Where are the animated Civil War films?

atom_okie

Cadet
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Howdy! I've been perusing Civil War related media whilst soldiering through my reading list and found myself pondering the possibility of depicting the War in 2D. (I've become rather bigoted against 3D films after so many years of shoddy, uninspiring releases)

I've watched through many a live-action Civil War cinematic experience (to varying enjoyment): Gettysburg, Glory, The Red Badge of Courage, Lincoln, Gods and Generals... etc
As well as TV depictions like North and South and The Blue and the Gray and Roots (both the original and the 2016 adaption).

But I'm curious as to the feasibility of some ambitious filmmaker doing an animated depiction of the war. Through this, one could more easily show the true scale of the battles, armies, and go as far as one can in relaying the horrifying experience of war. We've seen massive armies depicting (albeit in CGI) in franchises like Lord of the Rings, and Japanese entertainment has shown just how brilliant and awe-inspiring animated cinema can be. And speaking of foreign doings, there is certainly interest in American history abroad, with the 7th installment of the brilliant Japanese manga series JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Steel Ball Run, being a notable (and one of my all-time favorite) example of such international fascination with American history.

As technology and creativity grow ever more efficient and boundless, I hope that at some point in the future we can see high quality depictions of the greatest American drama in Western history, with the true scale and horror of it all artfully drawn in an appetizing manner.

What are your thoughts? Do you think this is something that could happen in the future? Or have there already been attempts, and how well done are those attempts in your view?

Thanks fer your screentime!
 

atom_okie

Cadet
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Only just noticed this posted into the non-fiction forum instead of the intended fiction one... Not seeing a way to delete or move thread. Woops!
 

GwilymT

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
Howdy! I've been perusing Civil War related media whilst soldiering through my reading list and found myself pondering the possibility of depicting the War in 2D. (I've become rather bigoted against 3D films after so many years of shoddy, uninspiring releases)

I've watched through many a live-action Civil War cinematic experience (to varying enjoyment): Gettysburg, Glory, The Red Badge of Courage, Lincoln, Gods and Generals... etc
As well as TV depictions like North and South and The Blue and the Gray and Roots (both the original and the 2016 adaption).

But I'm curious as to the feasibility of some ambitious filmmaker doing an animated depiction of the war. Through this, one could more easily show the true scale of the battles, armies, and go as far as one can in relaying the horrifying experience of war. We've seen massive armies depicting (albeit in CGI) in franchises like Lord of the Rings, and Japanese entertainment has shown just how brilliant and awe-inspiring animated cinema can be. And speaking of foreign doings, there is certainly interest in American history abroad, with the 7th installment of the brilliant Japanese manga series JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Steel Ball Run, being a notable (and one of my all-time favorite) example of such international fascination with American history.

As technology and creativity grow ever more efficient and boundless, I hope that at some point in the future we can see high quality depictions of the greatest American drama in Western history, with the true scale and horror of it all artfully drawn in an appetizing manner.

What are your thoughts? Do you think this is something that could happen in the future? Or have there already been attempts, and how well done are those attempts in your view?

Thanks fer your screentime!
This is an incredibly interesting idea. Also, it’s a great medium to bring in younger audiences who aren’t so initially taken with black and white posed photos, maps, and mountains of prose.
 

GwilymT

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
That’s a good question for @atom_okie what is your scope? The entire war may not be feasible. An Anime following a group of soldiers? North, South, or both? A cartoon following children and a family as depicted in Across Five Aprils, something else?
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
I think it's a good idea, but I also think it would be a challenge given the moment in History that we are currently living in. If you were too make a Confederate hero, you'd be accused of implicit racial bias. If you have a Union hero, you'd only be telling half the story, and you'd potentially lose some of the Southern audience. The only way around this that I can see is to focus on an African American Union soldier.

I used to belong to Romance Writers of America (don't tell anybody) and still belong to a couple of closed boards where they chat about their work, and NOBODY is even attempting to write Civil War romance novels because of the limitations mentioned above. (Regency stories are in at the moment, having usurped vampire stories as the current trend)

I have a friend who recently published her first graphic novel, and she melds different eras of history into her story by writing about a haunted house. Her plan is to eventually add a Civil War ghost as the series goes on, but at the moment the military is represented by a World War I soldier. Another possible work around would be to tell a time travel story, and have a contemporary teenager zapped back into the past and be compelled to join the Army, then tell the story from his point of view.

On the other hand, the Civil War Round Tables are trying to figure out how to get young people interested in Civil War History. This might do the trick.

Good luck!
 

Arioch

Sergeant
Annual Winner
Joined
Dec 24, 2010
I've thought about this, too...I guess it also depends on what type and purpose of animation one might be considering. I greatly like the History channel's 'Battle 360' computer animation series...usually WWII naval battles. They do a terrific job of utilizing animation to explain and layout the conflicts in a strategic sense that a lay person can follow and understand. I thought something like that with the ACW battles might make for a well received project.
 

atom_okie

Cadet
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
That’s a good question for @atom_okie what is your scope? The entire war may not be feasible. An Anime following a group of soldiers? North, South, or both? A cartoon following children and a family as depicted in Across Five Aprils, something else?

I think an anime following a Black Union regiment, and in parallel a Confederate regiment, throughout the course of the war could have some real potential! Could flesh out personalities, characters, and explore the drama of common soldiering through the eyes of the cast of characters.

My interest would be in somehow conveying clearly the awe-inspiring scope of the war, somehow cause audiences to grok the experience of hundreds of thousands of young men slaughtering each other. I think this would help bring home the fact of just how brutal and traumatic the War was for all Americans at the time. That way, it's more easily recognized as being probably the most important and still-relevant era of American history so far.

Plus it'd help further nullify the "history is boring" trend among young folk. :wink:
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2021
I think it's a good idea, but I also think it would be a challenge given the moment in History that we are currently living in. If you were too make a Confederate hero, you'd be accused of implicit racial bias. If you have a Union hero, you'd only be telling half the story, and you'd potentially lose some of the Southern audience. The only way around this that I can see is to focus on an African American Union soldier.

I used to belong to Romance Writers of America (don't tell anybody) and still belong to a couple of closed boards where they chat about their work, and NOBODY is even attempting to write Civil War romance novels because of the limitations mentioned above. (Regency stories are in at the moment, having usurped vampire stories as the current trend)

I have a friend who recently published her first graphic novel, and she melds different eras of history into her story by writing about a haunted house. Her plan is to eventually add a Civil War ghost as the series goes on, but at the moment the military is represented by a World War I soldier. Another possible work around would be to tell a time travel story, and have a contemporary teenager zapped back into the past and be compelled to join the Army, then tell the story from his point of view.

On the other hand, the Civil War Round Tables are trying to figure out how to get young people interested in Civil War History. This might do the trick.

Good luck!
I agree that it would be difficult to get a quality work produced with a Confederate protagonist, but the great thing about animation is that Asia dominates the market. They are not bound by the same societal boundaries as most American artists. A great example is Ang Lee and his Ride with The Devil, which had a sympathetic Bushwhacker for a protagonist. I remember reading an interview with the director and his talking specifically about how the South did not have the same stigma in his native Taiwan as it carried with most Americans. Granted, that was back in the 90's.

BTW, I had hoped to attend your recent event in Andersonville, but between the weather and my poor timing, I missed out. I still plan to buy your book though.
 
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