A fact that took me by surprise: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is now the fifth-highest grossing animated feature of all-time at the worldwide box office. Here’s the list:
1. Shrek 2 – $919.8 million
2. Finding Nemo – $864.6 million
3. Shrek the Third – $799 million
4. The Lion King – $783.8 million
5. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – $673.5 million
The film has performed phenomenally overseas, pulling in excess of $500 million from foreign markets. This Variety article mentions that the film is on its way to becoming the top-grossing animated feature at the foreign box office, surpassing the current title holder, Pixar’s Finding Nemo ($524 million).
I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that the reason for the film’s box office success isn’t because the entire world loves Ray Romano, but rather that the world loves Scrat, a refreshing cartoon creation whose appeal stems from his personality and mannerisms instead of his dialogue (a virtually unheard of innovation in contemporary animation).
The episode of Simon’s Cat I posted yesterday couldn’t be more different in style and tone than Ice Age, but at its core, I think the success of both of these cartoons revolves around an understanding that audiences still enjoy watching funny and appealing visually-driven cartoon characters.