Emerging Industry Overview: Computer Animation Entertainment

Industry Snapshot

The first decade of the new century proved to be a high-growth one for computer animation, which remained a multi-billion-dollar business. Once aimed at children's entertainment, the industry has expanded to adult audiences on cable and satellite television as well as the Internet. The use of digital technology has become more pervasive throughout the motion picture industry as well, accounting for as much as half of the $150 million typically spent to make a feature film. Competition continues to heat up as major studios increase production and rely more heavily on computer animation for both animated and regular feature films.

Animation, the art of producing the illusion of movement from a sequence of two-dimensional drawings or three-dimensional objects, has long been a staple of the entertainment industry. Animation can take on many shapes, ranging from primitive drawings in television cartoons such as The Flintstones to complex dinosaur-sized creatures in Jurassic Park. Computer animation's entertainment uses are spread far and wide. From the dreamlike landscapes of What Dreams May Come to the intricately detailed talking mouse of Stuart Little to lifelike digital characters and imaginary landscapes in 2005's Star Wars: Episode III--Revenge of the Sith, computer animation continues to transform the face of cinematic reality.