Over the years we have been actively aware of multiple forms of art including painting, music, acting, filmmaking and many more. However, one form of art that is still underappreciated in Cyprus has to do with animation.
There are people out there that are still looking down to any form of animation which has them putting everything in an animation format in the same basket.
And that basket is something labelled "for kids". That's right. People in Cyprus still correlate animation with kid's entertainment. What a pathetic time we are living right ?
Moreover, we also have to admit that more and more young adults are rejecting these stupid opinions and now allow themselves to enjoy the beauty that animation has to offer even if that is in the form of beautiful storytelling (Bojack Horseman), action packed or suspensful anime (Death Note, Attack on Titan , Monster) or stunning full-feature films (Soul, I lost my body)
However, in my opinion, the true appreciation of the beauty of animation for adults (we exempt Family Guy, South Park, American Dad and these shows) came in the form of Love, Death and Robots from Netflix.
Yes,you read that right, Netflix has some good content.
The allowance of Experimentation:
The first quality that everyone can acknowledge of Love,Death and Robots is ofcourse its stunning diverse art style. Every episode manages to build a living, breathing world in mostly under 40 minutes - something that the majority of big budget films are not able to do so.
The artistic freedom that was allowed in this project shines as the people behind Love,Death and Robot are a passionate bunch. They live for this shit and it's very rewarding to see that a corporation of the size of Netflix is actually giving them a chance instead of butchering their creative vision through executive decisions (see Justice League and every other recent DC film except Gunn's projects).
Adding to that, the diversity of animation styles is something that is worth mentioning. Every episode stands out in comparison to the others. You can have a visually remarkable CGI bloodshed episode like Sonnie's Edge and then immedietely laugh your ass off with comedic episodes like Night of the Mini-Dead before having an existential crisis with deep-thought episodes like the Drowning Giant. The variety of feelings you will extract through the amazingly crafted animated/drawn words of each individual episode will you have you overwhelmed in a state of introspection.
Easily digestable content:
We live in a busy world where most people are overwhelmed with work, socializing, and /or crippling existentialism. Adding to that, the content that we have been consuming lately (Tik-Tok, Instagram Reels, YouTube shorts etc) has absolutely destroyed our focus. I know a lot of people cannot go through a 2 hour movie without checking their phone.
Thankfully for our lazy, serotonin hungry brains, Love, Death and Robots comprehends that and manages to squeeze as much as they can in short episodes ranging from 5 minutes to 20-25.
But don't let that short format fool you. Love,Death and Robots manages to explore a huge number of themes like guilt, human consciousness, human extinction, the morality of right and wrong and many others, all accompanied by beautiful voice-acting and stunning animation.
Cliché storylines are out of the window.
Finally, my personal favourite trait of this masterpiece, has to do with the storytelling of it. Love, Death and Robots is a refreshing take on storytelling and its short format allows for stories to be explored in a way full feature movies never could.
Full feature movies nowadays are often affected by corporate decisions that can massively alter the creative vision of a project, making its storylines boring,predictable and most importantly cliché. You have seen the same revenge story, the same biopic, the same action flick and the same characters over and over again that is enough to drive you crazy.
Love,Death and Robot says fuck that.
The short storylines allow for a storyline with a number of twists that the viewer is not able to predict. The perfect example of this comes from the episode "Bad Travelling" in season 3.
This episode showcases how a protagonist cannot simply fall into the limited boxes of "good" and "evil". I know what you are going to say. We have had anti-heroes and morally gray characters in all forms of fiction. I tend to disagree. The main character of this episode (also directed by fucking David Fincher by the way) has created a moral dilemma between the community as a number of people call him an egoistical self-centered, back-stabbing asshole while the other side of the spectrum tends to describe him as a sacrificing hero.
When was the last time you had an argument about a character's ambition and whether his actions are actually good or not? Mine was probably Griffith from Berserk probably. Or even Light from Death Note.
To sum it up, its time to ditch the old time thinking. Animation is not just for children and certainly not just for a casual viewership. The art of animation is something that has taken over the world by storm, all while in Cyprus we are still criticising it. Maybe it's time for you to help. Suggest your friends more animated flicks and generally promote a format that allows for a more creative direction.
Support projects that are actually good and trust me, with just a suggestion, you can change a lot of things in the world of art.