Wednesday, October 04, 2006

More Foolishness On Computer-Animated Films

The NYT has a lengthy story on how people are tired of computer-animated films like "Cars." Two years ago, everyone reported how NO ONE would ever again watch a hand-drawn animated film because they were so passe. Now everyone is sick of computer animation? Hardly. People are just tired of the crush of anonymous, cookie-cutter animated movies that have flooded out of Hollywood in the last two years. "Over The Hedge," "Open Season," "Barnyard," "The Wild" -- who can tell them apart? Still, when the NYT runs down the flop animated films of the year, they conveniently don't list "Over The Hedge," which grossed a terrific $155 million. I guess inconvenient facts are better ignored. And of course the idea that it's COMPUTER animation rather than bad movies that are the culprit is just silly. Finally, they insist that "Cars," which grossed $243 million, failed to meet expectations. Really? It's the number two grossing movie of the year (behind "Pirates") and is right in line with "Toy Story 2" ($245 mil)and "Monsters Inc" ($255 mil) and "The Incredibles" ($261 mil). Only "Finding Nemo" at $339 mil is significantly higher but only an idiot would expect "Cars" to match their top-grossing animated flick of all time. The NYT might have pointed out that "Cars" has done much less overseas business than the others (only $200 mil) but given the subject matter (NASCAR racing), they presumably knew that going in. $450 mil worldwide on a $70 mil budget is a winner every time. Pixar knows what it's doing: if you try to craft every single picture to be a mass appeal world-beater, you end up with the anonymous junk this very article is criticizing. To lump in a smash hit like "Cars" with them is idiotic.

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