Thursday, July 06, 2006

Glut Check

Back in March I posted a list of all the scheduled animated films 2006. We're now at the halfway point of the year and about to go into what must be the most concentrated burst of animated features ever: six films in three months. First among them, the rotoscoped adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel, A Scanner Darkly (though it's only on 17 screens this weekend)... The rest of this year's fare are all CG, and they're practically being released on top of each other. Here's what's coming: A Scanner Darkly (July 7 limited release) Monster House (July 21) The Ant Bully (July 28) The Barnyard (Aug. 4) Everyone's Hero (Sept. 15) Open Season (Sept. 29) Flushed Away (Nov. 3) Happy Feet (Nov. 17) Eight more films over the next five months. Remember when a new animated film came every two years? And when the feature animation industry was, well, just a relative handful of people at Disney? I personally think it's great that there's so much work and so many films . . . though I do wish with this many films that a few of these filmmakers would be, well, a little less derivative. Despite already having had three animated hits this year (i.e., 60% of the top 5 films are animated), I think several of the upcoming films are likely to also do well. And it won't so much be "the glut" that damages the rest, but that they're not as appealing as they could be.


Robiscus said...

"Barnyard" looks to be absolute dreck.
when the trailer is that jaw droppingly bad, it stands to reason that they didn't simply have a poor editor putting it together. usually, ONE good joke can be found to sell the movie, but not in the case of "Barnyard". the attempts at humor are so crass and desperate that the entire theater i sat with waiting for "Cars" was groaning - repeatedly.
"Barnyard" looks to be so bad that i'm not even afraid of insulting the peple who worked on it.

if that trailer is remotely representative of the movie, we've got the stinker of the year(at least) coming out on August 4th.

Kevin Koch said...

Yeah, Barnyard looks to be the weakest of the lot. The designs, heck, the very premise, don't even seem worthy of a short, much less a feature. Which is odd considering that Steve Oedekerk has both a good funnybone and experience doing animation.

Of course, the film might be much better than I expect. I'm just judging what little I've seen so far.

Anonymous said...

Oedekerk's tragic flaw is he has some kind of warped obsession with cow udders. Don't know where it comes from, but there it is.

Robert said...

"Remember when a new animated film came every two years? And when the feature animation industry was, well, just a relative handful of people at Disney?"

I used to think the same, that feature animation had been rare once, but peruse this list...

and you'll see that for the last 40 or 50 years quite a few animated features came out every year. Even during the "dark ages". Well-distributed? Well publicised? Maybe not, but someone somewhere was grinding these out, just like now.

Kevin Koch said...

You're right about the higher number of features in teh past, but what's really striking about that list you cited is how the number of films has gone up dramatically each decade. By my quick count:

50s -- 12
60s -- 25
70s -- 36
80s -- 56
90s -- 83

So far the 00s are averaging 16 films a year, fully double last decade, and more than all the 1950s combined. I'm not sure what foreign animated features will get limited release this year, but one list I saw reported 17 or 18 features projected for this year. So we are definitely in a period of far more features than ever before, and definitely more major animated features.

What's remarkable about this year is the number of big budget CG films, often mostly or completely made here, that are competing in such a small window.

Anonymous said...

It's not even a question of whether or not there are too many CG sh_t-house movies! I laugh everytime a new one comes out. America will eat up virtually any movie made in CG, throw in a couple goats f_cking and as long as you have John Goodman doing the voices are we're set! We should start holding the goddamn elections in f@cking CGI, then maybe everyone would vote...although the elections are useless too as far as I'm concerned.

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