And the L.A. Times is good at it.
... "The Adventures of Tintin," which Spielberg directed and Jackson produced, is stretching the very definition of animation. ... "Tintin" makes the leap to the big screen via motion capture, with Jamie Bell as Tintin and Andy Serkis as his sidekick Capt. Haddock. Snowy, Tintin's canine companion, is a wholly animated character.
Gee. Sort of like the rotoscoped/motion-captured Snow White and Prince, existing side by side with the wholly animated Seven Dwarfs. ...
The tools Spielberg used to make Tintin are in many cases identical to ones James Cameron relied on for "Avatar," a movie treated by critics and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as live action.
Which would lead one to believe that the categories of "animation" and "not animation" are kind of ... what's the word? ... arbitrary. If an Important Person With Leverage wants it to be a cartoon, it's a cartoon.
And if a VIP wants it to be live action, it's live action.
The problem, you see, goes all the way back to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The Prince is not exactly the same kind of character that the Seven Little Men are. He's not conceived the same way, nor drawn (or moved) the same way. But the label for everything in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has been ... and will continue to be ... "animation."
So when you chew on that awhile, you start to see why, seventy-four years further on, there is a big fat Gray Area for Mr. Spielberg and Ms. Kennedy to drive their semi-trailers through.