According to Manuel CristÃ³bal, a producer with film hits to his credit such as El Bosque Encantado (The Enchanted Forest) and El Lince Perdido and the man responsible for Arrugas, “the borders for animation have been blown up and now we find not only movies for family audiences but also animated dramas, such as Arrugas, and adventure movies being made using motion-capture techniques, such as Tintin. This is not a coincidence, and it shows that animation is a strategic sector with a brilliant future.” Perro Verde Films, the production company behind Arrugas is a long-time member of DIBOOS, under whose aegis some 80% of all Spanish animation is produced. Likewise, DIBOOS encourages state institutions to place further belief in a sector “where they’re shaking the hand of great creative talent and entrepreneurial know-how that is creating a product that makes most of its money abroad, that generates stable, highly-qualified employment and that is very technologically and innovatively intense.” Chelo Loureiro, Vice President of Diboos for Film, comments that “the pre-selection of Arrugas and Chico & Rita for the Oscars is nothing more than further proof of the prestige of the Spanish animation industry, which is currentlyÂ producing over 20 feature-length films for the big screen and thousands of hours of series for TV, apps and videogames. Absolutely all of this production is being pre-sold on an international level because both the quality of the story-telling and the animation techniques prove we’re good.”
And it’s true that, now, it’s no longer the exception when Spanish series and movies conquer foreign markets, even American markets, which have traditionally been difficult to gain access to for European products in general. To cite just a few examples, on the heals of the tremendous global success of PocoyÃ³, companies such as BRB, IMIRA and VODKA have managed to produce animated series that have sold in over 150 countries around the world and that have been embraced by huge audiences, leading to million-dollar commercial tie-ins and licensing agreements that have given rise to wide-spread industrial and commercial commitments employing thousands of qualified professionals. And apart from this type of entrepreneurial success, Spanish animation has produced tremendous enthusiasm around the globe simply due to the level of its creativity, as can be seen in the two candidatures for the Oscars or the 11 projects selected for the past edition of the Cartoon Forum, animation’s premier event.
The report that has been presented by FAPAE over the last three years, Madrid de Cine-Spanish Film Screenings, clearly states that Spanish productions continue to earn more money abroad than at home: In 2010, Spanish cinema made 90 million euros outside of Spain and had a total audience of 16.3 million viewers.
For Pedro Pérez, President of FAPAE (Federation of Spanish Audiovisual Producers’ Associations), “These nominations corroborate the success and international projection of Spanish fiction and, concretely, of Spanish animation. The Oscar candidatures of Arrugas and Chico & Rita are recognition of the talent and innovative work that is being carried out at the heart of these animation companies.”