Joker: An Animation Turned Oscar Success
- Dean John
Joker just won 2 categories in Oscars 2020! Yes, a comic-book animation turned movie got nominated for the best actor and best original music score and won it too!
What’s even more fascinating is the fact that history has repeated itself as this is not the first time an Actor who played Joker has won an Oscar for this very role!
The first time was in 2009 when Heath Ledger won the Oscar for the best actor for the same role. Unquestionably, Joker has come a long way. From the first comic-book to animation to multiple movie adaptations, it has successfully garnered a huge fan base making it one of the biggest franchises.
How often do you hear about a villain doing this well? Rarely.
So how did Joker climb up the ranks and managed to sit at the highest, most esteemed position in the film industry?
Let’s find out.
History of Joker
It all started in 1988 when Joker’s first comic-book, “The Killing Joke,” came out. Written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland and John Higgins, the comic-book took off because of its controversial character, The Joker.
Joker is chaotic evil, whose only aim is to create confusion and chaos whenever possible. In “The Dark Knight,” we see yet another side of the character
Not knowing what his next move will be, Joker always kept the viewers on the edge of their seats and was successful in making them go through all stages of anxiety.
Coming to “The Killing Joke,” the comic-book managed to snag The Eisner Award in 1989 for the best writer, the graphic album, as well as the best artist, hence catapulting the comic, and with it, the character, into success and fame.
Later in May 2009, the book was featured in the NewYork Times bestseller list, rejuvenating the enthusiasm the comic-book had gathered over the years.
In 2008, Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” came out, inciting another wave of appreciation for Joker. The movie gave a completely different outlook on the character, and even though Joker was just a tad bit less dark, it still held the melancholy feeling of chaos and doom, which clung on to him.
Now, 12 years later, “The Joker,” an origin film, paved the way for yet another actor to take off his career. The quality that sets this Joker apart from the other adaptations of the character is that we actually get to see the evil mastermind in the making. Arthur Fleck (Joker) is a man suffering from depression and forces himself to be happy and make others happy as well.
However, his life takes a u-turn when he finally commits his first murder, and actually finds peace and solace in it. For the first time in his life, he feels happy. This is what makes the movie so dark.
Joaquin’s extraordinary performance as he danced slowly to the chilling soundtrack (which also won an Oscar, btw) was jaw-dropping and 100% awe-worthy. I remember my eyes screened to the glue, trying to comprehend this scene, as well as all the next that followed.
It’s really crazy what animation can do for the careers of actors and the success of a movie. Joker did start off as a simple comic-book, then skyrocketed with its animation series, and look at where it is now. 2 Oscars and over 1 Billion Dollars in revenue.
Who’s laughing now?
The Power of Animation
Actually, if you think about it, the highest-grossing movies of all time are animations, or they started off as comics. One of the most noteworthy examples of this is Marvel Studios.
Martin Goodman, the creator behind Marvel comics, had no idea that his unique ideas could accumulate a worth of over $4 Billion when the franchise was sold to Disney.
Animations take us into a whole new dimension and world, making it so easy to get lost in it. How many times have you wanted to pursue a career just because you saw an animated character carry out with will and ardor?
Actually, storytelling is a huge part of success! Animation grabs the viewer and pulls them in, this is actually how I got around to watching Klaus, and now I’m absolutely smitten with it! But I love it, because of how good the story was! It was heartfelt, emotional, funny, and tear-jerking.
If the animation was all the movie had to offer, then it would have gotten really boring, really fast.
The point is, storytelling and animation hold equal importance in the film industry. The animation style hooks you in and is designed to make you absorb the story, and the story makes you sit through the whole movie. They both go hand in hand.
But hold on, did you really think such a powerful tool will only be used in entertainment?
Animation has slowly inched its way into all the industries. Sure, it started off as entertainment but is now heavily used in education, digital marketing, gaming, etc.
According to Forbes, the gaming industry alone is going to be a 165 Billion dollar in 2020! It’s projected to hit almost $200 Billion by 2022.
Huge brands like Coca Cola, NASA, Microsoft, and Grasshopper are using animation to tell their brand’s stories and also explain the workings of it. These types of videos are generally known as explainer videos!
Explainer videos have proved time and again to be an extremely effective tool for marketing.
In fact, after Johnsons & Johnsons reached out to VideoExplainers for their animated explainer video and got it, they stated, “Video Explainer’s video helped me drive 25% extra results.”
For a company as big as Johnsons & Johnsons, 25% of their results mean A LOT. And all because of a 75-second whiteboard explainer video! Animation, baby.
Explainer videos are just another successful use-case of animation apart from the entertainment industry.
The bottom line is, the animation isn’t just for children anymore. From earning Dropbox $50 million in 30 days through an explainer video to helping Joker achieve the recognition it has today, animation has seriously come a long way in becoming one of the most powerful and sought after means of marketing and communication.