Animated movies are great: for a lot of people that’s their first introduction to the world of film but once you get to about the age of 12, you either full-heartedly love them or deem them too childish to watch. At least, that’s what I’ve noticed about the people around me.
The idea that animated films are solely for children has never sat well with me and now it looks like that’s changing. No, I am not talking about Seth Rogen’s Sausage Party (the trailer for which freaks me out to no end). For years Disney have been producing films that kids love but that also contain heavier themes and jokes that are clearly designed for an older audience. It’s a format that works for them and maybe that’s why they seem to be the only animation studio that dare to go up against the huge blockbusters in summer.
That’s changing this year: over the summer period we are getting four animated films compared to last year’s two. Even better, more studios are jumping into the mix than just Disney – Illumination Entertaiment (best known for those pesky minions) are releasing The Secret Life of Pets; Blue Sky Studios are bringing out Ice Age: Collision Course; Sony Pictures animated Angry Birds; and we can of course, look forward to Finding Dory from Disney.
Why the sudden surge? As much as the world has made me hate them, I have to give some credit to Illumination and Despicable Me. Whilst most animated movies don’t make the kind of money a Marvel film pulls in, they earn millions through merchandising and judging by the amount of adults I have seen wearing minion T-shirts it’s clear that there is a wider market that the studios haven’t been exploring.
Just looking at the films coming out this summer, they all have cute, little animated animals which are perfect for merchandising.
I have no complaints – as more studios recognise the opportunity here, they’ll begin competing to stand out which just means that we get better movies to look forward to. I adore Disney and Pixar but there’s a relationship that they have with their viewership in which we know what we’re going to get. It will still be new and fun and exciting but it will feel like Disney. This affords the opportunity to see something completely new.
So what do you think? How many of the animated films coming out this summer will you see? What are you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comments?