Is the animation industry finally returning to a “golden age” of original entertainment?
By Scott Wood, Staff Writer and Artist
To anyone who’s been paying attention to the ebb and flow of the animation industry, it is apparent that there’s been a lack of originality. All the biggest animation releases of recent memory have been some sort of sequel or spin-off (Frozen 2 and How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World come to mind). It has been, in my humble opinion, tiring.
After the absolute powerhouse of the late 2000s and early 2010s, this period of derivativeness can seem relatively stagnant. After all, movies like Up and Coraline are pretty tough acts to follow. We may be exiting this slump soon, however.
With new upcoming movies such as Soul, Rumble or the stylistically-unique Connected, it seems like we are getting a long-overdue breath of fresh air in upcoming years. But why is Hollywood abandoning the ever-lucrative and relatively risk-free practice of making sequels in favor of new ideas and IPs? Well, quite simply, you cannot have sequels without, um, “quels.” If no new ideas are created, then the well for potential sequels will quickly run dry. Recent films which have been lauded for their originality, such as Into the Spider-Verse, already have sequels lined up. So, for the time being, Hollywood is going to be taking risks, and only time will tell which of these risks will yield rewards.