The fans of animated films wait patiently for their favorite new releases to make it to the theater. These avid moviegoers are not all under the age of 18. In fact, there are many that exceed the age of 30, 40, and even 50. Animation is a genre that appeals to all age groups and has the power to emotionally invest people in a land and a cast of characters that have never existed. Many of the newest releases earn massive profits at the box office, but they are not an easy success. Even people that truly appreciate the films may have no idea of the time, effort, and money that is spent to create them.
In many ways, animated films are not much different than live action movies. Nearly all of the same efforts and concerns exist with animated productions as other films, aside from scouting out shooting locations. Here are some of the things the people working on animated films have to deal with and the process the movies must go through:
- A concept is created and the script is written.
- Voice acting roles are cast and the script acted out.
- Animators must create characters with totally unique appearances, wardrobes, and movements.
- Theme music and original songs are written and recorded for the film, along with background noises and sound effects.
- Editors must mesh the voice, animation, and additional sounds and music to create a single production that flows together perfectly.
- A single frame in animation is much more complex than one in a live action film. Every shadow, loose hair, and stitch of clothing, along with everything else, needs to be added manually and made to move realistically.
- Actors must express emotions clearly with their voices alone because they do not have the control of adjusting the expressions of their animated characters as they would their own in a live action film.
Animation is not an inexpensive project for studios to undertake. It is not uncommon for tens of millions to be spent in their production. The biggest name films have had budgets of $150 million to $200 million, and more. This is a huge risk for the investors, but when it works, it can lead to billions in profits. Perhaps the potential risk is one reason why many studios have taken some of the most popular animated creations and produced multiple sequels. They know children enjoy what is familiar to them, and the concept and characters have already been developed and the popularity of the first film basically guarantees that the title will draw interest. Many upcoming animated productions currently scheduled for release in the next two or three years are sequels of recent popular films. Others are sequels of films from several years ago, movies with familiar characters, and films based on children's books and retro-inspired productions using 1980s cartoon characters.
For more information on upcoming animated movies and how much is put into them, consider checking out review pages like Rotoscopers or visiting a theater near you.