Animation studios should follow in Arcane’s footsteps


Celine Gharapetian

Arcane’s first opening scene shows its beautiful artstyle.

It has officially been one year since the release of Riot Games’ extremely successful Netflix show Arcane. This risky decision by Riot Games allowed for them to gain an even bigger audience, with there being people watching who were never into their hit game League of Legends or any video games at all. 

Most people would avoid watching a show based off of a video game since they have a reputation of not staying true to the game or being too predictable, similar to the issues that most book to movie adaptations suffer from. However, Riot Games avoided these issues through their partnership with Fortiche, the French animation studio that brought the characters and settings alive in the show. 

Unlike other animation studios who only animate their characters and settings in 3D, Fortiche uses the unique approach of combining both 2D and 3D animation together to create a more realistic feel. To add to this more realistic feel, the animators in Fortiche hand draw and paint all the characters and their surroundings. By hand drawing the characters, the animators do not cover up all the imperfections each character has, but purposefully try to bring them to light while also capturing the viewer’s attention. This type of technique allows for the show to look like a painted canvas in motion, bringing a distinctive look to the show. 

I had known about League of Legends, but had never really been too interested in it; however, after watching the trailer for Arcane, Fortiche’s animation style immediately stood out to me and was the reason I decided to give the show a try. This has also been the case for many other people who had no clue about what League of Legends even was. 

Arcane’s success proves how important a show or movie’s animation style is. By bringing out the imperfections on the faces of their characters, Fortiche creates a more human connection to the viewers, making the characters feel like they are real people in the world. 

Famous animation studios such as Disney do a great job in realistically animating their characters movements, but there has always been something missing. Who would have thought that the huge missing piece that they have avoided for so long is just to include a few human imperfections on their character’s faces or body types? 

Disney’s signature style of animation usually includes characters having perfect skin, slim bodies, and extremely feminine features, men and women included. Some characters might have a few bumps of acne on their face, but they are usually thrown off to the side and never really in the spotlight.

As much as an audience grows to connect with certain characters, if there is not enough realism in which the character feels and looks, the show or movie will not have as dramatic of an impact on the viewers as it should.
Arcane’s unique touch in showcasing this realism causes viewers to be completely engrossed in the stories of each character while also relating to them in some way, allowing many people with completely different interests than who the show was intended for to enjoy watching Arcane.