Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Different Cartoon Company Business Model

There are the big feature animation producers, and then there are smaller entities manuevering outside the box.

... Unlike the other companies in the running for the animated-feature Oscar, GKIDS doesn’t bankroll or produce its own films; instead, it scours the world for worthy animated films, picks them up for the American market and enters them in the Oscar race. The company was founded in 2008 as an offshoot of the New York International Children’s Film Festival, with a specific mission statement. ...

GKIDS has two of the five nominees this year, “Boy and the World” and “When Marnie Was There”; they also notched two of the five last year with “Song of the Sea” and “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya,” and two in 2011 with “A Cat in Paris” and “Chico and Rita.” They’ve also scored nods for 2009’s “The Secret of Kells” and 2013’s “Ernest & Celestine.” ...

The beauty of picking up feature films from elsewhere, rather than developing them from scratch yourself, is that you don't have to staff a development department, or build a production facility, or locate a sub-contractor off in a foreign land that has either A) low wages, B) free money available (a.k.a. tax incentives) or C) both.

All that needs to happen is a screening room and a capacity for looking at a lot of animation product in search of that high-quality needle in a lower-quality haystack. And once that's accomplished, you enter it in the Oscar sweepstake for a jolt of free publicity, followed by a limited release and distribution to secondary markets.


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