Have you noticed how many animated movies have been in the theater over the past few months? There have been Monster House, Open Season, The Wild, Over the Hedge, Barnyard, Cars, and The Ant Bullyto name a few, which doesn't even cover the glut of sequels and straight-to -video DVDs that have been released and re-released, including last week's The Little Mermaid: Ultimate Line Our Pockets Disney Adamantium Edition. Of those, only Monster House doesn't focus on talking animals, insects or vehicles. As a result, the novelty of both animated films, and the concepts they bring with them are making audiences weary, according toThe New York Times.

Popular animated movies used to belong only to Disney, and they released them sparingly, not wanting to step on the toes of their own product. However, once Disney/Pixar became a force to reckon with, Disney was releasing CGI films on top of its own traditionally animated films, and began crowding the schedule with more films each year. These days, animated films crowd theaters with offerings from Disney/Pixar, Sony Imageworks, Dreamworks Animation, Warner Bros., and Paramount/Nickelodeon. It's a jungle out there -- or a forest, or a farmyard, or ... well, you get the idea.

This is typical of the Hollywood "me too!" syndrome that hits when something works well and starts making tons of money for a studio. Everyone else wants in on it. Horror films started making money, so now everyone is putting out a lot of horror movies. The Lord of the Rings opened the door for more fantasy films like The Chronicles of Narnia, and Eragon, and the popularity of X-Men gave rise to a slew of comic book movies including Spider-Man, Superman Returns and the upcoming Ghost Rider.

Animated films have always been a treasure for younger and older audiences alike, and are part of a dwindling part of the theater experience that people can still enjoy as a family. Are you still going to see animated movies?

Other animation on Cinematical:

The Demise of Hand-Drawn Animation

Studios Still Don't Get Animation

Dreamworks Choosing Quantity over Quality

Golden Globes Adds Animation Award
categories Cinematical