Sunday, January 17, 2016

it's a bit much to suggest America's favorite pasttime is making things tough for quality animation ... but

The lament that Studio Ghibli is going to stop making feature length films is understandable.
America’s favorite pastime is making sure that its culture is as inhospitable to quality animation as possible, and 2015 was another nail in a coffin that’s already more metal than wood. Unsurprisingly, the year’s best animated feature was Studio Ghibli’s wistfully bittersweet When Marnie Was There, and unsurprisingly it earned a whopping $561,085 at the U.S. box office because it never played in more than 57 theaters. American audiences have never appreciated the inimitable magic of Ghibli’s films, and now that world’s greatest animation studio has retired from the feature business, we’ve officially blown it once and for all. May your kids be too busy obsessing over Frozen to recognize the profound extent to which you’ve failed them.
Of course the free-wheeling adaptation of the Snow Queen that transformed the villain into a sympathetic hero was going to win the Oscar over The Wind Rises. If the snow princess gets the catchiest song and that inspires people to completely reconceive the plot in light of that then, well, that's America. 
But Aardman hasn't closed shop yet, in spite of having that devastating fire a few years ago.  Song of the Sea was a solid film.  The Powerpuff Girls and Samurai Jack are returning, though whether they rise to their levels of previous glory remains to be seen. Sure, The Simpsons and Family Guy are unfortunately both still on the air but there's probably no helping that. 

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