Sunday, August 12

Money or Creativity leading to an Animated Spin-Off to Animated Film

As an animation buff, I was wondering of spin-off series from animated films and seeing why they chose those films and not others. In many cases, it was because of money or popularity.

Disney's The Little Mermaid
During its original 1989 theatrical release, Mermaid earned $84,355,863 at the North American box office. In 1992, an animated series was developed that aired on CBS on saturday mornings from 1992 to 1994 (three seasons, 31 episodes). Some of the voice actors of the film reprise their roles in the series, among them Jodi Benson as Ariel, Samuel E. Wright as Sebastian, Kenneth Mars as King Triton, and Pat Carroll as Ursula. The animation was not the same as the original film but just as good, it wasn't bad.

Disney's Aladdin
Aladdin was the most successful film of 1992 grossing $217 million in the United States and over $504 million worldwide. As of 2010, it is the eighteenth highest grossing animated film and the third highest grossing traditionally animated feature worldwide, behind The Lion King and The Simpsons Movie. From the 1994 direct-to-video sequel came the animated series that lasted 86 episodes (2 seasons, 1994-1995). Many of the films' stars provided the voices of their TV counterparts, with the notable exception of Dan Castellaneta filling in for Robin Williams in the Genie role (like in The Return of Jafar). Unlike the Little Mermaid spinoff series, this series does not feature any musical numbers. It aired weekdays on syndication originally. It was part of the 'Disney Afternoon.' The animation was much like the second movie, low-grade compared to the original.

Timon & Pumbaa
The Lion King earned $422,783,777 in North America and an estimated $528,800,000 in other territories for a worldwide total of $951,583,777. It is the second-highest-grossing animated film of all time worldwide and the highest-grossing film of Walt Disney Animation Studios. The Lion King's Timon & Pumbaa is an American animated television series made by the Walt Disney Company. It centers on Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog from the Disney film franchise The Lion King, without most of the other characters in the franchise. The show ran for three seasons from September 16, 1995 to 1999 (5 seasons, 85 episodes on CBS). By the fall of 1995, 13 episodes premiered on Friday afternoons on the syndicated Disney Afternoon block, and 12 more episodes aired on Saturday mornings on CBS at the same time.  By the fall of 1996, 13 new episodes aired on The Disney Afternoon and Family Channel, with 8 more premiering on CBS and in. 1998, 39 new episodes were produced due to overseas demand. These episodes began airing on Toon Disney on January 1, 1999. From episode 47 onwards, the show was produced by Studio B Productions for Walt Disney Television Animation. The animation was considerably low-grade compared to the film.

The Penguins of Madagascar
 In the United States, the film Madagascar grossed $193,595,521, and in foreign areas grossed $339,085,150 with a summative worldwide gross of $532,680,671. As of July 2010, the film is the eighth highest-grossing DreamWorks animated feature. The Penguins of Madagascar is an American CGI animated television series airing on Nickelodeon since 2008. So far it has 138 episodes. Although the series occasionally alludes to the rest of the franchise, The Penguins of Madagascar does not take place at a precise time within it. McGrath, who is also the co-creator of the film characters, has said that the series takes place "not specifically before or after the movie, I just wanted them all back at the zoo. I think of it as taking place in a parallel universe." The animation is noticeably low-graded from the films but it has its own quirks.

The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius is a 2001 American computer-animated film based on a few three-minute animated shorts shown on Nickelodeon between the years 1999-2002, and a pilot in 1998. The film was financially successful, bringing in $13,832,786 on its opening weekend for an average of $4,407 from 3,139 theaters, and ended up with a total of $80,865,848 domestically, but the film did not do nearly as well outside of the US where it only made $22,056,304 which made a total of $102,992,536 worldwide. It had a budget of roughly $30 million. It originally aired on Nickelodeon for three seasons from July 20, 2002, to November 25, 2006. The shows ended in 2006, when its parent company, DNA Productions, became defunct. he movie's second spin-off series Planet Sheen premiered on October 2nd, 2010 on Nickelodeon. The series was originally produced by C.O.R.E. in Toronto, but production moved to Bardel Entertainment in Vancouver after C.O.R.E shut its doors. Nicktoons aired new episodes starting on May 4, 2012.

Back at the Barnyard
Barnyard is a 2006 computer-animated film, produced by Nickelodeon Movies and Paramount Pictures was released on August 4, 2006. The film is the second Nickelodeon movie spun-off into a TV series, the first being Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. Barnyard grossed $16 million on its opening weekend and made $73 million in its domestic theatrical release. It has made $108 million in its worldwide theatrical release. On January 22, 2010, Nickelodeon ordered 16 more episodes extending it to a third season. In March 2011, the show was in hiatus, due to the more recent Omation show "Planet Sheen" pausing production of "Back at the Barnyard" episodes. The hiatus stopped in August 2011 when they announced the remaining episodes will air on Nicktoons starting on September 12, 2011. This is Steve Oedekerk's second animated series for Nickelodeon, as he was one of the executive producers (but not the creator) of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. The show ended on November 12, 2011, with 52 full episodes aired.

Kung Fu Panda
Kung Fu Panda topped the box office in its opening weekend, grossing $60,239,130 for a $14,642 average from 4,114 theaters and performing much better than analysts had been expecting. It also was the highest-grossing opening for a non-sequel DreamWorks Animation film at the time. Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness has a total 52 episodes have been produced in 2011 and so far with 27 episodes have aired. None of the original cast voice the animated series except for Lucy Liu. The animation is obviously low-graded from the films.

Dragons: Riders of Berk
How to Train Your Dragon topped the North American box office with $43.7 million in its first weekend of release. The film grossed $217,581,231 in the United States and Canada and $277,297,528 in foreign countries with a worldwide total of $494,878,759. Unlike the other Dreamworks film spin-offs, HTTYD series airs on Cartoon Network.  Dragons: Riders of Berk is an American computer-animated television series airing on Cartoon Network. The series is based on the 2010 film How to Train Your Dragon. One hour preview consisting of two episodes aired on August 7, 2012, with the official premiere of the series on September 4, 2012. A total of 20 episodes will air during the first season, and a second season has already been confirmed. The series features some of the original voice cast of the How to Train Your Dragon film, including Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and T. J. Miller. The animation is not as vivid as the ones from the original film but not bad. The newer dragons look more low grade.

Monsters Vs. Aliens
Not that popular with fans and failed with critics. On its opening weekend, the film opened at No. 1, grossing $59.3 million in 4,104 theaters. The movie made $198,351,526 in the United States and Canada making it the second-highest grossing animated movie behind Up. Beside the main film, Monsters vs. Aliens franchise also includes a short film B.O.B.'s Big Break, Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space and Monsters vs. Aliens: Night of the Living Carrots. A TV series based on the film will air on Nickelodeon. Despite its success in the United States market, DreamWorks Animation's CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg was quoted in the Los Angeles Times that a sequel would not be made because of the film's weak performance in some key international markets. "There was enough of a consensus from our distribution and marketing folks in certain parts of the world that 'doing a sequel' would be pushing a boulder up a hill." Jeffrey Katzenberg announced that Nickelodeon has ordered a pilot for a Monsters vs. Aliens cartoon series. Eventually, the series was announced at the 2012 annual Nickelodeon upfront, being green-lit for 26 episodes.