The state and future of animation

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Re: The state and future of animation

Post by GeffreyDrogon » July 30th, 2021, 7:14 pm

But still, it seems like selling his studio to one of many animation companies in India that work their employees to death wasn't that good of an idea after all.

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Re: The state and future of animation

Post by Ben » July 30th, 2021, 7:19 pm

I’m sure, for him, it was a great business decision! He sold a studio and got a sackful of money that he can comfortably retire on. What happens to the studio after that is not his problem. He's moved on, as should we…

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What happened with VeggieTales movies?

Post by GeffreyDrogon » July 31st, 2021, 8:52 pm

I was just wondering, if VeggieTales was fairly popular, then why didn't the two theatrical films based on those characters (Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie and The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything), despite having a built-in audience?

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Re: What happened with VeggieTales movies?

Post by Randall » July 31st, 2021, 11:16 pm

Selling a whole bunch of VHS tapes for kids to watch at home is much different than convincing parents to drag the kids to the theatre, and to pay individual admissions plus snacks... especially when a family already has 20 of those tapes for the kids to watch. And those films had zero crossover appeal for a mass audience. It's no surprise they had weak box office. The theatrical releases were just prelude to the video releases.

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Re: The state and future of animation

Post by EricJ » August 1st, 2021, 5:31 am

Also, they had their roots in VERY limited 90's CGI, which is okay for kids' shows, but gets you confined to April or October cannon-fodder if you have a movie with not much plot appeal.
And even the show's limited video appeal was largely with red-state parents that wanted to brand their kids on "faith" shows, which was a stigma to its crossover appeal, even though the movies themselves were harmless to the point of forgettable.

Chalk it down to another small animation company that thought the big boys made this "wide release" thing look too easy.

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Re: The state and future of animation

Post by GeffreyDrogon » August 1st, 2021, 11:55 am

At least a bad movie like Happily N'ever After had star power.

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Re: The state and future of animation

Post by Dacey » August 1st, 2021, 3:14 pm

Jonah actually did quite well for what it was. It's worth noting that computer-animated movies were still in their infancy. The only other mainstream CGI film to come out that year was Ice Age. So $25 million for a Christian-themed movie was actually a really big deal.

The problem was that Jonah exhausted the studio's resources. It was a much bigger production than Big Idea had ever tackled before, and went over-budget for that reason. This wouldn't have been as much of an issue if they hadn't been going through other financial woes at the time, but no one making Jonah thought it would be "easy" to make it big in the market.

What killed the studio was a lawsuit involving their home video distributor. They were also responsible for releasing Barney the Dinosaur on home video in the US, and tended to give the purple dino a marketing priority. Big Idea did mishandle this and violated the contract, but the ruling of the judge was nevertheless overly harsh, and sent them into bankruptcy.

Still, Jonah was considered a success at the end of the day. If it hadn't been, there wouldn't have been another Veggie Tales movie years later (with different people owning the company).
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Re: The state and future of animation

Post by EricJ » August 1st, 2021, 5:42 pm

GeffreyDrogon wrote:
August 1st, 2021, 11:55 am
At least a bad movie like Happily N'ever After had star power.
Happily N'Ever After, like Hoodwinked, was riding the last traces of the still inexorable, omnipotent early 00's coattail power of the first two Shrek movies, where doing any hip fairytale parody in the new technological miracle of CGI was a license to print money.

And even then, critics could smell a foreign CGI a mile away. (As we do today on Netflix.)

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Re: The state and future of animation

Post by Dacey » August 1st, 2021, 5:52 pm

Except that Hoodwinked was actually a sleeper hit (and a good movie). N’ever wasn’t.
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Re: The state and future of animation

Post by EricJ » August 1st, 2021, 6:31 pm

And neither was Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil.
Looks like empty January season didn't work for everybody, especially when they tried to go wide in May.

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Re: The state and future of animation

Post by GeffreyDrogon » August 2nd, 2021, 2:46 pm

Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, like Alpha and Omega, was only a box office success when you don't take combined production and marketing costs into account and forgetting how much of a film's gross theaters take for themselves. Despite being cheap movies, they weren't good enough to do impressive business in theaters and only saved their faces through home media sales while the aftereffects of corporate woes eventually sank the studios that made those films.

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Re: The state and future of animation

Post by GeffreyDrogon » August 4th, 2021, 2:19 pm

I like animation, but I feel like the pro-traditional animation fans are like a mob that thinks that CGI is of the devil and want to shut down Pixar and take Blender offline because of their biases.

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Re: The state and future of animation

Post by GeffreyDrogon » August 11th, 2021, 4:36 pm

Why has India's animation industry struggled to gain success and a foothold in the United States? This may seem to be old, but I've noticed that Indian animation companies are desperate to get the attention of the Oscars, even though the animated films submitted to it (and didn't get nominated at all), like Alpha and Omega and Delhi Safari are mediocre films. Honestly, why can't the Indian animation industry focus on making something that any audience can enjoy, instead of just pandering to the lowest common denominator?

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Re: The state and future of animation

Post by Randall » August 12th, 2021, 2:19 am

Lack of talent and leadership?

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Re: The state and future of animation

Post by Ben » August 12th, 2021, 4:53 am

I don’t think they are "desperate" to impress the Oscars. Almost every film given a US cinema release will have a contractual obligation to be submitted for awards consideration, and not just the Oscars. Submitting a film is totally different to actually thinking you might have any hope of winning. It’s more a case of publicity and making sure your film may get noticed than trying to impress anyone.

Also, "making something that any audience can enjoy, instead of just pandering to the lowest common denominator" is a contradiction — pandering to the lowest common denominator is *exactly* how you (attempt to) make something that any audience can enjoy! That’s why there are so many bland, non-focused, trying to please everyone, mediocre movies made nowadays!

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