I went to see Shrek 2 when it came out, but it's taken me awhile to come to grips with the experience. I liked the movie when I saw it, and found it to be just as entertaining and wonderful as all the reviewers said it was, but I couldn't shake the feeling that it didn't seem like animation to me. It seemed like some hybrid format, like a filmed stage musical enacted by digital avatars.
Animation is an unwieldy category, embracing works drawn and modeled, in 2D and 3D, made by hand and computer-generated. I think because the rise of computer animation happened slowly, and with varying results, it was easy to lump it in with other types of animation as if it were an extension of these older forms. Also, because computer animation techniques displaced the labor of classical animators, the idea that computer animation is a substitute for classical animation was reinforced there as well.
What Shrek 2 makes me wonder is whether computer-generated animation is becoming another genre altogether, distinct from what has been called "animation" in the past? I also wonder if computer-generated animation contains the seeds of a future genre--perhaps a more successful attempt at what is meant to be captured in "interactive movies" or online multiplayer games.