This is how the introduction to this page used to read:
As is the case with many areas of film, things have changed dramatically since I first uploaded my web site. The pace of change in the information age can be dizzying, don't you think?
In any event, Disney isn't at the top of the food chain anymore and hasn't been for a while. The seeds of their destruction were evident even when I first wrote that old intro. Just look at the review for The Hunchback of Notre Dame if you want to see some of what went wrong at the House of Mouse. I predict that the same malaise will strangle Dreamworks' animated features, too, if they don't move beyond the formula they stumbled upon in Shrek.
But in spite of all that, animation is still a going concern.
The line between live action and animation continues to blur as special effects technologies advance. Disney closed its 2-D animation studio in a fit of corporate myopia, only to watch Hayao Miyazaki walk off with the Best Animated Feature award for his 2-D feature, Spirited Away. There are three dominant animation studios in the world right now: Pixar continues an almost unprecedented creative flowering, while Miyazaki's Ghibli Studio matches them film for film. And in the UK, Aardman continues to make wonderful handmade films. At this writing, there are two stop-motion features in theaters: Aardman's Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Tim Burton's The Corpse Bride. Burton looks as if he wants to join the club with the big three, but the demand for live-action films is keeping him otherwise occupied. A wildcard is Sylvain Chomet, whose (2-D) Triplets of Belleville was an Oscar nominee and an unexpected delight.
Sergei Eisenstein thought that Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the greatest film ever made. He saw in it infinite possibilities for cinematic expression, promises made but rarely kept in the decades since. The interesting thing about the decline and fall of Disney's animation studio is that the stranglehold Disney's formula has had on the art of animation has finally been broken. We are finally seeing a REAL diversity of styles in animated film. We are beginning to see a REAL diversity of subject matters. We are finally seeing filmmakers begin to probe the awesome possibilities of animation. It's about damned time, too...