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View Full Version : It's official: No more 2D animation from Dreamworks


FloydBishop
07-21-2003, 05:30 PM
From Animated Movies:

"We are extremely disappointed," said Ann Daly, the head of animation for DreamWorks, noting that Sinbad would be the studio's last traditionally drawn film. From now on, DreamWorks will use computers to animate its movies. Even Jeffrey Katzenberg concedes that the art form on which he made his reputation may be obsolete. "I think the idea of a traditional story being told using traditional animation is likely a thing of the past," he admitted.

http://animated-movies.squareworld.com/News.html

There was an article in the New York Times, but you have to be a subscriber to read it online :(

jeremybirn
07-21-2003, 06:23 PM
It's quick & free to sign-up for an account there, but for those who haven't, here's the full text from nytimes.com (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/21/business/media/21DREA.html)

Animated Film Is Latest Title to Run Aground at DreamWorks

LOS ANGELES, July 20 — Brad Pitt beaten out by a clown fish?

It has been that kind of summer at the box office, where ticket sales have slipped from last year's record levels and the hottest movie is the computer-animation comedy "Finding Nemo," the father-son fish tale from Pixar Animation Studios, which has taken in an estimated $303.8 million since opening May 30.

DreamWorks SKG, meanwhile, has been one of the latest studios disappointed by a collective shrug from moviegoers. Its hand-animated "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas," featuring the voice of Brad Pitt as the lead pirate, has generated an estimated $23.3 million since opening July 2, including an estimated $1.8 million this past weekend.

And "Sinbad" is not the only disappointment so far this year for DreamWorks. Of the four movies it has released, including live-action and animation, only the comedy "Old School," starring Luke Wilson and Will Ferrell, has made more than $40 million at the domestic box office, according to Nielsen EDI, which tallies cinema receipts.

But "Sinbad" may be the failure that stings most. After all, Jeffrey Katzenberg, a founder of DreamWorks, is a former Disney executive who revived that company's animation department with hits like "The Lion King" and brokered the distribution partnership between Disney and Pixar that has yielded animated hits like "Toy Story" and "Monsters, Inc."

"Sinbad" may exemplify a market that has changed faster than even animation pros like Mr. Katzenberg could have anticipated. As a traditional-style hand-drawn animated feature, the movie took four years to make — a period in which audiences have come to prefer computer-animated comedies like "Shrek," an Academy Award-winner made by DreamWorks, to serious animated action adventures.

Disney's hand-drawn "Treasure Planet," which bombed last winter, had perhaps given DreamWorks a sign of the apathy "Sinbad" might face, even though the popular actresses Michelle Pfeiffer and Catherine Zeta-Jones joined Mr. Pitt in putting words in the characters' mouths.

"We are extremely disappointed," said Ann Daly, the head of animation for DreamWorks, noting that "Sinbad" would be the studio's last traditionally drawn film.

From now on, DreamWorks will use computers to animate its movies. Even Mr. Katzenberg concedes that the art form on which he made his reputation may be obsolete.

"I think the idea of a traditional story being told using traditional animation is likely a thing of the past," he said. Among other factors, Mr. Katzenberg said, fast-evolving technology is making it easier to create images that a few years ago could only be drawn by hand.

The studio has much hope riding on the two computer animations set for next year: a sequel to the comedic "Shrek" and the much anticipated "Sharkslayer," a wise-cracking undersea adventure about organized crime, using the voices of Will Smith, Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese.

DreamWorks executives declined to say how much "Sinbad" cost. Some industry people have conservatively estimated that DreamWorks spent $70 million (not including marketing expenses), although the comparable "Treasure Planet" cost Disney about $140 million, according to animation industry executives. Ms. Daly said that whatever the losses on "Sinbad," they would not be financially devastating.

With opening weekends more crucial than ever for movies — especially summer films — "Sinbad" was hurt badly by the failure of children and young teenagers to turn out in the first few days. That same weekend, many young girls and their mothers were off seeing Reese Witherspoon in "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde," while boys and men of all ages were watching Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines."

Meanwhile, "Finding Nemo," despite opening in May, still had legs — or fins, at least. Children and their parents who might have otherwise have gone to "Sinbad," were in many cases opting to see "Finding Nemo" once again, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations, which tracks box office sales.

"Sinbad" was not the only hand-drawn animation overshadowed by the popularity of "Finding Nemo" with both adults and children. "Rugrats Go Wild," released by Viacom's Paramount Pictures this summer and based on two of Viacom's Nickelodeon cable television shows, "The Rugrats" and "The Wild Thornberrys," has brought in only an estimated $33.4 million at the domestic box office since opening in mid-June.

"There are a handful of movies grabbing the audience, and everything else is getting pushed aside," Mr. Dergarabedian said. "Nemo is playing a lot longer than anyone would have thought."

Errol Flynn is long gone, but the contemporary public is still sometimes willing to watch buccaneers ply their trade. Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl," an action adventure starring Johnny Depp and based on the popular theme park attraction, brought in $46 million its first weekend two weeks ago and has now grossed an estimated $132.2 million.

The problem with "Sinbad," like "Treasure Planet," may lie more in the evidently flawed strategy that many large studios embarked on several years ago to produce animated action-oriented adventure movies to attract boys, said Jerry Beck, an animation historian. "Almost all these movies have failed," Mr. Beck said.

Last year's "Treasure Planet," an outer-space update of Robert Louis Stevenson's adventure novel "Treasure Island," brought in only $38 million domestically. Another space adventure, 20th Century Fox's hand-animated "Titan A.E.," fared worse, bringing in $22.7 million in 2000.

Ms. Daly pointed out that the only animated movies (whether hand-drawn or computer-generated) that have done well recently are comedies, including "Finding Nemo" and last summer's hand-drawn "Lilo & Stitch" from Disney.

And so DreamWorks executives are looking forward to next year's jokey "Shrek 2" and "Sharkslayer." Certainly the marketing onslaught has begun.

During "Sinbad's" opening weekend, in fact, the studio gave people who attended the film a limited-edition read-along compact disc titled, "Shrek and Fiona's Honeymoon Storybook."

And in June the studio took out full-page ads in trade newspapers announcing the release schedule of "Shrek 2," as well as giving out promotional baseball caps with the film's logo and opening date.

For anyone who missed it: "Shrek 2" opens June 18, 2004.

Neil
07-21-2003, 06:37 PM
if the art form of 2d drawings is so dead, then why is everyone going wild about 3d cell shading?
...b/c we still like the 2d look!

I wanted to see Sinbad, but i'm not gonna pay to see movies in the theatre week after week. There were other movies i wanted to see more. It's a rental though, for sure.

On a side note, what were the other 3 bombs from them? Only Old School was mentioned (as their hit)

jeremybirn
07-21-2003, 07:01 PM
Originally posted by Neil
On a side note, what were the other 3 bombs from them?

Based on the-numbers.com (http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/series/Dreamworks.php) the other bombs this year besides "Sinbad" were " Biker Boyz" and "Head of State."

The previous animated bombs were "The Road to El Dorado" and "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron."

-j

WillJohn
07-21-2003, 08:25 PM
Dreamworks must be on Crack..

2D is not Dead, dreamworks cant make GOOD stories... or good anything as far as 2D goes...

Anyone remember ANY advertising for Sinbad? No i think it was wasted on a 31 flavors Tie in...

2d isnt dead... Dreamworks's half ass 2d is..

-Will

KingMob
07-21-2003, 08:26 PM
what a shame.

Tho I do not think 2d is dead...look at movies like spirited away, lilo and stitch etc....its gotta be really special.

I mean this not to sound rude, because I greatly respect the artists who did such movies as road to el dorado etc, but I thinkthe problem is all these movies have the same look...a cookie cutter aspect to them (el doroado, sinbad, treasure planet, titan ae) Yes the 2d movies that do well seem to have a style all their own.

Perhaps the secret to keeping 2d alive is really exploit what it is so good at, which in my mind is total freedom of style, not bogged down to physics o rreality of even 3d...

then again I could be talking out of my butt... it has been known to happen. :beer:

Hope all thsoe artists find work soon, I am sure they will.

Peter Reynolds
07-21-2003, 08:26 PM
Did this have any effect on Pixar share price?

Jerry Beck might have a point about the "animated action-oriented adventure" being the main cause. I imagine if Sinbad was 3d is still would have bombed.

So while 2D may not be produced by the major studios, that doesn't mean its dead.

Couldn't you imagine another South Park movie, or The Simpsons THE MOVIE doing big box office?

noon
07-21-2003, 08:26 PM
Originally posted by Neil
if the art form of 2d drawings is so dead, then why is everyone going wild about 3d cell shading?

the answer is in the article :
"fast-evolving technology is making it easier to create images that a few years ago could only be drawn by hand"

cgwolf
07-21-2003, 08:32 PM
2d animation isnt dead now and it never will be. Too many people enjoy it. The problem is that the studios arent producing interesting enough characters and storylines. I think most of the movies that tanked would still have if they were 2D, 3D, or live action. Just not interesting enough. Its also being hurt by trying to target specific audiences (such as young boys) instead of concentrating on a good story anyone could enjoy.

Look at the interest in the Animatrix, for instance...very stylized and extremely interesting. Or Spirited away. And the popularity of Anime's have always been high...2d just like 3d simply depends on the stories they are telling and the characters they promote.

Array
07-21-2003, 08:33 PM
oh man, Cinematagraphy is going to have a heart attack!

SkullboX
07-21-2003, 08:33 PM
"I think the idea of a traditional story being told using traditional animation is likely a thing of the past,"

He manages to put it perfectly, the problem is that it's the same overdone boring traditional story that's not appealing anymore. It's directed at kids story whise, while movies such as shrek or monsters inc find their way to a much bigger target audience (adults).

That's also the reason why Japanese Animation (Anime) is making a huge march if it comes to popularity, both in Japan and The western world. They should take a look into that, before shutting down studios.

Robato
07-21-2003, 08:37 PM
This sucks...just when studios that do 2D just start doing animations that arent musicals....it all falls apart at the seams.

I mean if they started to do something original instead of the "looking for treasure" type of deal...maybe things wouldnt have been so bad.

I mean titan AE, atlantis, treasure planet...etc. These are almost the same exact plot.

I am so upset about this words cant even describe what I am feeling and thinking.

ZeroNeuro
07-21-2003, 08:38 PM
I think that its not a matter of traditional animation being obsolete. As King said, Spirited Away was a resounding success. I believe that in the current market, all movies are suffering from the fact that the unemployment rate in America is the highest it has been in many years. Personally, I could not afford to see many movies. And when it comes down to seeing a super summer blockbuster, or a 'cartoon' that people are opting to go see the blockbusters instead. It all comes down to this: Any movie, whether its 2d, 3d, or filmed... is going to suck if the script sucks. You cannot save a bad script with exciting animation, no matter who you are. Look at Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Nothing could save that script.

Dreamworks has Shrek 2 coming out soon. And I for one am really looking forward to that. So, cheers to everyone, and keep up the work. Because Dreamworks seems to have opted for money over art.

Cheers

cgwolf
07-21-2003, 08:40 PM
Trust me the problem is with Dreamworks and their story and character development. 2D is the perfect compliment to the 3d and it will always be loved, but just like everything else, it needs to be done well.

Greenlief
07-21-2003, 08:48 PM
2D is dying...kinda sad really.

But nothing upsets me more than the loss of stop-motion monsters. Late 70's - early 80's horror movies will *always* have a place in my heart.

mark_wilkins
07-21-2003, 08:48 PM
At $73 million domestic gross, Spirit wasn't particularly a bomb, except to the extent that may not have met expectations. I'd guess it made back its money after international and video.

-- Mark

NOV
07-21-2003, 08:59 PM
personally, I think is the 2D style that Dreamworks has is dead. Why Spirited Away and other Japanese animations are still special? Because there so many different looks and feel to them. The look of animation that DW and Disney has.... never change a bit.

but does that mean there won't be another cell-shaded movie from DW? Probabely not. It only means the anmation will no longer be done by traditional animator (what a shame...) but computer animators. I guess the production cost is getting much cost effective than to have a crew of animator in house.

Per-Anders
07-21-2003, 08:59 PM
i don't think that 2d animation is dead... just the absurd combinations of 2d & 3d cell shaded, and cartoons trying to aim at the teen market... imo these are the common factors between all these recent big budget "2d" films that have bombed.

mattregnier
07-21-2003, 09:01 PM
As people have stated before, it doesn't matter what medium you choose to create your art, it's the message you are trying to convey. 2D shouldn't be to blame. If there's no story there's no movie...

Moviegoers as a whole are constantly bombarded by crap storylines, but most of the time don't care so long as it has that general public buzzword of 'cg'. It almost makes me sick to hear friends that aren't in the industry say, "I'm not going to see that movie because it doesn't have enough cg". I mean I pay almost $8 for a movie ticket, don't I deserve to have a quality story told to me?

Maybe it's time to take those hard earned $$ and go hit the library or barnes/nobles and read some classics and let imagination do the rest...

markbones
07-21-2003, 09:04 PM
Originally posted by Peter Reynolds
Jerry Beck might have a point about the "animated action-oriented adventure" being the main cause. I imagine if Sinbad was 3d is still would have bombed.
That's a pretty intersting point of view. I have a feeling I would have been more inclined to see Sinbad if it were done in 3D. As long as the promos & story looked good, for me it would have been more inticing.
Despite the ads for Pirates, the story doesn't appeal to me at all - even though it looks like it has great effects & CG. Maybe I will rent it. I never saw Lilo & Stitch in the theatre, saw Titan AE on video (didn't like the story), saw Treasure Planet on video - it was better than I thought it would be, but for me I prefer the visuals of a 3D style picture vs 2D... Classical animation is not my background, and does not entice me as much as seeing something in 3D. And, like a few other people have said, with the cost of movies I have to pick and choose what I am going to see.

For some reason, when I think of "movie" I think live action (with effects & CG of course), or, come lately, 3D: Toy Story, Monsters Inc, Shrek, Nemo. When I think of 2D, I think of Bugs Bunny, Simpsons, Classic Disney, Hannah Barbara. I may be more like the general public in that unless it's a movie for kids, my interest in seeing a 2D feature just isn't there...

dooom
07-21-2003, 09:17 PM
For those poor souls that have lost their jobs due to crappy executive decisions i beg you not to give up and to stand up for the art you are so hard trying to keep alive. There seems to be trends forming around cg. This industry "cg" is still in its infantsy or rather toddler years and its newness is bound to wear off just as 3d games are bombing left and right. And for those ppl who blame the media they are neive and can't take responsibility for their crappy writers and its easier to blame the disposable artist. This is a sad day indeed.:annoyed:

we should all just listen to some winger :buttrock:

Ryan-B
07-21-2003, 09:19 PM
The move to a more realistic style of character design in 2D is awful. They have an opportunity to create great caricatures, and instead they try to show off their life drawing skills.

Levitateme
07-21-2003, 09:21 PM
its a real shame. although i think there closing casue that movie didnt do good right? i never even heard of it until i came out of the theaters last night. well tahts good less american animation more western animation.

Levitateme
07-21-2003, 09:23 PM
oh yah, the last american animation i saw taht i really liked was iron giant. all the 2d art was very very well done i thought. i forget what company did that. i think disneys style is still neat. but that sinbad art style...i just dont find it appealing.

dooom
07-21-2003, 09:25 PM
well tahts good less american animation more western animation

You think only westerners work on these films........ and you think its good to eliminate a whole industry and stick to anime which offers no jobs to anyone outside the asain culture? i resent that comment

dooom
07-21-2003, 09:26 PM
iron giant had alot of 3d elements.....

dooom
07-21-2003, 09:28 PM
Levitateme you need to go listen to some winger and come back when you are ready to post something of value.:buttrock: forgive me if im out of line

loked
07-21-2003, 09:44 PM
I have to agree with most people on this topic. I really think it has nothing to do with the medium, it's all about the story. I still sit and watch old disney movies like jungle book and the lion king and no matter how old they are and no matter what they look like, they are still very appealing. Where people do have a point is the cost effective issue. CG is cheaper and easier to produce.

I have no traditional background, but I grew up watching 2d films and I still think they have a place in the film industry. Alot of people were critisizing 3d at one stage until films like shrek came out, which combined outstanding 3d and a brilliant story. Now people are a lot more receptive to 3d films. 2d really just needs to come out with a good film that get's people's (kids and adults) attention.

This is just my opinion, forgive me if it does not run parallel with yours :hmm: Yeah, okay...........

later:wavey:
loked

Emmanuel
07-21-2003, 09:46 PM
Cmon folks !

Stop bashing Dreamworks, they made my favourite 2d animated movie of all time: The Prince Of Egypt !
I still get shivers down my spine when the isrealites begin their march out of egypt and everybody sings "There can be miracles if You believe!".
The only othet hing that comes close is Lion King.

If You have strong characters and interesting stories You can sell a 2d animated movie.

Treasure Planet looked good, but isn't it strange the whole space xploration feeling was killed by the fact they only had ONE dangerous encounter, the black hole ? And zaang, there is the Treasure Planet.
The Planet had to be something to get by very hard, not something You just find.
Not enough adventure in there, period.

Lilo&Stitch was hilarious, thumbs up !

I am looking forward to Sindbad, but I have certain exspectations, like adventure, humour, and love. I hope those will be fulfilled !

asparapani
07-21-2003, 09:54 PM
I think another reason why the producers are jumping the 2d ship is because they haven't seen too many 2d movies become profitable. They blame these financial disasters on the " costs of a 2d production" when most of the time it's a weak script.

Whatever the case or reason, 2d movies the way that they are made ( in america and most of the 1stworld) will no longer be a reality in the near future.

It's a shame but industries must change they're ways and product in order to feed the public's desires. 3d will cease to exist one day, I'm so sure of it. I think we're at the dawn of it's creation and it's got a LONNNNNNGGGGGG way to go before it dies out.

kex
07-21-2003, 10:01 PM
yeah i agree, with what you guys are saying but what really makes you want to see a movie ?????????????????


a script which takes on average over an hour and a half will not get you into the theater, no its the advertising whether it be from your friends or from tv adverts,

i personally feel that the medium does appeal to us, but its more how the director and the artists use it, to create the appropriate affect of catching attention and creating entertainment.

the problem with this style of art that the disney and western cartoonist's produce is that one stereotype is always followed by another so everything is predictable.

i enjoy anime in that every series or movie is diffrent, the idea is like this their needs some big shake ups and a improved amount originality and then thier might be some good 2d movies again.

Confracto
07-21-2003, 10:06 PM
personally, I think 2d is not dead, or dying. BUT I think the 'western style' peaked at Titan AE, after that, everything's looked the same, and honestly, I've been very unimpressed with it. I mean, did anyone see the animatrix!!?!?! THAT WAS AMAZING!!! it was full of totally different styles, and it was all great! I think that people need to wake up and see what's out there. I'd also have to say that ther've been a LOT of good movies lately, and I don't have the money OR time to see them all. In my opinion, sinbad is bombing because it's trying to compete with finding nemo...if they're released it before nemo, or sometime in august, I think it'd probably do better.

I've been reading posts, and it seems like everyone's thinking the same thing...'I wanna see sinbad, but there's Pirates, and T3, and Nemo and.....' (...and they all look better)

the prince of egypt is one of my fav. movies too!

I've also noticed that Disney has been starting to look around, they own all the rights to mayazaki's work over here, so they're getting tons off of spirited away, and princess mononoke, and what not, they also bought rights to Kimba the white lion (THE LION KING) and Nadia and the secret of blue water (ATLANTIS)

they're taking stories from japan and making them here....except atlantis was the spitting image of the movie STARGATE (story wise)

xynaria
07-21-2003, 10:14 PM
I thinks it's a real shame in many ways but I've half been expecting this announcement for some time and I can't say I was surprised when the box office figures showed.
I don't think it's purely down to script, or execution but the whole lack of inspiration behind many of the films and their marketing. Maybe my UK perspective is different but only 2 had relatively 'high concept' marketing.. The Prince of Eygpt and Spirit.. only the former managed to reach those parts of movie goers that really attracted them to go and see the film. 'Fresh' hasn't really been an adjective bandied around when their names have popped up nor has 'inspired' and that's a big rub. Though certainly at the moment, something being made in 3D is more appealing because of it's potenetial 'allure', most have also been fresh stylistically and inspired in their style, stories and execution, they've also seemed very tightly done. Most 2D has been contrived and lazy. Myself I believe that Ice Age or Finding Nemo could have worked in 2D if attacked with the same vigour, in fact to date I'd say any Pixar film may well have worked in 2D if executed as well as they were in 3D. The saddest thing here is that unless someone attacks 2D from a new angle it won't possibly raise it's head much again.. but getting the money to do it is going to be very hard. I am totally surprised that a Flash movie hasn't been made already and maybe that's where folks should be looking for 2D to get a shot of adrenalin.

Pablo3d
07-21-2003, 10:22 PM
This summer has so many movies that are potentially worth seeing I think it is hard for a movie like sinbad to have a chance. Those of us with young children can't get our parents or friends to watch our kids every weekend, and these summer movies come and go fast.

So far this year I've seen the two towers, the matrix reloaded, finding nemo, pirates of the caribbean, and league of extraordinary gents - five movies in 7 months! I really wanted to see xmen 2 and I hope to see the hulk. My three year old barely made it through finding nemo (the only movie he has been to this year although he has also seen Ice Age and Jonah in the theater both of which scared the crap out of him too!) so I'm not about to take him to see anything else.

We rented spirit - stallion of the ... and I have alot of respect for that film. Titan A.E. had some great artwork but that is about it.

As some have said the previews and posters show characters that look similar to other dream work films. My 3 year old son looked at the the Sinbad poster at the theater while we were walking in to see finding nemo and for some reason was really frightened by it.

I'm a sucker for lavish watercolor backplates like in my neighbor totoro and lilo at stitch (my son calls it and finding nemo "nemo and stitch")

There is a new film coming out about a boy who becomes a bear. The artwork looks great and it has alot of comedy. The previews are interesting because they show alot of behind the scenes type stuff.

Well I ramble and please forgive any spelling errors.

Gentle Fury
07-21-2003, 10:56 PM
hmmm, could it be that the movie sucks??? Could it be that people are not interested in greek tradgedies and bible tales anymore??? Could it be that every 2D movie they have made have been a carbon copy of the same Prince of Egypt crap style??????

NO, it's because the 2D medium is dead!!!

I wish Pixar would make a 2D movie just to prove that its that the companys making these movies suck....not the medium!!!

It's kinda reminiscent of parents blaming their criminal kids on the media and not the fact that they beat them on a daily basis and spent money on cigarettes and beer instead of their education, food and clothing........always point the finger in the direction most comfortable ;)

bugzilla
07-21-2003, 10:59 PM
Gotta agree with alot of the posters here. The problem with Dreamworks 2D stuff was the characters, story, and general concept...basically, every factor of the movies except the fact that they are 2D cell animated. When I saw the trailers for Sinbad and Spirit I thought, " no kid is going to want to see that." If they want to make action oriented 2D animated films they should make them to appeal to college age and Gen Xers. I liked "Titan AE" but I can't see kids getting into it. It's sad to see Dreamworks making another mistake by axing their 2D division because their marketing folks screwed up all their animated films.

XFozzboute
07-21-2003, 11:12 PM
They could try to cut costs by useing actual voice actors instead big name actors and paying them there big prices. Most of the time it just sounds like they're reading instead of useing their voices the correct way. I never go to a movie based on who is in it and I will never go see a movie just to hear someone's voice. I can't listen to the dub of princess mononoke. They did get it right for Spirited Away though because of the lack of name actors and that's what Pixar does correctly. You might know who the actors they use are but they aren't used as a selling point.

cgwolf
07-21-2003, 11:12 PM
Exactly Bugzilla,

It seems to me Dreamworks is blaming the tool instead of those behind it. Because the fact is that all the 2d films like Alantis, ElDorado, Sinbad, and even Titan AE all had a very BLAND and generic styled look to their characters. Which is a turn off right off the bat. You dont have to appeal to children in these movies, but you must have characters that look extremely interesting, a great plot and a stylized look to get people to go see 2D animation.

And lately most 2d animations have been missing those things, with the exception of the humanity captured by Lilo and Stitch, the cool stylized look and action of the Animatrix series, and the incredibly interesting storyline and characters of Spirited Away.

And I agree XFozzboute
Big named voice actors arent necessary at all. Just talent.

Gamoron
07-21-2003, 11:19 PM
I'm sure someone already mentioned it, but I can't be bothered to read all of this. But look at Spirited Away. 2D isn't dead, the western approach to it is, I want to puke when the song and dance comes out of most of them. Make films accessible to old and young without them vomiting and it won't matter what media it's in. :)

webfox
07-21-2003, 11:27 PM
It's pretty arrogant for Dreamworks to declare hand drawn animation dead. The movie is doomed, but it doesn't say anything about the future of hand drawn animation - just Dreamworks hand drawn animation. They simply can't get it to work well, and there are a lot of other factors involved, other than the style of the medium.

Did anyone here who's seen the Harryhausen's Sinbad movies really want to see Dreamworks' version? For the most part, no, because it was done admirably the first time. They lost most over 30 by picking this topic alone. Under 30, they chose a bad topic because the interest in Greek/Roman/Middle Eastern mythology just isn't there like it used to be before Star Wars came out.

The trailer wasn't any prize, either. Poorly integrated 3D/2D that stood out jarringly from each other, no explainable plot or goal, and *another* irritating boy/girl dominance issue that revolves around sexual tension that's lost on kids and tiresome to adults.

Dreamworks blaming 2D for their failure is like the artist blaming the brush for producing a bad painting.

thhchx
07-21-2003, 11:44 PM
2D won't be dead so soon. At least for the eastern hemisphere. Manga and Anime is still part of the life of Jap culture, and also 'celebrated' within the 'greater' eastern hemisphere. IMO, they do have a much larger variety in terms of 'genre' of their stories, unlike the uber stereotypical fomulaic method adopted by those big western companies. At the end of the day, the stories from anime and manga are now being used.. or rather copied, plagiarised... by those western companies. But still, I like the dosage of weirdness of Manga and Anime... even if the look of their characters are stereotypical, the design is still a lot more creative and exquisite, and therefore highly marketable.

I watched spirited away 1 year before it was shown in the Western cinemas...and I felt that it was great. But there are people who said that it sucked big time (due to it's weirdness and animation) as it doesn't conform to certain fomulaic methods/ideologies of western 2d. It wasn't until it won the Oscar then people started realising they've missed something.

If 2D in the western hemisphere is to die, then these big studios have no one to blame except themselves. People have to realise the world is a lot bigger and not just about Disney, Dreamworks and Hollywood...or whatever.

igorstshirts
07-21-2003, 11:52 PM
Disney produced Snow white and the seven dwarves in the late thirties? How far have we come in 2d... NEXT!:thumbsdow

Shade01
07-22-2003, 12:05 AM
The only thing dead about 2D are the processes used to create it. It's far cheaper to produce digital 2d animation than hand drawn.

Ed Lee
07-22-2003, 12:29 AM
That's too bad about Dreamworks..but their animation and story in particular weren't that good. Seems like the audience has moved on and forward while both Dreamworks and Disney are/were still catering to the phantom audience they'd thought they had. Some younger audience still like the traditional animation but alas, the thought of 3D makes the kids feel like their watching something more "real".......or dimensional. 3D is closer to what the humans see so maybe the sensory perception seem more natural.

Also the video game market has pulled away that target audience (alot) and 3D movies that's stylized makes it a more acceptable transition from 2D cel animation to Pixar's stylized movies.

Not all 3D movies can bank overnight success...though beautifully done Final Fantasy one can say was a bomb..but anything that's visually too sophisticated may lose the audience. But, not everything's lost..the anime biz in Japan is still going even though it's cel shaded (married with 3D technology). The 3D tech was subtley hidden to blend in with 2D cel animation.

Let's not forget Spirited Away which won an Academy Award and did pretty well.

Ed--

mark_wilkins
07-22-2003, 12:33 AM
Note that the article quoted did not say that DW or Katzenberg had declared 2D animation dead. Here's the specific JK quote:

"I think the idea of a traditional story being told using traditional animation is likely a thing of the past."

When Katzenberg speaks of "traditional story" he's specifically speaking of the type of story that Disney (in large part under his leadership) made their core material.

Note that Spirited Away is not such a "traditional story," and neither would be, for example, "Beavis and Butthead Do America." :D

Anyway, Sinbad was a pretty good movie (not mind-blowing, but pretty good) by any reasonable standard. Harry Knowles, for example, who was slamming the movie on the basis of the trailer, did a 180-degree turnabout when he saw the finished product. I'm no great Harry Knowles fan, but that definitely says something positive.

To me, what's REALLY disturbing is that even in the animation community people assume that poor box office means a crappy movie. Note that nailing the public flavor of the moment is not a prerequisite for making a movie that's worth watching, and not all movies that are worth watching get watched.

BTW, I know that there are plenty of people who have seen Sinbad and didn't particularly care for it, but I've heard an awful lot of people bad-mouth the movie on the basis of the trailer alone.

-- Mark

malducin
07-22-2003, 12:51 AM
I liked Sinbvad it was pretty fun. And it certainly didn't conform exactly to the usual formula, there was a bit more complexity in the love triangle and the final resolution to the dilema was logical and well played.

What I have to say is that it had a horrible marketing campaign and it was outpromoted by T3 and Legally Blonde 2 which came out that same week.

santosLord
07-22-2003, 01:01 AM
I just have to say 3d , yes is on the rise. But we all have to look where 3d was based on .. and thats 2d. Yes 3d is amazing but in order for 3d to look amazing its because we still have to draw it out. 2d will never die. The creators using the technique will fade out eventually because the lack of a strong story. Look at cell shading.. yeah it looks great in 3d but it looks alot better in 2d. The lighting in cell shading just isnt right most of the time.. A good story is the only thing you need not only in 2d but in any other type of film.

lildragon
07-22-2003, 01:25 AM
Originally posted by lord_rms
But we all have to look where 3d was based on .. and thats 2d. Yes 3d is amazing but in order for 3d to look amazing its because we still have to draw it out.

Yes we artist know this all to well, but what about the vast general audience who doesn't? In the end it all comes down to the money, sad but it's life, peeps are ready to be entertained in new ways, younger generations aren't as tamed as my generation was growing up. Violence, fight sequences and VFX up the wazoo is what gets the vast younger paying audiences into the theatres. It's just the turns of the tides.

If Dreamworks or Disney doesn't change their character designs and general theme of the stories, yes it will die, it's just audiences know what to expect now.

-lild

cgwolf
07-22-2003, 01:46 AM
I agree lildragon,

It just seems Dreamworks is blaming it on the art of 2D animation instead of where the real problem lies - lack of innovation in the writing, story and character dept - A lot of 2D movies out lately suffer from uninteresting storylines, generic characters, and lack of visual style which is really the strength of traditional cell animation.

xynaria
07-22-2003, 01:57 AM
Originally posted by mark_wilkins

To me, what's REALLY disturbing is that even in the animation community people assume that poor box office means a crappy movie. Note that nailing the public flavor of the moment is not a prerequisite for making a movie that's worth watching, and not all movies that are worth watching get watched.

-- Mark
One of the films cited by many as being a good 'traditional' animated film was The Iron Giant but that didn't do good BO in spite of very favourable reviews in the main..there again Citizen Kane didn't exactly make a shed load of money either. If Dreamworks had had one disappointing BO I think they would have hardly flinched but Dreamworks animation goes back to Amblin and the 3 films they made before Dreamworks formed and there's only been one hit... so that is very much looking like the exception to the rule..... that would presumably only compound the conservatism over any future projects. Personally as far as animated movies go I don't think they've actually made a bad one as such, even if elements have been... but I think few would say that they've made a truly good one either. I'd like to see them, if only for the sake of the crew, say..ok lets give it one last pop and go for broke doing something that was really off the wall and forced them all to rethink their approaches. :)

KolbyJukes
07-22-2003, 02:23 AM
" Some industry people have conservatively estimated that DreamWorks spent $70 million (not including marketing expenses), "

What marketing expenses?! I didn't even know this movie was out until i saw the thread on the general discussions forum.

2d is not dead, it will be reborn, everything in entertainment is in a constant flux, CG is hot right now, i imagine in 5 or 10 years we'll see 3d return hard and strong.

-Kol.

mark_wilkins
07-22-2003, 02:31 AM
If Dreamworks had had one disappointing BO I think they would have hardly flinched but Dreamworks animation goes back to Amblin and the 3 films they made before Dreamworks formed and there's only been one hit...


DreamWorks has released the following animated films, from highest to lowest gross, not counting Sinbad:

Shrek ($268 million)
Chicken Run ($107 million)
The Prince of Egypt ($101 million)
Antz ($91 million)
Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron ($73 million)
The Road to El Dorado ($51 million)

Of these films, only Sinbad, Spirit, and El Dorado have been perceived as distinctly unsuccessful, and very likely (though I don't know the numbers) at least one or two of those three will make their money back in the end.

Antz did not do Bugs Life business, but for as dark and unusual a movie as it was, it still managed to set a record for a movie that didn't have Disney's name on it.

Furthermore, Antz, Prince of Egypt, Chicken Run, and Shrek were critical successes as well.

Anyway, for whatever else you can say about Sinbad, it

1) wasn't boring.

2) managed not to fall into the very common trap of having a sequence that blew the tone of the film.

-- Mark

MAXIMISE
07-22-2003, 02:53 AM
Its somewhat strange that when a Cinema released format, like traditional animation, does badly and they blame it on the format itself. Then rationalise there failures by saying its a dying artform that nobody wants to see. Well, thats odd? My young cousins watch all the popular cartoons on TV, some are fanatic about Anime style shows and some are still watching Loony Toons. Even the most recent Anime barely has more then a few shots done by a computer.

So when someone says, oh 2D Animation is a dying artform, maybe they should qualify that with explaining there final market, be it Cinemas or Video sales, or TV releases. And not encompassing the entire artform.

And as others have already said, maybe the failures are not in the styles but in the execution. And the fact that the Market for kids movies is quite small and parents are actually more interested in renting a film then taking 2 or 3 low attention children to sit in a Dark room for 70 minutes.

Films like Shrek, Finding Nemo and Toy Story 1/2, may be CG, but there target audience was also not just children like most new 2D features now are. Sure CG helps put adults in the seats for the Gimmick its been, but the jokes and inuendo that goes over kids heads hit us quite well (a lesson Simpsons learned a decade ago) and so the ticket sales for all those Adults without children seeing the film, make it successful. Those films have intellegent construction, that appeals to more then just wide eyed children.

Is 2D dying, well, only if we let it die.

mark_wilkins
07-22-2003, 03:00 AM
And the fact that the Market for kids movies is quite small and parents are actually more interested in renting a film then taking 2 or 3 low attention children to sit in a Dark room for 70 minutes.

Key point here -- Treasure Planet, despite only making about $40 million at the box office in its entire run, made about that much in the FIRST WEEK of video release. Those are Lion King numbers! Articles that mentioned this also seemed to indicate that Disney's executives were thrown for a loop with this one.

As for CG being a gimmick compared to 2D, I certainly think there's a greater tendency to label a 2D movie as a "kids'" movie while giving a 3D movie the benefit of the doubt... this makes it harder for 2D movies to break out of the core parents-and-small kids audience, particularly as live-action blockbusters market younger and younger...

-- Mark

MAXIMISE
07-22-2003, 03:09 AM
Exactly Mark, its erking me that the big picture seems to be closed off to some of these producers. But there bottom lines are whats driving there choices. So a movie that costs 60-70 million to produce that only just makes that in 10 years of sales can't be considered viable. Long term profit is not in the Hollywood Vocabulary. ;)

BillB
07-22-2003, 03:19 AM
I'm glad someone mentioned Brother Bear (think that's right) earlier. That trailer got me very excited - finally looks like Disney have turned their heads back to what worked for them! I think it's got the potential to put 2D back on the map if the story is as good as the look and feel.

It's a real shame about Dreamworks 2D. Prince of Egypt is an all time favourite of mine and showed what they could do, so it's been very disappointing to watch their slide since then. POE also makes a nonsense of those claiming western/Bible stories are dead - puh-lease, Final Fantasy died in good part because people were confused by the incomprehensible eastern mythology. A good story is a good story. That and some good marketing will see any film home.

As to people wanting "violence/fight scenes/VFX up the wazoo" you must've seen some Pixar films I missed ;)

JMulder
07-22-2003, 03:25 AM
I don't think traditional animation is dead, I think that mainstream animated movies need to take a rest.

Look at Disney animated features...fairly strong until Walt dies during Jungle Book production. Not much happened until the Rescuers and Fox and the Hound did well, then The Black Cauldron, Great Mouse Detective and Oliver and Co. did OK (but not great). Finally, The Little Mermaid comes out as the rebirth of Disney traditional animation.

We've been riding the wave of the rebirth for 15 years and now the public is sick of it. I suspect that in about 10-12 years, Disney (or someone else) will bring out the next 'traditionally' animated blockbuster, and we'll have another 10-15 years of good stuff.

The question I have is...will any good animation studios be around to create it?

-Jim

santosLord
07-22-2003, 03:46 AM
Originally posted by lildragon
Violence, fight sequences and VFX up the wazoo is what gets the vast younger paying audiences into the theatres.


-lild

Hey Lild in response. I have to totally agree with the fight sequence and the VFX.. Look at the cartoons that they have now a days thats all there is and the ending of the story is , "look that was cool he kicked his butt... awesome." And that was the end of a half an hour cartoon. Stories have to be reproduced to tell morals or lessons. Thats why people are turned away from 2d. I could remember the last good 2d movie I saw was Lion King and I enjoyed that very much. The story was about courage and finding who you are. Now the stories/movies just have a lack of interest these days because of poor story judgement.

malducin
07-22-2003, 04:59 AM
... peeps are ready to be entertained in new ways, younger generations aren't as tamed as my generation was growing up. Violence, fight sequences and VFX up the wazoo is what gets the vast younger paying audiences into the theatres. ...


That may be so but it's sanitized violence, fight sequences and VFX. Studios now just aim to have that PG13 rating, don't take chances and cater to the fast food mentality. And in the end it does pay. It's not the same when say you got the violence of the Godfather or something mor subtle or sinister like in Chinatown or Blue Velvet. And many of this films now are just repackaged formulas. Sure I don't mind you can always have a new take or fresh approach to established formulas but sometimes I think the balance has tipped the scale to much to one side.


If Dreamworks or Disney doesn't change their character designs and general theme of the stories, yes it will die, it's just audiences know what to expect now.


Well sometimes it seems the opposite is true. Animated films deviating from the formula seem to bomb more, like Iron Giant, Spirit and now Sinbad, and this is compunded by the perception that animated films are for kids. Many parents wan something safe a quick to calm down the kids.

What will be interesting is when one of this big CG animated films will bomb. It'll eventually happen. I wonder where the blame will be assigned. Oh sure, Mr. studio executive: "it wasn't realistic enough", "it was too realistic", "the CG gimmick has worn", "CG is dead" ... etc.

GRMac13
07-22-2003, 05:26 AM
Originally posted by malducin
What will be interesting is when one of this big CG animated films will bomb. It'll eventually happen. I wonder where the blame will be assigned. Oh sure, Mr. studio executive: "it wasn't realistic enough", "it was too realistic", "the CG gimmick has worn", "CG is dead" ... etc.

Already happened. The film's name was "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within."

In fact, it completely sunk Squaresoft's film division.

markbones
07-22-2003, 05:39 AM
Question: what constitutes a good story as a vehicle for 2D animation? Is it possible to have a story without the standard "Disney-esque love story, grow up/mature, & fulfill the quest" formula?

Some of my favorite movies: The Shawshank Redemption, Contact, The Usual Suspects, The Sixth Sense, Hunt For Red October, etc. (you can see where I'm going). No excessive explosions, killing, or VFX. (Well, maybe Usual Suspects, but it is still driven by the story and characters).

Could any of these story lines have been successful as a 2D film? I think 2D animation lends itself to a certain type of story (or we have been conditioned to accept certain plot standards in a 2D film). I am sure people will bring up Spirited Away (haven't seen it, you can slowly yank out my finger nails one by one as my punishment), other Eastern productions mentioned above - those are the exception, not the rule. And I don't think Animatrix could have been successful without The Matrix preceding it.

Also - with the state of CG, 3D animation, and effects, we see movies that create worlds we accept as "real": Terminator, Matrix, Spider Man, X-Men, any "space" sci fi film, even Gladiator... Even though they are pure fantasy, they contain a world that we can accept/imagine as real, simply because it is based on live action - even aspects that are fabricated are within the realm of our imagination. 2D just does not bring that same allure - at least as far as seeing a feature in the theatre. Like some other people here, I will rent quite a few films that I just don’t want to fork over the cash to see in the theatre. I loved the old Sinbad movies with the stop motion, etc. If Dreamworks had made a combo live action/CG Sinbad, I probably would've seen it.

Unfortunately, you actually have to see the movie to discover the depth of the story (if the story has any), and sometimes the marketing and/or trailers may not do the story justice.

I saw the trailer for Brother Bear, and my first thought was “not another one”. <sigh> I may have to see the trailer again, and my reaction may be unfounded, but sorry, that was my first reaction.

Just some thoughts...

xynaria
07-22-2003, 05:58 AM
Originally posted by mark_wilkins
Of these films, only Sinbad, Spirit, and El Dorado have been perceived as distinctly unsuccessful, and very likely (though I don't know the numbers) at least one or two of those three will make their money back in the end.

-- Mark
I should have perhaps been clearer but I thought it would have been obvious from my post that I was talking about Dreamworks 2D animation as that is what is in jepoardy. Part of this is a perceptual thing ............I see the 2D stuff as a continuation of Amblin ....but I also see Shrek and Antz as PDI, Chicken Run as Aardman, even if done under the Dreamworks banner. :)

xynaria
07-22-2003, 06:20 AM
Originally posted by markbones


Could any of these story lines have been successful as a 2D film? I think 2D animation lends itself to a certain type of story (or we have been conditioned to accept certain plot standards in a 2D film). I am sure people will bring up Spirited Away (haven't seen it, you can slowly yank out my finger nails one by one as my punishment), other Eastern productions mentioned above - those are the exception, not the rule. And I don't think Animatrix could have been successful without The Matrix preceding it.

...


I would say no possibly because they all rely on an element of 'realism' to ground them and make them work........However, to an extent .. 2D can be successful without being what might be termed broadly 'stereotypical' as in the case of Beavis and Butthead Do America.
In theory given an astute enough design and good concept/ story there's no reason a lot more could not be attempted in 2D than ever is, other than lack of vision, ideas and nerves. Yellow Submarine in many ways was very different from it's precedents and antecedents and isn't considered a failure. Hell, the Werner films were very successful in a much smaller market.
Stylisticaly the whole of the history of art has exposed a number of differing aesthetics that can inpsire the publics imagination, and who has any argument with South Park, The Simpsons, the whole Looney Toons oeuvre being seen as successful. You can create any number of 'imaginary worlds' that as long as they create a coherent acceptable aesthetic that communicates with an audience should stand a good chance of being successful. Drawing isn't dead and if 2D animation needs a rest at the moment, it needs re-inventing even more. :)

FistsOfCurry
07-22-2003, 08:32 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v177/kevino/marco.jpg

mark_wilkins
07-22-2003, 08:44 AM
I also see Shrek and Antz as PDI, Chicken Run as Aardman, even if done under the Dreamworks banner.

These studios each bring their own character to their films, but they're all Jeffrey's films, with a large part of the development happening at DreamWorks in Glendale.

Anyway, Pacific Data Images is now PDI/DreamWorks, and it's a wholly-owned subsidiary.

-- Mark

Ryan-B
07-22-2003, 08:51 AM
Originally posted by mark_wilkins


These studios each bring their own character to their films, but they're all Jeffrey's films, with a large part of the development happening at DreamWorks in Glendale.

-- Mark

Can you give some examples of this? I don't see a Katzenberg influence on a movie like Chicken Run.

FabioMSilva
07-22-2003, 10:08 AM
thats a shame...i really tought theyre 2d animation studios had potencial...altought i´ve never seen a movie from them :hmm:

just the trailers and such.

Gentle Fury
07-22-2003, 01:55 PM
Could any of these story lines have been successful as a 2D film? I think 2D animation lends itself to a certain type of story (or we have been conditioned to accept certain plot standards in a 2D film). I am sure people will bring up Spirited Away (haven't seen it, you can slowly yank out my finger nails one by one as my punishment), other Eastern productions mentioned above - those are the exception, not the rule. And I don't think Animatrix could have been successful without The Matrix preceding it.

You are obviously not a big anime fan..........contrary to most popular western belief, all anime is not big tits and mechs blowing things up and shooting fireballs at eachother.........that is basically the equivilant to our Michael Bay and Brucheimer films......fluffy action crap.

Now go rent a real anime......one that has a story and a plot and you will see that YES, real storys work VERY well in an animated format!!

Go check out The Grave Of The Fireflys..........that movie will make you cry. There are many many non-fantasy animated features out there, they just arent popular in america......probably because they havent really been tried.

It is really sad to me though that animation on this side of the globe is all about kiddie stuff.........The Animatrix was probably the closest we would ever see to a serious animation.......and unfortunatly it was only bits and pieces relating to the movies.......as well as it would work, you would never see a movie like the matrix animated feature in america......it wouldnt sell and thats all that matters.

Emmanuel
07-22-2003, 01:59 PM
Very cool thread, I love it !

Anyway, I am a supporter of the "Story"-theory.
Sequels rarely are as successful as the original movie they are based on.
And remakes are problematic, too, if they don't show something new.

Off topic example would be the next King Kong.
There was King Kong in B/W, there was the 70s King Kong, there was Mighty Joe Young, there was HULK, now there will be another
"Big Bruty protects lovely Beauty", whats the point ?

The Prince Of Egypt had one opponent: The Ten Commandments.
Thats a classic, and I have to say I love both.

Treasure Planet had to fight against various TV- and theater versions of the Treasure Island, so there was some kind of common knowledge about the story, and in my eyes the movie failed to suprise, and ultimately, to entertain.
Not trying to be rude, but I could have imagined some things happen to the ship and crew that would have been much more amusing and enteratining, before they get to the Planet.

Another example: The Time Machine.
I rented the new version, and bought the classic version.
The classic one is by far more entertaining to me, and the FX got an Oscar at the time :)

I guess we people go to Cinema to watch interesting stories beeing told in an entertaining way, period.
Or we want to laugh.Or to cry. Or to think.

But whatever the big budget suits in Hollywood say, its not easy to make a good entertaining movie, and the stories are not 10 cent a dozen that can reach the audience.
It IS an art, it IS difficult, it can NOT be planned.
And probably the audience got more mature and doesnt watch any movie anymore, they are more careful.

Shark Slayer will have a problem.Ep3 will have a problem.

lildragon
07-22-2003, 02:22 PM
Originally posted by GRMac13
Already happened. The film's name was "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within."

In fact, it completely sunk Squaresoft's film division.

Thanx GRMac13 I was about to say that ;) I would however initially agree with you malducin on the fact that a great percentage have the preception that cartoons or for kids, or is it? Why I question you ask? A Bug's Life, Shrek, Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Monsters Inc, amongst others are really just glorified cartoons if you think about it honestly, story is the root but the visual elements are different. These films could've been easily done in 2D, but would the general audiences have reacted the same? That's the question you should be asking yourself.

Would the aforementioned films be as successful if they were 2D?

-lild

FabioMSilva
07-22-2003, 03:50 PM
The most outstanding 2d animation u´ll find its ANiME. Period. ANIME RULEZ!:thumbsup:

xynaria
07-22-2003, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by mark_wilkins
[i]IThese studios each bring their own character to their films, but they're all Jeffrey's films, with a large part of the development happening at DreamWorks in Glendale.


-- Mark
I think we all know that ..(though in the case of Chicken Run..that sounds like appropriation).. the thread and my point are all concerned with Dreamworks and 2D animation... so why try to bring in the other films, which aren't, when they are not neccessarily pertinent to the argument. We know Dreamworks has had hits per se.

markbones
07-22-2003, 04:52 PM
Originally posted by Gentle Fury
You are obviously not a big anime fan..........contrary to most popular western belief, all anime is not big tits and mechs blowing things up and shooting fireballs at eachother.........that is basically the equivilant to our Michael Bay and Brucheimer films......fluffy action crap.

Now go rent a real anime......one that has a story and a plot and you will see that YES, real storys work VERY well in an animated format!!
...

It is really sad to me though that animation on this side of the globe is all about kiddie stuff.........The Animatrix was probably the closest we would ever see to a serious animation.......and unfortunatly it was only bits and pieces relating to the movies.......as well as it would work, you would never see a movie like the matrix animated feature in america......it wouldnt sell and thats all that matters.

You are correct - I am not a huge fan of Anime, and I appreciate your suggested movies and comments. Besides, I am not of the belief that Anime is all "big tits and mechs", and I was not referring to Anime, I was referring to 2D animation. An animated film should not have to resort to Anime style in order for it to be popular. A good story SHOULD be enough to drive a 2D film, whatever style.

Like some people have already said, 2D animated films seem to appeal to a specific market, whether that is the intent or not. Most people on this site have some sort of connection to animation, so a 2D film is not looked at in the same way the general public looks at a 2D film. They do not consider the talent, skill, and amount of work that goes into a 2D movie. They see it as basically a cartoon, and that does not seem to be appealing to very many people at the moment - or at least in Sinbad's case, and in Dreamworks' estimation.

mark_wilkins
07-22-2003, 06:11 PM
why try to bring in the other films, which aren't, when they are not neccessarily pertinent to the argument.

Brought up by someone else, who asserted that Shrek had been DW's only successful animated film. I was just responding that DW's animated movies had been generally successful.

-- Mark

Cinematography
07-22-2003, 06:14 PM
"Even Jeffrey Katzenberg concedes that the art form on which he made his reputation may be obsolete. "I think the idea of a traditional story being told using traditional animation is likely a thing of the past," he admitted."
2D-hand drawn animation doesn't have that magical, pure, quality about it anymore. They're starting to integrate it with too much 3D/CG, and the stories that people want to tell through 2D-hand drawn just SUCK!

And don't forget that Disney and DreamWorks aren't the ONLY studios in the world that are doing 2D work.

I wonder how these mo-fos would feel if someone told them that their mothers were obsolete because they weren't as young, or as quick as they were! We can't forget where all of this wonderful 3D/CG crap came from! If it weren't for the grounds that 2D-hand drawn and stop motion animation broke, there would be no 3D/CG.

:cool:

FloydBishop
07-22-2003, 06:21 PM
I used to go to school with this guy who would always blame his equipment for his own shortcomings.

His projects were late because of a computer crash. He couldn't hit well at the batting cage because his bat sucked. Stuff like that.

When these execs point their fingers at these kinds of things, and blame their company's failures on them, they sound just as lame.

Hopefully that dumb arse term "tradigital" dies though. I can't stand that trendy horse crap.

As far as all of the "American animation" comments that I've read here, give Icepond a movie budget. We'll change your mind.

Cinematography
07-22-2003, 07:25 PM
Originally posted by Floyd Bishop
I used to go to school with this guy who would always blame his equipment for his own shortcomings.

His projects were late because of a computer crash. He couldn't hit well at the batting cage because his bat sucked. Stuff like that.

When these execs point their fingers at these kinds of things, and blame their company's failures on them, they sound just as lame.

Hopefully that dumb arse term "tradigital" dies though. I can't stand that trendy horse crap.

As far as all of the "American animation" comments that I've read here, give Icepond a movie budget. We'll change your mind.
AMEN! :applause:

Have you read my post (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=75755)? Its on a similar subject.

gruvsyco
07-22-2003, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by markbones
You are correct - I am not a huge fan of Anime, and I appreciate your suggested movies and comments. Besides, I am not of the belief that Anime is all "big tits and mechs", and I was not referring to Anime, I was referring to 2D animation. An animated film should not have to resort to Anime style in order for it to be popular. A good story SHOULD be enough to drive a 2D film, whatever style.

Like some people have already said, 2D animated films seem to appeal to a specific market, whether that is the intent or not. Most people on this site have some sort of connection to animation, so a 2D film is not looked at in the same way the general public looks at a 2D film. They do not consider the talent, skill, and amount of work that goes into a 2D movie. They see it as basically a cartoon, and that does not seem to be appealing to very many people at the moment - or at least in Sinbad's case, and in Dreamworks' estimation.


I don't think he was trying to say that a movie needs to be done in "anime" style, I think his point was that within the genre of anime, one gets stories that fall outside the realm of the typical play it safe Disney/for kids role. In Japan, Anime and Manga (Japanese comics) are read and enjoyed by all types of people in all age ranges. It's not just some kid thing or a geek thing. Unfortunately that is the perception here in the US and any attempt at trying to make a more adult oriented animation here usually defaults to an overabundance of tongue in cheek sexual inuendos.



I do feel that if the Pixar movies had been animated in 2D, they would have been just as successful because Pixar has made it quite clear, they know how to tell a story. To me, Pixar is what Disney was years ago. I think the medium they use is irrelevent. Heck they could probably do a succesful stick figure feature animation.

FloydBishop
07-22-2003, 07:56 PM
Originally posted by gruvsyco
Heck they could probably do a succesful stick figure feature animation.

I'd love to see a stick figure feature from the master of the stick figure, Don Hertzfeldt.

http://www.awn.com/oscars01/animrejected.php3

The most entertaining stuff in animation anymore seems to be the independent stuff. The kind of stuff that studios would never greenlight themselves, but then try and emulate years later, once it's proven that audiences like it, but their stuff is never as good.



Added a link to Don Hertzfeldt's site:

http://www.bitterfilms.com/

Hurry up and view his films quickly... 2D is on it's way out!!

BRUTICUS
07-22-2003, 10:00 PM
I think 2D departments just need to continue being innovative. And yes breaking away from the traditional styles of disney. Similar to how Lilo and Stitch was handled, in my opinion the best work on Fantasia 2000 was its 2D piece with the nature girl, yes that was a few years ago but it still stands true.

gga
07-24-2003, 01:53 AM
Sigh.... This switch from 2d to 3d from the major animation companies also begs the question....

Is 3D as a technology and art form even ready to take the realms over from traditional hand-drawn animation yet?

Is 3d as a medium mature enough to produce, say, a 3D Snow White without the princess looking like a photoreal character but being "not quite there yet" or as touching as a story as, say, Bambi?

Or what about alternative and surrealistic styles a la Bill Plympton -- how would you go about doing THAT using traditional 3D?

And if we succeed at it, what then? Is stop-motion next, too?

eLm0
07-24-2003, 06:09 AM
i say none of this can be predicted. *and spririt was a great movie

but look at the viynl they said 20 years ago that was dead when the tape and cd and now mp3 came out but there are still dj's masters of their craft that use it 2d animation will never become dead besides bad story telling to a extent bad marketting and research disney should stick to the style they are known for "kiddy" animation storytellings. If they did any research as to how titan A.E did then they wouldn't have done the same thing.

webfox
07-24-2003, 06:43 AM
I wonder how these mo-fos would feel if someone told them that their mothers were obsolete because they weren't as young, or as quick as they were! We can't forget where all of this wonderful 3D/CG crap came from! If it weren't for the grounds that 2D-hand drawn and stop motion animation broke, there would be no 3D/CG.

Maybe they wouldn't feel the same, but we don't buy movie tickets out of obligation or familial associations. If that were the case, we'd all be buying Ford cars, Xerox copiers, Magnivox computer monitors, and still be burning just wood or coal - nuclear energy? Bah! Who needs it? ;)

LilDragon asked in another thread if we'd all still watch "Finding Nemo", "Shrek", or what have you if they were 2D and I was startled to find myself thinking, "If everything were converted to 2D, shot for shot, then no." (with the exception of "Monsters, Inc." which is a truly great story with a lot of unexplored areas that could have been developed more, IMO)

But, there's a certain "graspability" -for lack of a better term- about 3D CG features. We have to imagine less... 3D is easier to take in than 2D. It's the difference between a photo and a painting. There's more detail. It's richer. We aren't challenged, mentally, to make the connection nearly as much, and we can emotionally invest in the characters much faster because we don't wait... we take to them in 3D whereas we have an adjustment period in 2D before we believe as fully in those characters.

I guess I'm saying that our suspension of belief is more easily granted for 3D, semi-photoreal characters than it is for hand drawn animation.

I'm starting to wonder if this is a "good/bad" issue or just a "what we want vs. human nature" issue. We like *easy*. If it's easier to take to a CG character than it is to take to a hand drawn one for most people, then that's life... it's how we're collectively wired. If you prefer hand drawn, then I suggest you start seeing those movies over and over at the theater and make them financially successful.

I'm not judging anyone's arguments, nor anyone's work. I think we need to all ask ourselves if all of the 3D or 2D that we love is loved because of the story or because of the medium.

I don't think 2D is dead. Creative mistakes and poor marketing choices kill any movie as readily as anything else. Blaming the brush was never an excuse.

But... if I had to choose between a detail-rich CG movie on the big screen and a hand drawn one, I'd be more tempted to see the CG feature, even if it got lower ratings and would wait to rent the hand drawn one later.

xynaria
07-24-2003, 07:02 AM
There are things you can do in 2D that would, certainly at the moment be nigh on impossible with 3D, just as much as the inverse is true. In an ideal world whatever format or mixes of format you used would be chosen simply because they were the best means of doing them. In the case of Sinbad' the timing of its release is going to look like a homage to the art of Kamikaze on hindsight too. :)

Peter Reynolds
07-24-2003, 07:40 AM
Im not saying you're wrong webfox, but given what you did say, how do you explain the popularity of the simpsons?

There are plenty of live action sitcoms, so given what you said, they should be easier for an audience to take in as live action is about as 3D as you can get.

Yet the "inferior" 2D Simpsons has outperformed so many of them. Why?

eLm0
07-24-2003, 07:50 AM
3 things i left out

a) 2d as feature feature films maybe going out but for tv shows never they still have a punch. 3d television shows are yet to reach the stage that 2d shows are at

b) a 6 yr old kid can draw a lion king character but can't model and texture and light buzz lightyear. 3d seems new people are enjoying getting the most out of it right now i doubt the market will become saturated because 3d isn't at the stage were anyone can do it yet *like picking up a pencil and paper* stilll has along time to go before it becomes like that.

c) trad-digital isn't bad just isn't being used well yet
spirit used it very well blended very seamlessly thats how it should be used not overly cg'ed

webfox
07-24-2003, 10:24 AM
PR, exceptions don't make the rule, and you didn't give a motion picture as an example. We're talking mostly about hand drawn movies failing, because some stuffed shirt in the movie industry can't increase his stock portfolio from it.

Dreamworks SKG, recently and for a brief time (geologically and humanly) tried 2D animation and failed. Their failure isn't the death of hand drawn animation.

I was expressing a personal opinion about CG vs. 2D films and I think that most people like the novelty of 3D animation right now. Industries have lived and died by the public's whims. That's the way of capitalism - it's not about right or wrong, Jesus or the Devil, good vs. bad.. it's about money.

Given that we don't buy Model Ts, purchase only family owned, farm-raised produce, eat only food made by mom from scratch, then why do we think that 2D or hand drawn animation should be some sort of sacred cow? Why *must* it be forever maintained?

Things pass.

I walked uphill to and from school in the snow when I was a kid. More get personal SUV rides now.

I threaded the film into the projector in class. The teacher puts a tape into the VCR or maybe even has DVD these days.

I remember when milk was good for you. Now I remember when milk used to be good for you.

What about my childhood?

Things pass.



Become a part of what's current or work at McTaco.

d4rk
07-26-2003, 01:51 AM
Originally posted by markbones

I saw the trailer for Brother Bear, and my first thought was “not another one”. <sigh> I may have to see the trailer again, and my reaction may be unfounded, but sorry, that was my first reaction.

Just some thoughts...

Really?? I saw the trailer and I thought it looked bad-ass, made me want to see it. I just saw the trailer again and also found out that Juaquin Pheonix is in it plus a few other good actors. The animation is all 2d as far as I can tell and it looks really good. The horse one with the indian and the horse didn't really attract me but this one looks good. I'll go see it, support 2d films like this if the story looks really good. I think it's worth checking out. I'm betting that it will be realy good.

xynaria
07-26-2003, 02:20 AM
Originally posted by Peter Reynolds
Yet the "inferior" 2D Simpsons has outperformed so many of them. Why?
Brilliant design and scripts, an immediate connection with a huge number of the populace plus enough subtlety to stand up to repeated viewings..... although a Simpsons Movie has been rumoured, whether it can be eased into that extended time frame reamains an unknown.
Thing is most 2D features simply don't connect.. it's that simple. Pixar and the other successes have but not neccessarily because they are 3D
South Park isn't well drawn, designed or animated by most standards, or even that well written..... but it connects and has wit, energy and relevance, so it's successful..it looks '2D' .. is made in 3D afaik.. and no one even mentions how it's made because that is irrelevant. :)

ZeroNeuro
07-26-2003, 10:59 AM
Simpsons is also free. :) And in syndication. I cannot afford to see all the movies I want in the theatre. I have to pick and choose. Personally, I think a lot of these movies tanked because of the economy right now. But that is just my personal opinion.

BiTMAP
08-27-2003, 10:37 AM
I've not seen spirited away but i hear its good, may go rent it eventualy.

However i did have the luck of watching Ghost in a shell. that was an amazing film!

Now personaly I would have LOVED the style to be more similar to the first "alantis" film, which has a more americanized style, but still has a semi Anime feel. I personaly just don't overly like the anime traditional styles and like to stray a tad closer to realisim.

hey anyone know of any films that have a semi atlantis feel to their art but a good story that is as touching and thought provoking as GiaS? (however with as little nudity and violience as possible as i'd love for my brother to actualy be able to watch it with me). That would be nice to have.

I think in the end a new style and a new story will always win, well if the marketing exects take there heads out of their asses ...

seriously some of the latest adverts on TV for anything are just amazingly craptastical. I don't think 2d is dead, i think the marketing exects need to be shot.

bRyaN2003
08-27-2003, 05:58 PM
/rant
I don't know if it has been said already in this thread(at work and can't read everything)...

But the fact in America, when people see cartoon or animation they automatically associate it with children and kids..where as in Japan..their animated features makes almost as much as "blockbuster" films...their films every single one of them have a lil flavor to them, not the same looking stuff over and over again...

I'm sorry but if Dreamworks thought Spirit was gonna be a hit, they were blowing smoke up their own asses...although the animation was good, the premise of the story was lame...

pretty pictures don't cut it anymore, even comics stopped being trite ("HA HA, we got you now Batman"=lame)...Animation in america needs to stop catering to just one part of the demograph...Dreamworks' Prince of Egypt kicked much ass..definately not a children's flick, but had a lil something for them..

Bottomline the suits who run these companies need stop trying being creative, seriously...let the peeps who were hired to be creators, create..

/rant

deepinspace
08-28-2003, 05:56 AM
.........Must be like hand writing, it is slowing fading away. Kids of today don’t even know how to write a letter without a computer (or a mobile phone)........ Pen and paper? :shrug:

Anyway, just look at the stuffs on cartoon network - they're simple, fun, colourful and original. 2D is not dead, just got to be reinvented. Peace.

Vesuvando
08-28-2003, 09:16 AM
:thumbsdow
Money rules.
It sucks.

Read the beginning of ''The Animator Survival Kit" by Richard Williams.

Everything on earth is going crazy.
That's just a little part.
Do you call it evolution?
I would say destruction.
Seen the Matrix?

:hmm:
:annoyed:

Nemoid
08-29-2003, 10:05 AM
I think its not a good thing for animation the behaviour of Dreamworks. however,their renounce doen't mean that 2D animation has come at its end.

Dreamworks and Disney recently failed in the field of good animated 2D movies because .

1) they tend to assume that kids are stupid and still they make stupid stories/characters for them
there is no deepness in those recent movies at the level of message inside the story

2) they produced quite bad character design, not really innovating, but only making odd what was very good in the past. look at the design of Alice, and look other female recent characters both in disney and dreamworks : they are quite crap now, with long noses, and also the worst thing is that the current characters don't reflect kids personality now.
finally, the case of Atlantis : having Mike Mignola's design and reworking it means being not so clever.

3) bad, not interesting stories and screenplay. since the 2D artwork is ALWAYS a complement of the story, then, if the story is crap there's nothing to do.

if you look to some anime production, but also some european, like Kiriku and others, you see that they tend to have a good story that reflects kids personality, not only trying to entertain them , but to tell smth to them.
also they innovate in the field of the look of characters and of final artwork.
this means that they not only look for their industry , but also they love what they do, doing it good.

Dreamworks over all, invested much more time and research in 3D movies, finding interesting things only on this field, while in 2D movies they did a crap copy of the crap recent Disney products.

I personally hope that a different philosophy will come in the 2D movie production, with the aid of anime or other things, because 2D animation must change in better and the only great products I see are not Disney nor Dreamworks

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