Adult Animation Revolution: New Art Styles in Feature Animation

by Tito W. James

Those looking for aesthetic variety should rejoice because the next wave of animation directors want to break away from “house styles.” For the last several decades, CG feature films have all more or less followed Pixar’s model in terms of visual style and subject matter.

Now there’s much excitement for CG projects that break the mold like: Arcane, Spider-Verse, Mitchells vs the Machines, Entergalactic, and The Bad Guys. All of these stories stand out because the creators are taking inspiration from non-traditional sources like anime, European comics and indie films rather than the usual George Lucas/Steven Spielberg boilerplate summer blockbusters.

One director compared this new wave of styled CG films to the painterly comics of the 1980s, citing Bill Sienkiewicz as an example. Similarly, Western animation is also “growing up,” like western comics from that era. The belief is that these new art styles have the potential to attract new viewers. Ultimately, we want everyone of any age to be watching animation and finding stories for them.

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