 3D world was blown away by the film – the Autobots became a part of Witwicky family’s lives ( later in the movie ) and the Decepticons actually felt like a real threat to the safety of the world. It had people cheering for Optimus Prime when he fights Megatron, when it is actually just the fine works a studio rendering an earth-bound fight between the two master robots from a Saturday morning cartoon. Cheesy script and plot aside, I would still go for a life like Witwicky’s.

It did not stop there. Avatar is a recent gem in this category as well. Though, I can talk about almost every movie in this category but that would dedicate the whole blog’s bandwidth, so I would rather not.

It ultimately boils down to a viewer’s judgement on film, as there are no conventions in the ‘art of entertaining people’. “Heck, it is something we are not used to, nor have we seen it, but it’s good so we’re paying for it !” is the response of a delighted crowd that every producer should aim for.

There would be a day where there would be no more lines between 2D and 3D.. and let us just say that I am looking forward to it.


~ by keerakun on May 22, 2012.

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