Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My Big Money

One more long-form animated movie:

Hasbro and Lionsgate has announced that My Little Pony The Movie will trot into theaters on November 3, 2017. At this point in time, My Little Pony will face off with the Disney/Marvel sequel Thor: Ragnarok. ...

It's good to understand why there's interest in doing a theatrical version of the franchise:

My Little Pony toys and accessories rake in $650M annually.

Hasbro credited My Little Pony as driving their 2014 girls’ sales by 2% to a $1.02B figure. The last big screen My Little Pony film was in 1986 and it grossed $6M. Danny DeVito, Tony Randall, Cloris Leachman and Madeline Kahn were among those providing voices.

Are corporate motives clear to you now?

The first MLP, now thirty years distant, came at a time when feature animation was in flux. Disney had floundered after the dull thud made by The Black Cauldron soon after a major management change. At the time, the costly flop from the House of Mouse was overshadowed by Nelvana-produced The Care Bears Movie, which was created on a shoe-string budget and made $34 million. And the feature was produced to ... let's face the realty fearlessly ... boost sales of kids' toys. Disney newbies Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg weren't even sure it was a good idea to continue doing animation stateside, given the profit margin of Bears compared to Cauldron.

So consider My Little Pony, the New Generation as a throwback to that glorious era when animated features not produced by Disney were ninety-minute ads for toy lines. And that the era will soon come again.


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