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From 'Incredibles' director: animation a medium, not genre

The March 11 article "Hollywood sings a new kind of 'toon" refers to computer- generated animated feature films as "a hugely popular genre." Animation is not a genre.

Whether it's feature-length or short, whether it's computer-generated, hand-drawn, claymation, stop-motion, or anything else, animation is a medium, an art form that can tell stories in any genre.

Perhaps if the press (as well as film executives and filmmakers themselves) stopped confusing a method of storytelling with a single kind of story, the medium of animation would expand its horizons.
Brad Bird
Writer/director, "The Incredibles"
Emeryville, Calif.

Time on the monkey bars still important

You write about school districts trying to make kindergarten students go to school all day ("Public schools follow the market, pitch all-day kindergarten," March 9); maybe you should write about how children need recess time, which many districts all over the US have taken away. You can't expect a kindergartner to sit all day, can you? I had recess when I was in elementary school and it made a world of a difference in how much attention I paid in the afternoon.

We all worry about obesity in small children; well, we obviously don't care enough because we are taking away recess time and maybe even phys ed time.
Tracey Baker
San Jose, Calif.

Flat tax on unearned dollars, too

In the March 8 article about the flat tax being adopted in many Eastern European countries, no mention was made as to whether the tax was just on earned income or also on unearned income. In former Communist countries there may not be many people with unearned income from interest, dividends, or capital gains. However, there are many taxpayers in the United States who have such income. When Steve Forbes proposed his flat tax, it was to be levied only on earned income.

Having just worked on filing my 2004 income tax, I can appreciate the simplicity of the flat tax. However, I cannot envision our country taxing wage earners but not those for whom all, or much, income is unearned - whether from inheritance or from prior income and investments.


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