25 Animation Questions That Need Answering

The Animation Anomaly is a forward-thinking blog if anything, but of all the animation questions that it attempts to answer, there are plenty more that will never be discussed. Here’s a sampling. Feel free to add your own in the comments!

Could Futurama even be allowed to continue as a web series?

Are features only the pinnacle of animated entertainment because of how long they take to make?

Why isn’t their more collaborations between animators and musicians? I mean, Skrillex in Wreck-It-Ralph is a prototype, but why doesn’t every show and short film have a proper soundtrack as a co-pro?

How long ago would Walt have canned his 2-D animators?

Could you make a realistic model for finding potential animated content simply by prospecting at comic conventions?

Will Monsters University stumble in foreign markets where they don’t know what a Greek society is?

It’s interesting how few animated films need a remake isn’t it?

Further exploration on the idea of apprenticeships in animation as opposed to contemporary academic models of education

How many references and in-jokes can you squeeze into an 9 minute short?

Could you theoretically create an animated feature film from animated GIF?

Will I see you at CTN-X in November?

What will come after Adobe Flash finally bites the dust?

Will animated series’ (especially pre-school) require a mobile app before they’re even considered for pickup?

Relatedly, how will studios make dough across borders once licensing fees are obliterated from the media landscape? Will MICPOM even continue to exist?

How long until cinemas are the final destination for new animated films?

What’s the mathematical model for measuring fan excitement?

The next great animation studio doesn’t even exist yet. Why not?

Will independents find ways of competing without requiring subsidies?

With the return of shorts, will Avery-esque comedic slapstick be ripe for a comeback?

On-demand animation merchandise: where’s the comprehensive OEM we need?

Just how will Pixar handle their inevitable fall from grace?

Why won’t there be a ‘next’ Walt Disney?

What will happen to animation funded by state broadcasters in the future?

When will we see a successful animation series originate in Africa?

Is animation on FOX doomed?


13 thoughts on “25 Animation Questions That Need Answering”

  1. “The next great animation studio doesn’t even exist yet. Why not?” I don’t think the “studio model” will last much longer, I would like to think that we’ll soon see something new that will turn the industry on its rotten little head. I have to point out that I love this post. Oh, and about the next Walt, isn’t that what Lasseter considers himself?

    1. Certainly the days of the very large studio are numbered. How long they have left remains to be seen.

      Lassteter may consider himself the next Walt, but he doesn’t have near as much charisma and he’s a puppet of the corporation; not the other way around.

  2. What do you think the studio system would be replaced with, Jamil?

    I have some questions of my own:

    When will artificially generated sounds become commonplace in the animation industry?

    When will robotic animation emerge as a new animation media?

    How will the worsening climate change cause a shift to computer graphics to portray the past?

    What is the artform or if you prefer, format, that will come about after animation?

    When will motion capture shift to computer simulations as the computational understanding of reality improves to allow modeling of realistic scenarios?

    When will independent animation gain a large audience?

    I could probably come up with more and better questions if I tried, but those should get me started.

    1. I wish I can predict the future man, but it seems as though the democratization of internet and technology will make the “Virtual Studio” a more viable and affordable option. Total creative freedom, no executives to answer to, and no hundreds of millions wasted on marketing. This may be Lasseters’ worst nightmare.

      1. That is a plausible scenario. We’ll see if it comes true. I’d had in mind a very different system. My idea was that it may be that animation will be created with a system where the parts are created before the film and then assembled later to create it. This would be particularly for computer animation where one group of people might make a set piece or character model and somebody else might take advantage of it. This would be a sort of ‘virtual ecosystem’ that would allow for a wider diversity of projects than ever before. We’ll see if either of these ideas gets widespread.

        1. This is certainly true. David OReilly has released his character rigs from his short film The External World for use in noncommercial projects.

          Various other endeavours around the world aim to do exactly this; having someone make, say, the character rig, and then have someone else animate it or dress it for their own use.

      2. I entirely agree, but do caution that total creative freedom gave us the likes of John K; an artist of unparalled genius but whose greatest work came from being constrained by Nickelodeon executives. Once he escaped their grasp and was left to his own devices, his work, while animated gloriously, descended into crassness.

    2. The question of whether independent animation will find a large audience has already been answered, but what defines a ‘large’ audience is very much in flux. The days of 20 million viewers per episode are long gone, but the idea of an ‘audience’ is also giving way to the notion of the ‘fanbase’; where regular viewers make up the vast majority of the audience.

      1. I have to disagree with you. There’s still the possibility of a wide theatrical release which to my knowledge hasn’t been given to independent animation feature, at least independent animation in the sense I’m thinking which means one or two general creators and others who may assist them at more mundane tasks like inking and coloring drawings. For webseries you’re probably right, but I don’t see theaters going anywhere any time soon.

        1. Oh no, not at all. Cinemas serve a social function in addition to an entertainment one.

          What will change is how films get into them in the first place. My money says that owners would rather have one full screen thanks to an independent film than a half-fllled one from the latest ‘blockbuster’.

          Technology like Tugg will make this scenario a reality and hopefully give independent films a fighting chance against the mighty marketing budgets of the major studios.

          1. Oh, yes. I hadn’t remembered that post offhand. There’s another potential danger that worries me though. Its possible that marketing companies might gain too much power as gatekeepers to large audiences. That is, unless tugg screenings are advertised widely both in newspapers and online. It’s this which will probably make or break screening services like Tugg as determines whether repeat screenings take place and whether they’re successful. I’m assuming, of course, that word of mouth while powerful, wouldn’t gain many audience members for future showings most of the time.

  3. “The next great animation studio doesn’t even exist yet. Why not?”

    How do we know it doesn’t? It took Pixar more than a decade to finally break through with Toy Story. No, I think the next great studio DOES exist, it is merely in that incubation period before the big hit announces its coming-out to the world. I see brilliance in a few overseas studios already, and all they need is the funding Pixar had to be that next great studio I think! 🙂

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