Sunday, March 18, 2007

Animation movies – the ‘sequels’ saga

A big line of sequels to animated movies are in the making than ever before. As far as I know, these are the sequels,

Shrek 3 - (release - May 18th, 2007)
Shark Tale 2 - (2008)
Madagascar 2 – (2008)
Ice age 3 – (2008)
Toy story 3 - (2009)

This has made me wonder why these studios are going crazy into making sequels. What’s the rationale behind this trend? Is it just the studios or does it have something to do with the audience?

A studio like DreamWorks animation has plans to make one sequel every year. That means, a sequel to almost every movie they make. That sounds terrible because sequels bank on the original release’s success. Making a mindless sequel to an insipid movie (Shark tale 2!) is a great risk. When we say ‘better luck next time’ after watching a flop movie, it doesn’t mean that they should try their luck with a sequel.

Since a sequel to a hit movie will already have an audience, the marketing cost will be less. In spite of having the main characters already modeled and rigged, and some environment that can be used again, with prior knowledge of character actions and lighting setup and dialogue style that form a great chunk of initial hard work, they manage to cost more, thanks to the voice talent. The voice actors/actresses demand a bigger pay check especially if it is a sequel. It is estimated that a sequel costs $20 to $40 million more than the original release.

People are ready to pay for what is tried and tested. If the viewers liked the characters in the original movie, it is more likely that they will be interested to know ‘what happened
next?’ and the expectations to a sequel are always high.

With more and more ‘talking animals’ kind of movie releasing every year, importance is given to awe inspiring graphics and animation laced with an awful story. As a result, the audience, rather than being awestruck, becomes dumbstruck. Only a few have all the qualities and reach a wider audience. Such movies are welcome to have a sequel. But endless sequels are not what we want.

No comments: