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Monday, Mar. 30, 2015

Something's been lost in translation.

Posted Friday, January 20, 2012, at 12:35 PM

Take a look at this delightful little piece of childhood.

Obviously this clip of Dumbo and Mrs. Jumbo is a touching vignette of a mother and a small child, but that's not what caught my eye.

Look at the water -- play it again if you didn't notice it.

How amazing is that?

I wouldn't say the water looks realistic, but there's something about its movement, its translucence, its beauty, that just holds my attention.

With an 18-month-old son, I've found myself re-watching so many of the cartoon I first saw as a kid, but I'm noticing different things. I understand and appreciate the relationships more. I see the adult themes behind these "kid" stories.

More than anything, though, lately I've been noticing the artistry behind this great animation. How did Walt Disney and his team -- armed with little more than ink, lead and paint -- create something that looked like this in 1941?

It wasn't with a computer, that's for sure.

It's not so much that Disney's animation was realistic, but that wasn't really what it was supposed to do. Instead, it created an alternate reality that children and adults alike still find enchanting.

You see it in this scene, in the rushing waters of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" scene of "Fantasia", in the way the diamonds looked in the Seven Dwarfs' mine and in countless examples I can't name right now.

What I want to know is how I've never seen anything like this from any of the CGI-generated animators? As amazing as some of the Pixar and DreamWorks creations have been over the years, I've yet to see something like this. And that's a disappointment.

Maybe there's just something to drawing on paper.

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...and the beat goes on...
Jared Jernagan
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Jared Jernagan is a 2003 graduate of Wabash College and has been in journalism since 2005.
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