... While no one was looking, this year’s Oscars have become a hotbed for animation lovers. For starters an animator, Seth MacFarlane, a creator of “Family Guy” and “The Cleveland Show,” is hosting the ceremony on Feb. 24. There are 5 nominees for best animated film — usually there are three — reflecting a record 21 such features up for consideration this season. (There were also more contenders in the shorts categories.) Collectively the full-length Oscar hopefuls have made more than $542 million at the box office. ...
Animation has become a major profit center for Hollywood. This phenomenon has been growing and accelerating over the last dozen years. Two of our fine, entertainment conglomerates (Disney and News Corp.) have large animation footprints in movies and tv, and the others are steadily getting there.
This was unheard of twenty-five years ago. Back then, animation was a sleepy subset of moviedom that didn't make all that much money. The reality is way different today, and the New York Times is simply reflecting the obvious.
Actually a lot of people -- particularly movie execs -- were looking. That's why there's so much action around animation in the marketplace ... and the Oscars.