Commentary – Animation Scoop

Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

When Was the Last Time a Western Animated Film Explored Interpersonal Relationships?

This just popped into my head earlier today: Western films tend to reflect the struggle of the individual. Eastern films in contrast are more likely to use interpersonal relationships as a foundation for the story. There’s a marked difference, and its one that could really enliven western animated filmmaking. There’s no doubt that many western […]

Charles Solomon’s Animation Year End Review 2016

Although he wrote them in 1859, Charles Dickens might have been thinking of animation in 2016 when he penned the celebrated lines, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the […]

Diversity in Animation: It’s A Tough Concept to Nail Down

This week’s animation roundtable in The Hollywood Reporter sparked some online ire for featuring both a group that is decidedly homogeneous (read: white and male) and for discussing the concept of diversity in animated films. There’s just one problem though: diversity in animation as a concept is incredibly difficult to define and covers far more […]

A Lack of Cultural Impact is What Holds Animated Films Back

Gone With the Wind, The Godfather, Star Wars, and The Dark Knight; live-action films lauded far and wide with critical acclaim, financial success and cultural importance. In the west (and the US in particular) films are looked to as cultural barometers that can signify which way the winds are blowing, and more importantly, the direction […]

Original Animated Films Aren’t Dead After All!

FOX is doubling-down on animated films, but the really interesting part is that many of those proposed are original adaptations of books! Such news is stunning for its notability if not for the regrettable nature for it being so. The feature segment of the animation industry has had a bad case of sequalitis for a […]

The Shocking Number of This Year’s Animated Features That I’ve Seen

The answer may surprise you. None. The answer is none. Not a single film in Variety’s list of those currently eligible for the Oscar’s so much as made it within viewing distance of my eyeballs. This isn’t necessarily a comment on the quality of this year’s films. Certainly there are some very well-received among the […]

Frederator Networks Sale Underscores the Challenges of Distributing Animation on the Internet

This week saw the announcement that Frederator Networks has been bought by Rainmaker Entertainment in a deal that combines it with Ezrin Hirsh Entertainment to create a new company called WOW! Unlimited Media. While it’s a welcome affirmation that web animation has a future, it nonetheless underscores the uphill struggle that animated content has faced […]

Is Space Jam so Bad it’s Actually Good?

Space Jam occupies an unusual place in the lexicon of hybrid animated/live-action films. Not nearly as expensive (or as polished) as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, it nonetheless became massively successful thanks mainly to its animated cast. As a kid, Space Jam was downright awesome for many reasons, yet as an adult (and fan of animation,) […]

Instant Release Animation

The general consensus is that music leads they way in adapting to radical changes in how entertainment is consumed. If this is true, and the music industry does provide an example of where we’re headed, will animation be able to adapt, or even survive? It really is hard to believe that Napster came about 17 […]

Kubo’s Box Office Performance Hides Bigger Troubles

Coming from a studio with an established track record in making uniquely crafted stop-motion films, and with a story this is much more interesting than most of the other summer fare, Kubo and the Two Strings ought to be a home run of a film. Its failure to become a smash hit however hides bigger […]

COMMENTARY: Children or Adults? Can “Kubo” Find It’s Audience?

From Pinocchio and Fantasia to The Iron Giant, the history of animation is littered with good, sometimes great, films that failed to reach the audiences they deserved on their initial release. Sadly, Kubo and the Two Strings seems to be the latest addition to that list. Its hard to say why the film hasn’t done […]

Despite Four Shrek Films, History Will be Kind to Jeffrey Katzenberg

This week Jeffrey Katzenberg said goodbye to the studio he founded. Evaluating the full impact of Jeffrey Katzenberg over the past three decades will take years. The animation industry loses a true cheerleader whose legacy has barely been formed but finds itself without an immediately apparent replacement. Katzenberg’s live-action background didn’t exactly prepare him for […]

Why Some Fans Are Giving Animation A Black Eye

Fandoms in general constantly contend with a minority that makes the majority look bad. If it isn’t long-term fans belittling newcomers, it’s one faction squaring off against another over some trifle disagreement. Fans arguing amongst themselves is nothing new, but when the anger gets directed towards creators or those on the creative team, the results […]

What Cartoons From Today Will Be Written About in 25 Years?

Entertainment Weekly has published an article reminiscing about the three original Nicktoons that turn 25 this year. It’s a memorable birthday for a trio of revolutionary cartoons, yet it’s an excuse to wonder what cartoons from today (if any) will be given the same treatment in 2041. The period of 1989 to 1991 witnessed radical […]

Why Did Chowder Never Get A Cookbook?

Earlier this week, VIZ announced that they are releasing a cookbook based on Frederator’s web series Bee & Puppycat by Natasha Allegri. It’s somewhat surprising news, but begs the question of why an even more well-known cooking-based cartoon never got the same treatment? Remember Chowder? The Cartoon Network series about the eponymous plucky purple creature […]