This week we did not do any drawing as we were discussing two artciles and a film.

The Politics of Representation

Looking from the Outside In – Gender Representation in Animation

We discussed first how the two blogs used references. We discovered that although both blogs contained a lot of research and interesting points, only The Politics of Representation referenced their sources. This instantly makes this article more reliable than Gender Representation in Animation.

Secondly, we looked at the structure of each of the articles. We found that Gender Representation in Animation was more of a vent than an article. Although the writer had good reason to be irritated at the animation industry for their lack of interesting silhouettes for female characters, the way the writer structured it made it less professional than The Politics of Representation. The Polictics of Representation was structured in a casual essay format, still formal to the degree of reliability and referencing but casual enough so that you didn’t feel like you were reading an essay. It this balance between letting your emotions run the essay and letting your research run  the essay which differentiates the two.

Thirdly, we considered what each of the articles were discussing. This was the lack of representation in animation. This topic is becoming a frequently discussed issue within the animation community as the world becomes more accepting of different ethinicities, body shapes, sexualities and gender identities.

I had already noticed that the female form stuck to a generic sihouette, however I realised that this was a design choice made in order to appeal to the audience. More and more animations have been subtly trying to push these limitations but so far it hasn’t gone beynd making a female character a little more stocky or giving her a different race. Thus far female silhouettes have remained unchanged.

I knew that in the past racism was rampant in the animation industry, with people of different ethinicities often being stereotyped and becoming the butt of a joke. However as society progressed I thought the animation industry had too. Not as much as I’d hoped. I can only name two main characters of different ethinicities that have had starring roles in feature film animations. Having this brought to my attention is rather shocking as I would’ve thought having a diverse cast of characters would’ve heightened the appeal of the films.

In terms of sexuality, I know that there is very little good representation of the LGBTQ+ community in the animation industry. They are usually comedic relief characters with shallow development. Often, they are used as a villanous presence as well, as if their sexuality is why they are evil. Although, the latter has become less used in recent years, its still a shame to see such a large and improtant community be blindsided so easily.

Which is why when we watched the film ‘Happy and Gay’ I was so happy. It didn’t show different ethnicities or sexualities as the problem. It showed how society’s perspective of these people was ascew. A satirical depiction of today’s society. It made me uncomfortable in all the right places, pointing out very real issues with how soceity is run and how people treat one another. It also looks at religion and how people have forgotten that God loves everyone, except for those that treat their fellow man so badly, even if they do claim to be Christians and acting in such a way in his name. Whilst the film made me happy, you need a very open mind in order to watch it as it is very controversial.

When we had finished discussing we showed our character designs to Mike. I was scared that my character was too generic and didn’t show off his personality well. However, my mind was put to ease when Mike could easily identify that my character lived in a hot climate, and was a stocky guy. He was a little intimidating, despite this my character’s expression proved that he was a jolly guy. I ws criticised for my lack of consistency with the side view as I made him too skinny, so I will redraw my character correctly.


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