The Animators’ Cult

This story does not happen a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. It happens in every time and age, in every piece of land that is inhabited by the human race. It appears that the hunter-gatherers of pre-historic era cultivated a herd mentality amongst their ranks, which helped them work as a team against their monstrous preys. As times changed and human mind evolved, this herd mentality faded into the background, but never ceased to pull strings of the behavior patterns that would largely determine the values and beliefs of the human race as a whole.

But in the midst of this stable – or rather stagnant – social fabric, a different breed of thinker would occasionally appear, who would rather dance to the beat of the present moment and cherish the bounties of nature in their full glory, instead of dwelling in the cold and dark back alleys of his monkey mind. He would rather live in the moment, experiencing life “24 frames a second”. He would rather bask in the soothing sunshine than sit in an air-conditioned lecture room. He would rather spend hours sitting awe-struck under the full moon. He would rather run into the woods and experience the calm and quiet of nature, occasionally disturbed by the melodious rustling of autumn leaves.

And that intrinsic, childlike bliss of this artist of ours would never fail to bother the hell out of those who never dared to question authority; and never paid a heed to that still, small voice calling them back towards the pure Joy that nature has hardwired in their souls. He would be pricked and taunted and scorned endlessly. He would be urged to return to the vicious cycle of pain that is so characteristic of the global rat-race. He would attract the attention of the entire social fabric that would label him as disturbed and inept, for he is incapable of feeling the anxiety, stress and pain of everyday living. And lo and behold! The artist starts feeling the same anxiety, stress and pain. The anxiety of being deprived of his God-given freedom. The stress of having to conform to a world of mediocrity. The pain of being ripped of his intrinsic urge to observe and express.

And this pain would only make him more of a renegade. He would take up his most favorite medium of self-expression and let himself be known to the world even more loudly. He would be drawn right into the vortex of energy that pulsates in his soul, and eventually would become a vortex himself. He would inspire and evoke a range of emotions that many have forgotten that they possess. He would sometimes use words, and sometimes images, to convey his message. And sometimes he would make those images spring to life on a screen. And the world will see how he is reflected in every character he creates. His story would be told to people all over the world. Millions would feel his pain and his joy. Millions would fall in love with his art. Millions would fall in love with the way he experiences life. And millions would recognize the artist within themselves, who had been buried alive with their first lesson of “stop acting like a child”.

His passion would be narrated to the world by Po, the Kung Fu Panda. His struggle would be enacted by Cody Maverick. His urge to express himself would be personified by Mr. Incredible. His child-like trust would be conveyed in the character of Horton. And Remy would symbolize his rebellion against the rat race.

He would never forget to pay homage to his mentor, sometimes in the form of Master Shifu, sometimes as the Big Z, sometimes as Chef Gusteau, and sometimes he would decide to directly bow down in respect to the Frank-Ollie duo.

After all, he had traveled far and wide to quench his thirst for his art. He traveled from Spain to become Carlos Baena, and from England to be Richard Williams. He left the aristocratic corridors of a business school in search of his own, personal heaven. The story of his struggle is written in the ink of his tears. He had ripped his heel to flesh in his quest to that holy temple of his art. He had battled the sandstorms of disdain, lashes of sarcasm, and shackles of authority. And yet every night he would go to bed and find himself sliding the timebars and adjusting the f-curves, even as he sleeps. And then the next morning, he would be whooping again with joy as he continues his perilous journey to that sacred destination.

And his glorious journey would never cease to inspire the world, as they see him disguised as Horton, Remy, Barry Benson, and Cody Maverick.

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