American Animation Vs Japanese Animation

Animation can be said as the process of displaying still images in a rapid sequence to create the illusion of movement. These images can be hand drawn, computer generated, or pictures of 3D objects. Most of the people associate Us animation and Japanese animation as the same, no they are not. Both are different, now let us check how are they different.

Difference between both the animation

Japanese animation studios produce content faster than American animation studios. The biggest reasons for this is their budgets, how detailed the work is, and how hard the studio pushes themselves. Japanese anime is not as detailed as American animation, therefore it doesn’t take as long to produce. On average, 30 minutes of Japanese animation takes 1-3 months to produce, while 30 minutes of American animation takes 6-9 months to produce.

Some of the biggest structural differences between Japanese and American animation is how they blur the line between good and evil, and how they pace their stories. Japanese animation usually gives characters a mix of both good and bad qualities, while American animation clearly defines a good hero, and an evil villain.

The biggest cultural influence for Japanese animation is the Shinto religion. It is at the core of Japanese animation, and influences both storytelling and visual elements. In American animation, a shift happened in the culture, making its animation oriented towards children. In later years, it shifted again towards adults. This gave birth to adult-oriented animated sitcoms, which has become the norm in America.

Japanese anime characters across the board tend to follow the same template and look similar, with the drama set more in the story rather than in a character’s facial expressiveness.  The settings of anime are usually quite epic as well, but even if they are set in current-day Tokyo, the backdrops are usually painted with stunning beauty.  Incidentally, the last example from Disney of painted backdrops was in Lilo and Stitchin 2002, which brings up the next difference in style between east and west.

While American animation has largely gone the way of 3D, with even Disney closing its 2D animation studio a few years back, Japanese animators have been choosing to meld CG with traditional 2D, usually to enhance the 2D world they have created, such as the CG castle in Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle, accenting its beautiful painterly feel with a touch of CG detail.  As a main animator of Disney’s 2010 hit Tangled astutely commented, what one gains in detail with 3D, one loses in the elegance of 2D.  As Rapunzel’s kingdom in Tangled was modeled after the elegant lines and curves of the old Disney classic Cinderella, perhaps American animation studios could begin to explore 2D/3D blends in their future films.


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