In the weeks to come, we’ll write about the big developments we see shaping our industry in 2022 and beyond. But first: to the year that was. Which stories most resonated with readers, and does anything link them? Below is a list of our top 20 articles of 2021, based on how many times they were read.
The biggest news story of the year — the pandemic — barely figures in the list. Only a couple of stories refer to it. Perhaps that’s to be expected. In terms of its effects on the animation industry, Covid was often headline news in 2020; by this year, it had simply become the context in which many decisions were taken, its presence often felt in the background but less frequently topping the agenda. It helps that animation production, as we know, was less badly affected than other areas of media and entertainment, although exhibition and distribution are still experiencing great turmoil.
Virus or no, five of our top stories were about closures or cancellations: the shutting of Blue Sky and Tangent Animation, the pulling of Pixar’s Luca from theaters, the vanishing of Disney stores, and the termination of Youtube channel Super Jojo. Four focused on new or future projects. Special mention goes to Master, an exciting upcoming action feature whose trailer we premiered.
Disney continues to dominate our industry and news cycle, as reflected in this list: a full eight stories are about the House of Mouse and its films and subsidiaries. Feature films are the most popular kind of project, with 11 headlines mentioning them, compared to three for series and two for shorts.
Of course, the list doesn’t just reflect your preferences as readers but also our choices as editors. Are there any subjects we’re covering too much? Not enough? As we look ahead to a new — and hopefully better — year, we’d love to read your feedback in the comments section below.