When I talk to strangers, there are few that can think of adult animation other than the Simpsons. When I talk to college and high school kids, I find people who watch Anime and understand that cartoons can be serious. However, even amongst Anime fans very few have heard about Gobelins L’ecole de image (School of Images). Gobelins a French animation school that produces animated shorts for Annecy animation festival.
Please bear with me as I very roughly paraphrase the current trends in the animation industry.
In the U.S., TV networks are making cartoons for 6-11 year old boys to sell action figures. Animation studios are producing big-budget homogenous-looking CG animated movies for a family audience to sell more merchandise.
Japanese animation has been intellectually ahead of the game for at least 30 years, by producing animated content for all age ranges, from kids to adults, in a variety of genres unseen in western animation.
However, Anime seems to have reached its peak in popularity and arguably creativity. Anime can explore more adult themes than a cartoon on the Disney Channel, but many Anime look visually identical. Characters have simple facial features in contrast to heavily detailed environments and clothing. Also why does everything take place in high school?
This is where Goblelins and other Euromation comes in. The short films animated by Gobelins have the same adult feel that fans want from an Anime combined with the soft curves from a classic Disney animation.
Gobelins animation is able to handle subject matter like violence and nudity in a way that is almost always exploitative in Anime.
I hope to see this level of sophisticated storytelling brought to television animation and to feature films. I want to live in a world where young people dress up as their favorite Euromation characters at conventions.
With the rise of steaming platforms and premium channels there could be a Euromation boom faster than you think.