First let’s have a look in the dictionary. (It’s not called animation for nothing.)
To an·i·mate (ăn′ə-māt′)
- to give life to; fill with life.
- To impart interest or zest to; enliven.
- To fill with spirit, courage, or resolution.
- To inspire to action; prompt.
- To impart motion or activity to. And, of course,
- To make or depict using animation.
Fill with life. Inspire to action. That’s exactly what we do when using movement– whether we’re waving our arms, drawing in the dirt or putting our ideas onto the screen. Animation engages us. It draws us in to the story or message. This universal language also causes a physical reaction in our brains.
A well-crafted animated story, encompassing a dramatic arc (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, denouement), triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin in our brains. Oxytocin, sometimes called the love hormone, affects emotional, cognitive, and social behaviors. In studies, it’s been associated with an increased level of trust, fidelity, relaxation, psychological stability, motherly love, romantic attraction, and empathy.
In the end, it’s all chemistry. After watching a well-produced animation, we’re hooked.
Some other facts about animation:
- Animation holds our attention through those crucial seconds as we decide whether to watch or click away.
- Animation makes the complex simple. No other medium manages to pack so much into so little time.
- Animation shows concepts — even those in the future — in a clear, easy-to-understand manner.