From an interview with Sylvain Chomet (Belleville Rendez-vous, 2003, The Illusionist, 2010).
And what are your thoughts on the decline of 2D and stop-motion animation in favour of 3D?
The thing that’s actually in decline is not 2D/Stop Motion but 3D Animation. It’s become too expensive to make a CGI movie and the technique has now got to a point that most [3D Animation] films have the same characters – they all look the same!
It started with Toy Story; it was declared that 2D Animation was dead because we were going to move into CGI. CGI was supposedly going to be a lot cheaper. However, today it’s actually more expensive as you need to render some really heavy pictures, and sometimes rendering takes more time than actually drawing it.
Also, I don’t think anything is original coming from CGI Animation, and it should be. 2D Animation still has a lot of variety. I got a lot of happy faces when I said to the students ‘you made the right choice’ [choosing 2D Animation], because there’s more and more films being done and it’s getting cheaper. I feel that the 3D technique has got to a point that if you make it realistic it’s going to just look like real life. It might look fantastic but it’s not Animation. For me, it’s reached a dead end, and people are getting fed-up with always seeing the same style of film.
Finally, what is your main message for aspiring Animators everywhere?
The main thing – as I was saying to the students – is to enjoy and have fun [with animation]. And be politically incorrect, that’s what Animation is great for. Animation is for ‘bad boys’ and ‘bad girls’.
Keep an eye out for Chomet’s upcoming film, The Thousand Miles (2019)