The Reporter ... behind a subscription wall ... has this:
Steven Spielberg's motion-capture smash poses a real challenge to the five-year reign of Pixar movies.
Pixar's Animated movies have had a prize-winning run at the Golden Globe awards, but this year that run could very well come crashing to an end -- and all because of an intrepid young reporter called Tintin. ...
In some ways, the Globes plunking down Tintin in the middle of Pixar and DreamWorks animated features bothers me. We're comparing apples to oranges, right? One is motion capture and the other is "pure" animation, correct? No question about it.
Except that the well-known animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? It has motion capture in it. Back in the 1930s, of course, they called it "rotoscope," wherein live actors are filmed, the frames of their performances then blown up onto phtostatic paper that is -- by happy circumstance -- the size of hole-punched animation paper, and voila! With a few pencil tracings and costume adjustments, we have mocap, 1930s style!
Snow herself gets the rotoscopic/mocap treatment ... with heavy, heavy tweaks and rescaling. The Prince gets minimal animation adjustments as he is transferred from live-action frame to paper to painted cels without a lot of enhancements. (The Hyperion Studio was running out of time and money, so Ms. White's love-interest, who's only a bit-player anyway, is close to pure motion capture. And looks it. And animators griped about it for decades.)
But the larger point is: Motion capture has been embedded in animated movies for freaking years. (Snow White. Gulliver's Travels. Cinderella. Anastasia and most of the later Don Bluth catalogue. So how is Tintin so very much different?)
The argument that Spielberg is doing all motion capture, and 100% motion capture doesn't count as animation is a fine one, but there are animators altering characters and changing performance timing in the new extravaganza, just like in 1937. So what do we call that?
And if we take the position that motion capture doesn't pass muster because there's too high a percentage of it in the "animated" movie, that seems ... I donno ... sort of arbitrary. (I mean, 32.5% is okay? But if the percentage goes up to, say, 66.6%, that's beyond the pale? Who are we kidding?)
The problem is, there's no clean and easy answer. Mocap performers want to be considered on a par with their live-action counterparts, but there will always be some guy at a computer altering what they do, so I have doubts any of the folks who wear scuba outfits with little cameras in their faces will ever cop an Oscar for "Best Performance." And animators are outraged that mocap is sullying the temple of "pure animation," even though there has been defecations going on in the Holy Place for years.
The best solution is, make up your own definition. If you believe that a mocap feature isn't actual animation, I get where you're coming from, and urge you to picket the Globes ... or the Academy Awards ... or whatever. If those organizations have the temerity to include The Adventure os Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn with Cars or Kung Fu Panda, off with their heads! And if you believe that Steven S. is doing an animated feature, then demonstrate in the opposite direction.
Me, I think it's a tempest in a small paint bucket, but I respect your right to be outraged ... and to behave accordingly. Just so long as you don't taze or pepper spray anybody.