Today is a slow trade news day. Oddly enough, I found enough animation movie news to make a post. I hope you like moving drawings!
If you are debating whether to ditch Netflix in favor of Amazon Prime because you are too poor for both, maybe this will help with your decision. Disney has signed a deal with Netflix to allow exclusive streaming of their movies. It will start out shitty, with only direct-to-video movies streaming beginning in 2013. We will have to wait until 2016 to get theatrical releases into the mix, but those releases will be from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Disneynature. So this is actually not helpful at all.
Meanwhile, Disney competitor Dreamworks is providing looks at three of their upcoming animated releases. We have Mr. Peabody and Sherman, based on the “Rocky and Bullwinkle”-housed series of the same name. The highly intelligent dog and his boy will try to save the world when Sherman breaks the rules of time travel. Release date is Spring 2014 and voices are provided by Ty Burrell, Mel Brooks, Allison Janney, Stephen Colbert, and more.
Dreamworks also has Turbo, which is about a snail who feels the need. The need for speed. When Theo the snail (Ryan Reynolds) is in a freak accident, he gets to live his dream of being a slimy speed demon. Theo and his brother Chet (Paul Giamatti) find themselves in an underground snail racing ring where they meet characters voiced by Snoop Dog/Lion and Samuel L. Jackson. WhatisthisIdon’tevenknow.
The Croods, featuring the voices of Emma Stone, Nic Cage, Ryan Reynolds AGAIN, Cloris Leachman, and more, will arrive in theaters in March of 2013. The Croods are a prehistoric family that find themselves struggling with the introduction of an outsider (Reynolds) and the destruction of the cave they used as their home.
Then again, some of this might not matter because Dreamworks’ latest movie Rise of the Guardians has flopped. Dreamworks stands to lose $50 million. The idea that a built-in audience for animated films is a given seems a bit questionable. Is the market over-saturated with too many half-assed animated flicks or is Guardians some sort of oddball mess because of the premise? Since I haven’t seen it I can’t really answer that question. If this flop makes studios think twice about shoving out a sub-par script, slapping some 3D gags on it, and then spending more time on the toy tie-ins than the movie quality, I can’t really see a downside.
Finally, here is a roundtable discussion concerning the evolution of animated films and more with Mark Andrews (Brave), Peter Ramsey (Rise of the Guardians), Chris Butler (ParaNorman), Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph), and Genndy Tartakovsky (Hotel Transylvania).