Monday, November 25, 2013

GKIDS: Distributor with a Plan?

Ernest & Celestine, a hand-drawn animated feature produced in France and Belgium from last year, will be getting a general release in North America this coming spring.

The film is qualifying for a nomination for this year, and it most likely will get a nomination at this rate given distributor GKIDS' track record, the Academy's tendency to sometimes nominate a foreign feature, the film's critical reception and the fact that it's a very bright spot in a rather weak year.

We'll be getting a dubbed version, though… On March 14, 2014. The release will expand from there, GKIDS may be on to something here. Disney is releasing Hayao Miyazaki's swan song The Wind Rises in American theaters after the Oscars, hoping that the Oscar buzz helps it do well at the domestic box office and actually be a modest hit. For once. The highest grossing Japanese animated film here in the states is the first Pokemon movie… That says quite a lot, doesn't it? Wouldn't it be nice if a Studio Ghibli film could gross north of $50 million here?

GKIDS may be attempting to do the same for this film, maybe they hope that a more experimental or foreign animated film could catch on and start a new trend. If so, then it's high time we see a slow rise in these films here in the states. A good chunk of this year's family-friendly computer animated stuff underperforming might be signaling a chance; audiences may want more diversity in animation now. Pixar-lites and family-friendly comedies obviously aren't enough, and maybe audiences may be thinking the same thing...

What do you think?

(via Cartoon Brew)

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