Dark animation

I attended part of an animation festival this evening. The program mainly consisted of a collection of award winning short animations.

Most of them were emotionally dark. Very very dark. The general tone was tragedy, nihilism, despair, the inevitable inability of one human to relate to another. Even some of the funny ones were filled to the brim with nihilism.

I loved it, the rest of the audience loved it, we all loved it. At the end of the evening everybody agreed that it had been a wonderful experience.

So what’s going on here? Why do we all find ourselves grooving on darkness and despair? Is there some strange gene that causes us to seek out tragedy in our entertainment — even in our animated entertainment?

I suspect two things: (1) This is not an easy question to answer, and (2) Whatever the answer should turn out to be, it would explain a lot about human nature.

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