Kenneth Tynan prophesies CGI

If only Kenneth Tynan had lived to see Toy Story.

Here’s a diary entry of his from nearly 40 years ago…

I am certain that the full potential of cinema will not be achieved until it concentrates on the development of full-length cartoons. … I do not, by this, mean stylised drawings of talking animals; nor would anyone imagine anything so absurd were it not for the fact that Walt Disney’s accidental domination of the cartoon scene has made it impossible for us to think of it except in terms of clothed, speaking animals and birds going through the motions designed to entertain the nursery. It’s significant that the first X-rated or ‘adult’ cartoons, Fritz the Cat, has pigs, crows and cats in its cast but no people. It is as if the first oil painter had painted only trees, and the art of painting had subsequently been defined as the art of painting trees.

What the cinema ought to be doing (and to have done) is to present coloured images of reality (or fantasy) designed by artists. At present — by using the camera to photograph reality — it is confining itself to a function that is part newsreel and part photographed theatre. In pure cinema there would be no real actors and no real backgrounds; there would be drawn (or painted) people in drawn (or painted) settings. Only thus will cinema achieve its historic mission of rising above and eventually replacing the novel.

From The Diaries of Kenneth Tynan, 20 July 1972

About Sam Dutton

I am a Developer Advocate for Google Chrome. I grew up in rural South Australia, went to university in Sydney, and have lived since 1986 in London, England. Twitter: @SW12
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