The Second Golden Age of Animation is creating enormous revenues from both box office gross to billions of dollars in sales generated by all manner of kids' products spinning off from Intellectual Properties aimed at the kiddy market, products that range from the bizarre (Spongebob) to the sublime (Harry Potter). When was the First Golden Age of Animation? This was a period in American animation history beginning in 1928 that began with the introduction of sound cartoons. It continued into the early 1960s when the introduction of this new medium of television animation drew audiences away from cinemas. It was during these years that an impressive number of Animation Properties came into being; such characters as Tom and Jerry, Superman, Woody Woodpecker, Felix the Cat as well as a huge range of Disney characters. Walt Disney's first films; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bambi came into being during this era. What then is the Second Golden Age of Animation? It is happening today.
Traditional animation, called cell animation, had been the standard since the 1920's. Very labor intensive, cell animation was the backbone of the Disney corporation production facility and other companies such as Hanna Barbera. The introduction of computers, while slow to take hold, has completely changed the face of animation production taking animation from two dimensional characters to three dimensional images that are more realistic, easier to manipulate and store and most importantly, are the backbone of the huge video gaming market. According to the Producer To Producer Book, 2nd Edition, animated films have now outstripped other genres in home video and DVD sales. In recent years, the licensing and merchandising industry driven by animated television series targeted at children has performed beyond most industry expectations.
An example of a computer produced children's product is Pokemon that created world-wide sakes in excess of $10Billion dollars.0 Billion by 2001. Licensing and Merchandising revenues are expected to exceed $100 Billion annually by the year 2010 fueled by such monster hits as Shrek 2 - $881 Million Dollars, Finding Nemo - $865 Million and The Incredibles - $624 Million to name just three. The target market for children's television and films is the 50 million plus 4 - 12 year old North American kids whose buying power for toys, games and puzzles was approximately U.S.$13.
The sales of childrens products in the North American market has grown to $200 Billion per year. The traditional animation market of North America has now expanded to encompass Europe, Asia and the Pacific. Kids buying power grew 12% over the 90's and is expected to continue at a double digit growth rate well into the 2000's. So dramatic was this growth of the Kids market that marketers dubbed the 90's as the "Decade of the Child".
In response to this phenomenon, more and more toys, clothes, food and entertainment products are being developed for this huge and growing market. All manner of products aimed at the kids market now spin off from animated movies. Film producers and product manfacturers now work hand in hand. Computer generated films are now the driving force behind the enormous jump in sales of toys, electronic games and the multitude of other products aimed at the kid and tween market. items. What does the future hold in this new Golden Age of Animation? What will be the next exciting, high grossing childrens property.
What will that be? As usual, it's anybody's guess. Who would have thought that some years ago, adults would be fist fighting over something called Cabbage Patch Dolls? Whatever the next hit is, it will no doubt be spawned from the depths of a computer chip.
Greanwold http://www.greanwold.com is the brain child of Michael Trigg of You N Me Productions Corp, a Vancouver, Canada based company. You N Me has joined up with Shogee Inc. http://www.shogee.com to produce Greanwold's World.