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I’m tired of people throwing animated movies under the rug because they were “meant for kids”.

I was reminded of this injustice once again this weekend. The Hollywood Reporter recently published short interviews that it held with seven anonymous members of the Academy on the topic of who they would choose for this year’s best animated film award at the Oscars. I was disgusted by their apathy, and insulted to find that four out of the seven abstained votes because they did not care for animation, and the other three chose Frozen for the sheer fact that they could not be bothered to even give the other nominees a chance.

I’m aware that compared to some other students’ op-eds this might seem strangely off topic or even immature, however as someone who plans on going into animation, I find this incredibly disrespectful. The Academy is supposed to be the pinnacle of good movies, rewarding directors and crew who deliver the full package of story, art, and seamless animation. It’s time this stereotype of “kids movies” is broken. It’s unrealistic, it’s unfair, and you are diminishing the value of the work put into it. Even if the director had the intention of aiming the movie at a child audience (fun fact, not all animated movies are aimed for a child audience) still, it does not take away from the artistic value of the film.

I love movies, and I love story telling. The directors of these films, anyone who has ever worked on them, and the films themselves deserve to be respected. The amount of cooperation, time, effort, and teamwork that are put into these works of art is unimaginable. They truly bring stories to life, unique to their medium. All the curls on Merida’s hair in Brave which were animated individually, the hand painted scenic watercolor backdrops of Lilo& Stitch, each separate frame drawn and redrawn and double checked again by Hayao Miyazaki, every still frame shot of Laika Studios signature between clay and doll animation, the list goes on and on. I just can’t believe that people don’t see the beauty in these films, in any of it.

To me, they are all I’ve ever looked up to. They are all I strive for. Animation, of all kinds, is what I want to focus all my energy on for the rest of my life, and to see people undermine and underestimate its beauty and power is disappointing and just plain silly.