Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tomorrow is the Toddlers' Big Day

For Disney Jr. comes to town!

The cartoon will debut on Disney Junior, a cable-TV network for 2- to 7-year-olds that the company is launching on March 23 ...

Disney is shuttering Soapnet, a 12-year-old channel devoted to soap operas, and shifting those subscribers over to what will be its fourth network aimed at families and young people, after ABC Family, the Disney Channel, and Disney XD, a four-year-old channel for boys. “It’s a better monetizaton of beachfront property,” says David Bank, an entertainment analyst at RBC Capital Markets. ...

An animated TV show costs about $13 million for a 26-episode season—a fraction of the price tag for a major motion picture—and can fuel sales of related products for years, says Sean Cocchia, general manager of Disney Channels Worldwide.

Strip away the glitter and pixie dust, and you'll find it's all about the toys and the dollies.

As it was in the 1980s, when Filmation pioneered toy promotion with shows like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and She-Ra, Princess of Power, so it is in the merry 21st century with Disney, Viacom and their array of cable networks. (Filmation had to make do with syndication on over-the air stations, since that was then the only big distribution network going.)

Our fine conglomerates have figured out that the cash streams are interlocking and mutually reinforcing. That cartoons beget toys in the hands of five-year-olds. And five-year-olds don't care if the half-hour advertisement cartoon is hand-drawn or CGI. Since hand-drawn animation for television is cheaper than computer generated images, hand-drawn is the medium of choice for kiddie t.v.

So. You want hand-drawn cartoons to survive and thrive? Go buy your kid a Phineas and Ferb action figure.


Anonymous said...

Wait until they release "7D" on Disney Jr. Fans will have a fit once they see what they've done to Disney's seven dwarfs.

Anonymous said...

Hand drawn? Is that what you are calling Flash and Toon Boom nowadays?

Although you are completely right that kids don't give a crap how it looks, as long as it entertains them.

This time around, though the writing needs to be a tad better than He-Man to keep the interest of present day tots.

Anonymous said...

is $13 million the norm for a 2D Tv show? it seems like a lot. Are there any producers, line producers, or people who have seen budgets for cartoons on nick and CN who could share budget info. Like Ultimate Spiderman, Vs. a show like Generator X, or a comedy show like Chowder.

Is it feasible for an indy studio to do it for like 5 million?

Mr. X Storyboard Pitch Guy

Steve Hulett said...

I've seen TV animation budgets that run from $180,000 per half hour to $2 million.

(I exclude the prime time shows from the above.)

Anonymous said...

Craig McCracken was quoted in Animation Magazine that Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends cost around $400,000.00 per 22 minute episode.

Anonymous said...

Regarding FOSTERS, that was almost 10 years ago. And Craig may have gotten a big chunk of that budget. joke. But the truth is, the budget of a show, and the money spent on said show are two different numbers. I worked on a show that was touted as the series with the highest budgeted show in the studio. However, the actual production budget was LESS than most shows being produced inhouse at the time.

Anonymous said...

I worked on on productions that were the opposite. They went over budget by hiring freelancers - but charging it under a different account to cover up the loss, but Steve is right as far as the ballpark price range for cable animated shows. A lot depends on who the creator/showrunner is, what if any production company is attached etc.

Site Meter