It will be interesting to see how well "Hoodwinked" does in the next few months. Here we have a CG film with some very middle of the road to sub-par visuals and very simple animation tied together with what seems to be a pretty decent story. ...continued...
The film is being distributed by the Weinstein's and should get a fair shot in the theatres. It won't have the marketing muscle of your typical wide-release CG film, however it really doesn't need one. The budget is so low that a decent box office will make for a successful theatre run. I have to say, I am extremely interested to see how this fares. You can bet a lot of producers will be eyeing this film very closely.
Another film is "Cat Tale" from Imagi. This is the same company that did the animation for DreamWorks "Father Of The Pride" television series. For this movie, we have bad character designs, just-okay-animation and mediocre visuals. The story doesn't appear to be very strong but you know this movie has a low budget. Again, the movie will not have to make much. I wonder how it will do (if they find distribution).
You may be surprised to hear that I am not going to rant about outsourcing. I believe Cat Tale is a home brewed film. If true, they are safe from my wrath. However, Hoodwinked doesn't fall into that category. With a budget of $15 million, some US producers made the film in Manilla. This pisses me off. However, I don't want to go off on a tangent. I'm still interested to see how the film does.
Out of these two movies, I think Hoodwinked is the stronger picture and the one to be watchful of this Holiday season. Although it doesn't come close to visuals that Sony, Pixar, Disney, Blue Sky, and DreamWorks put out, the story looks funny and a very mild box office dent will be a success for such a low budget film. We could be witnessing the beginning of the flood of ultra-low-budget CG films.