Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pixar South?

Don't really think so, but certainly a growing overseas player.

The "Pixar of South Africa," which has had success with "Zambezia" and "Khumba," will develop the first two films in a slate of five and targets releasing one movie a year starting in 2016.

South Africa's Triggerfish Animation Studios has secured development funding that it says will allow it to develop the first two projects in a slate of five movies, company executives said. ...

Triggerfish's first two features, Zambezia and Khumba ... have performed well in South Africa and beyond.

Here Be Monsters was selected for the Creative Focus pitch at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival earlier this year. It is based on an original story from writer Raffaella Delle Donne who worked on both of Triggerfish’s previous films.

"The funds will be used towards developing Triggerfish's slate of five animated feature films and to expand the studio’s digital department building on existing properties and exploring new ideas with apps and games," the studio said. ...

Zambezia, released last year, collected $30 million during its run, and Khumba rolls out next month. If Triggerfish is producing its features for $5 million or $6 million (and I don't know what the studio's costs are), then it's probably running in the black. Or close to.

There are a number of foreign-made animated features that have put up good numbers in world markets (like, for instance, this one.) There's no reason to believe that the brain trust in California has a lock on successful animated features. (Illumination Entertainment's Paris-made Despicable movies have certainly been mega hits.) But, thus far, California has created most of the animated box office monsters of the past seventy-five years.

That will likely be changing, because the animation business is now global as never before, so the odds are much higher that some animation genius will rise up in Australia .... or Europe ... or even South Africa.

And trust me, when that happens one of our fine animation conglomerates will swoop in to distribute the genius's output the way buzzards flap down to gobble fresh carrion.

Bank on it.


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