Thursday, May 24, 2012


From India's Business Today:

... What ails the Indian animation industry and what keeps it from connecting with a target audience of children consuming $100 billion worth of toys, clothes, entertainment, food, and other products and services?

"I think a lot of Indian animated content lacks an appealing narrative," says Rishtee Kumar Batra, Assistant Professor, Marketing, Indian School of Business ... [A]lmost none among the handful of Indian animation films that tried to get away from mythology have been successful. Neither Jumbo (2008), starring Akshay Kumar, or Toonpur Ka Superhero (2010) with Ajay Devgn, or Roadside Romeo (2008), produced under the Yash Raj banner, made waves at the box office.

Some believe it was because the filmmakers failed to target their audience and market the movies right. The younger ones were unmoved by the likes of Kumar and Devgn, while older ones, who knew of the stars, found the plot too simplistic. ...

It's even simpler than that: When audiences don't connect to a movie, they don't show up in sufficient numbers to enable the picture to turn a profit.

It has always been thus. Audiences were unmoved by Andrew Stanton's John Carter, even as they embraced Wall-E (another space opera), a few years earlier. Some pictures have momentum and buzz, others don't. More often than not it comes down to content. If the story and characters don't compel people to plop down in theater seats, companies have a write-off on their hands.

Pretty straightforward and uncomplicated, when you think about it. And one of the reasons so much story work is done by the same reliable (and proven) hands, year after year. Also one reason that Chris Meledandri uses seasoned animation pros from Disney, DreamWorks and other California studios, even as he produces feature films in Paris.

But even talented movie makers don't hit home runs every time at bat. Just ask Mr. Stanton.
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