October 2022

Happy World Animation Day!

Animation as the fulfillment of primordial desires for other worlds...

When in 1832 the Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau invented the phenakistoscope to prove his thesis about the persistence of vision, i.e. the illusion of movement created by rapidly changing static scenes, few could have guessed how much he had changed our world forever. It was an early device for animating images, which was a popular toy in the 19th century, and later served as an inspiration to the pioneers of film technology. Animation, that is, the “revival” of images, has come a long way since then – from comic drawings that move, through beloved classic cartoons to animated characters that are hard to distinguish from real actors. 

It would be interesting to make a comparison between painting and photography, or theater and film, and the initial favoring of the more modern and “real”, while in fact both would slowly equalize, with all their advantages and disadvantages. Although originally perceived as content for children and young adults, animation has recently won a well-deserved place in the visual and dramatic arts and has shown that it can deal with serious topics, providing previously unimaginable possibilities of the form. 

The global animation market is expected to reach a value of as much as 640 billion US dollars by 2030. We at Iervolino Studios and our parent ILBE Group firmly believe that short content will become the number one product in the entertainment industry, because user behavior, especially on social networks, confirms that people today are most easily committed to the five-minute format, and there is every likelihood that that time will gradually be reduced to 60 seconds. It is particularly interesting that numerous studies and market analyzes show that, if they like the content, users continue to watch and remain engaged on a certain platform for up to three hours. Here we can draw a parallel with literature, that is, poems or short stories. Like the renaissance that poetry is currently undergoing after it has proven ideal for networks, the distribution and access to entertainment content has also transformed the way we progressively move to short digital content. We want to consume them when it suits us, in whatever circumstances, and short forms allow us to do that. 

A separate revolution was made by video games, creating a new universe of entertainment. One of the things that always amazes me is the fact that all types of animation still have their audience – from the oldest 2D variants to the latest fully immersive experiences made possible by VR and AI technology. This only proves the truly artistic and timeless nature of “moving drawings”, which can, at least for a short time, fulfill that primordial human need – to exist in another world. Metaverses are a natural continuation of decision-making games in which we create our own destinies (to the extent that the creators allow us to do so). For a privilege once enjoyed only by the sons of the gods, now it is enough to turn on the computer or phone and start the game. We determine everything from the way we look to the personal traits of our characters. And everything is possible, above all being connected. That closeness that we may seem to have lost due to the progress of science and technology, returns big time with the almost limitless possibilities of the metaverse. And it will not stop at video games but will also find its place in animated content for audiences of all ages. To paraphrase a famous song – It’s an awfully big universe and there’s no reason to be alone in it.  


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