“No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to dance.”

November 20, 2006 at 8:47 pm Leave a comment

The animated film Happy Feet has defeated Casino Royale in this weekend’s US box-office takings. It seems that James Bond has finally met his match.   

Where Blofelt, Scaramanga and Dr. No failed, a happy little dancing penguin has finally succeeded.

Happy Feet, the tale of a tap-dancing penguin took in $42.3 million, whilst the 21st James Bond film took $40.6 million.  

Perhaps these figures are indicative of a shift in the cinema-going audience. Ever since the success of Shrek and Toy Story, studios have been frantically churning out friendly CG animals just in time for the merchandising deal with McDonalds.  

However, this constant stream of celebrity-voiced animated critters is not surprising when one takes into account the sheer fortune that these films generate. Hats, lunchboxes, action figures, cuddly toys and costumes are just a drop in the ocean of junk that is sold to our nation’s youth. George Lucas’ decision to retain all the merchandising rights to Star Wars is hailed as one of the cleverest business decisions of all time and it seems that the big film studios have not forgotten this lesson.  

It’s no wonder then that almost every major studio is beginning to dip their fingers in the vast pool of animated wealth that is ripe for the taking.  And unless things change radically, it’s unlikely that a child will open their Happy Meal and see a small figurine of Daniel Craig or even worse, Judi Dench, staring back at them.

Pictures: Top Left: The tap-dancing star of Happy Feet, Bottom Right: Daniel Craig in Casino Royale  

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Entry filed under: News.

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