Animations and Food: Dimensional Play

Mixed media systems, due to their reach in different mediums and their power to connect images and food, are the most effective in cultivating a relationship with food. This relationship is the availability to interpret food in more than one way through the different mediums of media. Specifically, animation as a cinematic genre seems to hold more power out of the other components of the mixed media systems due to the ease in creating motion and dynamic change with something that starts static.

The genre of animation, specifically earlier versions of it, had to find a way where drawings could hold their own breath of life. This breath usually translated to numerous pictures of the same scene, with slight changes here and there. This grueling task of drawing every frame for multiple times led to some shortcuts, where the illustration of movement in a scene was actually the character in the same position through different backgrounds. These slight tweaks of action made the drawings live as an end result.

Similar processes were done with food. In many animations and scenes made today, food begins as a 2-D image that is then turned active through the processes of animation. In essence, food becomes 3-D due to this movement. The food that the characters eat becomes real, and the relationship that they have with the food becomes an integral part of the plot. We see the character eating, and it’s not fake food at that point. The food becomes physical and somehow transcends the animation, becoming a consciousness of the viewer.

Another way that food in animation becomes real is through the use of marketing goods through animated characters. In the instance of Astro Boy, we find that when the main character was coupled with selling chocolate candies and goods, the different dimensions between the animation and the chocolate product became the same. In fact, the commercial that was used by the Meiji Seika Company to sell the sweets, at one point in making the commercials, had Astro Boy and the candy in the same frame. These types of commercials are found even today, where companies such as Windows and Nintendo play with these different dimensions and bring them together.

Animations may be seen as the best out of the other genres because it is able to transition from a static place of being to a dynamic state, making the food come alive. In many cases, food in animations comes into the plot as well, where characters may acknowledge the food that they are eating and naming it out loud. Other types of genres seem to stick to one dimension, either static or dynamic, and do not hold the ability to play around with both at once. This becomes an advantage for food to use animations as a medium because of the many forms it can be interpreted: it can be seen as part of the backdrop to the story, or it can be seen as part of the plot. With this dimensional play, food becomes something that both the characters and the viewers can connect to.

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