Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The TV Version

The thing to understand about the smaller screen versions of DWA's CG features? Some of them remain CG when they make the transition to television half-hours (Kung Fu Panda, Dragons of Berk), while others morph into hand-drawn series. The Croods is one of the DreamWorks Animation properties that transform.

What studios have learned, albeit slowly, is that CG is the lucrative way to go with theatrical animation. In fact, our fine entertainment conglomerates have minimal interest in hand-drawn animation, and the format has been pushed off to smaller studios, many of them in Europe. But when it comes to TV animation, the small fry don't care if it's CG ... or hand-drawn.

In fact, in some instances they prefer hand-drawn.

This has blown a large hole in many TV studios long-term plans, because those studios started from the premise that CG trumps hand-drawn cartoons, just like CG beats hand-drawn on the big screen. And, based on what they thought children wanted to see, they invested large amounts of money in CG product, only to watch in dismay as that product crashed and burned, even as older, traditional fare (can we say Sponge Bob Square Pants? I knew we could!) went on and on, one profitable season following another.

So that explains why DWA has a less expensive hand-drawn version of one of its CG hits. The company is betting that the target demographic doesn't care what format its cave dwellers appears in. And it's probably a pretty safe bet.


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