I knew a girl who said the same thing, once. Polly Totter was her name.
Daughter of old man Totter, who lives at the edge of town.
Old man Totter doesn’t have a daughter.
Not anymore he doesn’t. Polly was no older
than you when she went into those woods.
[We see GROOTER’s story illustrated a cruder style. A young girl, Polly Totter, stands before the imposing mouth of the Ghost Forest as a ring of children looks on. One of the children appears to be a young MRS GROOTER. In the next panel, POLLY starts bravely into the forest, head held high]
I was even younger then. She gathered us behind her pa’s barn
one day, and we watched as she marched right off. Like a fool.
[Outside of the story, the daughters are listening in their beds, wide-eyed]
What happened to her?
[MRS GROOTER grins, showing a mouth full of brown teeth]
We never found out for sure.
[In the story, we see Polly walking far in the woods. A line of kids solemnly watches her]
Polly walked into those trees ‘til she was out of our sight.
We never seen what got her, all we heard was the scream.
I was thinking about something I read in an interview with Tomm Moore, the director of The Secret of Kells and Song Of The Sea. If you haven't heard of those animated films, you need to go look them up right now. Seriously, I'll wait.
..."...I think today 2D animation has a responsibility, much like painters had after photography was invented, to reinvent what it is. It can’t go after realism [the way 3D does], because there is no point; it has to do something only 2D can do. In painting, we got Expressionism, Impressionism, Cubism and other modern movements because of photography. [...] 2D has to keep going to reinvent itself. In the whole history of visual arts, there is still so much that we can explore."
I'm working on a secret project right now (well, secret as I'm writing this, though it might be released by the time you read it) which has me thinking about this a lot. There's a whole visual language out there we still have yet to explore. This page has some kind of low-hanging-fruit, but it shows what I'm talking about. When someone else starts telling the story, the art style changes to match that narrator. This is hardly a new idea, in fact we've seen it a lot, but it's a very complex thing to think about. Changing the whole visual style from one second to the next? That's major! Yet no one has any trouble understanding what's going on. I'm trying to think of this as a jumping-off point. If we have no trouble understanding an idea as complicated as this, how deep can we go playing with visual mechanics? I hope we'll find out in the future, and we'll get there a lot faster if Tomm Moore keeps making movies.