Amid’s a pretty opinionated guy, and I don’t always agree with him. But in his description of the European animated feature climate, he presents very eloquently the model Canada should be aspiring to:
Amid: The big advantage that European animated features have is their lower budgets. Why is that an advantage? The benefit of smaller budgets is that it allows for more risk-taking and experimentation. The major American producers have their hands tied because their films cost between $100-200 million. To ensure a return on their investment, they have to create formulaic and safe tentpoles for the global market and can’t risk offending any segment of the filmgoing audience from three-year-olds to eighty-year-olds. That’s a tough situation to be in creatively because it doesn’t allow for new or creative ideas to emerge. Many European film producers make the mistake of trying to replicate the Pixar/DreamWorks formulas on smaller budgets, and those films always suffer by comparison because they look cheap. The most successful foreign film producers are those who embrace their small budgets and use it to their advantage to create animated films that would be impossible to produce in the United States, like “Persepolis,” “Triplets of Belleville,” “Ernest & Celestine,” “Waltz with Bashir” and the “Kirikou” series.