After hit 3D animated movies such as Shrek and Zootopia, a lot of people like to call traditional 2D animation a dying art. However, articles from Gregory MacNicol says otherwise. MacNicol in his article in the magazine Computer Graphics World says that 2D animation is alive and well. Just because 3D animation allows computer generated animations, computerized 2D animation technology is quickly catching up. The time that goes into 3D animation is also not as worth the time as 2D animation.
Technologies for 2D are improving thanks to a lot of companies including Smith Micro who produced a “dial” feature for 2D animation that allows people to go through the frames a lot easier than with paper or clicking through windows with drawings of each frame.


MacNicol, Gregory. “2D animation: alive and well.” Computer Graphics World, Mar. 1990, p. 40+. Student Resources
in Context, Accessed 9 Feb.


“Smith Micro Enhances Animation Process with Moho and the New Surface Studio from Microsoft.” PR Newswire, 26
Oct. 2016. Student Resources in Context, Accessed 9 Feb. 2017.



  1. Jackalyn 3 years ago

    As being somebody who’s trying to get either style of animation, I agree that the technology of 2D animation is getting better and more available to anybody. Though I like to think that regardless of 2D or 3D animation the time is worth it in the end.

  2. Annika 4 years ago

    With this post it makes me wonder what makes something 2D vs 3D. I always thought of 3D as the movies constituting the glasses. Might you mean digital animation? Very interesting topic though, I wonder what you will find.

    • Author
      Sharlee 4 years ago

      That’s a good point, sorry for not addressing that! What I address as 3D animation includes animation using 3D models. For example, stop motion animation (think of movies such as Paranorman, Kubo, Coraline, or anything by Laika) is an animation that includes 3D models! Common 3D animation is computer generated models animated (think of Zootopia, Secret Life of Pets, or Shrek).

      When I talk about 2D animation, I mean a style similar to traditional animation (think of Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Rick and Morty, Spongebob, and most of Futurama). This usually includes animation that involves drawing all of the frames by hand.

      Hope that cleared things up! Thanks for commenting, Annika!

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