What with Ratatouille rolling out in a week, director Brad Bird got presented with the usual inane statement:
Some critics say there's an overload of animated movies...
I'll be frank. The supposition always makes me crazy. It's a symptom, I think, of the press wanting a quick and easy theory as to why movie X doesn't perform "up to expectations." But Mr. Bird has a good answer:
It's kind of like saying, "Is there a movie overload?" There's only a movie overload if they're bad. If they're good, it's just like, "Yeehaw!" The problem with animation is too many people are making the same movie. There's nothing wrong with the medium. The medium is as big as the sky, but you have to go to different places in the sky. You can't just go to the same cloud and expect people to get excited about it, with the jabbering sidekicks and the pop references and the hit pop songs.
It's simple, really. When you create a film the population doesn't want to see, it doesn't go see it. (And mostly, they don't want to see the same damn film over and over.)
And when you do turn out something new, fresh, and entertaining? Why, the greenbacks tumble down on you like snow in a Texas blue norther.