Sunday, November 09, 2008

Booming Theatrical Animation

Apparently it's getting noticed that animation is doing well at home and abroad.

[There has been] a steady rise in the number of CG-animated features at AFM. CMG's offerings this year include the African adventure "Zambezia" and the action feature "Louis La Chance." ...

"In the five years that we've handled animated features, the quality has gone through the roof," [Edward Noeltner, president of Cinema Management Group] said. "That allows us to have scripts with more characters and detail and more spectacular imagery."

The Pixar/Disney, DreamWorks and Blue Sky product represents the high-end, mega-smash animation that takes in a half-billion dollars at a crack, but there is plenty of viable product aiming for more modest, worldwide grosses.

Theatrical animated features are no longer the wimpish, niche products from the days of my youth. In the seventies, you could count the number of non-Disney animated features on the pitching hand of three-fingered Brown. There were Ralph Bakshi's features, there was the occasional offering from overseas, and that was about it.

Thirty years further on, there's a global cascade of animation, everything from musical comedies to action adventure to dramas, and ninety of them are being offered at this year's America Film Mart.

But there's a reason the global film market is awash in animation. Global audiences can't, apparently, get enough.


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