Bambi, we're sorry that Disney
For fans of hand-drawn animation, it's a sweet victory. The previous record holders were computer-rendered blockbusters Shrek 2 from DreamWorks Animation
Before those same traditionalists cringe at how Disney has all but dismantled its in-house hand-drawn animation studio, let's point out that what's been emerging from Disney's animated remains these days hasn't been so hot. I can't see a similar stampede rushing to pick up Bambi's direct-to-video sequel. If anyone here doesn't think that this dreadful trend of putting out low-quality follow-ups -- as if the originals left so many unanswered questions -- is diluting the quality of the classics, well, at least you can argue that Bambi is still hot some 63 years later.
Perhaps that's why Disney isn't as troubled as others may have you believe. Every few years brings a new generation that has no idea how endearing Thumper, Flower, and friends are.
Yes, Pixar is driving away from Disney after Cars. No, Disney's Chicken Little isn't a lock to beat out DreamWorks' Madagascar or Fox's
This isn't to say that Shrek or Toy Story will still be able to reach a willing audience in 60 years, but it's comforting to know that the return on these investments is more than just how well they fare at the multiplex and through the first wave of broadcast deals and video and DVD sales.
And it's not just that there will always be a new generation of kids who don't care that these aren't first-run originals. It's also that changes in home-theater technology will keep folks updating their libraries with the latest versions of worthy classics. Right now it's all DVDs and VHS cassettes, but HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are now on the horizon as new platforms.
Good ink never dies. And yes, Bambi, that also includes your mother.
- Learn more about Blu-Ray and HD-DVD.
- Granted, not all of Disney's DVD ventures pan out.
- Talk about the business behind your favorite Disney animated flicks in our Disney discussion board.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares in both Disney and Pixar, but he never cried during Bambi. The Fool has adisclosure policy. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.
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