Netflix’s ‘Love, Death and Robots’ Finds Adult Animation’s ‘Nerd Fun’

What happens when animation geeks get the green light to make whatever they want?you get Netflix love, death and robots, an anthology series designed to remind viewers that cartoons aren’t just for kids. You’d think this would be a foregone conclusion in 2022, decades after anime became mainstream, Adult Swim’s irreverent comedy took over the dorm, and pretty much the web/streaming platform had its own “edgy” animated series (Arcane and Big mouth on Netflix, Invincible on Amazon Prime).

Still, it’s common to see the media weakened.At this year’s Oscars, the Best Animated Feature award was introduced as entirely designed for kids, prompting filmmakers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), arrive Ask Hollywood to elevate the genre. Even Pixar’s library of smart and engaging movies is still not considered “adult” stories.

love, death and robotsJust released its third season on Netflix, and it feels like a crash course in animation’s limitless storytelling potential. It bounces off a lovely entry about robots exploring the remnants of human civilization (the first sequel to the series, 3 Robots: exit strategyby science fiction writer John Scalzi), turns into a near-silent, visually rich cat-and-mouse game between deaf soldiers and mythological sirens (Jibarang), to a harrowing tale of a whaler being boarded by a giant man-eating crab (bad tripthe first animated project directed by series co-creator David Fincher).

Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Supervision Director love, death and robots, told Engadget that the animation industry has really made progress in telling more mature stories. “Everyone who works in animation is talking about trying to accomplish more adult things because it’s [about] Freedom to explore the entire spectrum of storytelling,” she said. “You’re not trying to do things for a certain age group.

love, death and robots


But, she said, animators were also told that the audience for mature projects wasn’t necessarily there. “I think it requires a [this] prove it can [work], which makes the whole business and the whole company town basically look around and say, ‘Oh, this is something that people really want to see that work. ‘”

Series co-founder Tim Miller (Deadpool, Terminator: Dark Fate) also points to the power of video games, which have been telling mature stories with interactive animation for decades.This is another industry that was initially seen as children’s toys, but has matured significantly with the rich storytelling of independent projects such as Kentucky Route Zeroto big budget blockbusters like last survivor. Games and animation actually evolved together, and audiences needed more sophisticated ideas and creators who were nurtured in previous generations of these media.You can’t get a great Disney+ remake duck story, or Sony recently Marsdon’t like the simple fun of the original.

“Animation has evolved so much that it reflects the tastes of the people who made it and the people who watched it,” Nelson said. “It’s a generational shift. People are asking for a level of complexity in their stories, so it’s not a princess movie anymore.”

love, death and robots

with every season love, death and robots, Nelson said, she and Miller focused on finding stories that evoked a sense of “nerd joy.” There is no overarching theme, instead they look for projects with scope, emotion and potential for visual interest. While no short film has yet been adapted into a stand-alone series or film, Nielsen points to that as a possibility, especially since some writers have explored other ideas in these worlds. (I’d certainly love to see these three wacky robots make fun of humans all season long.)

The series also showcases various animation techniques.Some shorts show elaborate CG, while others like bad trip Use motion capture to preserve the complexity of an actor’s movements or faces.military horror short film director Jerome Chen in the vaulted hall of the burial, relying on Unreal, which makes his work look like cutscenes from a game I so desperately want to play.And there are still a lot of people who prefer more traditional 2D techniques like fantastic gore kill team (Director Nielsen, a far cry from her playfulness kungfu Panda sequel).

love, death and robots


“Technology won’t replace art, but experimentation allows these studios to find better ways,” Nelson said. “[The show gives] All these different studios are free to experiment with their own language. “

Miller takes a slightly different view, saying that in a way it’s like “techniques are art, they’re mixed in a certain way.” While he agrees with Nielsen, who is quick to point out that “artists can create art with a stick,” Miller says you still need a certain level of sophistication to create realistic stories.

The greatness of an anthology series like this love death and robots? These two philosophies can coexist while also demonstrating the power of animation.

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