Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Multiplying Animated Features

Projects keep springing up like mushrooms.

LA-based United Media Capital has formed a joint venture fund with Pigmental Studios and the Santa Monica, CA-based United Independents Group for the co-financing of a slate of animated and live action films. The first film to be financed by the new fund will be “Household Pests,” written by Sergio Pablos, the co-creator of “Despicable Me.”

Pablos, of SPA Studios, along with Marina Martins of Pigmental Studios, will jointly produce the new film, along with Dennis Lorrig, Robert Rodriguez, George Malasek and John Cole. ...

“Household Pests,” based on an original idea from Pablos, follows an imaginative boy, “Cole,” who battles monsters under his bed every night, while his mother refuses to believe that they exist. It takes “Jeb Dee,” an undercover monster exterminator, to help Cole save the town.

Concurrently, the fund will also invest in a second animated project – “Mean Margaret” - based on the popular children’s book of the same name. That film is being produced by Jay Ahn (“The Nut Job” and “The Nut Job 2”) and Chris Henderson (“Return to Neverland,”) with Chuck Williams (“Brother Bear”) managing the creative for Astro-Nomical Entertainment LLC, a new studio from Ahn/Henderson.

Barry Cook (“Mulan”) directed the original development of the “Mean Margaret” project, with character designs by Carter Gooderich (“Finding Nemo.”) ...

The continuing ... and escalating ... success of animated features keeps pulling new players into the market. For a half dozen years there have been warnings that too many cartoons on theater screens will tank the market, but that old chestnut isn't dissuading new players. They've figured out that the calculation of "too many cartoons" has ALWAYS been seriously flawed. It's starting to dawn on people (because boffo box office can be persuasive) that animation is a mode of presentation, not a "genre" of filmmaking, like musicals of super hero epics.

As I've said a few times, nobody ever pontificates: "Well, the reason that Jennifer Aniston's new comedy arrived still-born is because there's just too damn many live-action movies out there."

Nope. Ixnay. They let us know that Jen's latest wasn't funny and stunk up the local AMC. And therefore hardly anybody loaded the wife and kiddies into the minivan to go down and see it.

This isn't complicated. When people want to see this or that motion picture, they go see it. People go to animated features in droves because they like the stories, the worlds and characters they're presenting. If that hasn't become obvious by now, maybe it never will.


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