Storytelling in animation movies and feature films

We understand the world via stories. Simple jokes, oral sagas, ancient texts, live performances, and video records are all used to tell stories. However, stories aren’t always transportable from one medium to another. Just because a tale can be “told,” “written,” or “played out” in a dance or pantomime does not indicate it can be told in animation movie. Every day, filmmakers begin short, animated films and feature films that are ill-conceived and doomed due to writers’ lack of understanding of the fundamentals of drama. These filmmakers assume that stringing together a series of events — a character does this and goes here, then meets another character, and then something else happens — will result in a compelling story.

What is a drama and its role in animation movies and feature films

Drama are often created for on stage performance, feature film, animation movies or television in its broadest and most encompassing definition.

Let’s take a closer look at key elements of drama and see how they might be used to construct a plot that will function in animation movies and feature films.

Drama is based on two key principles. There should be:
1. A protagonist is a character who will take action to attain a goal.
2. This character will be involved in a battle.
The character must take action, and the conflict might be mild or severe as long as it is visible. Film plots will not succeed unless they are based on these two essential laws.

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Characters who desire, want, need, and act are required in drama (even if the action is reactive, or centered around avoidance of action or reaction). This type of character propels a story along while also providing a logical foundation for the plot’s action. The suspense created by conflict keeps the audience engaged in what happens next. These two concepts operate together to provide context for the story’s material, allowing an audience to grasp what’s going on without having to read it.

Drama vs. Narrative

First, drama conveys information in a way that narrative text does not. This is the most important point. The audience is watching rather than reading, which is a whole different style of comprehension. Movie, like theater and music, is a time-based medium. It transmits its message in a specific time frame. To comprehend the information, the audience must be able to digest it and develop meaningful connections.

Second, drama conveys information in a way that narrative text does not. The most obvious example is how an essential notion in a person’s mind might be written down for the reader in a book. Screenwriters must externalize what characters feel and think in cinema, especially if vocal narration isn’t employed, which can be tough. As film has gotten more naturalistic, most theatrical conventions such as asides, monologues, chorus, and so on have been abandoned in favor of authentic behavior to give the impression of realism that audiences anticipate.

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Lastly, drama conveys information in a way that narrative text does not. With film, audiences sit and watch as action unfolds in front of them, and screenwriters must work harder to keep their attention on the action. The narrator’s voice can guide readers through the content in a book, creating leaps and connections through what is essentially a commentary on the event. What the writer says to the readers can build tension and meaning. Readers can also re-read a piece if they don’t comprehend it the first time. However, in cinema, the action must unfold in a way that is immediately understandable and creates tension to keep the audience engaged.

 

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Reference Sources:

  1. Animation World Network: https://www.awn.com/
  2. Cartoon Brew – Technology: https://www.cartoonbrew.com/tech
  3. Befores & Afters – Visual effects and animation journalist: https://beforesandafters.com/
  4. Bloomberg News: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/
  5. Insider: https://www.insider.com/