Linklater is no stranger to rotoscope animation. In 2001 he released “Waking Life”, an experimental film that used the animation process to convey otherwise unfilmable ruminations of existentialism. He returned to rotoscoping in 2006 with “A Scanner Darkly”, an adaptation of a novel by Philip K. Dick. Needless to say, Linklater understands that the broad medium of animation is one that can easily be used to portray ideas that would otherwise not be effectively conveyed live. It is this exact line of thought that makes the Academy’s rejection of “Apollo 10 ½” hard.
“This naturalistic style is not a technical choice but rather an artistic choice in the crucial realm of film look and feel,” Linklater wrote in his appeal to the Academy. “It is accomplished through the hard work of the animators who draw character movement and performance frame by frame, not a side effect of hidden software or an automatic process.”
Speaking with IndieWire, he also criticized the types of movies that are nominated in the prestigious Best Animated Feature category. With few exceptions, he notes that the category, as well as the mainstream animation industry itself, is primarily concerned with catching children’s attention and not making films that appeal to everyone. including adults.
“The industry is focused on children’s entertainment,” Linklater told the website. “I feel like they’re basically saying, ‘Indie crackpots, go home.'”