Tuesdays, ANIMATED INSIGHTS BY SHANNON MUIR takes you inside Shannon’s latest reflections on writing, animation, and life in general.  To catch up on all posts, check out the Animated Insightsportion of the website! This installment shares her thoughts on animated movie screenings.

One of the things I like most about moving to Los Angeles is the ability to more easily take part in screenings of animated films.  These aren’t exactly free screenings for me – access to them is part of having membership in organizations like Women in Animation and ASIFA-Hollywood, which does not come cheap – but seeing films in the company of people who have the same passion for the medium make it very much worth it. There’s a type of excitement and energy in the room you don’t get elsewhere, and sometimes even opportunities to spend time networking or connecting with friends before the show starts. Often the screenings are opening weekend, and sometimes even have question and answer sessions with key production personnel.

My husband and I now see most animated films in theaters this way (or on home screeners) it is rare we pay to go see an animated film with the general public. When we do, though, that is now a pleasurable experience for us because we get to hear reactions and viewpoints we would not otherwise hear. The last time we did this would be for Disney/Pixar’s INSIDE OUT, because it was released the week we got married and we were busy for weeks afterwards; we managed to just catch it before it left theaters. By then, it definitely garnered good reviews (and later awards) and so a wide variety of folks watched it with us that might not have come earlier its run. It was a far more diverse crowd than I’d expected in every aspect, and many of them clearly moved afterwards.

I treasure both the chances I get to see things before the general public, where I get to learn more about the process behind it or among my peers, but I equally treasure the chances to see animation in public with a community of fans.

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