Q: What’s happening with diversity in animated films?
A: Animated films and series that have been lauded for diversities of race, gender, and sexuality (recently: Hair Love, Steven Universe, She-Ra) are presented as PG entertainment. While it’s lovely that those options exist for youth (or anyone who isn’t up for intensely existential content), there have been some rumblings about slim pickings for adult animation. I agree with these rumbles. I’d like to watch more animation that explores adult sexuality sans moral flagellation, crude comedy, heavy irony or sly innuendo (meaning: dissimilar from any iteration of Dante’s Inferno, Bojack Horseman, Archer, Family Guy, Futurama, etc.).
In animation’s ability to redefine physical and logical boundaries, there lies so much potential for unforeseen sexual intimacies. Can you imagine the revelation of sex scenes with bodies that can do anything their animators visualize — stretching, shrinking, contorting, transporting, disassembling, retexturing, and so on?
I’ll examine three feature-length animations that have already skimmed this potential: Chico y Rita (dir. Fernando Trueba, Tono Errando, & Javier Mariscal, 2010), Anomalisa (dir. Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, 2015), and An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (dir. Terence Nance, 2012).
*Light Spoilers Below