Thursday, June 1, 2017

Lucasfilm Animation

Lucasfilm Animation is an offshoot of Lucasfilm and was created in 2003 and is based in Singapore. The studio started out by creating the TV show Star Wars: Clone Wars and created all subsequent Star Wars TV shows. Lucasfilm decided to create a movie to lead into their second TV series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Yes, they are different shows, I know they basically have the same name. Just stick The in front of anything and it’s different! The Clone Wars was released in 2008 and was meant to be both a stand alone story and a lead in to the main series. The action, like the TV show before it, is set between Episode II and Episode III.The movie had a very small budget, thanks to the fact that they just took the first couple episodes and made it into a movie. It was Lucas’s decision to make it a feature instead and it threw the crew off. The finished film was trashed critically, currently the lowest scored of all the Star Wars movies. The movie was a mild success financially due to the small budget of $8.5 million and the final gross of $68.3 million. Many critics didn’t like the animation style and were confused as to why this was being shown theatrically when it was clearly “Saturday Morning Cartoon” variety. Despite the terrible beginning to the series, the TV show proved to be popular, and ran from 2008-2014. It was replaced by Star Wars: Rebels.


Strange Magic is the studio’s second and so far only other movie. As Disney now owns Lucasfilm, the movie was distributed under Disney, though, like Gnomeo and Juliet, was under the Touchstone banner. The idea for this movie had been flopping around in Lucas’s mind for 15 years, but he was too busy with Star Wars to ever give it a go. He wanted a film that his three daughters could go and see. He wanted a Star Wars that was for girls. Lucas originally pitched it as a Beauty and the Beast story with the beast not changing back. It was about finding beauty in strange places. Production had gone on and off for years, and when Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, they were pretty far into production. Disney apparently didn’t have much faith in the movie, seeing as they released it under Touchstone and didn’t promote it at all. I think I saw one ad for it, and then it was already on video a short while later. The film has the unfortunate distinction of having the lowest ticket sales of any movie released in more than 3,000 theaters. The film was a huge bomb, only grossing $13 million. Reviews were even worse, with many focusing on the hollow story, but praising the animation. It is doubtful that Lucasfilm Animation will release another movie seeing as they are now owned by Disney. Disney has had a weird relationship with Lucasfilm, as they basically shut down their video game wing, LucasArts. I imagine that Disney will have them make the TV shows and nothing more.

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