The SIGGRAPH Electronic Theater (or just the “E.T.” if you’ve been going long enough) is one of the most anticipated parts of the conference. Its the showcase for the best of the best of this year’s crop of computer animations.

And like everything else, it has its good years and its bad years. This was one of its good years.

I think we’ve finally gotten to a point where computer animation is no longer about “Hey look, I’m using a computer!” The medium is finally maturing, and filmmakers are becoming more confident. Computer animated films are focusing on the good stuff: storytelling, plot and character.

The transition is kind of like what film itself went through a century ago. At first the cinema was all about trains rushing toward the screen, or people popping out of drawings and disappearing in a puff of smoke.

Then at some point filmmakers grew up, and the medium stopped being all about itself. And that’s when it started to get interesting.

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