Animation – Kid’s stuff or child’s play?

Animation is often treated as ‘kids’ stuff’, something that’s not meant for adults, especially not for learning. Let’s see why that might be mistaken.

Close your eyes and think of ‘animation’. What comes to mind? Disney? Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Cars? That’s right. It is in films (often children’s films) that we see the best of animation. So, we can see why one might think animation is for kids.

But thinking animation is for children is like thinking gaming is for kids (wait, you don’t think that, do you?).

Let’s start with The Simpsons, who’d call it a kids’ show, huh? The point is — the only thing that makes a film ‘kids’ stuff’ is the idea and not the medium. A lot of animation films are aimed at kids, sure, but animation itself is certainly not kids’ stuff. Allow us to elaborate.

Animation is what you make of it: If you are using animation as the medium for a specific purpose, you can create the animation in such a manner that it is mature, authoritative, and adult-like. You have that choice, and animation will allow you to carve it in any manner of your choosing. Several companies these days are using animation to present an idea, or explain a concept etc..

Animation is full of opportunities: Without spending on location, props and travel, you can create the world you want… any world you dream of. If that world is a world of meaningful learning, you can create that too!

Animation is concise: The use of language or imagery can often be distracting. To elaborate a point, if the instructor says “imagine a tree”, each learner imagines differently, and incorporates their own creative abilities in the process. But a clear illustration/animation makes the message crisp and concise.

Animation is multidimensional: A great combination of flowing text, graphs, charts, and characters can make an animation film highly engaging as well as educational.

One of the key aspects of learning is reinforcement — repeating the idea often enough that it gets ingrained in our minds. At an instructor-led training session, the trainer repeating the same idea might sound tedious. But in an animation film, the use of multimedia can make reinforcements natural.

At Hornbill FX, we don’t see animation as kids’ stuff (considering it pays our bills). Instead, we see it as child’s play — easy, engaging, immersive, joyful, and natural. Is there a better way to learn?