What happened with Crest Animation?

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What happened with Crest Animation?

Post by GeffreyDrogon » May 24th, 2021, 6:01 pm

Lionsgate may not be successful with animation, but what interests me is some of the problems one of the animation studios that produced some films released by Lionsgate, Crest Animation, went through.

Crest Animation produced the obscure animated film Alpha and Omega, which seemed to do well on DVD despite a mediocre performance in theaters. What I don't understand is that what happened at that studio? It seemed like everything was doing fine at first, then the studio just began to go under. The fact that none of the original AAO's cast returned for the sequels despite articles saying that makes me wonder what was going on at that studio. Even worse, those sequels reused so many assets from the first film it makes me suspicious.

Even stranger, there's few articles talking about the troubles the studio was going through, even though I don't understand why a movie that did well on DVD wouldn't save CA from going bankrupt.

What happened?

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Re: What happened with Crest Animation?

Post by Ben » May 24th, 2021, 8:37 pm

Quite often the actual animation production of a lower budget film is farmed out or split between different vendors. I don’t know the situation with Crest, but possibly or likely that it was just a production company that developed their films, like so many of these indie producers do. Often you’ll see the same names popping up between different entities as they make a movie or two, fold a company, and start again.

Unless I’m wrong, the Crest name actually goes quite a way back, and was involved with the Swan Princess movies, and probably retains a name credit on the newer films even though they don’t make them or they are co-pros with other studios, or "sponsored" as with Lionsgate. I know that the big-budget misfire of The King And I hurt them bad and so it’s probable that after a few too many flops, the company closed down and its staff disbanded to join other studios, and the cycle continues...

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Re: What happened with Crest Animation?

Post by GeffreyDrogon » June 12th, 2021, 6:40 pm

It's worse when the news articles said that the original cast for AAO were going to return for A Howl-aday Adventure along with some other "additions" (Ed Asner, Jane Lynch, Jesse Eisenberg, etc.). The fact that that never happened with the sequels despite professional news sources saying so makes me wonder if these movies were part of a cunning scheme to save Crest Animation by making cheap shovelware sequels and making misleading announcements that the original cast was going to return. Even worse, Alpha and Omega's fanbase seems to be an echo chamber full of underserved zombies who try to put their favorite movie on a pedestal as high as that of other animated films like The Lion King, Shrek and Toy Story while secretly wanting to demand better, despite not seeking out better media to watch.

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Re: What happened with Crest Animation?

Post by Dacey » June 12th, 2021, 6:49 pm

More likely they had the cast on board before things fell apart.

It can happen even on big projects. Sandler left HT4 for reasons that still haven’t been made public (but it was probably that he wanted more money).

I’m just amazed there are like EIGHT A&O films. Swan Princess at least has the fanbase (it’s still going!), but A&O?
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Re: What happened with Crest Animation?

Post by Daniel » June 12th, 2021, 7:03 pm

I don't even think I've seen the original in it entirety or if I have I blocked it out.

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Re: What happened with Crest Animation?

Post by EricJ » June 12th, 2021, 7:51 pm

He's ASKING what happened to a Richard Rich film?

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Re: What happened with Crest Animation?

Post by GeffreyDrogon » June 12th, 2021, 9:33 pm

What's so strange is that it wasn't revealed that the original cast for Alpha and Omega wouldn't return for the sequels pretty late, around October, when the DVD came out. Honestly, it's hard enough when there are so few news sources talking about Crest Animation's problems or what was to come for its features and other projects. Alpha and Omega was supposed to be the first of Crest Animation's three features in its deal with Lionsgate, and while the second one (Norm of the North) switched production studios, we don't know what happened to the third.

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Re: What happened with Crest Animation?

Post by Ben » June 13th, 2021, 5:36 am

Well, Crest closed during production of Norm. All titles got moved over to Splash Animation, which seemingly is continuing to make the same kind of films.

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Re: What happened with Crest Animation?

Post by Dacey » June 13th, 2021, 1:58 pm

And we're all thankful that Norm was able to be finished. ;)
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Re: What happened with Crest Animation?

Post by Ben » June 13th, 2021, 7:23 pm

As well as *four* sequels and follow-ups…! :shock:

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Re: What happened with Crest Animation?

Post by GeffreyDrogon » June 13th, 2021, 8:25 pm

But still, it makes no sense to not announce changes and shifts in projects when you're going through financial strife. DreamWorks Animation was able to announce the cancellation/removal of projects like Madagascar 4 and B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations while they were amidst financial turmoil. How could Crest Animation, allegedly the "largest" Indian studio not announce shifts and changes in projects amidst its financial strife?

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Re: What happened with Crest Animation?

Post by Ben » June 13th, 2021, 8:44 pm

Because DreamWorks, financially tight or not, was always bankrolled. A much more independent studio like Crest literally is using the money it has in a drawer to keep day to day operations going, *especially* during financial strife. At that point there is no-one even around getting paid to make those announcements, especially when they aren’t exactly the Next Big Thing or a franchise film that the world is waiting for, or not as the case may be.

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Re: What happened with Crest Animation?

Post by GeffreyDrogon » June 14th, 2021, 8:09 pm

What's also strange is that Crest Animation closed down in late June of 2013, but the Alpha and Omega sequels were released afterward, with the first one being announced in August, then released in October. Honestly, it's strange that one of their projects (Norm of the North) was reinvented though it looked like it had been finished, but was there ever a theatrical Alpha and Omega sequel planned?

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Re: What happened with Crest Animation?

Post by GeffreyDrogon » June 14th, 2021, 8:13 pm

Also, it looked like Crest Animation was doing well at first, especially following the release of Alpha and Omega, but it apparently started to go through its financial problems in 2013. The scarcity of sources and anachronistic articles make me wonder about what actually happened.

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Re: What happened with Crest Animation?

Post by GeffreyDrogon » June 14th, 2021, 8:15 pm

Also, I wouldn't call Alpha and Omega making $50 million worldwide on a $20 million budget a "breakout hit", especially when you take in account how much of the profits Crest and Lionsgate would get.

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