A few days ago AnimationIsland posted a video of their sit down with Susanne Marschall who is a professor of Media Studies at Tübingen University. The video is 36 minutes long so if you do not have the time right now to watch it I'm going to recap some of the things she spoke about.
Overall she expressed her stance of the cultural impact of animation. She started off getting into the history of animation and the often overlooked truth that Lotte Reiniger was the pioneer of animation. She said that Lotte "created a very unique aesthetic with her silhouette figures and further explained that Asian theater strongly influenced her work. One thing I didn't know was that 10 years prior to Disney Lotte and her husband had invented the multiplane camera. The film that became famous for her was "The Adventures of Prince Achmed" and how in fact it was the first full length feature film in animation history.
Susanne also spoke on the progression of animation and storytelling. She states that although we have new stories they are still based on old principles of storytelling. She even expressed her concerns about the advancement of technology with things like robotics and even the Kinect and how they are creating a new way of life weather we want to accept it or not it is here and continuing.
She notes Lotte Reiniger, Disney (how he brought animation to mainstream audiences), independent filmmakers all over the world (for adding variation) as some of the major achievements in animation history.
To close out the video she poses the question "is it good that at the end of the day we only see one animation style?" She then expressed that this does not frighten her because there are so many independent filmmakers constantly bringing life to animation.
This video is very worth watching and thank you Animator Island and Susanne for sharing with us!