Have you ever read an article from the 1960’s which tried to predict the wonders of the future? We’ve all had a substantial giggle at the unfulfilled prophecies of living on the moon, or having a whole eight computers gracing the entire globe. Well get ready to laugh, computer-starved moon dwellers, because I have some of my own predictions about what the future of animated film will look like, both here in Australia and for the general industry.
1. Internationally, Australia will continue to be known for VFX animation and nothing else.
Let’s face it. When you think of animated films and the studios that make them, you probably don’t think of Australia. At least not at first. Or at eleventh. But one area of animation Australia can lay vague claim to like a Crowded House album is visual effects, due largely to the international success of Australian CGI studio Animal Logic. And while I hate to single out individual companies as being representative of the whole country, with credits including animation and VFX for films such as The Lego Movie, Happy Feet and The Great Gatsby, it’s not hard to see why they’re a key identifier when people talk about Australia’s place in animation. When an established company starts being internationally recognised for consistent quality work in a particular field, an association develops with the location of production. When I think of 3D animated film, I largely think of the US because of Pixar and Dreamworks. When I think of stop-motion animation, I think of the UK because of Aardman animation. When I think of 2D animated film, I think ‘Sweet Jesus, I miss 2D animated film’. Given 20 years, Australia too could join the ranks as the go-to thought for VFX animation.