One sure way to be disappointed every week is to watch the latest Hollywood offerings in the theaters. A large majority of movies simply aren’t that good. They may have a good idea poorly executed, or they may just have a flawed story that creates an overall mediocre movie watching experience. In case you don’t want to waste time and money watching another mediocre film, just browse through the past nominees of the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes.
Some of the best stories can be found in the feature length animation category. Since animation doesn’t rely on hiring an A-list star or computer-generated special effects to dazzle you in lieu of an actual story (like “Jupiter Ascending”), you can focus and enjoy a solid story structure. Two of last year’s nominated animated feature films include a story about a mouse and a bear in “Ernest & Celestine” and a historical drama about the man who designed the Japanese Zero fighter plane in “The Wind Rises.”
“Ernest & Celestine,” the story about a mouse and a bear, is based on a children’s book, but it can teach you how to demonstrate friendship without relying on profanity, gross out gags, or sex. “The Wind Rises” can show you how to handle a serious subject (the design of a World War Two fighter plane) in a serious but entertaining manner. Because animation isn’t limited to special effects, they can be more flexible in telling a story that a live action film might not be able to do.
Animation may appeal to children, but adults can often enjoy the stories just as well. In fact, if you can tell a story that appeals to children, then you’ll probably reach adults too since adults are nothing but older versions of children who may still feel inferior to others, still don’t understand the world around them, and still don’t know what they want to be when they grow up. If your story can tap into the emotional appeal of a child, you’ll also tap into the emotional appeal of an adult.
So study animated films. They can be the source of some of the best stories out there that most people overlook. The more you study these offbeat stories, the more you’ll understand story structure that most people will never see if they keep wasting their time and money watching mediocre Hollywood movies time after time.