Disney Cartoons & How Is That Related To Photography?

So something has been on my mind lately after my oldest daughter got into the whole Disney princesses. I try not to be helicopter parent but honestly I don’t want my daughter to see something which is not appropriate especially in the behavior in those cartoons. But this post is not about that it’s more to do with arts of it. Me and wife decided to watch every Disney princess cartoon to see what is acceptable and what is not (by the way if you read original stories such as Brothers Grim you will see how much different it is from Disney). So after spending hours and hours of watching all of them I have noticed something interesting. The first three princess “Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora” is so much different comparing to renaissance era and modern era princess in the style of cartoons.

This is what I mean: the first three cartoons were hand drawn and so as some others in renaissance era but the details of the drawings were much more than let’s say Aladdin cartoon. Why is that? Well after doing some research I have found out that the crew who hand-drew to make well detailed cartoon of Aurora was by 50% more than Aladin, so the cost was to produce it was much greater. Disney after that never did it again and went to simplicity of standard drawing and lots of copy/past to save on production fees. And this made me think, was it worth it? All of the modern day cartoons of today not only princess but as well as others are done by computers which is fine but the art of detail was lost. Yes I know it would take more time, cost, computer processing and other factors to create such detailed cartoons but still why? Why do we feel so lazy towards something that not only we see but also kids. We teach kids that money is more important than art. Make it simple, make lots of money from it, and that is life. But maybe that is a different conversation for later time.

On the other hand if we watch something like “Spirited Away”, “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Hayao Miyazaki (which honestly in my opinion would beat any Disney cartoon hands down) are so gorgeous in not only details of hand drawings but also in storyline and what it teaches kids. Hayao Miyazaki believes that hand-drawings have the person’s soul in them when CGI just doesn’t and I honestly do agree with him. He takes time to create his cartoons and yes there is also a budget, timeline of delivery but his works are not stamped out like other cartoons. Each cartoon is so different from each other with so much beauty in art.

Now why would I bring this up? Because I see so many people pick up a camera and they think “it’s like a computer it will do everything it needs to do for me”. While a CGI cartoon character is programed to do things it needs to do yet it’s just a code nothing more and nothing less. Photography is the same, camera is just a camera and it does what it was programed to do. I do love film photography because you as a photographer needs to be thinking through every step to make sure to get a right photo. In my profession it’s not easy to just do it all in film so yes I do use digital but I do not rely on the camera to do my job. I don’t let it tell me what to do I make that choice and that’s what set a part an ameture photographer from proffesional photographer. I make sure to notice the details of what I am photographing, as well as to know what are the limitations of the camera and the lens. I am in charge not the camera to produce high quality and well detailed photos. That is also why I take time after photo shoot to do lots of post production. As one photographer said “An ameture photographer just photographs but professional photographer crafts the images” I like that quote and I don’t remember which famous photographer said it but it is true.

Its the details that matter, if we become so lazy we will miss out on the greater things of learning and seeing. That’s why I think the new cartoons are good but not as good as it was regarding art. There is just no life in them and it’s hard to appreciate them.


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