I think we're presuming too much.
There exists already a sort of "gradient of realism" in the world that has already been effectively destroyed. Movies can now be created that are indistinguishable from real life using CGI, and real movies can be made with CGI to match. Animation can really be as realistic as it likes, it's just really dependent on artistic style and the amount of money thrown into the project.
Still, it's my opinion that animation is animation IS separate from realism, but it does so while still being fundamentally linked to reality. Animation allows for more extremity, more passion, and generally more exaggeration in the production, which allows for the definition between it and reality.
Long story short? Think of a live action TTGL. It would suck ass, naturally because TTGL had a kind of "feel" or "mode" to it fundamentally impossible in real life. It's that kind of definition and style that will always keep it separate.