Hulett's theory of big feature animation being done in the U.S. of A. by the entertainment conglomerates? There are a couple of exceptions.
One, of course, is Happy Feet, produced and released by Warner Bros. and animated in Australia. The other is Despicable Me ...
DM is being made by Illumination Entertainment, former Fox exec Chris Meladandri's company that is headquartered, as I understand it, in Santa Monica, and underwritten by Universal-GE.
Illumination is going the overseas route to get the picture done, animating Despicable Me in France at an existing studio rather than setting up a facility of its own, boarding the feature in L.A. and elsewhere. How successful this approach will be, I do not know. But when the picture comes out Universal will no doubt put advertising muscle behind it in hopes that Despicable Me breaks into the top tier of animated box office grossers.