What is the difference between a cartoon and an animation? When you say 'cartoon,' perhaps, the first image that comes to mind is of something such as Bugs Bunny, or Spongebob Squarepants. Then, if you say animation, the image may be Toy Story or The Incredibles...I think there is a conspiracy amongst adults. Why? Secretly we love animations. But we don't want them called cartoons.
"Mom are you watching a cartoon?" "No, dear, it's an animated film."
There is a difference. We think. Or, at least pretend.
In technical terms, being in animation. See, I said 'animation.' There is a difference in the process and the look between a classic-rendered cartoon and a digital animation. Roget's Thesaurus expounds on 'cartoon' as this; a sketch, drawing, caricature, comic strip, funnies...Am I splitting hairs? Is this apples and oranges? Yes. Cartoon apples and animated oranges.
Animation, simply means, the illusion of motion.
Animation is bringing things to life. It can be a cartoon-like look or realistic digital. It can be a painterly Monet-style, or a darkly colored Rembrandt-style. Animation is art that moves. Which is why it can be enjoyed at any age.
Go ahead, let the kids call everything 'cartoons.' And, adults will say 'animation.' But one day grown-ups might get to the point where they just don't care what people think of their enjoyment of...art that moves with color.