Computer animation films peek

MUMBAI: Planet 51 a forthcoming computer-animated movie about an astronaut who discovers happy green people, has game maker Sega and HarperCollins signed up as promotional partners. Hollywood stars (Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel) lend their vocal talents.

Computer animation, once one of the most isolated corners of Hollywood, is rapidly becoming one of the most crowded. With the cost of computer animation coming down because of advances in technology and soaring box office receipts for family films, a broad range of new animation players are entering the multiplex.

In 2009 14 animated movies - most of them computer-generated - will have a wide release, compared with 8 such films in 2005. Pictures from independent producers like Imagi Studios, which has "Astro Boy" lined up for an October release, are competing with the likes of "Up," from Pixar, and "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," set for release on July 1 by 20th Century Fox. Sony‘s own computer-animated movie, "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," is scheduled to open on Sept. 18.

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