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Don Bluth Doesn’t Need Your Money To Make A ‘Dragon’s Lair’ Pitch

Animation director Don Bluth and producer Gary Goldman launched a crowdfunding campaign in late October, asking backers on Kickstarter for $550,000 to develop a pitch for a feature based on their early-’80s arcade game Dragon’s Lair. The seasoned director-producer team cancelled the project a month later, with less than 72 hours left in the campaign, after their campaign stalled out with less than $242,000.

But that’s not the end of the story for the Dragon’s Lair movie, which Bluth and Goldman have been trying to develop for over 30 years. They launched yet another campaign last week, asking for $250,000. They also switched to crowdfunding site IndieGogo, where they could set up a “flexible funding” campaign that would allow them to keep whatever amount people donated, even if they didn’t reach their goal.

Besides the obvious question — if the pitch only cost $250,000 to begin with, why ask for more than double that amount? — there’s a more fundamental question that should be asked: Should crowdfunding be used to fund feature film pitches that result in nothing for the backers?

Kickstarter’s Own Rules Say No

When Bluth and Goldman’s project was listed on Kickstarter, it violated one of that company’s three golden rules, , which is that, “Projects must create something to share with others.” In this case, the thing that the project was creating — a pitch presentation — would not have been available to any campaign backers.

Per Kickstarter’s own rules, “At some point, the creator should be able to say: ‘It’s finished. Here’s what we created. Enjoy!'” Bluth and Goldman couldn’t do that. It’s not necessarily Bluth and Goldman’s fault that their project was approved on that site; they simply took advantage of Kickstarter’s lax enforcement of their established policies. And Indiegogo has no similar restrictions that project creators must create an actual product to share with backers, so they’re safe now.

Nevertheless, a campaign that asks for hundreds of thousands to dollars to create a product that can’t be shared with its backers is antithetical to the spirit of crowdfunding, which was originally set up to support projects that couldn’t be funded through traditional means.

UPDATE: It has been pointed out that the pitch video would have been made available to backers who paid $75 or more. On the Kickstarter campaign, that means that 69% of backers would have been ineligible to see the project they were backing.

Give Me Money So I Can Get More Money

But there’s another side to this, too, which is irrespective of whether backers get to see the pitch: If there’s two people in this world who don’t need money to create a feature presentation pitch, it’s Don Bluth and Gary Goldman.

These guys have produced ten theatrical animated features for major studios like Universal, MGM, and Fox. They’ve been creating pitches for decades, and they understand the game better than anyone. They understand that there’s risk involved in developing a major project, and they’ve always assumed that risk themselves. The reason is simple: if they get hired to produce the film, there’s tens of millions of dollars awaiting them. (They’ve budgeted the Dragon’s Lair movie at $70 million, by the way.) In this instance, they’ve shifted the risk of development onto their fans, yet set themselves up to be the key financial beneficiaries should the film receive additional investment.

Somebody likely advised Bluth and Goldman that the best way to generate enthusiasm for a Dragon’s Lair feature was to get fans involved in a crowdfunding campaign. The advice may have been valid, but it was implemented poorly because now they’ve had a tepid response to two different campaigns, confirming to Hollywood that the Dragon’s Lair fanbase is smaller than had been assumed. In this second lap around the crowdfunding world, Bluth and Goldman have raised a little over $200,000 from 2,934 backers during the first week. Contrast that to a truly successful crowdfunding campaign, like the one for the game Psychonauts 2 which has racked up over $2 million from over 13,000 backers in its first few days.

Don Bluth is an American animation legend. Anyone who has survived Hollywood as long as he has doesn’t deserve to be called anything less. But his campaign to fund a Dragon’s Lair pitch is nonsense. He could have approached this in so many other ways, like setting up a campaign to create a 4-minute short that would have recreated the thrill that players felt when they first played the games, but also would have re-introduced the characters and concept to younger generations.

If you care about animation, give your money to filmmakers who are actually producing films for the people, not to those making secret pitches for Hollywood’s monied elite. Bluth and Goldman may make a Dragon’s Lair someday and they may not. But one thing is for certain: the film’s fate has little to do with whether you hand over your money.

  • Rick Dolishny

    The original pitch seemed disingenuous. This idea, below, sounds like a much more palatable idea and true to the spirit of crowdfunding.

    >> He could have approached this in so many other ways, like setting up a campaign to create a 4-minute short that would have recreated the thrill that players felt when they first played the games, but also would have re-introduced the characters and concept to younger generations.

  • Stefan Ellison

    I think $70 million is unusually high for a hand drawn animated Dragon’s Lair movie. Don Bluth made The Secret of NIMH at a budget of only $7 million and that film looks stunning. With the advances of technology, I don’t see why this project (which like NIMH, would also most likely be an independent project) can’t also cost about the same amount.

    • Raphael Maltais

      well… Nihm was 30 years ago… The latest 2D feature of the same style was Princess and the frog and cost 105 millions.

  • Seth Kearsley

    While I totally agree, and can’t believe people expect one of the contributors to the downfall of 2D animation to be it’s savior, there is precedent for this. David Fincher, and Blur animation did the same sort of thing with The GOON. http://kck.st/VZ7vqo Except they raised the money, and that team could do something that hasn’t been done in animation…although…I doubt that Fincher couldn’t have just bankrolled it himself or found investors for development.

    • Guest

      Excuse me Mr. Kearsley but I’m confused, how was Don Bluth a contributor to the downfall of 2d animation?

    • Strong Enough

      rich people use other people’s money instead of their own. thats how they stay rich

  • jimmy

    This article makes no sense. For a 35 dollar donation you get a link to the finished presentation video so why are you saying there’s nothing for backers?

    • The original Kickstarter did not have that option. You only got a download at the $75 tier then.

  • Santiago Casares

    The comparison between the Dragon’s Lair Kickstarter and the one from the Psychonauts video game is unfair, as the video game one would give the supporters a final version of the game, while the one for Dragon’s Lair is for creating a pitch to be able to finance a feature film. So, more people will support a crowdfunding campaign that will deliver a final product.

    • KW

      Against the rules or not I dont know why anyone would give money to a crowdfunding campaign in which a final product isnt produced. Why would I ever want to pay for someone elses pitch video, its not a guarantee of anything ever coming of it?

  • marti386

    Please Lord, let Don Bluth make this movie before he dies.

  • Josh

    Might as well call Cartoon Brew “The Don Bluth Hate Club.” We should celebrating all animation. Enough with this in-fighting.

    • Richard Blakely

      I disagree. Any reputable plea for money should welcome public scrutiny.

      • Fried

        So we get tired of the big named studios dominating the animation world, yet we criticize those who try to use sources as a way to fund their independent works? Don Bluth tried his hand at a studio and it crashed and burned. And he could never pitch to a big studio because they are uninterested in 2D unless they see that it CAN make money. This is the next best bet that he’s got.

  • Chad Townsend

    I couldn’t believe that half a Million dollars was needed to make an animated pitch. That’s kind of why I didn’t fund it. I have noticed a lot of great guys shoot really low in how much they wanted on kickstarter and end up going way way over what they asked for. Dragons Lair felt like a money grab. I can’t say that’s what it was but it felt disingenuous setting the bar so high. I think had they said. Hey…. we need 50k to pay our salaries for a month or two while we make this pitch. I believe people would have given them a lot more.

    Also on a side note that’s not a bad Idea to have articles that spotlight interesting Kickstarter campaigns. For Instance Jake Parker just had a successful campaign to make his graphic novel Skyheart. He’s worked in the animation industry for a while. Such articles could help out giving some traction to some really interesting projects.

    • I agree with you Chad. When I first heard of the pricing on Kickstarter, for just a sizzle reel, it sounded very fishy. Wouldn’t it have been better for them to just do the sizzle reel on their own time and went ahead and talk to investors without the crowd funding? Had they done that, and they weren’t able to find investors…THEN the could come to the internet to see about funding the film.

      And they could have the sizzle reel ready for backers to see how the film would look like, where it will go, and the desire to see the film get done.

      • Chad Townsend

        I agree. If you hear the pitch for the Goon… their comment was (not an exact quote) “yeh we might have been able to fund the money ourselves, But we needed to show proof to studios that there are people who want this product and this is how much we got etc”

        Don’t get me wrong. If you met Don you’d know what a sweet guy he is. I just think they needed to ask for a really low amount. make a short film and unlock rewards not ask for a large sum for a reward.

  • Gerry

    Everything this article says aside, their Kickstarter promo video was a schlocky, embarrassing joke. If that was even a small taste of what this team considers good pitch material then their backers were in for a giant turd sandwich.

  • Stefan Ellison

    The 2011 Winnie the Pooh movie reportedly cost about $30 million. And US$7 million is about what The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea cost to make and those movies are beautifully animated. So it’s not too out of the realm of reality.

    • The_Purple_People_Eater

      You should probably look at a Don Bluth film and maybe check out “Dragon’s Lair”, then compare that amount of complexity and detail to “Winnie the Pooh” and “Secret of Kells”/”Song of the Sea.” Also, the only reason “Secret of Kells”/”Song of the Sea” even have that flat style is because of their limited budget.

      As for comparing it to Disney, I assume the budget for an independent feature film is a lot different than the budget for a giant, corporate film. Bluth isn’t running a powerhouse, giant corporation like Disney full of teams of storyboard artists, concept artists, in-house animators, voice actors, production staff, interns, marketing, IT, etc. $70 million is a great, honest sounding estimate for high-quality, full-fledged, 2D animated, fantasy film.

  • Stefan Ellison

    US$7 million is about what The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea cost
    to make and those movies are beautifully animated. So it’s not too out
    of the realm of reality.

    • I do understand your point about Cartoon Saloon’s budgeting (the company who made The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea). What we do not know is if Don Bluth will go the route that Cartoon Saloon went.

      He just might go the route of more paper and pencil for the animation, which could cost him more than what Cartoon Saloon did for their production. Even Hayao Miyazaki’s last film The Wind Rises was in the ballpark of $30 Million, as Hayao did more paper and pencil animation for the roughs. So I can see Don Bluth possible going that route, and requesting as twice as much.

      • Mesterius

        Does noone here even take into account that Cartoon Salon’s animation – while very nicely done – is much simpler than that of a classic-style Disney-esque animated feature? Of course it costs less to make. It has to, considering the budgets they’re working with.

        • Fried

          That and also, big budgets allow for re-writes and lots of pre-production/development work. Emperor’s New Groove, for example, has a budget of $100mil whereas Lion King’s budget is $45mil. That’s because Emperor’s New Groove was shelved back when it was Kindgom of the Sun, so it basically has the budget of two films because of all the changes they had to make.

          Films like Song of the Sea and Ernest & Celestine probably didn’t need to go through as many lengthy segments of re-writing and years worth of pre-production art. They were probably able to get the style down after the first few initial pitches. And again yes, those styles are much more simpler than something like Tarzan.

          Also, a Miyazaki film was able to be cheaper than a Disney film because of the lack of Animation Guild. Western films have a lot more going in them financially than European or Japanese films. They’re all impressive, we’re just way more business oriented and it shows.

  • Jonathan Leiter

    A couple of things I’d like to argue.

    Firstly, Don and Gary hold no serious weight in the filmmaking world, nor do most people in their position who have made animated films in the past. And trying to get a 2D hand-drawn film started in the US is one of the single hardest things to do right now, because the industry still believes that audiences don’t want it. So trying to get something like this started with a crowdfunding campaign makes the most sense.

    Secondly, as far as I could see from both campaigns, being able to see the final pitch video was offered as a reward, which is only fair. And if they’ve expanded the tier at which you can see the final product in the IndieGogo version, then I think that’s reasonable.

    Third, the money that I donate, I feel, is less of an investment in tangible terms to the actual project itself. And rather, it is an investment to receive downloable copies of Don Bluth’s magazine, and his art of animation books, which as he says in the description, are out of print, and would cost me a lot more to buy physical copies of these days. So just to have the chance to see what those are all about is totally worth $35 to me. If you don’t think it’s worth that, you are entitled to that opinion. Sure, it costs him nothing to put it up, but why would he otherwise put it up for free? He isn’t obligated to.

    Fourth, I think it does make a certain amount of sense to use a crowdfunding campaign to gauge the market for how big the fan-base is, because that helps in figuring out how to gear the film itself, in order to bring in potential new fans.

    Fifth, he’s getting really really old. If this campaign has any chance of actually helping him to create a pitch which could get a real movie of Dragon’s Lair going, then all the more important he gets going with it now. Because if he can’t get a Dragon’s Lair movie made within the next 5 years, he might not live long enough to see one made at all. And he has also never been obligated to make another movie after “Bartok: The Magnificent.” If he was done with animation, then he was done with animation. But he has put it to us that he and Gary want to give movie making another try, and I think it’s acceptable to ask his fans to support his work in a tangible way.
    We’re still getting cool rewards out of it even if we never see a final product. And in his case in particular, I feel what I’ve pledged is worth what I’m getting, whether or not the project makes it into a feature.

  • Richard Blakely

    If it sounds like a scam, smells like a scam and feels like a scam……..

  • CliffClaven

    Writer Ken Levine (tons of Mash, Cheers and Frasier episodes) makes a case that Kickstarter is for the guys who don’t have the access to film execs and money that known stars (and talents like Bluth) have: http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/2015/11/best-of-2013-kickstarter-controversy.html

  • Noël ILL

    I believe that Don and Gary don’t have enough money to invest in a pitch. I don’t think Don has worked on anything since like 2009 it seems. If patrons want to donate, there is no wrong doing and that’s what Kickstarter and all these crowd funding platforms have going for them. No one can stop a person from freely donating to whatever cause they choose on a crowd funding website. What the actual problem is, is legit investing companies and movie production companies not caring enough to give artists some money for their pitch reels. These companies have money to do so! They want the whole thing made before they agree to jump in on it and start making money off of it. Completely not in the favor of the hard working creative. They want the artist to put all the risk in and do all the work and they jump in last minuet to try and make money off of them. It’s those careless companies that need to change their greedy ways. Obviously they don’t care about the art because if they did, they would hear Don’s pitch, give him money to make a little trailer, see the response it gets and then go from there. Yeah, I don’t get the whole coming down on these old guys, you can’t say they are rich unless you know them personally.

  • Charles Veiman

    Who cares!! its Don Bluth and Gary Goldman!!, take my money.

  • Mohammad Shihab Uddin

    What a negative post you have written where as all great 2D artists are trying to bring back 2D Animation once again..oh my!!!!!!!!…It has been stopped for long there and all legendary animators like Glen keane, Andrea’s deja,Bancroft brothers ( and many more) always talking about it….This art form just stopped because Hollywood investors are more likely interested in CG films but that does not mean this art form is dead.!!!!…Europe and Asia are still producing great features !!!..it is only stopped there and unfortunately all great legendary animators, directors are still alive and thinking that they should do something to show the world once again…No one did not move or failed to move just because this art form requires money to produce a feature.!!!..it is not like a personal short film that 2/3 artists can do it from home where as the main focal is `Bring Back 2D animation`…and to do so, someone needs to produce it!!!…..When no Hollywood Producer is not currently interested or failed to see its glory…these 2 Legendary just wanted to make a move where as all is seating idle and crying for magic. Magic will not happening if nobody moves for its glory…..mark these 2 names..yes..it is Don Bluth…who has done it before and he is trying to bring it back by all of our support and he did not force us to do that. Even if i agree with your points in few cases, remember, we are the artists are contributing our small amount of money here and we are not `STUPID`….We have that kind of heart to follow and unfortunately you failed to see.

  • torinohito

    I’ve never read a more biased article from an animation news site, or is this a blog? I’m appalled at the lack of investigative journalism. You shouldn’t have to rely on your readers in order to get correct facts. Amid’s article seems to be predatory in hurting Don Bluth’s campaign. Amid does this even by breaking one of Cartoon Brew’s own golden rules which clearly states: “We will under no circumstances link to a third-party fundraising campaign on Kickstarter, IndieGogo or any such similar site.” And here you are, posting links. Don Bluth truly loves animation and is a standup individual. Did you even consult him for a comment before writing this? Due to the fact that this article was predicated on mis-information why not take down the whole article and apologize. Your opinions are mean spirited and baseless. There is no scandal to expose. Please try to report facts, not emotional tirades of Don Bluth HATE.

    • yup

      You should know by now…..It’s Amid; it’s what he does. He makes the wheels turn at CB by providing the outrageous blowhard posts that get clicks. Honest, unbiased, truthful news items do not get as much attention as opinion.

      I think Bluth is a better judge of what an animator needs to make a pitch than some blogger is. But that’s just me.

  • I Like Animation Too Much

    If it has taken 30 years to get a Dragon’s Lair movie made and it hasn’t managed to be made then it never will, even if a crowdfunded pitch video did manage to get made. Also, what investors or studio would give Don Bluth money to make a film? He hasn’t made a good film since The Secret of NIMH and American Tail. The closest he came to making something half decent after those two was Titan AE. The rest of his stuff has been terrible.

    • “The Land Before Time” is terrible?

      • I Like Animation Too Much

        I only saw TLBT once. I honestly forgot that he had directed that one; although, personally, I didn’t care for the film much. It wasn’t as bad as some of his other films such as Rockadoodle.

  • AmidAmidi

    On our submission page, we ask that readers not submit stories about crowdfund campaigns because we get too many of those. Even with the request stated on our submission page, we still receive at least one or two DOZEN submissions a week about different campaigns.

    Our internal policy about crowdfunding editorial is that we don’t report on live
    campaigns unless there’s a story or commentary that’s bigger than the
    actual campaign itself. For example, we reported on John Dilworth’s Dirdy Birdy because he had released a restored version of his cult short “Dirdy Birdy” with new footage added. That’s a story we would have covered even if there had been no campaign.

    For Art Story, I wrote about it because it was around the time of Digital Domain’s meltdown and was a nice bounceback story about Blaise and Williams. Looking back at the post today, I would not have published it in that manner. My own views, especially on new Internet trends like crowdfunding, continue to evolve over time.

  • white vader

    Considering Bluth released it on nearly every platform ever, you’d think he’d have a few bucks (even ignoring everything else)… guess not. ;)

  • Roca

    Dragon’s Lair would be a great property to update and pitch for the new generation…unfortunately I don’t think Don (as much as I love him) is the guy to do it. I don’t think a full length movie with the same style and tone as the original would sell with today’s audiences. (Princess Daphne’s cheesecake in particular is a big turnoff for me). I do however think the time is right to license these properties to other filmmakers, for a fresh new look and feel. Combining 80’s nostalgia with a modern look could be a winner in the box office. I hope he’s set up a structure to handle these properties after he passes on.

    On another note, Don, I’d love to see you do a 3-5 minute short for Dragon’s Lair…I could see a successful web series based on that to build up a new audience!

  • Marco Lopez

    Sometimes I wonder if Cartoon Brew even understands the industry they report on.

    Hollywood doesnt fund its movies out of pocket anymore and hasnt for the longest time.

    So comments like this really show their ignorance.

    “If you care about animation, give your money to filmmakers who are
    actually producing films for the people, not to those making secret
    pitches for Hollywood’s monied elite.”

    Bluth would most likely
    have to get the actual budget from independent financiers cause no
    Hollywood studio would touch this project. Cause if it was viable to
    them he could take a meeting to pitch this. Which I’m sure he’s tried
    and I believe in the original campaign they mentioned trying to get this
    movie made for the longest time.

    He’s got a great track record
    but the last time he directed a movie it was 2-D and it was the year
    2000 when it came out. So much has changed in animation since then and
    he probably doesn’t carry the weight he did back then with studios then
    and even then he ran into so many issues with the studios. All of which
    Cartoon Brew knows.

    Articles like this act like Bluth can just
    roll up and get a project made and its very much pitting people against
    each other. Don’t donate to this person cause money is so limited.
    Donate to these people instead. That’s not how things work. Not now and
    not in any universe.

    • Mesterius

      Um, no, Bluth has NOT got a great track record. Titan A. E. crashed at the box office and most of the movies he spewed out of his Irish studio in the early 90s did the same.

      By all reasonable counts, he has made just as many duds and bad films as he has made decent/good films — or more to the point, MORE bad films than good.

      He simply is not that great a director.

  • Will

    Couldn’t agree more about the promo. I was a huge geeky fan of “Dragon’s Lair” and I played it obsessively in the arcades. I may have singlehandedly funded “Space Ace” entirely on quarters. I was pretty darned excited therefore when I saw the Kickstarter campaign, but after watching the video I couldn’t bring myself to donate.

    In the opening a “Dad” and “Son” enthuse about how much they LOVED the game, yet they consistently get the title wrong (psst: it’s not “Dragon Lairs”, guys, it’s “Dragon’s Lair”). Next we inexplicably go to a bunch of people dressed up as Wizard of Oz characters who then run around and talk about investing (??). Finally, in what should be an inspiring moment, Don himself appears and sorta admits that he might possibly be willing to entertain the idea of maybe thinking about making a pitch reel with our money maybe. The whole thing was a seriously confused and poorly put together pitch reel for a pitch reel and it inspired no confidence whatsoever.

  • Chad Townsend

    Based on reading the comments……Titan AE was not completely a 2D film. It was utilizing a lot of CG animation in it. Also….. I could be totally wrong…. But I seem to remember hearing Don was called in on Titan AE after it had been going a while to help polish the movie (That it was bad before he got there) as well he was a Name they wanted to highlight for marketing purposes. If I am wrong I am willing to bow down and admit that. But that’s my recollection from someone that worked on it.

  • Axolotl

    His movies just aren’t very good. Even NIMH, his best flick, had a sci-fi plot being resolved by an inexplicable magic amulet. And after that it was nothing but puffy cheeks and big-lipped alligators…

  • Milo

    Look, I love and respect Don Bluth as much as the next Animation fan does, but if we are going to be fair, A Troll in Central Park, Thumbelina, and Pebble and the Penguin didn’t exactly light up the box office.

    Outside of Anastasia, Don’s hits were in the 80s.

  • Mog

    To be honest, I’m totally fine with throwing money at Don Bluth and Gary Goldman to produce a pitch for a potential feature film, even if it doesn’t in the end get feature film funding from investors and become a movie. The Bancroft Brothers plugged it back when it was on Kickstarter with the higher goal, and I decided to trust their judgement as professionals on that. With the way the Indiegogo campaign is being run (it sounds like Indiegogo contacted them, lured them over to their side, and coached them on running a better campaign) it’s not a bad tradeoff to put Don Bluth back into action for at least a little bit. The perks are more worth my money, with ebooks and such at the lower end and the pitch itself at a lower tier.

    I know what I’m paying for, and I’m okay with that.

  • Schuenator

    Amid, I really appreciated a lot of the points you mentioned in this article. I left a comment on the kickstarter recommending a brief 12 minute short and referencing KickHeart, another successful animated short kickstarter project.
    But then you mentioned Psychonauts. I love Psychonauts, but the company behind that, Double Fine has proven to be one of the most sheisty when it comes to crowdfunding. Some of us still remember the disappointment of Broken Age. Tim Schafer asked for more money on top of what he got from us, then asked us to fund a completely different game on kickstarter, then delivered a mediocre product. You can call out this project for its issues but don’t quote Double Fine like its some sort of paragon of crowdfunding because they absolutely are not.

  • Turnstyle

    For a site that is about cartoons you seem to really hate the people who make them.

  • greenglassesgirl

    I think it’s odd that you compared Psychonauts when Double Fine themselves apparently have a jaded track record with crowdfunding (scroll through their Twitter announcement of the campaign, and it’s slammed with skepticism due to Spacebase DF-9). I’m a big fan of both Don Bluth and Double Fine. So I’ll give my money to both, and if they don’t succeed, I’m not going to lose sleep over it. They produced things that I greatly enjoyed and I would donate money to them regardless. Also, I want that signed print, damnit.

  • Some Guy

    For me it’s a case of ‘What have you done for me lately’? Up until Nostalgia Critic’s video with him I thought he was either dead, retired, or moved to Mexico.

  • I Like Animation Too Much

    Huh? I wasn’t upset when I wrote that.

  • Netko

    How come 2D movies are more expensive now than back when you had to do everything by hand? I don’t see a single reason why Princess and the Frog has to cost so much more than back when you had to paint and colour every frame traditionally on a separate cell and film it all. EVERYTHING was harder, so how come it all costs more now?

    • Crispy Walker

      1.) inflation, and 2.) the budgets announced for productions like Princess and the Frog take into account the salaries of people working over a long period of time… They’re not even hard-and-fast numbers — more like baskets of estimates that the company can dump their personel expenses in. It costs more to make an animated film than just the labor of the artists though. There’s infrastructure, like the computers and servers and rendering-houses, which need electricity to function, and to be housed likely on a plot of rented or mortgaged land, and so on and so forth. There are basic office-workers and financial staff to pay attached to productions, like the people who do the pay-roll and hopefully make sure artists get paid. The bigger the corporate structure of the production, the bigger the base of employees is, and thus, the more it costs to keep those things running. Disney is a huge production house compared to the way Cartoon Saloon makes its films. Also, hasn’t it been said that in the budgets that are announced for other animated features, the studios also tend to factor in the losses they take on the time it takes to work on projects that inevitably die in-utero?

      Anyway, 70 million for a hand drawn feature these days sounds pretty correct. It might be cheaper to farm out the animation and build a loose community of freelancers, but if Bluth is trying to jumpstart 2d animation, it’d make more sense to pressure them into dumping money into building that infrastructure I mentioned in the first paragraph — that way their initial investment would create the compulsion to hopefully keep going with 2D projects. Who knows — I think I’m talking out of my ass now.

  • Netko

    How come 2D movies are more expensive now than back when you had to do everything by hand? I don’t see a single reason why Princess and the Frog has to cost so much more than back when you had to paint and colour every frame traditionally on a separate cell and film it all. EVERYTHING was harder, so how come it all costs more now?

  • The_Strawbear

    I remember when crowdsourcing used to be called begging.

  • tlc9711

    one word ….. BOOOOOOooooo

  • Paul G. Christoforos

    I think that Don Bluth will make the film, and I feel that my beliefs are firm on that one.

    By the way… don’t let us down, Don and Gary!