The greatest animated movie bombs of all time

Universal Pictures enjoyed solid success with animated films in the 1980s thanks to “An American Tail” and “The Land Before Time”. Arriving just before Disney Animation entered its renaissance period, many Universal projects filled a niche in the market for kid-friendly animated entertainment. The 1990s, when Universal launched animation house Amblimation just as Disney regained its mojo with titles like “Beauty and the Beast,” were a lot less kind to the studio and were crowned with the bombshell at the box office “Balto”.

Making just $ 11 million worldwide out of a $ 31 million prize pool, “Balto” was doomed by a film released just three weeks before its premiere – “Toy Story”. This revolutionary computer animation feature was everything a family movie hopes to be, funny, heartfelt, beautiful to watch. How could “Balto” compete with that?

Plus, the sheer novelty of “Toy Story” being the first fully computer-animated film gave it a sense of overwhelming importance that “Balto” couldn’t hope to counter. As the New York Times recalls, the dismal box office record of other feature films from the 1990s from Universal and animation studio Amblimation also set a bad precedent for “Balto”. Meanwhile, its marketing gave the impression that the production was aimed squarely at the youngest. “Balto” closed the book on Universal’s forays into animated cinema for over a decade, although Illumination projects like “Despicable Me” later remained a part of the studio’s luster in that department. .


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