We need new stories
We’ve been telling the same stories since the Greeks and earlier. I feel like a lot of animation today regurgitates stuff we’ve already seen; we don’t need more buddy pictures or princess stories. It’s now up to animators to go out and create new stories. I’m seeing a lot of stuff coming out of Europe which is pushing the boundaries of how animated stories could be told.
We should be challenging the new generation to tell new stories in new ways. You can have a photograph of a boat, a painting of a boat, or an abstract illustration of a boat. But it’s still a boat. It just depends on how the artist wants to depict that scene.
Today, there’s a real renaissance; and an opportunity for people to experiment and do different things. There’s so many avenues to create animation, to be seen, and it’s also so much cheaper to do it on your own; the tools are so accessible.
Put what you want to see on the screen
My approach has always been to create what you’d want to see on the screen. What’s the story you want to tell? How would you like to see something visualised? I really love it when people come in with a better idea than I could ever could – I don’t care where it comes from.
I’m very excited about how the doors are opening up and barriers are dropping. It’s not just white dudes making stories. I feel like we’re going to see new points of view and a whole new type of storytelling. It’s not about telling the stories you think people want to hear, or what they feel they need to hear. Look at your own experiences of the world, and what we’re all going through; and tell those stories in an honest, authentic way.
Read more from Jim in our behind-the-scenes look at the making of Mary Poppins Returns here