Director-animator-story artist Tom Sito and I whiled away the afternoon reflecting on the ups and down of animation over the past few decades. Tom related:
"My first animation job was working on Raggedy Ann and Andy back in the seventies. At most, there were two animated features released each year: something from Disney, maybe some independent feature from Bakshi, and once in a while a movie from Hanna-Barbera. That was it.
"Last year there were fifteen or twenty animated features released, fourteen the year before that, and fifteen this year. The amount of animation being done has gone to a whole different level."
I responded that there was a good reason for that. Animation was making a lot more money. This trend hasn't escaped the notice of The Hollywood Reporter:
'Despicable Me,' 'Inception' Top Home Video Sales Charts ...
Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Despicable Me finished atop the VideoScan First Alert sales chart for the week ending Dec. 26, its second consecutive week in the top spot. ... Rounding out the top five on the sales chart [was] Disney's Toy Story 3 at No. 5. ... Fox's Return of the Jedi spoof Family Guy: It's a Trap placed at No. 9 ...
When two high-grossing theatrical features land in the top 5 of the DVD charts (one of them repeating in the #1 position), and a television cartoon clings to #9, you don't need the brains of Einstein to figure out why there's more animation in today's marketplace.
The flow of dollars is too big to ignore.