wait wait wait, what is the difference between animating women's faces and animating men's faces? why is animating women's faces claimed to be harder? i tried to look it up but i couldn't find anything really answering my question so maybe you read something about it before? i mean... it's just a face, isn't it? what makes it so different and one harder and another easier?
your confusion is completely logical anon! actually, a lot of people suffered through the same confusion when Frozen’s head of animation, Lino Disalvo, said in an interview that women are “historically more difficult to animate” by way of validating the similarities in design between Elsa, Anna, and also Rapunzel from 2010’s Tangled. Of course this comment has sparked intense criticism and debate, because (if you’ll pardon my French) that line is the biggest crock of bullshit I’ve ever heard.
Animators have been apparently slaving away at how to animate women for decades. Despite the supposed “historical difficulties” plenty of othe animators have been able to provide diverse female designs with a wide range of emotional expressions. I can’t find the source of the post now (which ugh. someone please link me if you can) but there’s a tumblr post out there rather astutely comparing Paranorman’s method of designing diverse characters that are still visibly related
as compared to Frozen’s attempt at expressing familial bonds by apparently copy-pasting the family members
regardless of the drama regarding Frozen’s eerily-similar female characters (though to be fair to the fans out there, the film’s soundtrack is amazing and Idina Menzel performs stunningly in her role as Elsa) there’s also this big deal over Ubisoft not including a single female character in one of their most highly-anticipated games, despite previously offering a female playable character annnnd the fact that the new game’s setting historically contained the most famous female assassin in history- but Ubisoft said including a single female character would’ve been too much work and just regurgitated another 4 white guys instead.
so basically anon: you’re right! while women may be more emotive than men, their animation doesn’t tend to be outrageously more complicated than men and it really shouldn’t be too strenuous for a worthwhile animation team to include diverse female characters. however it seems most animation teams in popular media just don’t have the energy for it right now, so they feed us bullshit lines such as “animating female characters is historically more difficult.” It’s like when your parents come home and you’ve done nothing they asked you to, but you try to find the right words to get out of it anyway. That’s basically the entire situation.