Adult Animation Revolution: New Genres In Animation

by Tito W. James

“Animation is a medium not a genre.” That’s what everyone says and yet for the past 30 years the vast majority of western animation was produced for kids and families and the adult animated programs were toilet humor comedies. Now we are finally getting narratively driven prestige adult animation every year. Many of the shows and films today would never have been made 10 or 15 years ago. We’ve come a long way and there is still much more to explore.

The tipping point for dramatic prestige adult animation being mainstream would be seeing the genre variety Stanley Kubrick’s filmography as theatrically released animated films: Horror (The Shining), Spiritual Scifi (2001: A Space Odyssey), Psychedelic dystopian (A Clockwork Orange), War film (Full Metal Jacket), Erotic film (Lolita), Dark Comedy (Dr. Strangelove), Historical Epic (Spartacus).

Genre variety is not just a pipe-dream for cartoon fans. There’s genuine interest on the part of seasoned animation professionals. A few new genres animation veterans would like to explore include: Documentaries, Romance, Historical drama, and Horror. The ultimate goal is to become like Japan and just tell any story in animation.

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