From Bugs Bunny to the Powerpuff Girls, we all loved cartoons when we were growing up. Yet we do not simply cease to interact with animation as we get older, just look at the popularity of shows that appeal to a more mature audience like Family Guy, American Dad and even The Simpsons. Businesses and marketers have taken note of this engagement from the older generation and now use the tool to appeal to these audiences.
But how much do you know about the world of animated characters? In this article we take a look at some of the most interesting facts about the art of animation.
1. Disney had little faith in The Lion King
The top management team at Disney allocated most of their experienced and top animation talent to the film Pocahontas. They then allocated first timers or fresh talent to creating the Lion King, as they had little faith that the film would be popular.
It went on to become the 7th highest grossing animated film of all time.
2. Hop and stamp
The first cartoon character to ever feature on a postage stamp was Bugs Bunny, that is a big claim to fame. However, the first ever cartoon character to have a statue erected in their honour was Popeye. It looks like promoting healthy eating pays off in the long run.
3. Halifax customers get catty
Did you know that in the latest adverts from UK based bank Halifax that feature famous cartoon characters such as The Flintstones, Scooby Doo and Top Cat came under heavy criticism?
Top Cat is used to promote the bank’s mortgage services and as a result were blasted by the public, highlighting that he and his friends traditionally live in a bin. Many comments on social media focused on how “you too could be living in a bin if you do not keep up with your mortgage repayments”.
Like any advertising, the use of the correct characters is paramount to success in animation.
4. Little green man
The commonly recognised Android logo, that is widely used in their advertising, was originally developed purely for the developer element of the Android platform. However, customers loved the logo so much that the company have now adopted it as the symbol of the company. The logo is now used to represent the company in their animated advertising such as in this example.
5. Hairy business
The character Sulley from the film Monsters Inc. has more than 2.3 million hairs on his body, all of which had to be created individually. Due to this fact, it would take Pixar 11 to 12 hours to individually render each frame he was featured in.
Not only was this massively time consuming, but also required a huge technological investment from Pixar to generate the processing power required to render Sulley and the other complex characters in the film.
Now that is dedication to the art of animation.
6. A healthy ad campaign
Aardman, the world-famous studio that created the series of films Wallace and Gromit, as well as renowned spin offs such as Shaun The Sheep, worked with the UK National Health Services to create a series of renowned adverts promoting the dangers of a poor nutritional diet.
This cross over between world famous studios and major advert campaigns is no new thing, you can check out all the adverts that Aardman have worked on and we bet you can recognise many of them. The outcome of collaboration with an animation studio is not associated only with cartoons anymore.
7. What do robots and donkeys have in common?
Probably two of the least likely cartoon characters to have anything in common, both Optimus Prime from the cartoon version of Transformers and Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh were both voiced by Peter Cullen.
Can you hear any similarities? We can’t.
8. Chipmunk Cheerios
Although there is no official statement that it was indeed paid product placement, the detail and frequency of the appearance suggests that Honey Nut Cheerios made a deal to have their cereal featured in The Chipmunk Adventure.
It isn’t uncommon to see the occasional product placement in animated movies and series.
9. Expensive cars
Famous animation is not just used for product placement and cameos. Products and merchandise are often big money makers for the creators of animated films. This is no small business, with Disney’s Cars being the top animated movie for merchandising, making a huge $10B.
10. 2 years to 2.5 minutes
Animation may appear seamless and free flowing, but the effort that goes behind high-quality animation is far from it. For example, during the production of The Lion King it took 5 animators over 2 years to create the 2.5 minute wildebeest stampede scene. Fortunately, it takes way less time to produce a standard animation of 60 seconds, which takes more less 6-8 weeks.
As we can see animation is a fascinating and very deep subject. Not only do animated series and movies grab the attention of the public, but crossover and independent marketing and advertising can work really well when animation is used as a tool for communication. We look forward to being astounded by more animation facts in the future.