A Times think-piece on the changing state of animation ... with President Emeritus Tom Sito.
... "Conventional thinking was that animated filmmaking was a high-stakes gamble," said Tom Sito, a professor at USC's School of Cinematic Arts who was an animator and storyboard artist at Disney Animation in the 1990s. "Only Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks with their brand-loyal audiences seemed to hold a monopoly on success. But the Illumination films seemed to come out of nowhere and were wildly successful. Add to that the success of 'The Lego Movie,' and the thinking now is that anyone can play." ...
It's a long way from the 1970s, when animation on big screens meant a Disney feature (Robin Hood, The Rescuers) or some lower-budget offering from an independent film-maker like Bakshi. And television was Hanna-Barbera and a few small pretenders to the Saturday-morning throne.
The 1990s saw a boom in television and theatrical animation, but that faded at the turn of the century. Rival studios hoping to emulate Aladdin and The Lion King fell on their faces, and even Disney Feature Animation produced a series of clunkers.
But fifteen years further on, animation has exploded, fueled by CG blockbusters on large screens and a plethora of hand-drawn series on the t.v. that draw impressive ratings. With Laika studios in Portland starting to gain traction, it's clear that there are other styles of animation beside CGI to which the viewing public will flock.
If somebody turned out a hand-drawn feature with compelling characters and story, I would happily bet that that would do well.