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The end of Feature Animation

Posted on October 23, 2007  11 Comments
Filed under Miscellaneous

I might come back to this post and elaborate a bit in the next few days but I was reading some stats on the other day and started to think that we might be on our way to a down market in the Feature Animation industry.

Let me give you some figures:
Sony “Surf’s Up” – Domestic total $59million, Foreign $59m
Disney “Ratatouille” – Domestic total $205m, Foreign $272m
Dreamworks “Shrek” – Domestic total $321m, Foreign $793m
Clear winner Dreamworks!

Everytime I hear Brad Bird screaming “Story, story, story!” I believe he knows what he is talking about but without the heavy Disney marketing and the all time low dollar I am sure the movie would have tanked! Despite the critics unanimously calling Ratatouille, the best Pixar, I must admit that I got bored watching it and that s probably what the word of mouth was, boring. Just like me I think that people care more about entertainment than Story or how else do you explain Shrek3 results?

Surf’s UP… Has anyone seen the movie? okay the story was a bit predictable but I still found it very entertaining. Animation was great, rendering was great, character design was great so how do you explain the $120m? The penguins? People didn’t want to see an other penguin story? I don’t think so. “Surf’s UP”, according to Rotten Tomatoes is this week’s number one rental at $8 million.

If it wasn’t for Shrek endless success could we call this the end of Feature animation and the rise of the DVD market?


11 Responses to “The end of Feature Animation”

  1. Wesley Louis on October 23rd, 2007 18:07

    Interesting points my friend. I liked ratatouille, but I can see what you mean about it beeing boring. When I watched Incredibles, I was on the edge of my seat, Maybe because I’m a nerd at heart, love superhero stuff. There was nothing original about their powers but the way it was realised was amazing. Ratatouille was about cooking, I’m not really interested in cooking which is probably why I wasn’t entertained, but it had a good story. The more I think about it, the more I like it. Its interesting what you say about story and entertaiment, I was always used to put them hand in hand, but now I’m seeing the difference, Take superman Returns, It had a great story but it was quite mundane for a superhero movie, not entertaining, critics loved it, but it didn’t do that well at the box office. It’s a shame because Pixar are daring to do something different (subject wise), I mean c’mon, a cartoon about cooking?? who would risk that? I have always said I would like to see different genres of animation. Western, horror, chick flicks, action, period peaces etc. Maybe Pixar’s the one to do it….Hope life is good man.

  2. kris on October 28th, 2007 06:49

    hey olivier

    funny how so many animators didnt really like ratatouille – i went in san diego with manfred and joanne
    they both didnt really like it.
    i myself – i loved every minute of it
    saw it again with my girlfriend (who saw it twice before too) – loved it again
    talked with a few 2D animators – they were blown away

    funny how that movie devided amongst opinion

    for surfs up
    never quite understood why it flopped the first weekend
    thought it was a solid film – i was entertained

    shrek – not surprised it does that well.
    a very solid film – with VERY well known characters
    nothing special though

    i would love to see more b movies in animation
    more risk takers
    more adult oriented films
    why does woody allen, david lynch not make one ?

  3. Olivier Ladeuix on October 29th, 2007 15:50

    Ratatouille to me feels like one of those old Disney movies that I still enjoy watching because of the amazing background, designs, animation but the stories are just boring. I watched “The Lady and the tramp” few weeks ago and fell asleep in the middle but I will watch it again though, the animation and the backgrounds are amazing!

    One think that I really hated in Rat is the constant preaching: “stealing food is baaaddddd”. Come on what s up with that? How many times did they repeat it?

  4. Olivier Ladeuix on October 29th, 2007 16:04

    also next time they feature french characters, please take french actors instead, that’s gonna look a bit more authentic.

  5. Doctor Cerebro on October 30th, 2007 16:55

    man i have watched Ratatouille twice and i really think it is a masterpiece. it has the aroma of a classic movie. to me that was pure absolute entertainment. yeah it didn´t go well in the box office, and Shrek 3 was quite a success but… let’s face it, there are a lot of people out there with really bad taste (Stanislavski said that).
    What is fashionable today may be forgotten tomorrow, but art lives forever!

  6. Olivier Ladeuix on October 30th, 2007 17:28

    Mariano! you are such a Pixar Fan boy! Come on admit it, you just want a job at Pixar man! ;-) Nice work on your acting shot. I will give you further comment tomorrow.

  7. Wesley Louis on October 31st, 2007 06:13

    Your right about the Actors. I mean france is a big place, are they telling me they couldn’t find one authentic French speaking actor, I really hate it when they do that!!!!

  8. tim mccourt on October 31st, 2007 08:31

    i have to say i liked it. and i couldn’t give rats arse (pun not intended) what the box office takings were for the movies. and Mariano’s wright it’s all about fashion. and all these big boxoffice animated films have major celebs doing the voices, all these hype up celeb idols is what make the money. thats what attracts these media driven viewers. the reason Ratatouille flopped wasn’t that people saw it and thought it wasn’t good (you have to watch something in order to judge it, there for you would still have your box office sale) it because it didn’t have it’s star studed cast celeb twats. though i strongly agree with the miss casting of the voices, i’m still unsure of way the rats had american accents, did they start of in america and then got swept to paris? or was they already in france?

    personal i though it was better than i expected.
    brad bird took over the project and he did the best he could with it.

  9. Matt Morris on November 8th, 2007 16:55

    Olive! I’m disappointed in you! Heresy! Ratatouille was just wonderful – though I do agree about the preachy bits, and thought there was too much exposition going on, but so many sections of the film just carried me with them, flowed brilliantly, and the animation was just incredible, that I can forgive a few script issues, especially as it was a patch job…

    Back to work ;)

  10. Olivier Ladeuix on November 8th, 2007 17:35

    hehe, a lot of comments. The population is really divided on this Rat story! I loook forward to seeing Framestore’s treatment next year or the year after

  11. Olivier Ladeuix on November 25th, 2007 08:37

    I checked the latest Boxofficemojo figures and I will stick with my theory. Without the weak dollar (£/$ 2.10) Ratatouille would have flopped.

    Just look at the domestic figures. $206 millions in 20 weeks

    Bee Movie has already reached half of that in only 3 weeks.

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