Last week, Kickstarter said that 2012 was "The Year Of The Game." They let it be known that gaming projects had raised over $50 million over the last eight months. It's an impressive number, but Kickstarter has not just been a great source of revenue for the gaming community. Animation has seen somewhat of a renaissance thanks to the crowdfunding site.
Cartoon Brew reports that at least five animated projects have raised over $100,000 this year alone. Out of the $42 million raised for films, a rather sizable chunk went to animated projects. Animation is something that's largely ignored in this country unless it's made for children. It's an absolute shame and that's why Kickstarter has been so successful for these animators.
One of the most successful animated projects to debut on Kickstarter was Anomalisa. The project is being headed by the immensely talented Dino Stamatopoulos and Dan Harmon. They were looking for $200,000 to create the 40 minute stop-motion animated film and ended up with over $400,000 in funding.
Phil Tippett, the man responsible for the AT-AT animation in The Empire Strikes Back, also turned to Kickstarter to fund his personal animation project. The film is called Mad God and it goes against everything that television usually defines as animation. He only wanted $40,000 to make the film, but ended up with over $124,000.
Other animated projects that found success on Kickstarter include a film from the creator of Ren and Stimpy, and a movie based upon the popular YouTube series Dick Figures. These are just some of the animated projects that have become a reality thanks to crowdfunding.
Traditional animation is expensive and generally looked down upon by major studio executives. That's why you see Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network moving more and more towards live action. These stations, with the exception of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, also appeal primarily to children. There's a large animation fan base among adults, but cartoons are inherently viewed as something for children. Animation that attempts to tackle mature subject matter is usually shot down without a second thought.
Kickstarter has been extremely influential in games, animation and other projects that would not get approved otherwise. There are plenty of people out there who will gladly throw money at projects like these because they crave something more than what the big studios can provide. We'll maybe even see Dino Stamatopoulos coming back to Kickstarter to fund a third season of Moral Orel. We can dream, right?