Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood has easily become one of the most engrossing animated films on Netflix. The coming-of-age story is a very interesting blend of nostalgia and imagination. While the film already boasts a great plot and an enthralling theme, most of the fans agree that what made it stand out the most is its animation style. Netflix Film Club released a video about the same. Check it out here:
If terms like “aspect ratio” and “different colored negative space” are flying over your heads like they did ours initially, here’s the animation style of Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood broken down for you:
Why is the animation style so strikingly different?
When viewers first begin their personal an hour and half long journey of the film, it took them some time to become familiar with the animation style. Unlike Disney films, it isn’t something we see commonly. But again, unlike the Japanese anime style of animation, it isn’t something foreign either. The animation style of Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood is called the rotoscope style of animation.
The essence of rotoscope animation comes from the fact that it is the process of creating animated sequences by tracing over live-action footage. Each of these tracings is done frame by frame. This allows the creators to make characters that closely resemble the real-life versions of the pictures but are drawings, nonetheless. It draws a thick line between animation and real life, somehow closely resembling both.
Why did the animators choose rotoscope animation for Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood?
Viewers who have seen Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood know that the film is a series of flashbacks. The lines between fantasy and reality are blurred in the picture. Stan clearly remembers even the tiniest bit of details of the landing of Apollo 11. Yet, we know his imagination taints his memory as he images himself as a part of a mission.
The rotoscope animation style allows for blurry lines with smoked-out effects. It very closely resembles something we might recall from our faintest memories. Yet, the fact that each and every scene has its roots in real-life footage and images means that each of them bears a hint of realism. The most noticeable example of this is President John F. Kennedy’s speech.
This explains why this particular animation style works so well for the Netflix Original.
If you have seen the film, you now know why the idea of using rotoscope animation for the film was an ingenious one. If you haven’t, here’s your cue to stream Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood on Netflix and have your mind blown away!