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Forum Insights: Is Shrek the Start of a New Toon Boom?
Below are insightful posts from Digital Media FX forum posters on the subject of what effect the success of Shrek (and similar movies) will have in the marketplace. Some posts have been edited for length or spelling and grammar.

Post by Dave on June 12, 2001:
Just out of interest, does anyone remember the last boom in animation in the mid 90s which I personally ascribe to Jurassic Park and The Lion King? Does any one here think that Shrek will spawn a new resurgence in animation? From what I have been reading it is beating Pearl Harbor hands down at the box office, leaving many critics embarrassed as earlier on this year they predicted Pearl Harbor to be a great success...

Post by Slim Shinji on June 12, 2001:
Shrek may solidify a computer toon boom, but if anything I think it drives another nail in the coffin of traditional 2D animation. All the computer animated movies Disney and Dreamworks have released have "edge" and "attitude", whereas the more conservative 2D animated movies of late look old and moldy in comparison. At least I think think that's how general public personally, I'll always prefer the old-fashioned ones.

Posted by Penanimate on June 12, 2001:
I don't see another boom coming from a single movie like Shrek, but I am hopeful that this is the beginning of a diversification of animated offerings and a wider acceptance of animation as entertainment for all ages. If more than one studio can be successful with animation, then it bodes well for audiences as well as for the industry.

Posted by Gordg on June 12, 2001:
It's wonderful to see an animated movie do well at the box office. It can only improve the conditions of the currently depressed industry (financially and emotionally).

But I have one nagging fear.

It's my opinion that audiences are responding to the story, and the storytelling. But the powers that be, may mistake this response as an attraction to computer animation.

Recently it's been computer animated movies that have had strong stories, while their 2D counterparts have consistently offered weak underdeveloped stories.

This fact may falsely support an assumption that computer animation is what's drawing the audience. Thus creating a trend toward computer animation, when in fact the trend should be directed toward good stories well told -- in any medium.

In other words if a story relates to the audience, and fully engages them for the entire film .... it doesn't matter if it was done with computers or with sock puppets.

Put the emphasize on the story and the storytelling.

Unfortunately, computer animation is an objective definable parameter that executives can firmly grasp, while good story is an ephemeral concept that is not quantifiable. And anything that can't be quantified makes poor butt coverage for anyone under the scrutiny of investors.

I hope Atlantis quells my fears.

Posted by Alphawolf on June 12, 2001:
Amen Gordg.

I was just thinking the same thing. Computer animated films do seem to be getting the lions share of good writing and characters. Also with the recent leaps in technology and everyone clambering to catch up with Pixar and Disney released CGI films, there is a lot being put on the market all at once.

Pixar’s first film Toy Story, caught everyone’s attention because although we had seen stuff like it before, no one was really sure what all it was capable of. It still had that new car smell kind of attraction to it. Then A Bugs Life came out and went head to head with ANTZ. Both good films in their own way, but really the story and characters were way too similar and way to close together in release. Still people watched and liked the advances that were made. Then came out Toy Story 2 and Dinosaurs. Dino raised the bar big time with the effects and seamless blending of actual filmed background and CGI characters. (Same stale Disney story retold again but still good). Now we have Shrek in theaters and Monsters Inc. & Final Fantasy just on the horizon. Ad to that the promise of things to come, such as Bloodquest and maybe Blue Planet or Vortex (wishful thinking on my part I'm sure) if they ever decide to breath new life into the projects.

What traditional 2D do we have coming up? Atlantis and Osmosis Jones, that’s it. And both have 3D effects and backgrounds added in. Can anyone think of anything else? Based on this I would have to say that Gordg’s fears are not unfounded. I am a computer animator myself, but even I don’t want to see the 2D tradition wiped out. Disney seems content throwing strait to video garbage out on the market and doing sequels of all the classics bastardizing as they go. Fox animation studios closed up as I recall seeing here somewhere a while back. Warner bought out Cartoon Network and is putting all their efforts in that. I say again; what else is there?

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