Nickelodeon is launching an OTT service. Yes, basically it’s like Netflix, but just for Nickelodeon shows. That should be an awesome announcement, right? Well, in theory, yes, it should. However the reality is different. Nickelodeon is a major producer of animation in the US, and by launching an OTT service, it endangers the future of the artform.
Fred Patten over on Cartoon Research has a verythorough and insightful post about translation and the comedy of errors that can result. That’s something that continually seems to haunt animation. Live-action has less of an issue because, quite simply, less of it travels across borders thanks to its lower cost. Animation, being as expensive as it is, seems to require international sales in order to succeed and that means a lot of translation. Latin-based languages aren’t too difficult, but once you cross the Pacific, things get tricky; a fact that Fred’s post does much to enlighten us about.
Happy feet no longer tapping as animation studio sells upHappy feet no longer tapping as animation studio sells up
Animation is tough business, and the latest casualty is the Australian studio that produced Happy Feet 2:
Unfortunately, the only story Dr D managed to share was Happy Feet Two. The continual slate of production that had been anticipated failed to materialise, and the 650 or so staff who had been hired (mostly on contract) at the peak of production dwindled in the months after to about 50. In more recent times, it is believed fewer than half a dozen people were employed by the company.
In a rare self-referential link, Michael Sporn read my post on Animation Scoop questioning the race for the easy dollar among major animation studios and posted his own, well-measured thoughts. The topic is of concern to me primarily because the gold rush that animation currently is has lead to a lot of formulaic films that I fear will result in audience burnout and an industry downturn.
All three seasons of one of the most underrated cartoons of the last decade are now on DVD through Amazon. At $19.99, they aren’t the cheapest, but seeing as this show is well overdue for a release and that DVD is in the twilight years of its existence, you should consider it a worthwhile investment.