Overcoming All Expectation: The Glance at the Current Global Tendencies of the Industry of Animation

We used to think that animation occupies a tiny part of media industry with a potty segment of the audience predominantly oriented at children. In spite of this, statistic figures demonstrate the trends of the rapid boost of this industry. Animation become more and more popular attracting new audience and including adult admirers of the new creative cartoons with interesting storylines, drama and humor.

Moreover, digital era have opened a new and completely unexpected opportunities for the industry of animation which created new trends and streams in media industry.

The rapid advancement of technology has made computer animation available to the more masses involving more wide range of different specialists including specialists from computer graphic and web-design.

More broadly speaking, animation is increasingly used in video games, and movies are also increasingly reliant on animation and computer graphic special effects.

At this time animation has a key role to play as a catalyst for creativity, innovation and cross-pollination between sectors.

The animation industry has become a vital part of audiovisual sector both in cultural and economic terms where technology, creativity and business intertwine with each other.

Let’s take a look at global animation trends more precisely highlighting first of all the list of Top worldwide animated films for the 5 years period since 2012 till 2016 (till now), unveiling the way they came to success. I would like to emphasize the reason of success of some of them trying to look deeper at the consciousness of the modern society.

The 1-st place in the chart is given to Frozen. Being produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures in 2013 the film totally worldwide earned $1.274 billion earning $110.6 million just in its opening weekend. The budget of the film was estimated at $400 million which is a little bit less than 10% from the total growth. That means that this film gives a profit more then 10 budgets of the film themselves.

It is 3D computer-animated musical fantasy comedy employed a unique artistic style by blending together features of both computer-generated imagery (CGI) and traditional hand-drawn animation.

The studio also developed several new tools to generate realistic and believable shots, particularly the heavy and deep snow and its interactions with the characters. Besides 3D effects, the filmmakers also used 2D artwork and drawings for specific elements and sequences in the film, including Elsa’s magic and snow sculptures, as well as freezing fountains and floors. The effects group created a “capture stage” where the entire world of Frozen gets displayed on monitors, which can be “filmed” on special cameras to operate a three-dimensional scene.

I think so many people like ‘Frozen’ because it’s about families,” “Frozen” is known for its exciting story, strong female characters and its soundtrack, which earned more than a million album sales and won two Academy Awards. The DVD became Amazon’s best-selling children’s film of all time, and the film continues to bring in revenue.

It was nominated for various awards and won a number of them, including several for Best Animated Feature.

Why? What is it about this movie that has so captured the culture?

According to analyses of different critics position “Frozen” connects with those of different genders, ages and life backgrounds. Many critics have raved about the strong stance of feminism that comes from the movie due to its two strong female heroines. Both sisters, Anna and Elsa, have strong and confident personalities and don’t get “saved” by any men. They rely on one another and their family bonds to get them through difficult times. The independent nature of both princesses struck a chord with people all around the world.

On the one hand, the movie shares many typical story elements with other Disney films. There are the parents dead within the first ten minutes (a must, it seems, in Disney productions), royalty galore, the quest to meet your one true love, the comic-relief character (Olaf the Snowman) to punctuate the drama. Even the strong female lead isn’t completely new. But “Frozen,” it seems, has something more.

The reason is that actually everyone could identify with Elsa. She wasn’t a typical princess. Born with magical powers that she couldn’t quite control, she meant well but caused harm, both on a personal scale (hurting her sister, repeatedly) and a global one (cursing her kingdom, by mistake). She was flawed—actually flawed, in a way that resulted in real mistakes and real consequences. Everyone could interpret her in a unique way and find that the arc of her story applied directly to them. For some, it was about emotional repression; for others, about gender and identity; for others still, about broader social acceptance and depression. The trick is that character identification is the driving force of the success. People tend to identify with that medium always—it allows them to be put in those roles and experiment through that.

Another strong point of appeal: the story keeps the audience engaged because it subverts expected tropes and stereotypes, over and over. The handsome prince is evil. The person with the magical powers is good. It spins Disney on its head. It is the women, in fact, not the men, who save the day, repeatedly—and a selfless act of sacrifice rather than a “kiss of true love” that ends up winning. “Frozen” is, in other words, the strong, relatable, and nuanced story that Litman and Simonton identified.

It seems that the best kids’ movies have enough adult elements in them to hold on to both.

Disney worked very hard to make it appeal to everybody. Their decisions to forego a true villain—something no Disney film had successfully done—and to make the story one driven by sibling love rather than romantic infatuation have made “Frozen” more than simply nuanced and relatable. They have made it more universally acceptable.

Disney has had a history of being accused of one form of social slight or another, with criticisms including racism, overly stereotypical gender roles and the princessification of society, and gruesome and unnecessarily psychologically disturbing content.

Still, story is only part of the picture. Plenty of nuanced, relatable, boundary-pushing films don’t do as well as “Frozen” has.

minionsThe 2-d place on chart: should be shared by Minion released in 2015 and produced by Illumination Entertainment for Universal Pictures and by Toy Story 3 produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Picture in 2010. Both films have grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide making them highest-grossing film of all time and the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film.

Minions estimated generally in $74 million earned within its releasing 15, 5 times more then the total budget themselves going beyond $1159 million. The success was undeniable despite the predictions of critic who didn’t predict too much to this move. Any way the fact is clear that he public was absolutely falling in love with this more evidently negative characters.

Actually there is some kind of a child-like cheerfulness to this film which few adults will be able to resist. Minions are absolutely charming even in their complete naivety and it is absolutely beyond question: it’s seriously popular.

Minions are a short, fast paced entertaining film with some impressive set pieces and occasional moments of absolute hilarity. It is enjoyable and an absolute treat for kids, who are the target audience and have evidently, loved and embraced it.

In terms of looks and brains, the films had nothing on Pixar, but they shared two magic ingredients that helped make them endurable hits.

One was a chart-friendly soul number from Pharrell Williams on the soundtrack. And the other was the Minions: a horde of linguistically impaired, marzipan-coloured cylinder people in the service of the films’ nefarious anti-hero Gru, who provided a steady stream of slapstick relief.

zverololisThe 3-d place is shared by Despicable Me 2 released in 2013 and by the newly born Zootopia. Both films have grossed over $900 million worldwide.

Despicable Me 2 being just a sequel became the most profitable film in the 101-year history of Universal Studios grossing over $970 million worldwide against its budget of $76 million and overwhelming 10 times producing expenditures and Zootopia opened to record-breaking box office success in several countries, it is currently the highest-grossing film of 2016. The overall budjet was not estimated yet any way today the growth is under the $ 908 million.

I would like to pay some attention to Zootopia which seems for me a little bit more than smart animated move with interesting and unusual storyline.

Zootopia is one of the smartest animated films as for me (after Ratatuj ). The “talking animal” story is, in some sense, a fantasy both about being able to identify someone’s character at a glance—the wolf is visibly not the same as the three pigs—but also, about people having an essential nature that cannot be changed. (That second aspect of the fantasy also helps explain astrology, personality tests, and a million self-help books that divide people into types.) But Zootopia takes all of the ugliness and strangeness in the “anthropomorphic animal” world and delves right into it—with a story that deliberately pokes at the heart of the “people are different species” fantasy. The heart of Zootopia is a story of the people who actually try to prove themselves that they are worth: Judy wants to prove that she can be as tough a cop as all the much larger animals, Nick feels like everybody thinks the worst of him just because he’s a fox. But the conspiracy they discover strikes at the center of the unresolved question: Can predators and prey live together in peace?

But the movie also hints that its way more complicated than that, and nothing involving people can be simplified down to a bromide because people are weird.

And the incredible thing about the animation in Zootopia is that it’s so expressive that you honestly can’t help but identify with these creatures, rather than just thinking they’re cute or whatever. They have really complicated inner lives that are conveyed as much through body language and things like ear-position and twitching noses as through dialogue and basic facial expression. This is a “talking animal” movie in which animal physicality is a major storytelling tool.

I am not sure if this fillm will overcome the success of Frosen but as for me it is one of the best and deepest films even for adults which at easy and bright manner show the complicity and ambiguity of the societies rules.

The 4-th place shared by films with grossing over the $850 million worldwide: released in 2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift produced by Blue Sky Studio and released in 2015 Inside Out produced by Pixar Animation.

Inside Out received 15 Best Picture, 21 Best Original Screenplay and 40 Best Animated Feature nominations from over 50 different organizations and associations.

monstersThe 5-th and last place shared by animated films with grossing over the $746 million: released in 2012 Madagascar 3 (Europe’s Most Wanted) produced by DreamWorks Animation and released in 2013 Monsters University produced by Pixar Animation Studios.

Any way growing interest and demand to animated movies creates the opportunity for new masterpieces and evidently this chat will be changed at the very soon perspective.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say I think we can predict with some degree of accuracy which movies are going to rule 2016′s box office.

Evidently this chart will be added by the success of Finding Dory which expectedly could even challenge Frozen. The first Finding Nemo made $936 million in 2003. Meaning if this sequel can match the popularity of the original, it’s going to give Frozen a run for its money for sure.

Another great expectation of this year is The Jungle Book. It’s early to call this one a likely top performer, but if you saw the footage at D23 this month then you know why this film already looks likely to wow audiences and amaze critics. Jon Favreau knows how to deliver great entertainment, and the imagery from this film was mind-blowing. Nothing you’ve seen in visual effects and CGI work for animals, creatures, and outdoor settings will prepare you for what you’ll see in this film, if the sizzle reel Disney unveiled is any hint of what to expect.

Carefully analyzing these movies we can underline several very important tendencies which certainly will make its significant impact for the further development of the whole industry of animation.

The first one is the rise of NPR (Non-Photorealistic Rendering). This is where, rather than a CG (computer graphic) animator striving to create a realistic world, the 3D software is instead used to create impressionistic animation that’s much more like hand-drawn media.

The next one is the tendency to organic influences at animation which means the ability to mimic organic media, ranging from film to watercolors, is not just about capturing a ‘look’; it’s about understanding the properties of the medium in question, when motion graphics meld with traditional stylized animation to create a truly memorable piece.

Another one trend is the mixing of computer graphic and traditional effects reached its zenith especially this year. While a stop motion film, using traditional photography, computer graphic and visual effects technologies were used extensively throughout the production to create set extensions and more complex animation, or to augment existing practical elements. It’s a trend many other animators are likely to draw inspiration from.

And the last one I would like to mention is the use of 3D printing to build the practical models – something has finally become a mainstream in a huge variety of creative disciplines.

I am not sure what exactly made all of these films so extremely popular may be an interesting realistic and funny storylines, may be the new digital technologies combining with the real artists view or a good work of promotion and distribution, any way as for me personally as consumer I like cartoons for the chance to hide from the reality, to find another bright and sparkling world where the values declared by the humanity are really matter and it seems for me that it is the main reason why the cartoons and animated movies will always run all records and overcome all expectation. As for my mind all of these animated films reflect the desire of our society to go beyond the stereotypes: to see the real beauty without prejudices oriented at ideal life of sweet princess, to see the world and its process deeper and estimate what is wrong and what is right listening carefully your heart first of all. All of this had reached their success because they give us a hope for being better after all, they whisper the idea that nothing are lost yet and everything is possible and the only forcible thing in our life is our hope for the better.

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