Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Challengers To The Throne

Yesterday I was in a discussion with an artist at Disney about how Fox News-Corp. is the only fine entertainment conglomerate (outside of Team Mouse) that seems to take cartoons and animation seriously. And today I read this:

... Dreamworks (which has by far the most recognizable characters and potent animated franchises outside of Disney/Pixar) and 20th Century Fox have created a massive tag-team of sorts that combined are a very real threat to Disney/Pixar. And, most importantly, it leaves the would-be contenders on unequal footing, with Universal’s Illumination and Sony Pictures potentially fighting for scraps while they attempt to establish their foothold beyond one of two major successes. Dreamworks was always the likely top contender, with viable franchises and brands via the Madagascar animals, the Shrek universe, and the expanding mythologies of How to Train Your Dragon and Kung Fu Panda. Now it’s not even a contest between Dreamworks and Fox. They are now, for the moment, one animated mini-empire.

Point being, the second and third-place animation studios just teamed up, which automatically makes them a strong bet to challenge the Mouse House. ...

I would go further than Forbes goes here.

Fox has long recognized the potency of animated features. They've owned Blue Sky Studios for over a decade, and have made a sizable fortune with their string of Ice Age movies. And they've got more in the hopper.

But Fox does something that no other conglomerate -- including the Mouse -- does. It creates blocks of prime time animation for its broadcast network, and makes large bushels of money with those enterprises, as well. Fox doesn't have as much animation on the cable side of its businesses as Disney, but it seems to be working on that shortcoming with its late-night Fox Animation Domination HD.

There are a lot of players in animation just now: producers of television product, producers of theatrical product, and the movies and shows come in at all price points. But when you are talking about the supreme heavy hitters, there are only two. The Walt Disney Company and Fox-News Corp.


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