Mark Mayerson has a short but insightful commentary about the (sad) state of CG feature animation in the US and the hope that exists beyond the current slate of mind-numbingly repetitive and uninspired CG filmmaking:
We had A Bug’s Life and Antz and now The Ant Bully. We had Finding Nemo and Shark Tale. We had Madagascar and The Wild. And we’re due for a plague of rats. There’s Ratatouille, Flushed Away, Rats Amore and One Rat Short.
When you take the genre conventions and add settings or subject matter that have already been done, you’re in danger of boring the audience.
Something very interesting happened in the comics field that may relate to what’s going on in animation. From the 1960’s onwards, comics fans argued for longer, more serious works. While Marvel and DC, the two main companies, did adapt to a degree, they stuck with superheroes and continued to market to their established fan base.Cartoonists finally took matters into their own hands and started doing personal work that broke out of genre conventions. Between the importation of Manga and mainstream publisher interest in the graphic novel, Marvel and DC have been reduced to minor players in terms of sales and artistic importance.