When, historically, in Hollywood or elsewhere has "true to life" content ever manifested itself as truly Blockbuster material? To quickly answer my own question, probably in the late 60's and early 70's. But, I think that sort of thing ceases to really entertain. People are embroiled enough in the "reality" of today's news, future projections and world events. If anything, we need a revival of the image of idealised living and pure fantasy, (like the movies produced in the late 20's and 30's, which offered true "escape" to their audiences), to really engage the movie going or DVD watching world of today. And, I don't mean dark, evil fantasy, either.
Not to mention the fact that producing "real" effects and content is very, very expensive, most of the stuff offered up to movie-goers today lends itself better to criticism rather than escapism and entertainment value. When the world and life in general is a bummer, the public needs somewhere else to retreat to. A pleasant and hopeful place, I think.
As a case in point, I went to the recent Spielberg production, "War of the Worlds", and though I can say confidently that it was quite "realistic", I didn't leave with the feeling that I had been entertained - rather, I left feeling more depressed than when I entered the theatre.
It seems that once Hollywood got on that "realism" bender that they entered at the end of the 60's, they simply haven't been able to stop the train. But the box office is now stating officially that they better stop the train, or blow it up, if they are to survive at all.
Coming back to the idea of "sheeple", when did the CG community ,at large, come to the corporate decision that eveything they create must mirror and augment and extend "reality" in some way? Where are the dollar income figures that indicate that this is where to be, in today's CG marketplace? I think we better wake up quick if we are to survive as content producers, also.