×

Brad Bird Says Animation Is Finally Being Respected as a ‘Viable and Vital Medium’ at Variety’s 10 Animators to Watch

At Variety’s 10 Animators to Watch event in partnership with Nickelodeon, “The Incredibles 2” director Brad Bird spoke about animated films finally receiving the respect they deserve while accepting Variety’s Creative Impact in Animation Award.

In addition to Bird, Variety honored 10 animators at the event, including “Bao” director Domee Shi, Ami Thompson of “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2,” and “Victor and Valentino” director Diego Molano.

On the red carpet, Bird spoke about the relatability of “The Incredibles,” the limitless nature of animation, and his favorite emotional moment from an animated movie at Nickelodeon’s Studio in Burbank, Calif.

Despite a 14-year gap between the original film and the sequel, Bird said audiences will still connect with the Parr family in “The Incredibles 2” because “everyone has been in a family in a way” or had a “circle of people that you trust.”

Bird added that viewers become emotionally invested in animated movies because there is an “element of caricature” that connects them to the characters through their distinctive traits. “I think animation not only does that graphically, but it does it with movement as well,” Bird said. “I think it’s a very childlike, but wonderful way to look at life.”

He recalled a moment in “Peter Pan” that always makes him emotional. He described the scene where Peter and Wendy are flying through the sky and said the shot “captured the feeling” he has had in dreams of flying and was “beautifully executed.”

Before Bird was presented with his award, Mr. Incredible himself Craig T. Nelson introduced the director to the stage. Nelson shared memories from his recording sessions with Bird for his Mr. Incredible role, and said Bird recited the other characters’ lines. “I just kind of get entranced watching him do Edna, and Elastigirl, and Vi and Jack Jack,” Nelson said. “I go, “Well hell, why don’t we just film you?”

In his speech, Bird addressed the misconception that animated films are only meant for children, causing animators’ work to be “relegated to a second tier apart from the rest of filmmaking.”

“I don’t like [animation] being considered a genre or separate,” Bird said. “I think that we’re an amazing method of telling a story and that we should be respected as such.”

He said animation is now being seen as a “viable and vital medium to tell stories” to moviegoers of all ages.

He ended his speech with advice to future filmmakers interested in animation. “Don’t make a film for any audience that doesn’t include you,” Bird advised. “Too many bad films are made for them.”

More Film

  • 'The Current War' Trailer: Benedict Cumberbatch,

    Benedict Cumberbatch and Nicholas Hoult Feud in 'The Current War' Trailer (Watch)

    101 Studios has released an official new trailer for the Martin Scorcese-produced thriller, “The Current War,”  offering a glimpse into the dramatic 19th century battle over electricity that became known as the “war of the currents.” The film, which is a dramatization of real-life events, will follow the tumultuous journey of Thomas Edison, played by [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    Oscars: 31 Upcoming Films That Could Enter the Awards Race

    The year reaches the halfway mark on June 30, and traditionally films from the first six months have an uphill battle in the Oscar race. However, this year’s January-June crop might get a boost from the accelerated schedule: Nominations voting is a tight Jan. 2-Jan. 7, 2020. So if voters start their homework now, early [...]

  • Yesterday Movie Danny Boyle

    Danny Boyle on 'Yesterday,' Leaving 'Bond 25' and Why the Beatles Still Rock

    Danny Boyle would like to reintroduce you to the Beatles. The iconic foursome certainly needs no introduction, but in his movie “Yesterday,” which debuts June 28, the director envisions a word where nobody has heard of John, Paul, George and Ringo. That is, nobody besides Jack Malik. When the struggling songwriter, portrayed by newcomer Himesh [...]

  • Svensk Filmindustri SF Studios logo

    Warner Bros, SF Studios Expand Distribution Deal Across Scandinavia

    Warner Bros. Pictures has expanded its distribution deal with SF Studios to include Sweden and have their movies released by the Nordic major through all of Scandinavia. Warner Bros. Pictures already has a distribution pact with SF Studios in Denmark, Norway and Finland. Under the partnership, SF Studios has been handling the sales, marketing and [...]

  • Nicole Kidman Meryl Streep

    Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman to Star in Ryan Murphy's 'The Prom' at Netflix

    Ryan Murphy enlisted a star-studded cast for his upcoming Netflix movie “The Prom,” an adaptation of the Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Awkwafina, James Corden, Ariana Grande, Keegan-Michael Key and Andrew Rannells are among the A-listers bringing “The Prom” to screens. “The Prom” follows a lesbian student in the fictional conservative town of [...]

  • Viktor Dvorak, Anna Geislerova Join Vaclav

    Viktor Dvorak, Anna Geislerova Join Václav Havel Biopic

    Viktor Dvorak has been cast in “Havel,” a biopic of Václav Havel, as the Czech playwright, dissident and national leader. Anna Geislerova, who starred in Oscar nominated “Zelary,” plays his wife, Olga Havlova. Jiri Bartoska, the president of Karlovy Vary Film Festival, will appear in the film as “Professor,” inspired by Czech philosopher Jan Patocka. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content