Being bland is a strategy big studios use to guarantee audiences won't hate their product. Thus guaranteeing a profit will be made.
This is not an argument about making good entertainment - it is about being a safe studio.
This strategy is not good for making audiences love your work, it's only good at making audiences not hate your work. This is an important distinction.
BLAND IS SAFE
- with a generic/bland character, you don't have to worry about your audience hating the character, because there is not enough substance to hate. It'd be like hating a blank piece of paper. What is there to dislike?
...The studios are investing a lot of money into these features. And the investors want a guarantee that they will make their money back. The studio can't afford to have their features flop. So what's the safest way to guarantee financial success?
1. copy a subject that has already been proven succesful. CG bug movies are popular? Let's make another one. The mom in the video store looking to buy her kids a movie to watch will remember she liked one bug movie, and she'll buy another one. And another one. And another one....
2. use pre-existing characters that already have a fanbase. Scooby Doo. Garfield. Alvin and the Chipmunks.
3. make characters that are difficult to dislike. The more bland and generic a character is, the less there is to dislike.
If you are actually creative and experiment with your art, you are taking a risk. People may love your product, but there is also the risk that they will not love it. And a big studio just can't afford to take that kind of risk.
So the big studio keeps their eyes on the smaller studios - the ones that are experimenting - and then when a smaller studio has success, the big studio will superficially copy their experiment and make a guaranteed profit.
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