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How a Career in Animation Can Make a Positive Difference in the World!

How a Career in Animation Can Make a Positive Difference in the World!

by Kirk Bangstad
April 27, 2010

The Smurfs were a favorite childhood cartoon for many around the world. Cartoon characters like Papa Smurf, Smurfette, and Smurf others could incite laughter within minutes. Today, those characters are being used for an additional purpose--to raise consciousness and money for African relief.

Smurf Cartoon Shows an Ugly Reality

A past Smurf episode doesn't include many laughs. In fact, it is intended to shock people into helping UNICEF rebuild parts of war torn Africa. The episode is actually a twenty-second service message showing the grizzly carpet-bombing of the Smurf village in wartime. Smurfette is left for dead and Baby Smurf is orphaned. Officials at UNICEF say that the cartoon is being shown after 9 p.m. in Belgium so that children won't be exposed to these disturbing scenes. The cartoon has worked. People have gone to the UNICEF website and contribute money for their projects in Africa.

Cartoon Network Provides Ample Work for Animation Studios

Cartoon advertisements are a new, niche market for animation artists. There is enough work to keep a few commercial animation studios in business. The bulk of animation production is for feature films and cartoon series. Cable channels like the Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Fox Kids pay big dollars for animated cartoon series, and major animation studios such as Disney and Pixar crank out a majority of the animated feature films. 

Cultivate Your Talent by Attending Animation School

Along with the fresh opportunities in cartooning and feature films come new jobs. The successful animation studios are looking for people with talent and cultivated design skills. Talent is generally a natural gift, but the cultivation generally happens at animation school, where students hitch their native ability to state-of-the-art software. If you have the calling, an animation degree--from either campus schools or accredited online universities--can prepare you for this highly competitive field.


About the Author
Kirk Bangstad is an artist manager and singer working in Chicago, IL. His previous experience includes consulting for technology companies in the Silicon Valley and serving as a field director and publicist for a statewide political campaign. Kirk holds a B.A. in government from Harvard University.