Entertainment

Italian animated cinema and the ghost sectors: is change possible?

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It is known that Italy is a beautiful country capable of offering all the people who visit it (or who live there) a really large number of small great wonders belonging to the most varied sectors, cultural and otherwise. However, if there is one element on which our nation, especially in the last twenty years, has not decided to focus decisively (sometimes even going so far as to ignore it), it is that of entertainment.
And that's exactly what we're going to talk about, focusing above all on the animation sector, one of the branches that still makes an immense effort to emerge today, due to the lack of funds to produce unpublished works but also to a cultural heritage capable of identifying animated art as something exclusively suitable for a child audience.
We will try below to list some distortions that afflict our country in the artistic field in the hope that, perhaps in the distant future, something can finally change.

They are children's things

Over the course of time, some media remained anchored to a particular vision, which it has not been possible to unhinge even today, especially in terms of perception by the general public.
In fact, if we think of our animated cinema, it is undeniable that even today an immense effort is made in consider cartoons as a medium suitable also for adults.
This is primarily due to the productions that have always characterized our country, especially since the second post-war period onwards, since they have become synonymous with commercials or short cartoons dedicated to children.
In fact, despite various undisputed masters in the sector including Bruno Bozzetto or Enzo D'Alò, throughout our history the animation itself has always made a lot of effort to get to the cinema, to the point of generating real media cases only and only when certain animated works have managed to reach (deserved) success.

The biggest problem of our animated cinema was in fact that it never managed to impose itself as it should have within the seventh art, despite small great masterpieces such as, for example, Vip – My superman brother, Not too cheerful, The blue arrow or jewels like La Gabbaniella and the Cat.

The same expression they are just children's things it is actually demeaning from practically all points of view, also for the little intrinsic consideration that is made of the young spectators themselves, often in reality much more sensitive, intelligent and mature than you think.
The same large companies, such as Rai, despite a good job of creating unpublished content and dissemination, have however had to adapt to the market by force of things, without therefore never push the accelerator in the creation of mature cinematographic works, limiting himself, so to speak, to television (just think of the animated series de La Pimpa).
In fact, the problem does not lie in the animation for children, sometimes really profound (as poetic) and capable of speaking to an audience of all ages, but rather in completely ignoring any other type of story.
Italian animation has thus slowly transformed in one of the many ghost sectors of our entertainment, intangible although present, with few genres available where you can experiment with new content paths.
To give a concrete example: what is the last Italian horror animated film you saw in the cinema? A fate, that of the ghost sectors, also affected by our gaming industry, unfortunately remained behind by about thirty years compared to the rest of the world.

If in 1984 Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin founded Naughty Dog in America and in 1986 the Guillemot brothers founded Ubisoft in France, in Italy it has not been possible to do the same, effectively making the gaming media one of the most underrated sectors in our country (despite the huge number of gamers inside it).
Even more disconcerting hypothesis if we consider the potential IPs that in reality we have never been able to fully exploit outside the original media where they were born.

Just think of the characters of the most famous comics that, in reality, could have turned so much into successful video games as in animated films that can bring a real breath fresh air.
Only today, in fact, it was decided to start looking towards a type of cross-media entertainment, trying to bring our comic book favorites to the cinema, with about twenty years behind the rest of the world.

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The utopia of the Italian Studio Ghibli

It is sometimes disheartening to note that in our country lately there has always been an enormous effort in creating serious, constructive (as well as popular) debates on our entire entertainment system, relegating it to a small matter instead.
And that's why I think of an Italian Studio Ghibli takes on the value of a real utopia, precisely because of the inability of our entire system to make the most of the cultural component, too often reduced to a mere spot almost completely useless or confined in an elitist space.
Suffice it to say that even today, as the maximum form of customs clearance for the comic media, it continues to be mentioned the debate between Oreste del Buono, Umberto Eco and Elio Vittorini (license plate 1965), symptom of an Italy that even counting among its top intellectuals today no longer has the strength to bet on cultural popularization in mainstream channels (read to say the Mediaset and Rai networks) through dedicated (and structured) programs adequately.

All this, unfortunately, has not happened and perhaps will never happen, just for our country's niche concept of entertainmentmoreover, unable to really understand the economic significance that such a sector could generate with a little more confidence.
Just think of the stratospheric budgets set aside to create the most famous triple A video games (we are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars) but here we are perceived as a mere product for children, as well as animated feature films on real world pop icons, like Lupine, Batman or Ken the warrior.
It would therefore be necessary to try much more to make our cultural system evolve, trying to talk about it seriously, without diminishing it in every useful occasion.
Dedicated broadcasts could also be created with serious professionals, capable of managing the topic at best, perhaps just to understand how to best develop animated feature films so far simply ignored.

The cartoonists themselves, some of the greatest professionals on whom our current entertainment can count, are invited too often on TV, almost as if they were abstract entities able to exist only and only during dedicated sector fairs.
Incredible, at times, too the fate touched the animated series of Rat-Man, the famous character of Leo Ortolani, unable to focus fully on the beauty of comics.

Young and new ideas: the big bogeyman

Another of the great problems that grips us is linked to the omnipresent question of the lack of generational change, which unfortunately did not allow the recirculation of new faces and new ideas for give a propulsive push to a sector that is actually full of talents, with few people with media power and the desire to enhance them.
Just think of Alessandro Rak, who with his The Art of Happiness has managed to show everyone that another type of entertainment is possible, through a film with a strong emotional charge that wasn't enough to pave the way for a new wave anyway of artists in the field of animation, once again making the path to reach everyone very difficult.
Unfortunately, from this point of view, it is clear to find ourselves face to face with the hermeticism that distinguishes certain sectors of our entertainment, often left without funds in general indifference.
Just think that the only big animated project really capable of reaching the general public in recent years has been Adrian, the event series of Adriano Celentano who, despite the huge budget available and the collaboration with a truly impressive number of professionals, has actually proved to be a huge disaster on all fronts.

But until no one, within the entertainment world, wants to take on these problems at least by starting to expose them, both on TV and on the radio and on the web, we will always continue to systematically ignore any potentially innovative product or project.
In doing so we leave the entertainment in the usual cold and dark corner where it has been confined for several decades now, continuing to label it simply as something of little use.

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Lisa Durant

Lisa has been a freelance journalist who has worked for various print magazine online. After years of spent working in the field of journalism, she took a plunge and founded Asap Land sharing the latest news bulletins from the field of Business and Technology as well as general headlines. She writes mostly the General US Headlines and Business News.

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