From: Ed Rudnicki <>
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 96 14:54:51 EST

>>Methinks the re-release of The Lion King on the same day had a lot
>>to do with this :) And the Turner animated title is "Cats Can't
>>Dance" I think. Anyhow, I saw a conceptual painting from it, and it
>>looks satisfyingly furry.
>'s still "Cat's Don't.." on everything I've got, but I guess they
>could've changed it. If there were a "SwatKats" movie released, I
>*certainly* hope Mouse doesn't pull any shenanigans like the TLK
>release - or the extra dose of "Toy Story" hype during the "Balto"
>run - or the manufactured "coincidence" of having "Oliver and Company"
>re-released just in time for "All Dogs Go To Heaven Pt. II". 'Course,
>Mikey Eisner would have to retire, but that's another story.

Now I'm doubting myself about that title. Readers: one of us is
definitely right :)

Anyhow, you _know_ Disney will do everything possible to counter-
release an animated film to try to suppress the opening of someone
else's product.

What bothers me is that Disney is in effect "wasting" the release of
"James and the Giant Peach" tomorrow, as it'll be competing with
"Oliver" to some extent as well as "All Dogs..." Mysterious indeed
are the ways of the Mouse.

>>Well there were ads on the various Turner cable stations. Even CNN.
>>I guess the fool assumed that only his stations are worth watching.
>Yeah, there's that promotion, and the fuzzy logic of having trailers for
>the Kats videos *ON* the Kats videos, but I suppose "fool" adequately
>covers this as well (not to mention Razor's white nose).

It just occurred to me that advertising the SK videos only on Turner
stations doesn't cost him anything for air time. Still, "fool"
applies, as every other purveyor of animated films and/or kidvid
will advertise during "competitors'" programming, as witnessed by
ads for "Balto" during The Disney Afternoon.

I haven't seen any ads for the "Balto" video, but perhaps I haven't
been looking. Just two more weeks for the LD!

>>Major fear here. One of the drivers for new feature animation, even
>>mediocre efforts like The Pagemaster and The Princess and the
>>Goblin, is the seemingly insatiable demand for inoffensive kidvid. A
>>Kats film that we'd enjoy would not sell to this market, which is
>>absolutely staggering in size.
>That is still *the* market when planning an animated feature release.
>'Batman: Mask of the Phantasm" tried for an up-market audience, and
>likely would've set a better precedent for "older" target features had
>bloody WB not released it on Christmas Day - dooming it to the
>"kid" label irrespective of content. What I think producers like Tedco and
>the rest are slow to grasp is that there are actually *two* major markets
>for feature animation (just ask any anime fan), one of which stays away
>from "Pretty Princess" epics in droves. Nobody's convinced the feature
>people that a more mature audience may be going to these things for
>reasons other than to be kid-chaperones, and as a result everyone keeps
>betting on the 'sure-thing'; the audience that will always be there - the
>littl'uns spending their allowances on cute, flyweight and fuzzy. The first
>mature-themed anime flick in wide release that doesn't scream "Japanese
>Culture" with every frame should just *rake* it in. That feature could

How well did "Heavy Metal" do in its original release?

The problem with the "two major markets" is that the one that stays
away from "Pretty Princess" epics in droves is an order of magnitude
or two smaller than the traditional market. Films that are still
accessible to children while offering adults more will _always_
succeed, but a film appealing only to adults is just too risky.
Animation costs too much and take too long to make to take that
risk, and thanks to Disney and certain others the limited animation
that allows anime to be produced at lower costs would not be

And I wonder about the "general public's" acceptance of a Kats film.
Most of us are furries/furfen, and we readily accept a Kats, or
other anthro world, as readily as our own. The rest of the world
sees the "funny animals" and, apart from perhaps the old WB shorts,
dismisses them as purely kiddie material. It's noteworthy that
"Cats Can't/Don't Dance" will have this exact same problem; its
success or lack thereof may be a good indicator as to how a Kats
film might do.


Received on Thu Apr 04 1996 - 15:40:22 PST

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