Sunday, February 25, 2007

Back to the Future: Animation in the 90's

Hehe, this post title will hardly be the last time you hear me reference Back to the Future :P Anyway, my real point...

I found an interesting article from 1990 by Richard Zoglin in Time Magazine's free archives, talking about the boom of animation going on at the time. I'll be upfront here, and admit that I'm just starting my career now and do not have a first hand industry perspective, nor years of experience to help me interpret. But that's why I'm posting this. I've read on other blogs from people who say the current boom of CG mirrors what happened in the 90's, and this article gives a first hand account--sort of frozen in time. Anything sound familiar?

Time Magazine

Quote: "There are also possibilities for overkill. "Animation is an art form that, through the loss of care, fell by the wayside," says David Kirschner, the newly installed president of Hanna-Barbera. "If it's exploited again without care, it will again fall away." Should the field become glutted, the studios that are currently in love with cartoons might make a quick about-face and say, "That's all, folks." "

The question is when? And how bad? But I've started to wonder...with all the kids like me going into animation these days, if or when jobs start becoming scarce, how many of us are going to be able to be employed? It's a depressing thought, but all the more reason to take things like this seriously. People will call me naiive, but in most aspects of life I do not predict doom and gloom, and try to have faith that no matter what the circumstances, somehow things will work out, even if they aren't in the way we want them to. But cycles in any industry are part of the story. At least animation now is a much broader industry than before, with the growth of visual effects, games, and the internet. Will that have any effect?

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